Chinook Breed Magazine - Showsight

Judging Chinooks

Judging Chinooks Please welcome the Chinook to Miscellaneous Class! True to its nature, the Chinook enters the ring slowly, but with great enthusiasm. Since it is likely you’ve never seen a Chinook in the fur, we want to pre- pare you for your first meeting. As a breed first developed as a sled dog, the Chinook is often lumped with other Spitz-type breeds. However, at first glance, you will probably ques- tion that association. With a deeper, hands on examination, you will dis- cover that underneath that different appearance is the build of a versatile working sled dog. The Chinook was created in the early 1900’s, at the same time (and at the very same Chinook Kennels!) that the Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes were being imported to the U.S. for recreation and work. Arthur Walden wanted to find a happy medium by combining tremendous strength and power, speed, and friend- ly temperament to create the perfect working dog. He was successful. Not only did his Chinook team establish records for their work on Admiral Byrd’s first Antarctic Expedition, they became unequalled by any other breed in their success as a house pet as well as a working dog that could be used in conjunction with winter sports. Their kind, loving and depen- dent personality and unique appear- ance set them apart from other sled- ding breeds. The Chinook Club of America firmly believes in embracing the fundamental traditions of the his- torical Chinook. As a versatile breed, a natural vari- ance in type and structure is to be

expected. It is recommended that you meet and put your hands on several Chinooks from different areas of the U.S. before developing a firm inter- pretation of the Standard. It is impor- tant to have knowledge of the rich his- tory to understand what traits are unique to the Chinook – essentially – what characteristics make a “Chinook a Chinook.” Always keep in mind that form must follow function. A Chinook must be able to perform his job as a working dog and his conformation must speak to you of his ability to effortlessly accomplish this task. As the Chinook enters the ring, you will meet a thinking dog. He may be cautious and take a few moments to adjust to his surroundings before

relaxing with a wag of his graceful sickle tail. The Chinook may remain a bit aloof but is usually seen boister- ously bouncing around the ring. Their friendly temperament may make it challenging for them to stand still in the ring, however this warm personali- ty is a treasured characteristic of the breed. Be prepared for dancing feet and licking tongues! As you begin to examine the Chinook, don’t feel shocked when you see a large, tawny dog with dropped ears. You want to see a large head, more mastiff-like than foxy. The ears … Oh my! Unlike other Spitz-type breeds, Chinook ears are preferred dropped. Any ear carriage is accept- able, including pricked and helicopter (flying out to the side like helicopter blades!) and matching is definitely preferred. The expression should be a balance of intelligence and kindness.


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