The first dog known as a Chinook accompanied Admiral Byrd on his Antarctic expedition in 1928. Since then, the dog that resulted from a cross between a farm dog and a husky has remained one of America’s best-kept secrets.
Chinooks were bred as hard-working sled dogs, and they’ve earned the distinction as New Hampshire’s state dog with their amenable natures. Chinooks are most notably unflappable dogs who, although loyal and eager to please, can be indifferent to strangers. They rarely appear overly excited and project a calm, intelligent expression. Because they’re bred to work in teams, they get along well with other dogs.
Chinooks are working dogs at heart. They enjoy being given tasks to complete, like pulling, fetching or searching. Without distraction, they’ll instinctually resort to digging or howling with their distinct wail. Female Chinooks are more likely than males to be independent thinkers who require a little extra attention during training. They mature slowly, retaining puppy-like traits until they are at least 4 years old.
These substantial dogs are capable of pulling heavy loads and staying warm in chilly climates. Their thick double coats have a downy texture to keep them warm and dry outdoors. Chinooks’ coats are light honey to red-gold in color, with black markings around the eyes, ears and muzzle.
Chinooks have heavy double coats that need daily brushing to reduce shedding.
Chinooks have little natural odor and especially with frequent brushing, they won’t need to be bathed more than once a year.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, it is simple to give your dog a haircut and save expensive trips to the groomer.
Dogs with double coats generally require regular trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Trim around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, if needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.
Chinooks have fast-growing nails that need to be trimmed just about weekly to prevent them from becoming uncomfortably long – for both dogs and their owners.
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Corgis, Alaskan Malamutes, Akitas and Collies have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If your dog is prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.