Meet the breed: Chinook dog

Jul 5, 2014 at 8:43 a.m. ET
Image: Ben Hider/WireImage/Getty Images

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle is the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a sweet and athletic breed to add to your family, learn everything you need to know about the Chinook.

Breed at a glance

  • Friendly
  • Intelligent
  • Athletic
  • Extremely active
  • Great with children

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The official dog of New Hampshire, the Chinook was bred in the state as a sled dog. Mixed with a Mastiff, Greenland Husky, German and Belgian Shepherds, the Chinook made the Guinness Book of World Records in 1965 for the "rarest dog in the world." Incredibly athletic, the Chinook enjoys all types of activities, including hiking, jogging, backpacking and more. A smart and loving breed, it makes a wonderful family pet for any active family.

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Breed standards

  • AKC group: Working Group
  • UKC group: Northern Breed Group
  • Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Average size: 55 - 70 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Dense to medium double coat
  • Coloration: Tawny, honey or reddish-gold
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Muscular frame, wide nostrils, black nose, dark brown or amber eyes, moderate webbed toes and long curved tail
  • Possible alterations: May be white in color or have dewclaws, which are typically removed.

Is this breed right for you?

Although bred as a working dog, the Chinook makes an excellent family pet with adults and children alike, although it is best that it is exposed to kids as a puppy. A calm and easy temperament, it is alert when needed and docile during rest periods. Tremendously loyal, the breed will follow its owner like a shadow and may experience separation anxiety. The Chinook will also need to be socialized early on and know that it is a dog and not a human. In addition, the breed requires very regular exercise and grooming.

breed characteristics

A dream day-in-the-life

The Chinook will likely wake up in the bedroom of its owner. Following you diligently, the breed will likely be your shadow throughout the day. After a long and brisk run, it'll settle in for breakfast with you. It will continue its day of activity, running in and out of the house and playing with the other members of the family. After its very busy day, it'll snooze happily at your feet.

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