The Chow Chow is one of the oldest breeds on the planet. We’ve put together some information about this noble breed that will help you in your research for a breed that fits your family and lifestyle.
A Little History
The Chow comes originally from China and is probably a descendant of the Tibetan mastiff. As a hunting dog, he has good sensing ability and has been known to excel in hunting game birds.
In 1880, the Chow was imported to England and displayed in the London zoo. Not long after that, they made their way to the United States and, in 1903, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed.
Famous People with Chows
Janet Jackson had a Chow named Buckwheat and Martha Stuart has had several Chows, and one was named Genghis Khan. Sigmund Freud used to bring his Chow to therapy sessions. He believed that dogs could sense a person’s true character and his Chow helped him determine the mental state of his patients.
The Chow’s Appearance
There are some trademark Chow characteristics that owners find endearing. They have a blue-black tongue, a teddy bear like coat and the scowl of a lion. But don’t let that scowl fool you. While the Chow is not a love bug breed, he does get attached and usually to one person. He will love the entire family but there will be one special person he listens to the most.
He is a medium sized dog that requires a low activity level so he’s perfect for an apartment in the city. A couple of short walks a day is all you need to keep this guy happy.
His coat color is typically red, black, blue, cinnamon or cream.
Training and Socialization
Since Chows tend to be distrustful of people they don’t know and can also be aggressive toward other dogs, you will want to start socialization and training as early as possible.
This is a great idea for any puppy but particularly a Chow who can tend to be on the stubborn side and almost seem aloof. Some have describe this breed as “cat-like” in personality and they tend be less eager to please than other breeds. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your dog is to buy a clicker and train using treats.
Socialization includes taking your puppy different places to let her get acclimated to what it’s like to be part of your family. You could take her to the mall, to a dog park and a puppy class.
One important note for Chow owners is to make sure that these training sessions are shorter rather than longer and make them fun so she doesn’t get bored.
Your Dog’s Health
Chows are prone to head and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation and eye problems. Other health issues seen in this breed range from lymphoma, hip dyplasia, diabetes, gastric cancer. And according to Wikipedia they are considered high risk for autoimmune disease and skin melanoma.
Fleas can be a problem due to the Chow Chow’s thick coat.
There are two types of coats on a Chow: typically seen are long and rough or short and smooth. A smooth coated Chow needs to be brushed weekly but one with a rough coat should have a good brushing every other day.
Both varieties of coat shed heavily twice a year – spring and fall.
Adopt A Purebred Chow Chow
Please consider adopting before purchasing through a breeder. Please avoid purchasing a animal from a pet store. There are plenty of pure bred Chows in need of good homes. Click here to search for you a Chow Chow in need of adoption near you: <Petfinder>
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com