55-90 lbs
United States

Truly an American dog, the original Chinook was descended from a Northern Husky female and a North Pole dog. The father was a mixed breed dog and the puppy that would be named Chinook did not look like either parent; eventually, the puppy’s name became synonymous with the breed. This intelligent canine is supposed to have been a part of Admiral Byrd’s expedition to the South Pole in 1927. It is believed that this hardworking pup set records in time, distance, and load weight in the early 1900s. Because only a few dedicated breeders have really been responsible for the proliferation of the dog, they are considered a rare breed. 

purpose Purpose
Sled Pulling
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Husky, North Pole Sled Team Dog

Chinook Health

Sketch of Chinook
Average Size
Male Chinook size stats
Height: 23-27 inches Weight: 55-90 lbs
Female Chinook size stats
Height: 21-25 inches Weight: 55-90 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Excessive Shyness
  • Eye Abnormalities
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hormonal Skin Problems
  • Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism
  • Seizures And Spondylosis
Occasional Tests
  • Hip
  • Blood Test
  • Eyes
  • Skin Scraping
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Chinook Breed History

The original “Chinook” was born on the New Hampshire farm of author and explorer Arthur Walden in 1917. The meaning of the word chinook is warm winter winds. Chinook was the name given to the puppy that would later be considered the father of the breed. He was called a “sport,” a phenomenon of nature that did not resemble either of his parents. This incredible dog’s offspring, however, did inherit his coloring and size, as well as other general characteristics. The offspring were bred for the strength of the larger freight dog with the speed of racing sled dogs. In fact, pulling a sled was the original purpose of this breed's line. Only a small number of breeders raise Chinooks, making them a rare breed. Only 125 existed in 1966. The breed almost became extinct in the 1980s, but has made a comeback in recent years. The dog is no longer considered part of the working class of dogs. They have become more of a companion dog; however, they are still great at working in the harness and are very obedient. They were recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1991.

Chinook Breed Appearance

The Chinook is a rather large dog, usually tawny colored, with floppy ears. However, some of these canines have erect ears; it is impossible to know just how the ears will look until the puppy is about six months old. The coat is of medium length with a coarse outer coat and a thick, but soft undercoat. Their tawny color ranges from a light honey color to a beautiful reddish-gold. A unique looking dog, they may have black markings on the inside corners of the eyes and may or may not have dark tawny to black markings on the ears and muzzle. They have almond-shaped eyes which often give the impression of intelligence. Some dogs may have buff markings on the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest, toes, and stomach. Their long tail hangs down when the dog is at rest, but is carried up when the dog is excited. 

Appearance of Chinook
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Chinook eyes
amber Chinook eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Chinook nose
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn Chinook coat
white Chinook coat
black Chinook coat
gray Chinook coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Chinook wiry coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Chinook Breed Maintenance

The Chinook does have a double coat that can be quite thick depending upon the climate in which the dog lives. (If they are in cooler temperatures, the coat will be thick; if the dog lives in a warmer climate, like the southern United States, the coat will not be very thick.) They shed rather easily, so weekly brushing is a must. Baths are not recommended very often; in fact, experts say bathing only every six months is necessary. Twice a year this sturdy canine will go through a shedding period known as “blowing coat.” This will last about three weeks, and the dog will need to be brushed more during that time. They have nails that grow quickly, so you will want to trim their nails weekly. Regular brushing of the teeth will also contribute to great dental health. This active breed can live happily in an apartment if regular exercise is provided.

Brushes for Chinook
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Chinook requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Chinook Temperament

Much like the herding dogs and mastiffs that are ancestors of the Chinook, the dog is gentle and friendly. They are reserved around strangers, however. It is recommended that they be kept in a fenced yard as they may roam. Chinooks are great with other dogs and with children. They are not watchdogs, however. This sometimes shy canine is not normally aggressive towards people, even if they are a bit skittish at first. They are not prone to barking a lot; the dog often communicates by making whining noises or “woo-woo” sounds. They are very active dogs; they enjoy going hiking, jogging, and bicycling with their masters. It is possible that they might make good therapy dogs. They do not enjoy the water, and, although they do enjoy a good bit of activity, will become tired of endless games of fetch. Animated and zealous, they may dig in the yard also. Highly intelligent, it is recommended that you begin consistent, firm training with your puppy the day you bring them home. They can become headstrong dogs without proper training; some experts even recommend professional training as soon as possible. They are very eager to please and respond well to training. 

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Chinook Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00
food bag monthly cost

Chinook Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Chinook at six months
Male Chinook size stats at six months
Height: 17.5 inches Weight: 35.0 lbs
Female Chinook size stats at six months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 35.0 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Chinook at 12 months
Male Chinook size stats at 12 months
Height: 22.5 inches Weight: 57.5 lbs
Female Chinook size stats at 12 months
Height: 20.5 inches Weight: 57.5 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Chinook at 18 months
Male Chinook size stats at 18 months
Height: 25.0 inches Weight: 72.5 lbs
Female Chinook size stats at 18 months
Height: 23.0 inches Weight: 72.5 lbs

Top Chinook Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Chinook breeders of 2024.
Top Chinook breeder Intervale Chinooks
Intervale Chinooks
Lebanon, Connecticut
Top Chinook breeder Wachusett Chinooks
Wachusett Chinooks
Westminster, Massachusetts
Top Chinook breeder Bashaba Chinooks
Bashaba Chinooks
Blairstown, New Jersey
Top Chinook breeder Desert Sol Chinooks
Desert Sol Chinooks
Gilbert, Arizona
Top Chinook breeder Hurricane Chinooks
Hurricane Chinooks
Grand Prairie, Texas
Top Chinook breeder SeaBreeze Chinooks
SeaBreeze Chinooks
Bangor, Maine

Chinook Owner Experiences

1 Year
1 People
House & Yard
She was a stray that had wondered in to my sister’s yard and immediately started playing with her dog. We tried to find her owner and after 2 weeks of posting and waiting with no leads I ended up keeping her.
1 year, 9 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd