At a glance you know Chinooks weren’t built for lying on the sofa watching General Hospital with Grandma. These tawny-coated, no-frills workers are muscular and substantial, with males standing as high as 26 inches at the shoulder. Females, with their distinctly feminine look, are a bit smaller. Chinooks were conceived as dual-purpose haulers, with the power of freighting dogs and the speed of sled racers. They’re the picture of stouthearted dignity, with a kindly twinkle in their dark almond eyes.

  • Personality: Patient, smart, willing to please; a devoted family dog
  • Energy Level: Somewhat Active; Not particularly busy dogs, but they need consistent exercise to stay in proper hard condition
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Eager To Please
  • Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-90 pounds (male), 50-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

meet theChinook

Did you know?

In 1965, the Guinness Book of World Records recorded the Chinook for the first of three times as the rarest dog, with only 125 dogs alive.

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at aGlance

theBreed Standard

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  • General Appearance

    The Chinook was developed in the United States 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 showing good forward reach and rear extension in a seemingly tireless gait. 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. A dignified and affectionate family dog, the Chinook is known for his love of children. The Chinook is to be presented in a natural condition with no trimming. The following is a description of the ideal Chinook.

  • Head

    The head is broad, wedge-shaped, and impressive but in balance with the size of the dog.  Cheeks are well-developed and slightly rounded. The expression is intelligent, inquisitive and kind.  The eyes are medium in size and almond in shape with black rims. The eye can be any shade of brown but dark brown is preferred. Dark markings around the eye that accentuate the eye and give character are desirable. Extended black pigment in an apostrophe shape at the inner corner of each eye is preferred. Disqualification-Any eye color other than brown.  The ears are set near the top line of the skull.  They are medium in size, V-shaped, and slightly rounded at the tip. The ear tip should be just long enough to reach the inside corner of the eye. Any ear type is allowed, including drop, prick, or propeller ears that maintain a fold when at attention. For aesthetic purposes, dropped and matched ears are preferred.

  • Neck, Topline, Body

    The neck is strong, balanced in length, arched, and covered with fur that forms a protective ruff. The skin on the neck is pliable but a pendulous dewlap is a fault. The neck blends smoothly into the withers. Topline - The back is straight, strong and level, with no sign of weakness. There is a slight arch over the loins.  Faults-sloping topline, roach or sway back.  The body is well muscled and hard. The chest is moderately broad, well filled and deep, and neither too broad or too narrow. The forechest has a prominent prosternum that extends beyond the point of shoulders when viewed from the side. The brisket reaches to or nearly to the elbows. The ribs are well sprung, oval in shape, flattening toward the lower end to allow for elbow clearance and efficient movement. The loins are muscular with a slight arch, having enough length to be athletic but still in proportion. The underline has a moderate tuck-up. The croup is muscular, slightly sloping, broad and without exaggeration.  Faults-Narrow or barrel chest, dropped croup.

  • Forequarters

    The shoulders are moderately laid back with the shoulder and upper arm forming an angle of approximately 110 degrees. The shoulder blade and upper arm are equal in length. The forelegs are straight, well-muscled, with moderate, oval bone. When viewed from the front, the legs are parallel, and straight. The elbows turn neither in nor out.

  • Hindquarters

    The hindquarters are muscular and strong, moderately angulated, and in balance with the forequarters. The slope of the pelvis is approximately 30 degrees off the horizontal with the angle of the stifle at about 110 degrees.  The upper and lower thigh muscles are well-defined.

  • Coat

    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 groin and inside of the rear legs are protected by coat. A winter coat feels soft and plush with coarser hair following the topline. A summer coat may be thinner, feel coarser, and should not be penalized.





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