Chinooks were bred to sled in the snow covered mountains of New Hampshire. They’re strong, loyal and highly intelligent dogs that love human companionship.
Are they heavy shedders? Chinooks have thick double coats that shed a low-moderate amount throughout the year, but quite heavily a couple of times per year as they shed their undercoat (blow coat). They’re fairly easy to groom though, so regular brushing is generally enough to reduce how much hair they shed throughout the home.
In this article, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at how much fur they shed, the different ways you can reduce this and what makes Chinook such a unique breed of dog.
Chinook Shedding – All You Need to Know
Overall, Chinooks are a moderate shedding breed.
They shed less fur than heavy shedding breeds like the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and St. Bernard for example, but more than a Bullmastiff and a low shedding breed like the Schnauzer.
With that being said, a couple of times each year you should expect to see a higher level of shedding. This is because, as double coated breed, they shed seasonally. And given the size of the dog, there’s just so much fur they can lose, so it can become quite a mess if left unchecked.
Seasonal shedding is normal though. It is commonly referred to as “blowing coat” and typically occurs during seasons like spring and fall, to prepare them for the coming change in temperature.
They’re a working dog that was bred to endure freezing cold conditions, so their coat protects them from the cold, as well as hot, weather. But they don’t need such a thick winter coat in summer, so they naturally shed this.
All in all, expect a low-moderate amount of hair loss most of the time, but a couple of periods of heavy shedding that in some cases can last up to a month or so each time.
What Are They Like to Groom?
Chinooks are a fairly easy dog to groom.
They have a coarse, medium length outer coat and a thick, woolly undercoat. Which immediately means they’re going to require more brushing than short coated breed.
But as far as keeping their coat healthy goes, Chinooks are very low maintenance. They were bred tough, so they don’t need special attention like some breeds. A brush once per week is really all they need.
However, it is going to take some time to brush them if you want to stay on top of the shedding. So daily brushing is worthwhile for those who want to reduce how much fur ends up floating around the home.
What sort of brush is best to use?
A pin brush or slicker brush is a good choice for a Chinook. Start by brushing the outer coat to remove the loose fur, along with any mats and debris caught up in the coat.
To reach the undercoat, an undercoat rake or deshedding tool is best as these will reach right down to the skin, removing the thick, dead undercoat fur before it falls out.
Aside from brushing, occasional bathing can help, especially during shedding season. A warm bath followed by a brush and blow dry can remove an enormous amount of fur. Just be sure to use a quality dog shampoo and don’t over bath, as this can cause skin dryness and irritation.
Reducing How Much Hair Chinooks Shed
The key to minimizing how much hair your Chinook sheds is to brush him regularly. This will take time, especially if you haven’t brushed for awhile. But it’s well worth it and thankfully not very difficult.
Not only does brushing remove the hair from the coat before it has a chance to fill your home, but it helps to distribute his coat oils. Which, in turn, promotes a healthier coat.
What I have found is that the best way to keep on top of brushing is to make it part of your morning or evening routine. A quick 10 minute brush each day, and one longer session each week, can make the world of difference.
There are some other methods of minimizing shedding too. For example, you could take a closer look at what you’re feeding him. Try to avoid dog food that is made of cheap ingredients and look for products that contain healthy fats like Omega 3. As doing so can help to rule out excessive shedding caused by dry skin and irritation.
Related: Does Coconut Oil Help With Shedding?
Other things that can cause shedding include stress, over heating, fleas and allergies. These are less common, but if you’re concerned then it might be worth contacting your local vet.
What about clipping? Some people like to have their Chinook clipped, which can make your life easier. But their undercoat is there for a reason. It keeps them warmer in winter and cooler in summer. So removing this isn’t always the best idea.
You can’t stop shedding, nor should you try to, but you can significantly reduce it by simply brushing on a regular basis. This, along with some of the other tips we’ve mentioned here, can help keep your Chinook’s coat health and your home fur free.
What Makes Chinooks Unique?
Chinooks are smart, rugged working dogs that were bred in New Hampshire by a man named Arthur Walden in the early 1900’s. Who, among other things, was a sled dog driver.
He is said to have bred the Chinook from a Mastiff and Greenland dog and later gifted his creation to Admiral Richard Byrd, who used it during his 1928 expedition to Antarctica and said it was the “backbone” of their transport according to the AKC website.
Learning about the history of the Chinook was very interesting and something that is worth doing if you’re considering adopting one. They really are a fascinating breed and one that is known for being strong, courageous and loyal. The people of New Hampshire seem to think he’s special too, since they made the Chinook their official state dog.
Aside from being a highly capable sled dog, and all-round tough working dog, the Chinook is known for being an obedient, loyal family companion that loves children and is typically good with other dogs.
All in all, they’re an amazing dog that will love being part of your family. And with regular brushing, the shedding shouldn’t drive you nuts.