Chow chow are not usually sociable and outgoing dogs. They tend to be distant with strangers and can be aggressive with other dogs, although they give themselves up and protect their family.
Chow chows have an independent personality, but they are very loyal to their owners. These dogs can be distrustful of strangers and appear very withdrawn when they meet new people.
When you look at the Chow Chow, it seems that you see a large soft toy that miraculously came to life. Indeed, this dog is very beautiful and cute. Representatives of the breed belong to the Spitz group, their distinctive feature is a blue tongue and a lion-like appearance.
It’s hard to believe that in the distant past the Chow Chow dogs were excellent guards. Also striking is the fact that the breed has remained unchanged for over two thousand years. The only thing that has changed is that modern Chow Chows have been retrained from guards into companion dogs.
In this dog breed sheet from Pets Feed, we will share with you everything you need to know if you want to get a Chow Chow. Continue reading !
In the history of the oldest Chow Chow dogs, you can find many interesting, unusual and even scary facts. The formation of the breed began in the steppes of Mongolia and Northern China. These dogs came from the polar wolf, at the moment the specified species of animals is extinct.
The breed has experienced many ups and downs in its popularity throughout its history. Dogs were used in sledding, in reindeer herding, as guards, hunters, pets and even meat delicacies. It sounds awful, but it’s true. The Chinese are sure that dog meat has medicinal properties; they shamelessly eat these cute animals.
During the rise in popularity at the court of the Chinese emperor, more than five thousand Chow Chow dogs were simultaneously contained. At the same time, there was a ruthless selection of puppies. Those who did not meet the requirements were killed and used as food for the owners.
The first breeders were Buddhist monks. It was in Buddhist monasteries that purebred dogs were bred. In order to preserve the purity of the blood, the exchange of producers was done between different monasteries. The monks even kept records in special journals about their breeding work. These records can be called the primordial pedigrees of purebred dogs.
When the Chinese watchdogs arrived in Europe, English dog handlers began work on the perfect exterior of the blue-tongued animals. Their labors were not in vain. Modern Chow Chow dogs have an unusual appearance, they are imposing, they cannot be confused with any other species. These dogs have gained popularity as a pet, companion and loyal friend.
Physical characteristics of the Chow Chow
The general exterior of the Chow Chow dogs is distinguished by a stately, lion-like manner, a compact build and a stilted gait. Adults weigh 20-33 kg. with a height of 46-56 cm.
The large head rests on a powerful, slightly arched neck. With rounded ends, the small ears are slightly tilted towards the eyes and are slightly pulled together. Because of this, it seems that the dog is always unhappy and frowning. The muzzle is wide, pointed is not allowed. Oval eyes are not too large, dark. Jaws strong, scissor bite. A unique feature of the breed is its blue-black tongue.
The back is short, the chest is voluminous. The tail lies on the back. Legs straight, not too long, well-muscled. Small paws have a rounded shape, they look like a cat.
There are short-haired and long-haired varieties of the Chow Chow, with the latter being the most popular and well-known. In both cases, the coat is double, with a dense and soft undercoat.
1. Short-haired (smooth) – the coat has a plush structure, the length is much shorter than that of long-haired individuals, dense, not tight.
2. Long-haired type – the coat is long, thick. The outer hair has a coarse structure. A lush collar around the neck creates the appearance of a lion’s mane. Feathering on the tail and back of the thighs.
It is prohibited to artificially shorten the hair of both long-haired and short-haired Chow Chow dogs, the coat should be as natural as possible. Although some owners like to trim their pets in the warm season. During this procedure, a semblance of a small lion is created. On the tail, legs and on the head, the coat is left longer, thus obtaining a lion-like appearance.
The allowed color is clean and with shades. Coloration in spots is not allowed. The colors are as follows: blue, black, white, red, red, cinnamon, cream.
