Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Chinook
Chinook is an Inuit word meaning “warm winter winds.” BestBullySticks.com sees how the dog that shares this name lives up to the meaning. With a warm colored and thick coat made for winter, a warm disposition and incredible speed and agility; the Chinook is truly a beautiful dog. Chinooks were companions of great adventurers and today they serve as the state dog of New Hampshire. Read more about the Chinook in BBS’s Breed Spotlight.
History & Background: The first descendant of the Chinook passed on many things to the progeny of the breed, including its name. The father of the breed was named Chinook and was the result of breeding one of the dogs from the first North Pole expedition team and a husky breed. Chinook’s owner, Arthur Treadwell Walden, was amazed at this non-breed dog’s sledding ability and disposition. It’s thought that Walden, also the lead driver and trainer on the 1929 first Antarctic expedition, took Chinook to work with him but died while there. Chinook’s offspring and generations after were bred with Belgian and German Shepherds to create the modern Chinook.
Over the years, only a handful of breeders and fanciers were in charge of advancing this breed. Today about 800 Chinooks are in existence and are listed on the Foundation Stock Services and Miscellaneous class of the AKC. This breed isn’t used as a sled dog by many owners, but mostly serves as a wonderful companion dog for families.
Height: Males: 24 to 26 inches; Females: 22 to 24 inches
Weight: 55 to 90 pounds
Coat: Chinooks have a double coat made up of a soft, fleecy undercoat with a coarse, hard outer coat. This overcoat is straight, thick and lies close to the body. The medium length hair is thicker around the shoulders, neck, back of the hind legs and underneath tail which creates feathering.
Color: One of the most distinct features of this breed, Chinook’s coloring ranges from a pale honey to a deep red-gold. Usually Chinooks have dark muzzles and ears ranging from dark reds and brown to black. At least some black shading in these areas and around the eyes and rims of lips is preferred. Eye color can be any shade of brown.
Appearance: Overall, this dog is very athletic, muscular and graceful. A Chinook’s appearance is impressive but not intimidating. The breed has a broad, wedged-shaped head. The eyes of a Chinook are almond-shaped and its expression is intelligent, curious and kind. Chinook ears are set higher up on the skull, are medium-sized and V-shaped and slightly rounded at the ends. Ears can be folded down or pricked. The Chinook has a deep chest with well-sprung ribs and the back is strong and straight. A Chinook has a saber tail that is slightly fringed because of excess tail hair. When this dog’s tail is alert, it’s carried in a sickle curve without curling or touching the back. The Chinook’s tail is never docked.
Temperament: A Chinook is a strong leader yet isn’t aggressive and is known for having a gentle and calm personality around strangers, children and other pets. This dog is a wonderful companion dog that is highly loyal and loves being close to and a part of its family’s life.
This dog needs daily exercise. It’s natural hardworking tendencies paired with athleticism and intelligence make the Chinook a great agility, flyball or even search and rescue.
Health & Grooming: This breed sometimes deals with eye problems, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hormonal skin problems and allergies. Chinooks are rather healthy breeds and usually live 10 to 15 years.
Grooming a Chinook is minimal. Regular bathing and brushing is the easiest way to maintain the health of the Chinook’s coat. This dog usually sheds twice a year.
Product Suggestions: A Chinook has energy and a chewing appetite, so BestBullySticks.com suggests an all-American chew to appease this all-American dog! Our Giant Elk Antler is about 10 to 12 inches long and has a 1.5 to 3 inch diameter and will keep your Chinook chewing for hours! These are the best elk antlers to keep your Chinook busy and happy.
For a good all-purpose toy, the Chinook will enjoy the Planet Dog Glow in the Dark Whistle Ball! It’s everything your dog needs for hours upon hours of fetching fun!
Do you own or know a Chinook? Tell us your favorite Chinook story in the comments section!