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55-90 lbs
United States
Derived from a single ancestor, the Chinook breed came from a dog named Chinook, which was one of three puppies born to a Northern Husky female bred with one of Peary's North Pole dog team. The father was a large mixed breed dog, and Chinook did not really resemble either one of his parents. Chinook became an exemplary sled dog and is said to have been on Admiral Byrd's expedition to the South Pole in 1927.
sled pulling
Date of Origin

Chinook Health

Average Size
Height: 23-27 inches Weight: 55-90 lbs
Height: 21-25 inches Weight: 55-90 lbs
Minor Concerns
  • Excessive Shyness
  • Eye Abnormalities
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hormonal Skin Problems
  • Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism
  • Seizures And Spondylosis
Occasional Tests
  • Hip
  • Eyes

Chinook Breed History

Experts believe that in the early 1900s, Chinook set time, distance, and load records for sled pulling. The Chinook breed has been cultivated over the years by just a few dedicated breeders, therefore, the Chinook is considered to be quite a rare breed. In fact, in 1966, the Guinness Book of World Records listed the breed as the rarest, with only 125 dogs in existence. By the 1980s, the Chinook was nearly extinct - research suggests there were only 12 dogs left that were able to breed. Because of the marked decline in numbers, the sled drive declined. Today the Chinook is considered to be more of a companion breed than a working breed, but these dogs still enjoy (and are capable of) working, including sledding and carting. In 1991, the Chinook was recognized by the United Kennel Club.

Chinook Breed Appearance

Compact with a muscular frame, the Chinook has a well-balanced body. The powerful muzzle of this breed features strong teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The black nose has large, wide nostrils. The almond-shaped eyes of brown or amber color are moderate in size and offer an expression of intelligence. The oval, compact feet have well-arched, webbed toes and tough, cushioned pads. Thick at the base and tapering toward the end, the tail of this breed hangs down when the dog is at rest and is carried up when the dog is excited. The tail of the Chinook should never be docked. The double coat consists of a thick, soft undercoat and a coarse, medium-length outer coat. The hair around the neck is longer, which forms a protective ruff, and the base of the tail is also well furnished with hair. The color of the coat of the Chinook is a golden fawn.

Chinook Breed Maintenance

Grooming for the Chinook is relatively easy. The double coat sheds about twice a year for about a week and will shed little the rest of the year. This dog will groom itself, and therefore very little is required of the owner. This dog can live comfortably in an apartment as long as enough exercise is provided. A long walk a few times a week and some obedience training should be all that is necessary. The Chinook is not prone to barking, and it will generally find ways to entertain itself.

Chinook Breed Activity Requirements

Dedicated and loyal, the Chinook is a calm dog with a good disposition. It is not aggressive with other dogs because it has been bred to work as part of a team. It will usually also do quite well with other family pets. This breed may occasionally be reserved around strangers, especially if it is in unfamiliar surroundings. The Chinook is especially good with children within the family and will even tolerate children from outside the family unit. It is important to treat this breed as part of the family - it will want to accompany you everywhere, and therefore, should not be an outside pet. The intelligent Chinook can be easily trained using positive reinforcement techniques, but it will not respond well to other, more negative, training tactics.