Chow Chow Temperament and personality
Generally, the character of the chow chow breed is calm, reserved, independent and calm. It does not stand out especially for exercise enthusiasts, on the contrary, it prefers to take small surveillance walks on its territory and rest while ensuring that no dog or strange human is approaching. These characteristics have probably made him an excellent watchdog in the past.
In addition to being calm, the character of the chow chow stands out for his loyalty and dedication to his tutor, with whom he will establish a unique bond that is different from the others. Likewise, it is generally reserved for foreigners. In this sense, it is important to emphasize that the chow chow can show an overprotective attitude with the guide, for this reason it is advisable never to reinforce protective or possessive behaviors, because this can trigger the appearance of behaviors related to the ‘aggressiveness. Given his reserved nature, his hunting instinct and his tendency to overprotection, we must pay particular attention to the socialization of the puppy chow chow.
Finally, we will point out that the character of the chow chow with children is generally very positive, especially if the two have lived together since childhood, since the dog will tend to protect them, monitor them and take care of them, it will also patient when interacting with them. This does not mean that the dog “must accept” inappropriate behavior by children, remember that the main causes of aggression by dogs towards children are precisely due to the negative behavior of children, this is why we advise you to watch always the interaction between the two and properly educate the two so that they relate positively.
The distant ancestors of modern Chows Chow dogs were engaged in guarding the possessions of their owners. The instinct of a guard is present from birth. So, the ideal option for keeping such a pet is a private yard. You just need to take care of shelter from the sun and clean cool water for the dog. The fact is that it does not tolerate heat and cannot stay under the scorching sun for a long time.
The apartment living is also suitable. In this case, there should be enough space in the room and obligatory daily walks. While walking, provide the dog with physical activity in the form of training or just active games. It is not recommended to unleash in an open area. They have a complex and unpredictable character, because of this, the dog can get into an unpleasant and even dangerous situation.
Long-haired Chow Chow dogs require special care for their coat. If you do not brush them regularly, dust and dirt accumulated on the hair, as well as dead and uncombed hairs, will turn the wool into solid tangles. You need to comb out such a pet 3-4 times a week, and it is even better to carry out the procedure daily, especially during the molting period.
With short-haired individuals, there is less worries in this regard. It is enough to comb the dog twice a week. Thanks to this, the coat will have a well-groomed appearance and there will be no problems with the skin.
In addition, the combing procedure contributes to the rapprochement between the pet and the owner. In order to avoid problems with combing, it is necessary to train you to comb from puppyhood.
In addition to caring for the coat, regular hygiene procedures are needed for the Chow Chow:
- Bathing once a month, more often, only if there is an emergency. When bathing, use dry shampoo to care for thick hair. Dry your pet with a hairdryer after bathing.
- Wipe the dog’s ears once a week with a rag dipped in a special liquid purchased from a veterinary pharmacy.
- Wipe eyes with cotton swabs 1-2 times in 5-7 days.
- Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a special brush, but you can buy bones to brush your teeth.
- To cut the claws as needed, this procedure requires experience and accuracy so as not to injure the animal.
With proper care and maintenance, Chow Chow can live up to 15 years, which is considered longevity, given the size of the dog. The health of such pets must be closely monitored, since they often suffer from hereditary diseases and not only. The breed is prone to the following diseases:
- Joint dysplasia – the joint is not formed correctly, as a result, it functions poorly. In an advanced stage, the dog may become immobilized.
- Oral cancers – Treatment does not always bring complete recovery, but in many cases, it prolongs life.
- Bloating – happens due to improper diet, can be fatal in a few hours.
- Glaucoma is a genetic disorder that, even at an early stage, can lead to sudden blindness.
- Diabetes mellitus is one of the most serious endocrine diseases seen in dogs.
- Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee – requires surgery.
- Ectropion – eversion of the eyelid is removed surgically.
- Hypothyroidism is a metabolic disease in which there is a lack of thyroid hormones.
- Entropion is a volvulus of the eyelid that causes excessive tearing, severe pain. If left untreated, it leads to serious vision problems. You can eliminate it with surgery.
