How did you find the "Chinook Trail"?

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    There have been surveys in the past asking members how they came to be involved with the Chinook breed, but the simple responses allowed weren’t particularly revealing.

    Here’s our story.

    My wife, Kris, and I have always had dogs – usually more than one at any given time. Over the years, we’ve also had cats, birds, guinea pigs, a tarantula, and rabbits. For many years, we had an iguana who lived in the guest bathroom. It was always fun to direct an unknowing guest to the loo and wait for the scream.

    Our dogs were, except for Ziggy, a miniature Schnauzer, always mutts and rescues. In the mid-2000s, as our home nest emptied of children and most of the menagerie, Kris got it into her head that she wanted to acquire the ideal purebred dog and raise it from puppy-hood. The qualifications for the ideal breed included: medium to large size, working breed, friendly, loyal, trustworthy, healthy, smart, and various other superlatives.

    Over the course of a next few years, Kris read every dog breed book on the market and visited every dog-related website on the net. The result was a list of ideal breeds that had exactly zero entries. There were a few in the category of “close but no cigar,” but Kris had become frustrated by the whole thing. It began to look like we’d go with another mutt. I was fine with that, as it had always worked out well…almost.

    One day in the Fall of 2007, I retrieved the mail from the mailbox and sorted through it. My routine was to set aside the 1 or 2 important items, and toss the rest into the recycle bin. On that day, one item that always went immediately into the bin caught my eye. It was the AAA magazine. Inspired by a lack of confidence in our ancient cars, I had signed us up for AAA during the previous year. Their quarterly magazine never had anything of interest, but this issue featured an old photo of a man and his dog on the cover that for some reason caught my attention.

    I sat down and read the feature article about Aurthur Walden, Chinooks dogs, and the Chinook Trail, mainly because it all had to do with our home state of New Hampshire. It was all news to me. When I finished reading, I interrupted Kris who was researching dog breeds at her computer, and said, “Strop everything – here’s your dog. Read this.”

    I handed her the magazine and waited while she read the article. “I can’t believe it…I’ve never heard of this breed, but it’s perfect…and the history, too…”

    Kris didn’t waste any time. Within the hour she had contacted a breeder less than an hour away, and within a week we were on the waiting list for a puppy.

    The following June, Granite Hill Howlet (Huck) joined our family, followed a year later by Lakeside Run’s Little Bear (Birr). Last year one of Huck’s sons, Forever Greene Trondek (Tibbs), made it a crowd. Our son and his wife were so enamored with Chinooks that they couldn’t resist getting their own (Henry).

    And that’s the story.

    You can read the story here. The pdf was too large to upload here, but I have it stored on my website. Scan courtesy of Rick S.


    • This topic was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by COA Webmaster.

    Great article Chester! Thanks for sharing. We first heard about Chinooks in 2009 when they were highlighted in our local newspaper for recently being named the state dog of New Hampshire.

    We had recently bought our first house and were excited to welcome a dog into our lives. This article came at exactly the right time. After doing some additional research we realized this dog would be a great fit for us – hard working, athletic dogs that also make good couch potatoes and are great with kids. We were hooked and sent some inquiries to breeders. We heard back quickly and just a few weeks later we brought home our first chinook, Sierra.

    We were very fortunate to get hooked up with a wonderful breeder who took us under his wing and showed us the ropes at our first dog sledding event. After two winters we knew we needed a second chinook to round out our little team so Nia joined the family in 2011!



    Well I posted a little of this in the intro section but anyway 😛
    My boyfriend and I have owned huskies since we moved in together, because well I’d always wanted one and there was nothing stopping me.
    Since getting Esky I’ve become obsessed with racing.
    I always wanted to have more than one dog in the house, but my boyfriend is not keen on the personalities of huskies.
    And since I’m not giving up racing there has to be a bit of a compromise.

    I began searching the net for sled dog breeds that were less husky like. And not surprisingly the list was narrowed down to two breeds pretty quickly.
    And after doing some extensive research including joining COA I’ve decided that the Chinook suits us far better than the other breed I was considering.

    So now I just need to get one .. 😆

    (Oh Chester my Chinook quarterly arrived in the post today 😀 So exciting! )


    Awesome trails to chinooks stories. While trying to convince hubby to get a dog, I researched as much as I could. Low and behold I stumbled upon the chinooks — a mix of the breed of my favorite childhood pet — a belgian shepherd (Malinois now) named Rex, and Eric’s beloved St Bernard. The more I read the more I liked. Then we met Chris, Dave and Baccio and we were smitten.


    I was beginning to have trouble getting around and had recently discovered the advantage of dealing with a good breeder. I started doing hours upon hours of research on line for breeds that could be sturdy enough to help me get up from the ground, loving dog, happy, fun dog, preferably not so common so that I could feel fairly confident about the quaility of the health and breed, and could do a variety of events. At some point I came across the Chinook. The more I read, the more I liked.

    Looked over a number of web sites, found someone here in Florida that had Chinooks, and attended a UKC show to meet the breed. The dogs seemed just like what I read. Selected a couple of my favorite web sites and sent in puppy applications and was lucky enough to find someone who seemed really interested in me getting one of her puppies (the only bad thing was that she lived in the totally opposite side of the country–Seattle, WA and I lived in Orlando FL). The rest is history. Unfortunately, the Chinook that came to me was extremely unusual and belonged more with an extremely active-type family and I was concerned about keeping him. When I suddenly ended up in the hospital right before Christmas (and no rooms in the Inns), I sent him back to his breeder for a number of reasons and he ended up staying there. I am now really trying to find a more normal Chinook. The service dog requirements are not really needed now as getting me off the ground is extremely awkward and I don’t believe it could be done by any dog that fits my other ‘requirements’. In the meantime I have become so in love with the breed and everything associated with the Chinooks. The COA is quite a high quality organization.

    Susan, Bugsy, and Lady

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