Chow Chow

Thinking about purchasing an Chow Chow? Then read our breed profile including a brief description, information on height, weight, color, coat, temperament, grooming, activity and history. Purchasing a new puppy is a commitment that may last ten or more years so please educate yourself on the Chow Chow breed, including all stages of their life from puppy hood to older dog.

Ask yourself will I be a good owner? Do I have the time it takes to train a new puppy? Do I have the resources to give my new dog a rewarding life. Do I have a local veterinarian that I can take my new dog to? Do I have a groomer or can I do the grooming myself on a regular basis. Fundamental requirements for a being a good Chow Chow owner;

Before making a purchase talk to the breeder, ask them many questions about their dogs and the breed in general. A good breeder will teach you about the Chow Chow and they will have many questions for you about your home and life style and if this breed is suited for you and your family.

Questions you may want to ask an Chow Chow Breeder:

It is recommended that you sign a contract with the breeder so that there will be no misunderstandings on the arrangements made. Then bring home your new Chow Chow and enjoy as "there is no greater love then a dog's devotion."

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Chow Chow Profile

The Chow is a member of the spitz family and has been native to China for more than 2000 years. They are a masterpiece of beauty and dignity, unique in their blue-black tongue, a common trait in Asiatic bears that lived near the development of the Chow. Chows carry a reputation of being aggressive, but this is slightly undeserved, for they are a tenacious fighter only if provoked. To their owners and family they are faithful and friendly, but sometimes reserved. Therefore strangers beware, they remain an excellent guard dog. They are quite aloof to most people, and with good reason. In Mongolia and Manchuria this suspicious canine was a delicacy. They are a sturdy breed, thick in skin and fur, and greatly resembling a bear. Their ears are pricked and short, with almond shaped eyes. Their expression is scowling when mouth is closed, and jolly when the mouth is open. Because of their thick coat they are unsuited for hot climates, and humid climates can be lethal. New owners should be prepared for coat care and socialization of their new Chow puppy. Chow Chows should not be left alone in the backyard.

Other Names: Hei She-t'ou (black tongued), Lang Kou (wolf dog), Hsiung Kou (bear dog), or Kwantung Kou (dog of Canton)

Type: Northern Breed

Height: 17 - 22 inches
Weight: 45 - 75 lbs.

Colors: Black, red, blue, fawn, cream, tan, silver grey or white (rare). Any solid color.
Coat: Rough, abundant, dense and coarse with a pronounced ruff around head and neck. Smooth, has a hard dense outer coat with a soft undercoat with no ruff or feathering on their legs and tail.

Temperament: Chow Chows are alert, independent, and strong-willed. They are mostly friendly towards family, but have been known to be reserved even around loved ones. They are very reserved and aloof around strangers, and sometimes suspicious. They are excellent guard and watch dogs, always defending their turf. They are dignified and intelligent, but can be independent and stubborn. They are serious, protective, and usually a one-person dog. Like terriers, they have a tendency to snap. An encyclopedia described them: "It has been said that the Chow will die for his master but not readily obey him; walk with him but not trot meekly to heel; honor him, but not fawn on his friends and relations."
With Children: With mature children only. With socialization and training they should be good with children.
With Pets: No. May be aggressive toward other dogs and cats; supervision is required. Chows have done poorly with other animals in the past.
Special Skills: In the past, a hunting dog. Today, a family pet.

Watch-dog: Yes. Chows original use was for guarding temples; they are very alert.
Guard-dog: Yes - excellent. They are haughty, and will guard food, bones, toys and their areas of the house. They will attack if provoked.

Chow Chow Care and Training: Regular grooming of the Chow is necessary because of their dense coat to prevent matting. Extra care is needed during shedding. Dry shampoo when necessary. Professional grooming is suggested to give Chows the lion clip look. Chows have a tendency to be lazy but will be a healthier dog if given regular exercise like a good daily walk. They can be a challenge to train because of their strong-will. Training should begin early as a puppy, and is suggested for firm handlers.
Learning Rate: High. Chows are very intelligent. Obedience: Low. Trainability: Good, if positive reinforcement is used.

Activity: Low to moderate.
Special Needs: Grooming, socialization and training.
Living Environment: House with a fenced yard; daily exercise and attention. The Chow Chow needs an experienced, firm handler who can train him from puppyhood. Chows are versatile in living conditions (other than hot weather), and are best suited with an experienced firm owner living in a rural, suburban or city home.

Chow Chow Health Issues: Entropion (in turned eyelids), hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation and heat sensitivity. Other health concerns include anesthesia sensitivity, cancer and bloat (gastric torsion). Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Chow Chows can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.

Life Span: 8 - 15 years.
Litter Size:
3 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: China
Chow Chow History: The name Chow Chow has two different theories behind it: one theory being that it came from the Chinese word "chou", meaning "edible". The other, more common, theory of the name was the pidgin-English word that sailors used for various miscellaneous knick-knacks on ships, "chow-chow". Chows were commonly used as food and were probably imported elsewhere in the world through ships, thus earning them their name. Developed by either the Siberians or Mongolians, they probably began when primitive spitz-type dogs were crossed with eastern Mastiff-type dogs. Regardless, Chows have been known throughout Asia for as long as 2000 years. During the Han dynasty 150 B.C., bas relief and pottery art showed images of dogs that much resembled Chows. The dog was also referred to as the Tartar dog, or Dog of the Barbarians, because of the 11th century Tartar hordes that invaded China, although information on this theory was not easily attainable, considering how art and literature was often destroyed during emperor successions. But in 700 AD the T'ang emperor advertised a kennel of 5000 Chow Chows. Chows were originally used as temple guard dogs. They later became favored as a hunting dog of the Chinese emperors, and then as the delicacy all across Mongolia and Manchuria. The blue-black tongue Chows appeared in Great Britain by the late 18th century in 1760, and the first was exhibited in the London Zoo as the "Wild Dog of China". In the late 19th century the first of its kind was imported into the U.S., with good timing too. Due to political powers, China soon declared dogs a "useless commodity" and had most of the Chows and other dogs destroyed. Today the Chow thrives in America as well as other countries.

First Registered by the AKC: 1903
AKC Group: Non-Sporting
Class: Non-Sporting
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC (GB), UKC

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Monday, August 19, 2013