There is another health problem worth noting that can lead to death. It’s about heat intolerance. Double wool reliably protects from the most severe frosts, but on summer days or in a hot room, such a coat turns into a bathhouse. The Chow Chow is not able to cool the body using deep breathing due to the shortened muzzle. The animal can die from severe overheating.
To prevent this from happening, adhere to the following recommendations:
- Cool water should always be available.
- On particularly hot days, it is best to place in an air-conditioned room.
- It is unacceptable to leave in a closed car parked in a sunny place.
- It is not recommended to transport on hot days.
- In summer, take walks in the early morning or evening.
The Chow Chow does not require a lot of exercise, just one hour a day, but they like to be outdoors, and they live happily enjoying being in the garden. They must have a cool area with shade where they can protect themselves from cold or high temperatures. If Chow Chow puppies exercise too much, they may suffer bone and joint problems, so you have to control the exercise they do.
Chow Chow is not a very energetic dog; therefore, many members of this breed tend to be overweight. The owner should give the pet food that contains two-thirds of protein and one-third of carbohydrates.
The growing puppy is fed four times a day until the age of six months, and the baby is given fermented milk products in one feeding, and porridge with meat in the other three. Beef can be given to puppies both raw and boiled, and offal (liver, offal) – boiled. Be sure to add raw or boiled carrots, vegetable oil to the porridge.
An adult pet is fed twice a day, the amount of food is calculated individually, based on the age, sex and physical activity of the dog.
Males should receive a high-protein diet, where meat and offal make up 80%, and cereals and vegetables – 20% of the daily volume.
Chow-chow can also be fed with super-premium dry food; vitamins are not needed during this feeding. Dry food is convenient because it contains a completely balanced diet, and you can choose food for both a young dog and an elderly dog.
There is one important feature in the feeding rules that every owner of such a pet should know about. The fact is that representatives of the breed are predisposed to food allergies. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully compose the diet, at the slightest change in it, to monitor the reaction to the newly introduced product. If you notice a negative reaction, a deterioration in the pet’s well-being, urgently remove a new product from the diet.
Training and education
With proper and timely socialization, Chow Chow dogs can turn into obedient and gentle pets. Although this is not easy to achieve. After all, the blood of watchdogs’ seethes in their veins, which means that aggressive behavior and anger is a natural phenomenon for them.
Having gained patience, the puppy must be taught the basic commands: “sit”, “lie down”, “come to me”, “no”. Then you can start a training course under the guidance of an experienced dog handler. If you hit or scold your pet in a loud voice, he can be very offended. As a result, the dog is able to flatly refuse to study. The main thing is to instill respect and confidence in the dog.
Chow Chow Dog Breed Highlights
In addition to the beautiful exterior, the chow chow has many advantages. But besides the pros, when planning to buy a puppy of the Chinese breed, you need to know about the shortcomings. Perhaps such a dog is perfect, but it happens the other way around, when the type of dog does not suit a person at all.
- Extremely faithful companion and good pet.
- Very easy to train because the Chow Chow is an extremely clean dog by nature.
- It is an excellent natural watch dog.
- The Chow Chow forms a particularly strong bond with the person who takes the utmost care.
- It is a very loyal and loving dog without being too demanding.
- This dog is very intelligent and is in good hands, easy to train and quick to learn new things.
- The Chow Chow barks on rare occasions
- It requires a high level of maintenance on the grooming front.
- The Chow Chow loses a lot of hair all year long and especially in spring and fall.
- This is a breed of expensive dog to insure.
- Chow Chow puppies are expensive to buy.
- It does not trust other animals and dogs.
- This dog breed is prone to suffer from joint problems and arthritis.
- It can be aggressive towards strangers if it is not socialized enough from an early age.
- It is a dog with a great sense of prey.
- The Chow Chow is not the best choice for new dog owners because they must be handled and trained by people who know their specific needs.
- Striving for dominance
- Difficulty in education and training