I have always loved dogs and grew up living and traveling in various countries in Europe and the Middle East. It was whilst I was studying in the United Kingdom that I started thinking about wanting a dog and searching for the right breed. In 2000, I fell in love with the Chinook breed after seeing a photograph of Allaghash from Great Mountain Chinooks.
I met my first Chinook when I went to visit an American couple living in Hampstead Heath, London. I was so excited and vividly remember how friendly and dignified he was. It was such a special experience that lived up to all my expectations, I was determined that I would one day own a Chinook. After finally finishing my studies in 2012, I went back to Switzerland and was more settled so I started enquiring about getting a puppy from the US. It was not easy and I quickly realised how protective and conscientious Chinook breeders are in their efforts to preserve the breed and find loving, forever homes for their puppies.
After a lot of searching and gentle persistence, it was Patti Richards of Forever Greene Chinooks who put me in contact with a Chinook owner living with her two Chinooks in Geneva, Switzerland (my hometown!) I went to meet her and her lovely dogs: Nuka and Eya and we've stayed in touch ever since. It wasn't until 2014 that we got our first Chinook from Leslie Donais of Granite Hill Chinooks.
We recently got our second Chinook in 2016 from Jon and Kristy Jolly of Desert Sol Chinooks and are very aware of how lucky we are to have these exceptional dogs in our lives.
Swiss Chinooks was created in 2016 by Lynn Philipp in the hope of promoting knowledge about Chinooks outside of the US and contributing to the Chinook breed community by improving genetic diversity through responsible breeding and maintaining the working ability of Chinook dogs.
I on the other hand, first came to know about the Chinook breed through my wife and met a Chinook dog for the first time when we went to visit Eya and Nuka in Geneva, Switzerland. My initial reaction upon meeting them was ‘gosh, they’re cute’ and spent the rest of our time together playing in the garden. The thing that strikes me about Chinooks is that they don’t look too refined and sometimes appear a bit clumsy yet they have a noble look about them and seem to have a sense of humour that makes them do goofy things.
Getting our Chinook dogs meant having to make long journeys across the Atlantic which I was not looking forward to because of the logistics and the worries about having all the paperwork prepared to be able to get through customs. In the end the endeavour was totally worth it and having Chinook dogs has enriched my life and was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I consider our dogs family members and thoroughly enjoy our walks together as well as admire the pulling strength they have as working dogs. I also love cuddling them and adore their affectionate characters.
It would be a great pity if this breed became extinct which is why we would like to offer our help in contributing to conserving the Chinook breed not only as a working dog but as companions that will always hold a very special place in our hearts.