Chinook Dog Breed: Is It a Perfect Match For You? Let’s Find Out…

Did you know the Chinook dog breed is the official dog of New Hampshire?

That’s right, the Chinook dog breed was discovered in New Hampshire during the early 20th century, so it is fitting that she is the dog chosen to represent her home state.

A Brief History of the Chinook Dog Breed

The Chinook is actually one of the rarer breeds out there.

This could be because the breed was initially bred for the purpose of pulling sleds and participating in sled races, which aren’t too common in most parts of the world.

The breed was developed by explorer, author, and sled dog driver Arthur Treadwell Walden.

The Chinook got its name from a sled dog that Walden worked with when he worked in the gold mines. It means “warm winter winds.”

The dog “Chinook” lead the team of Walden’s sled dogs, and so his descendants were named after him by Walden in Chinook’s honor.

Chinook Temperament and Personality

The three must-know traits of the Chinook dog’s temperament are:

  1. She’s friendly.
  2. Intelligent.
  3. And Calm.

The Chinook makes for a great family dog because she truly is down for whatever.

Have a day of backpacking planned? She’s ready.

Would you rather stay in and relax on the couch all day? She’s good for that, too.

The Chinook is a very flexible dog. She’s willing to roll with the punches and do whatever it is that you want to do.

She’s not lazy, though. The Chinook has a solid work ethic and will gladly complete any tasks you give her.

She also loves people and dogs to the point where, if no one’s around, she will become destructive out of loneliness and boredom.

Did You Know?

  • Chinooks are famous for digging. If you don't want your rose garden dug up, you may want to supervise her while she's outside.
  • Male Chinooks can weigh as much as 70 lbs., while female Chinooks can weigh up to 55 lbs.
  • Chinook dog puppies need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day until they are about six months old. As adults, they should be fed twice a day.


What’s interesting and different about the Chinook, in comparison to other sled dog breeds, is that you can actually train her off-leash.

This is to say that it is typically fairly easy to train a Chinook.

One of the main things you want to focus on in training your Chinook is to teach her not to jump on everyone that comes in the door.

Of course, she means well and just wants to say hello, but a dog jumping up on a person is likely to scare or unintentionally hurt him or her.

That is why this is generally considered to be bad behavior that must be curbed.

Something important to note: the Chinook is simply too sweet to be a guard dog.

Some people try to train their dogs to become “meaner.” This is just not possible with the Chinook, so if you’re looking for a guard dog, she is not it.

Check out our dog training resources here. You will find excellent tips you can implement immediately to train your Chinook.


Even grooming a Chinook is fairly easy. A weekly brushing is all she needs to keep her coat from looking messy.

If you spay your Chinook, then she may shed more often.

Generally, though, her shedding season happens twice a year, so she will require more brushing during these periods.

Trim her nails regularly so that she does not experience any discomfort while walking or running.


The Chinook, while okay with a lazy lifestyle once in a while, cannot endure it every day.

Don't let her mellow temperament fool you. She thrives best in an environment where she can play and be challenged.

She is an active dog who needs her exercise. Else, she'll use up that dormant energy by becoming destructive.

She's up for whatever you want to include her in, that can be hiking, jogging, swimming, or accompanying you on a bicycle trip.

Of course, because the Chinooks were bred for pulling sleds, it's no surprise that they are built for vigorous exercise.

Health of a Chinook

Some of the health concerns that you should know about before purchasing or adopting a Chinook include:

  • Cataracts
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Seizures
  • Skin issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues

The best way to know the health of the puppy you are interested in is to ask about the puppy's lineage. A family history should be able to point you in the right direction.

Of course, when you're adopting a Chinook, there may be less information available. The dog's history may be unknown to the shelter or rescue center.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of these health concerns so that you can pick up on early warning signs and take care of them right away.

The life expectancy of a Chinook is between 13 and 15 years. For a dog that can average between 55 and 75 lbs., this is a pretty long lifespan.

Chinook Puppies for Sale

If you are interested in bringing a Chinook home as a family pet, the Chinook dog price tag will run you between $800 and $1,000.

For a “top tier” puppy or one that comes from a higher pedigree of parentage, you're looking at spending between $1,700 and $2,200.

Chinook Rescue and Adoption

If you are interested in adopting a Chinook, there are some questions you must be able to answer first:

  • Are you able to exercise her enough that she does not become overweight?
  • Do you have the financial means to provide the Chinook with the meat-heavy diet she needs?
  • Do you have the financial means to treat the Chinook for health problems she may develop, like cataracts or seizures?
  • Are you okay with the heavy shedding she will produce twice a year?

If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then the Chinook may just be the right dog for you.

Chinook Breeders

If you are interested in purchasing a Chinook, the Chinook dog rescue Chinook Club of America, Inc. offers a list of Chinook dog breeders on their website.

The website is the AKC's parent club for the Chinook breed.

This means that you can visit the site for legitimate information on the Chinook breed, which can help you make a decision on whether the breed is right for you.

They also put their name behind any of the breeders they recommend, so you can have peace of mind that those you contact have been checked into by the AKC.

The site offers contact information for assistance with adoptions as well.

While there is no shortage of Chinook dogs for sale, you definitely want to make sure you don't devastate the family by bringing home a dog that might be sick.

A Final Word about the Chinook

The official dog of New Hampshire, the Chinook breed was developed for the purpose of pulling sleds.

Over time, she became a pet. And, as a pet, she's down for anything.

Running? She'll join you. Relaxing on the couch? She'll cuddle up with you.

This is a flexible dog that suits a laid-back lifestyle as easily as a more active one.

You will love the Chinook temperament that is characterized as friendly, alert, calm and intelligent to name a few traits.