Monday, March 17, 2014

The New Hampshire State Dog – The Chinook

The original "Chinook" and
Arthur Treadwell Walden

Last week I wrote a blog post about Sgt. Beaubien, the famous New Hampshire dog who served as a member of Roger’s Rangers during theFrench and Indian War.  There is another famous dog from the Granite State, who is also our official state dog- The Chinook.

The first Chinook was a male dog owned by Arthur Treadwell Walden (1871 - 1947) of Wonalancet, New Hampshire.  Waldren had experience driving sled dogs in the Yukon and with Admiral Byrd on his 1929 Antarctic expedition.   “Chinook” was a sled dog half husky and half from a mastiff mutt.  Chinook’s husky parent was one of the dogs from Admiral Peary’s North Pole expedition.   “Chinook” was bred to several breeds such as sheepdogs and Eskimo sled dogs, and the progeny was bred back to “Chinook” resulting in dogs who shared his traits.   “Chinook” died during the 1929 Byrd Antarctic expedition. 

Walden continued to bred his dogs, and the breed was passed on to Perry Green of Waldoboro, Maine in the 1940s.   He was the only breeder of Chinooks, and after his death only a handful of Chinook dogs survived.  In 1965 the Guinness Book of records named it the rarest dog in the world.  By 1981 there were only eleven Chinooks, which were saved from extinction by breeders in Maine, Ohio and California.  The breed was registered with the UKC in 1991, and the AKC in 2001.   In 2013 the Chinook was registered as a working breed with the AKC, and participated in the Westminster Kennel Club show in 2014.  Chinooks are one of the few American dog breeds.

The Chinook was designated as the official state dog of New Hampshire in 2009.  The original bill was the brought forward by the seventh grade class of the Lurgio Middle School in Bedford, New Hampshire.
The first time Chinooks were competed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the Chinook from Londonderry, New Hampshire was “Lakeside Run’s Little Bear” AKA “Birr”.   He won best of breed against the four other dogs in his breed category.   His owner, Kristine Holleran owns three Chinooks, and they all travel to winter events and carnivals in New England, and give sled dog rides.  She is also a science teacher at the Londonderry High School.

Kimana, the official Chinook of
Martha's Vineyard!

My sister has owned a Chinook for many years.  Her dog, Kimana, is a lovable pet on the island of Martha’s Vineyard where it rarely snows.  On the few occasions that it does snow down there on the island, Kimana enjoys it very much!

From the American Kennel Club,  the Chinook webpage: http://www.akc.org/breeds/chinook/index.cfm

The Chinook Owners Association http://www.chinook.org/

A children’s book The First Chinook: The Adventures of Arthur T. Walden and His Legendary Sled Dog, Chinook

“NH’s top dog Birr taking his new found world fame in stride” by Shawne K. Wickham, New Hampshire Sunday News, February 15, 2014, http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140215/NEWS01/140219353/1012/news01

A biography and genealogical sketch of Arthur Treadwell Walden from Jan Brown's blog "Cow Hampshire"  http://www.cowhampshireblog.com/2006/05/27/wonalancet-new-hampshire-chinook-breeder-dog-trainer-and-antarctica-dog-driver-arthur-treadwell-walden-1871-1947/    Arthur Treadwell Walden is a distant cousin to me through our common ancestors, the TREADWELL family of Ipswich, Massachusetts.  His ancestor, Jacob Treadwell (1699 - 1770) is my 6th great grand uncle.  I descend from his younger brother, Jabez Treadwell (1713 - 1780).

The history of Chinook, the first of his breed, at the New Hampshire Historical Society website http://www.nhhistory.org/museumexhibits/chinook.html


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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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