at the lead
in the AnTarctic

Chinook and Walden

The father of the Chinook breed was a dog named Chinook born in New Hampshire, USA in 1917.  He arguably was one of the most famous sled dogs of all time.  He was raised by Arthur Walden the famed dog breeder. Walden was selected by Admiral Byrd as lead driver and trainer for his historic first Antarctic expedition to reach the south pole.  Walden so admired this exceptional dog he created a breeding program around this one individual.  Chinook and 16 of his progeny participated in the Antarctic expedition and Chinook died there on his 12th birthday.  Byrd wrote, “The second incident, perhaps the saddest during our whole stay in the Antarctic, was the loss of Walden’s famous lead dog, Chinook. Chinook was Walden’s pride, and there was no doubting the fact that he was a great dog. He was old when brought to the Antarctic, too old for hard, continuous labor, and Walden used him as a kind of “shock troop”, throwing him into a team when the going turned very hard. Then the gallant heart of the old dog would rise above the years and pull with the glorious strength of a three-year-old. Perhaps the saddest [incident] during our whole stay in Antarctica.”

For more information on the history of this breed, see the Chinook Owners Association. 

Watch this historic 1940’s video of Chinook’s descendants.