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Once one of the Rarest Dogs in the World, Today the Chinook is a Very Friendly,
Enthusiastic Pet That’s Easy to Train and a Joy to Live With

Bred as a sled dog, the Chinook is a gentle-natured breed that enjoys human interaction, particularly that of children. Chinooks also get along famously with other dogs, and are ideal as a pet for active families with children. Whether for a jog through the park, pulling the kids on a sled in winter months, or as a buddy with whom to enjoy lounging or watching a movie, this is one breed that truly is “man’s best friend.”

Developed during the early 1900s by Polar Explorer Arthur Treadwell Walden, the Chinook is an American dog breed created by blending the Belgian Sheepdog and German Shepherds with the Greenland Husky and a Mastiff-type dog. Walden's goal was to develop a breed that was gentle-natured, but trainable with the endurance of a sled dog.

Walden's stud, who he named "Chinook," was the male ancestor the breed was derived from, born in 1917. At the age of 12, this dog was lost on Admiral Byrd's 1929 Antarctic expedition on which Walden was the lead driver and trainer of sled dogs. The dog’s body was never found. Sledding enthusiasts and dog lovers alike mourned his loss. In the late 1940s, Walden passed control of the core breeding stock to Julia Lombard, who then passed it to Perry Greene, an avid outdoorsman. He continued to breed the Chinook until his death in 1963. At this point, the population of the Chinook quickly declined, and in fact only 11 dogs capable of continuing this breed remained in 1981. The remaining Chinooks were divided among breeders in California, Maine, and Ohio who thankfully saved the breed from extinction.

Once considered the “rarest dog in the world” and listed as such in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1965, today this dog is one of hundreds of Chinooks registered to the AKC, and is classified as a member of the Working Group. It also became the State Dog of New Hampshire in 2009.

An impressive-looking breed with dark almond eyes and a close-fitting coat that's tawny in color, the Chinook is an athletically built, hard-bodied dog whose head is wedge-shaped and broad. With a strong neck, moderately-broad chest and straight, level back, this breed is characterized by an expression of intelligence and kindness.

As far as size goes, the male Chinook's ideal height at the withers is 24 to 26 inches; the female is generally 22 to 24 inches tall. The breed's weight may vary between 55 and 80 pounds. Males typically weigh between 65 and 80 lbs. as an adult, while mature females weigh between 55 and 65 lbs. The Chinook has a double coat which is tawny in color; its ears and muzzle are typically darker. According to the American Kennel Club, coat colors may vary from fawn, tawny, and red-gold to palomino, gray-red, and silver-fawn. Alternate colors for show purposes include black or gray, and tan, black, buff, and white.

With a special affection for children, the Chinook is a playful breed that becomes attached to its family. Dependable and moderately energetic, this dog is both dignified and frisky. Because it was bred to be a sled dog, the Chinook enjoys various outdoor activities including recreational sledding, herding, backpacking, and jogging. Despite this dog’s preference for vigorous outdoor activities, it will be just as happy curled up next to you on the sofa while you enjoy a movie.

The sweet Chinook will be affectionate not just to members of your family but also to your other pets, particularly dogs. It is important to note that because of its need to be with people or other animals, your pet may become destructive if repeatedly left alone, typically out of boredom. Chinooks do not make good watch dogs, because of their gentle nature, calmness, and love of people. Highly curious, this is a breed possessing a rare ability to solve puzzles, so owners may want to implement security measures should you find your dog opening a cupboard or a gate!

Living Environment
While the ideal living environment for the Chinook is a large property with plenty of room to be active, they will also thrive within a small home or apartment as long as their daily activity requirements are met. This is a breed which makes an ideal pet for an individual or family who regularly engage in outdoor activities. The Chinook is probably not the best choice for those who are relatively sedentary or who do not participate in some type of exercise on a daily basis.

The Chinook breed is one that is fairly healthy; most dogs will live to be 12 to 14 years old. Some of the health conditions the breed is prone to include hip dysplasia, a condition common to many dog breeds. Other possible health issues include atopy (an allergy to inhaled dust mites, mold or pollen which results in itchy skin), epilepsy, cataracts, hypothyroidism, and cryptorchidism, a condition in which the testes do not descend and which may lead to sterility. While some health conditions are genetic, others can be attributed to the environment, and how a puppy is raised into adulthood. Taking your puppy or dog to a reputable veterinarian for regular check-ups is recommended.

Unless your pet becomes particularly dirty from digging or other outdoor activity, he or she will not need to be bathed often. However, regular brushing is essential due to the breed's double coat; brushing removes loose hair and debris. Once or twice a year, your dog will shed more heavily than usual. All that is required during these times is extra brushing.

Other than regular brushing, be sure to keep your pet's ears clean, trim the nails, and maintain teeth. Just as we recognize that human health hinges on consistent oral hygiene, the health of canine teeth is also essential to your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Chinook Temperament What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em.
http://www.yourpurebredpuppy. com/reviews/chinooks.html
Retrieved December 7, 2013

Chinook (dog).
Retrieved December 7, 2013

Chinook Colors and Markings.
Retrieved December 7, 2013

Chinook - Temperament & Personality.
Retrieved December 7, 2013

Chinook - History and Health.
Retrieved December 7, 2013

Chinook Health Problems and Raising a Chinook Puppy to be Healthy.
Retrieved December 7, 2013

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