AKC Dog Breeds: Chinook

Post Pic

As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 21-27 inches   Weight: 55-75 pounds  Color:  Tawny To Reddish Gold

The Chinook Breed was developed by Polar Explorer Arthur Treadwell Walden during the early 1900’s on his farm in Wanalancet New Hampshire. Walden’s farm was located along the same quiet country road, “The Chinook Trail”, where Milton and Eva Seeley helped develop the AKC Siberian and Malamute breeds. By blending a Mastiff type dog with Greenland Husky, German and Belgian Shepherds, Walden succeeded in creating an American breed of sled dog with power, endurance and trainability, with a friendly, gentle nature, and with a distinctive tawny color. In 1927 Arthur Walden, along with 16 of his male Chinooks, went with Admiral Richard Byrd’s first expedition to Antarctica. The Chinook dogs were used to haul the expedition freighting sleds. In 1965, the Guinness Book of World Records recorded the Chinook as the rarest dog in the world. With the love and dedication of Chinook fanciers, these American-bred tawny sled dogs have been saved from extinction, and there are now more than 600 Chinooks listed with the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service. The Chinook is one of a few dog breeds created in America.

General Appearance

The Chinook has a compact muscular frame that well suites this gentle sled dog. The body is well balanced; the chest is deep; moderate bone and flexible musculature are prominent. The skin on the head is tight with no wrinkles. The stop is moderate and there is a furrow running vertically from the stop to the occiput. The muzzle is powerful, and the teeth are enduring. The breed's ear carriage, rather wind-blown and bending, gives the dogs a curious and entreating glint, However, the ears can also be pricked up. The nose has large wide nostrils, should be solid black, and projects slightly over the mouth. The lips are black in color. The top lip overhangs the lower lip very slightly and the corners of the lower lip are slightly pendulous. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The eyes are almond-shaped and of moderate size, with an intelligent expression. Dark brown eyes are preferred; but lighter, amber eyes are acceptable. Eye rims are dark-pigmented. The feet are oval, firm, and compact, with well-knit, well-arched toes and tough, deeply cushioned, darkly-pigmented pads. The toes are moderately webbed and the feet are well-furred, even between the toes. The front feet turn slightly outward. Dewclaws can be removed from the front feet and, if present, are usually removed from the back feet. The tail is thick at the root and tapers to the tip. When the dog is standing, the tail hangs downward, approximately to the hocks. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried up. The Chinook tail is never docked. Chinooks have a double coat of medium length hair.


Chinooks are affectionate family dogs, dependent on their owner, with a special bond to children. They are intelligent and easy to train, with a gentle and affectionate disposition and a calm and willing work ethic. The Chinook breed is loyal, intelligent, calm, and friendly. They are excellent with children, dogs, and other household pets. This breed is somewhat wary of unfamiliar surroundings and people, but is never aggressive or shy. Chinook's are reliable, versatile, dedicated, and patient. They make excellent workers and family companions. The Chinook breed is not recommended for watchdog purposes as they are not prone to bark. They are sensitive and do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. Whether a Chinook is running in a team on a snowy trail, earning show titles in the ring, running an agility course, hiking on a desolate mountain trail, or snuggling on the couch with a beloved family member, the Chinook is the ideal all purpose canine companion.


The Chinook requires minimal grooming as the coat practically takes care of itself. Weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush will minimize loose and dead hair.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The following health conditions have occurred within the overall Chinook breed: excessive shyness, eye abnormalities, hip dysplasia, hormonal skin problems, mono/bilateral cryptorchidism, seizures and spondylosis. Generally, the breed is very healthy and these diseases occur in a small percentage of the population. The average life expectancy for the Chinook is 10-15 years.

Activity Level
As a working breed, the Chinook thrives on regular exercise: training and competing, along with activities such as backpacking, hiking, jogging, agility, and skijoring will keep a Chinook happy, fit, and healthy. The Chinook is not recommended for apartment living. They do best with a securely fenced yard. Chinook's do not require an inordinate amount of exercise and are not considered an outdoor pet.


Dog Breeds:

Dog Encyclopedia has added beautiful dog photographs on each of our Dog Breed pages to enhance your experience. Each section in Dog Encyclopedia helps to educate pet owners, enabling both the dog, and the owner to have a safe, high quality experience

Snickers have a swim and relaxingYorkshire Terriers are a great pet choicebichon frise make adorable petsfrench bulldogs are a favorite dog breeddalmations are often known as firehouse dogsold english sheepdog look they cant see

Chinook profile on dog encyclopedia
Chinook dog featured in dog encyclopedia