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Featuring December's !RARE! Breed of the Month
What is a Chinook?
One of the few dog breeds created in America, the Chinook was developed in New Hampshire as a sled dog whose function was drafting and sled dog racing. Bred to combine the power of freighting breeds with the speed of the lighter racing sled dogs, he is an athletic, hard bodied dog. The Chinook, whose name means 'warm winter winds' in Inuit, was named New Hampshire's State Dog in 2009.
History & Origin
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 Husky and Alaskan Malamute breeds.Above: "Chinook", the founding sire of the Chinook breedLeft: Arthur T. Walden with one of his Chinook dogs & Right: Walden with the breed's founding sire, dog named "Chinook", & Admiral Byrd who lead an Antarctic expedition on sled using Chinook dogs
Photos from www.intervalechinooks.net
By blending a mastiff-type dog with the 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.
Walden and his Chinooks became famous in New England and beyond. In 1925, Arthur Walden's Chinook sled dog team was the first dog team to summit Mt. Washington, and in 1927 Walden, along with 16 of his male Chinooks, went with Admiral Richard's Byrd's first expedition to Antarctica where the Chinook dogs were used to haul the expedition freighting sleds.Chinook dogs in the early 1920's.
Photo from www.intervalechinooks.net
In 1940, Perry and Honey Greene purchased the Chinooks and moved them to the Perry Greene Kennel in Warren, Maine, later to Waldoboro, Maine. The Greenes promoted the Chinooks for many years and they became the sole breeder of the Chinook, creating a great deal of mystique and legend about the Chinook breed and its history.
But 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.
Learn more about the Chinook's amazing history at www.intervalechinooks.net/Chinookhistory.html
Chinooks have been participating in AKC Companion Events since January of 2003, and on December 1, 2012 the Chinook became eligible for AKC registration and then on January 1, 2013 the breed was eligible for competition in the Working Group, and is the AKC's 176th breed.@ akc.org
Appearance & Structure
Being that the Chinook was developed as a sled dog whose function was drafting and sled dog racing, this breed is an athletic, hard bodied dog showing good forward reach and rear extension in a seemingly tireless gait. The breed is muscular with moderate bone and exemplifies a sound athlete in grace, muscle tone, movement, and carriage.
The Chinook is an impressive dog, with an aquiline muzzle, dark almond eyes, black eye markings, a variety of ear carriages, and a tawny, close fitting coat. His saber tail is held in a graceful sickle curve. The male should appear unquestionably masculine; the female should have a distinctly feminine look and be judged equally with the male.
The Chinook has a thick double coat lying close to the body. The outer coat is straight, strong, and coarse. The length of the outer coat is longer over the ruff, shoulder blades, withers, breeches, and along the underline and the underside of the tail but is never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog. The undercoat is short and dense, downy in texture, providing insulation.
The Chinook's tawny coloration, which ranges from pale honey to a deep-reddish gold, is a distinguishing characteristic of this breed. Not that dilute tawny (and its associated diluted pigmentation of nose, lips, pads, and eye rims) is acceptable but not preferred; instead, it is highly desirable for the ears and muzzle to have darker coloring than the rest of the body. Symmetrical white or cream to pale gold markings are acceptable on the cheeks, throat, chest, breeches, and underside. Any other white markings are undesirable including blazes, socks, and scarves.@ chinookclubofamerica.org
Chinooks are affectionate family dogs, dependent on their owner, with a special bond to children; the breed is very playful, eager to please, adaptable, and versatile. As a working breed, the Chinook thrives on regular exercise and activities such as backpacking, hiking, jogging, agility, and skijoiring.
Chinooks are not a protection breed and do not make good guard dogs. but tey are intelligent and easy to train, with a gentle and affectionate disposition and a calm and willing work ethic.
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, although some Chinooks may be reserved with strangers but this breed should never appear shy or aggressive. @ akc.org, chinookclubofamerica.org, intervalechinooks.net & lighthousechinooks.com