CHOW CHOW: Fierce Breed of China

Discover the charm of Chow Chow an ancient breed known for its lion-like mane, blue-black tongue, and unique personality.

chow chow

The Chow Chow is a medium to large breed with a history that dates back several thousand years, making it one of the oldest known dog breeds.  Its origins can be traced to China, where it was used for various purposes, including hunting, guarding, and pulling carts.

Delve into their complex personalities, known for their independence and loyalty, and discover tips for training and socialization. Whether you’re captivated by their regal demeanor or intrigued by their enigmatic nature, our guide offers invaluable insights to help you navigate the rewarding journey of ownership with confidence and joy.

History

The history of the Chow Chow is shrouded in mystery and legend, dating back thousands of years to ancient China. Believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, the exact origins are unclear, but they are thought to have originated in the northern regions of China, where they were utilized for various purposes.

Throughout history, they were highly esteemed by Chinese royalty and nobility, often kept as companions and guardians within imperial palaces. They were also valued for their meat and fur.

They first gained international attention in the late 18th century when they were brought to England by merchants and sailors. Queen Victoria’s fondness for the breed further popularized them among European aristocracy, leading to their eventual spread across the globe.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this breed gained popularity in the United States, where they were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1903.

Despite their ancient lineage, he faced challenges during periods of political upheaval in China, which threatened their survival. Fortunately, dedicated breed enthusiasts worked to preserve its heritage and promote its unique qualities worldwide.

Today, the Chow Chow remains a beloved companion and show dog, admired for its distinctive appearance, dignified demeanor, and unwavering loyalty. Though no longer employed in their traditional roles, they continue to captivate the hearts of dog lovers around the world, maintaining their place as one of the most iconic and cherished breeds.

Personality

This house dog is known for its aloof yet loyal nature. Reserved with strangers, they form strong bonds with their family, showing deep devotion and occasional playfulness. Their independent streak requires patient training and early socialization. With proper care, they become steadfast and affectionate companions, offering unwavering loyalty and protection.

Chow Chow

Physical Characteristics

Height

  • Male 18-22 inches
  • Female 17-20 inches

Weight

  • Male 55-70 pounds
  • Female 45-60 pounds

Coat

They are known for their dense, double coat, which can be either smooth or rough.

Color

This breed comes in various colors, including:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Fawn
  • White

Eyes

They have deep-set, almond-shaped eyes that convey a reserved yet attentive expression.

Ears

Their ears are small and triangular.

Tail

They have a distinctive tail that curls over their back.

Life Span

The average lifespan is around 9 to 15 years.

Temperament

This Chinese breed possesses a unique temperament marked by independence, aloofness, and unwavering loyalty. Known for their reserved demeanor with strangers, they form strong bonds with their family, showing deep devotion and occasional playfulness. While they can be affectionate and protective, he also exhibits a strong independent streak, requiring patient training and early socialization.

With proper care and guidance, they become steadfast and loving companions, offering unwavering loyalty and protection to their families.

Grooming

Grooming him requires regular attention due to their dense double coat, which sheds seasonally. Brushing several times a week helps manage shedding and prevent mats, paying particular attention to their thick mane and feathering on the legs.

Bathing should be done as needed, using a gentle dog shampoo to maintain skin health and coat condition. Additionally, regular grooming of their ears, teeth, and nails is essential for overall hygiene and health. Proper grooming not only keeps him looking their best but also contributes to their overall well-being and comfort.

Training

Training them requires patience and consistency due to their independent nature. Start with early socialization to help them become accustomed to different people, animals, and environments.

Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to motivate them during training sessions, as they respond best to gentle guidance rather than harsh discipline.

Focus on basic commands like sit, stay, and come, gradually progressing to more advanced obedience training. Establish yourself as a firm but fair leader to earn their respect and cooperation.

Consistent training and positive reinforcement will help channel their intelligence and loyalty into well-behaved companionship.

Exercise

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of your pet. Aim for daily walks or outdoor activities, providing mental stimulation and physical exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Incorporate interactive games or obedience training sessions to engage their intelligent minds. Be mindful of their sensitive respiratory system and avoid strenuous exercise in extreme temperatures.

A consistent exercise routine will not only keep your house dog physically fit but also strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion.

Nutrition

Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being. A balanced diet should consist of high-quality protein sources to support their muscle development, alongside essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Due to their tendency towards obesity, portion control and monitoring calorie intake are essential.

Additionally, they may benefit from diets rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to support joint health and reduce the risk of certain health issues.

Health Concerns

They are generally robust dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Some common health concerns in Chow Chows include:

Hip Dysplasia

This is a hereditary condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to pain and mobility issues.

Elbow Dysplasia

It is similar to hip dysplasia, but affecting the elbow joint instead.

Entropion

This is an eyelid abnormality where the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation and potential damage to the eye.

Cherry Eye

A condition where the gland in the third eyelid prolapses, causing a red, swollen mass in the corner of the eye.

Thyroid Disorders

Sometimes they may experience hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat

It is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow. Chow Chows with deep chests are more susceptible to this condition.

Heat Sensitivity

Due to their thick double coats, Chow Chows can be sensitive to heat and may be prone to heatstroke if not kept cool in hot weather.

Bottom Line

The Chow Chow is a dignified and unique breed with a rich history.  This breed stands out with its distinctive appearance and dignified temperament. They make loyal companions and protective guardians for families who understand and appreciate their independent and regal nature. Their striking appearance and reserved personality have earned them a place of respect among dog enthusiasts.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Do Chow Chows bark a lot?

Chow Chows are not excessive barkers but may vocalize to alert their owners to potential threats.

Q. Are they hypoallergenic?

No, they are not considered hypoallergenic due to their dense double coat, which can trap allergens like dander.

Q. Are these dogs prone to separation anxiety?

These dogs can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Early training to promote independence and gradual desensitization to being alone can help prevent this issue.

Q. Are they good apartment dogs?

They can adapt to apartment living if they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, they need sufficient space to move around and should not be left alone for extended periods.

Q. Are these Chinese dogs good guard dogs?

Yes, these Chinese dogs have a natural instinct to protect their home and family, making them excellent guard dogs.

Q. Do Chow Chows drool a lot?

They are not known for excessive drooling compared to some other breeds, but individual dogs may vary.

Q. Do these pets get along with other pets?

These pets can coexist with other pets if properly socialized and introduced gradually. However, they may have a strong prey drive, so supervision is advised, especially with smaller animals.

Q. Do Chow Chows shed a lot?

Yes, Chow Chows have a dense double coat that sheds seasonally, so regular grooming is necessary to manage their shedding.

Q. Are they good with children?

Chow Chows can be good with children when properly socialized and trained from a young age. However, they may prefer the company of adults and need supervision around small children.

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