I admit, I write about the Chow Chow, or the Chow, as many refer to it, with some reservation and predisposed ideas. I’m actually writing about the Chow Chow in order to learn, since they scare me a little. Do any of y’all own Chow Chows? I’d love to hear from you in the comments, since none of the dog blogs I read feature this fluffy dog.
Some things I already thought I knew about the Chow Chow:
- They have black tongues
- Their tails curl up
- They’re fluffy
- They’re medium size
- They’re mean
Let’s look at the truth about the Chow Chow. Here’s what the AKC has to say about the breed’s origin:
The true origin of the Chow is unknown, but the breed as it is known today is easily recognizable in pottery and sculptures of the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 22 A.D.). An all-purpose dog used for hunting, herding, pulling and protection of the home, some scholars claim the Chow was the original ancestor of the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian and Keeshond.
The Pomeranian? Really? All breeds I know very little about. The AKC page goes on to say that the Chow Chow is an affectionate family dog, reserved with strangers. I’ve heard that the breed is unreliable, bitey in a bad way, but this has been word of mouth. So I dug to find out more.
- The Chow Chow really does have a black or blue tongue – freaky
- The dog walks funny, due to stiff hind legs
- Chow Chows have a double coat – man alive are they fluffy!
- More than one site says that the Chow Chow has a cat-like personality
The more I dig, the more interesting this breed becomes. Let’s move to the pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Ownership
- Beautiful medium size dog, with a soft, fluffy coat
- Can be good with children when raised with them – though one of the stories I’ve heard from a previous owner involved her dog attacking her son
- Intelligent, able to learn tricks
- Easily adaptable to apartment life, but must be walked daily
- Long life spans, averaging 15 years
- Quite a few health problems, including hip dysplasia, snoring and sensitivity to heat
- Very protective of its family
- Fleas can be a problem in the thick double coat
- When poorly bred or raised, prone to aggression
Here, this is easier. The Chow Chow Club says about the breed –
Quiet, refined, he should not be teased or treated as a lap dog. His dignity and aloofness must never be confused with a fierce or intractable temperament. He minds his own business and does not generally initiate trouble. Bad-tempered Chows are not representative of the breed, but are usually the result of indiscriminate breeding and a woeful lack of “socialization”.
However, I’m reading on Wikipedia and find –
… it is also resistant to training. Chow Chows become very stubborn and attach to certain individuals, as they age. This is why training them when they are puppies is so crucial; they gain respect for those who care for them. In order to avoid aggressive and overprotectiveness as an adult, continuous socialization as early as possible could allow the dog to adjust. When Chow Chows have reached adolescence they reject authority from any other owner who failed to earn its admiration. Aggression is one distinctive behavioral characteristic in this breed. They are very aggressive towards other dogs of the same sex, especially Chows. So much so, in fact, that two Chows of the same sex can not safely live together. They enjoy feeling as if they are irreplaceable to their owners. Due to their strong hunting instincts, it is recommended that these dogs stay fenced, leashed, and away from cats and small dogs. This is why it is crucial that they are socialized early and consistently in order to act appropriately with strangers. At first, chow chows are very hesitant in interacting with strangers. However, this problem can be avoided if the owners train the chow chow at a young age.
Y’all, I’m still on the fence about this breed. I’m hoping that Chow Chow owners and breeders will come forward and talk about this pretty dog, informing us. Because as of now, this is not a dog I would have in my home. I’m not assertive enough. And I entertain quite a bit, welcoming young families with babies into my home. Not to mention all the small animals which live here.
We’ll play the treat game, though. If I was visiting a home with a Chow Chow, I’d bring Lamb Lung Puffs, since I’ve yet to find a dog which doesn’t swoon at the sight of them. I’d also bring a Saddle Knuckle to keep the dog busy for awhile.
I’m sorry that this isn’t a more positive post. I really do need to hear from y’all who have Chow Chow experience, please. Tell me I’m wrong? And yes, today’s post is gently recycled, but I truly do want ot hear from Chow owners. Thank you.
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Spreading the good chews …