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Description: The Chinook is a distinct American breed of sled dog, with the tremendous power and endurance of the larger Alaskan freighting husky combined with the speed of the smaller Siberian husky used on the tundra. Chinooks are medium to large sized dogs, with a tawny coat and often black on muzzle, around the eyes and ears. They have a medium length double coat that is dense, soft and light in color. An old line of Chinook produced drop ears, which still survives today, but the erect ears are becoming more common. The breed has a saber-like tail, with furry feet which are webbed. Chinooks are said to be extremely good in endurance, strength and speed. They were bred for sledding, and have proven their abilities in the past. In 1940, the breed was challenged to prove its worthiness over the Malamute, Eskimo and Husky sled dog breeds. The sled was to drive 502 miles in Maine, with 800 lbs. of equipment, as well as a 13-year old boy. In 90 hours, the seven-dog-team arrived at their goal without one dog limping, as well as all of the dogs in excellent shape - some had even gained weight! A large working dog capable of pulling light to heavy loads, the Chinook exemplifies a sound athlete.
Height: 21 - 27 in.
Color: Ideal coloration runs from light
honey color to reddish-gold, with some black markings but NO white markings.
Dark markings on the eyes are also preferred, as well as dark markings on the
ears and muzzle.
Temperament: Calm, non-aggressive, and
friendly. Sometimes Chinooks are reserved with strangers, but they are very
good with children. They are quite headstrong and do require firm training,
but not harsh, painful training. They do not respond well to negative training,
but do need to know who is in charge. They are among the best sled dogs, possessing
great strength and endurance. They are protective of their family, loyal, and
very versatile. Chinooks are very intelligent, alert and quite trainable. They
get along very well with children and other animals, but they mature slower
than other breeds. They were bred to be within a family or unit, and therefore
long to be around their owners. They are not good outdoor pets, as they like
to be with family.
Watch-dog: Medium. Chinooks will alert
you to new sounds and smells, but do not always bark.
Care and Exercise: Chinooks require little
grooming. Brushing every once in a while should suffice, as some naturally shed,
while others only shed twice a year. The Chinook
needs only moderate exercise. Walks or jogs will do just fine, and obedience
training will keep the attention and body fit the same as a walk.
Activity: Medium. Chinooks enjoy being
inside, but are unafraid of any kind of outside work.
They save their energy for when the time comes.
Health Issues: Epilepsy, hip dysplasia, eye defects (cataracts). Other health concerns include: cryptorchidism (undescended testis), shyness, and skin problems.
Life Span: 10 - 15 years.
Country of Origin: United States
First Registered by the AKC: FSS (Foundation
Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)
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