Chinook Breed Magazine - Showsight


By the Chinook Club of America


s you begin to examine the Chinook, you will see a large, tawny dog with dropped ears. You want to see a large head, more masti ff -like than

While it can be said that color does not pull the sled, color is a de fi ning character- istic of the Chinook. Its historical tawny coat has always set it apart from the other sledding breeds. Other colors have and always will occur, including white, black, and black and tan, but only the histori- cally correct tawny color is acceptable in the AKC show ring. “Tawny” may range from a pale honey to a deep reddish-gold. Dilutes do occur within these accept- able shades of tawny, causing a fading of the coat and pigment color and therefore are not preferred. Black masking, black pigment, dark eyeliner and apostrophe shaped eye markings at the inner eye cor- ners are preferred and highly desirable. Dark guard hairs may occur throughout the coat of adult Chinooks and may even appear like a saddle on the back of young Chinooks. Bu ff markings on the face and chest may also occur but white spots of broken pigment such as nape spots and blazes should be faulted. Th e texture and length of the coat is always important for a sled dog. A coarse, medium length outer coat should lay fl at over a softer, downy undercoat. Th inner coats do naturally occur during summer months and in warmer climates, but keep an eye out for coats that are too short or so long, the outline of the dog is obscured. Improper coats decrease a working dog’s e ffi ciency. When, and if, the Chinook you are examining stacks, you may notice that its

foxy. Th e ears … Oh my! Unlike other Spitz-type breeds, Chinook ears are pre- ferred dropped. Any ear carriage is accept- able, including pricked and helicopter ( fl y- ing out to the side like helicopter blades!) and matching is de fi nitely preferred. Th e expression should be a balance of intel- ligence and kindness. Dark, warm eyes should meet your gaze. Th e Chinook is a large dog, historically weighing nearly 100 pounds. In the 1980’s, only 11 breeding dogs remained. Since then, the Chinook has averaged in smaller sizes. However, they still need appropriate bone, size, muscle and structure to perform the job for which they were intended. Bone weight should be moderate enough to sup- port heavy work, but light enough to display grace. Size for males is 24-26 inches and 70-95 pounds. Th e average size of females is 22-24 inches and 50-70 pounds. Larger size and more substance are preferred but should not take the place of correct structure and movement. Chinooks are a slow maturing breed and will have a gangly appearance well into their 2nd and 3rd year of age. And while females may be more re fi ned than males, it should never be so discerning as to interfere with working compatibility.


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