The Chow-Chow is not suitable for all masters. Even if he has changed a lot over the centuries, he has still kept the independent character of his ancestors and must be totally respected. He is also an excellent guardian.
Quick Overview of the Chow-Chow
- Special character
- Independent, balanced and calm
- Excellent keeper
- Very thick and abundant coat
- Rather uniform dress
- Small dark almond eyes
- Very robust
- Eye infection
Temperament of the Chow-Chow
Excellent guardian and endowed with a special character, the Chow-Chow is an independent, balanced and generally very calm dog. For a long time, he was victim of his bad reputation from his ancestors but the breed has greatly improved since and he is now an excellent companion.
He is sulky and sometimes tendency to disobey, but he is very affectionate with his family even if he is not very demonstrative.
The Chow-Chow is an excellent dog but he does not really appreciate young children, so he just ignores them completely. He has a very dominant character and does not tolerate other dogs or animals in the household very well.
An urban legend says that he devours cats but in reality, being rather independent, he just doesn't like their company and ignores them.
The Chow-Chow is a very different dog from others. His character and temperament make him an excellent dog and good guardian, but as he is not very athletic and does not really enjoy games, he gives the impression of being cold and distant.
He shows very little affection, even though he loves his family members and is very loyal. Having been left alone for a long time, he has retained the independent character of his ancestors.
The Chow-Chow is guided by his instincts, which will make him confident or on the defensive. In the second case, it is better not to insist too much and leave him alone. Even if he is not particularly aggressive in temperament, he will never show weakness.
The wide fur collar of the Chow-Chow gives him a leonine aspect and confirms his nickname of miniature lion.
Having no back angulation, the Chow Chow has a very particular gait giving him an unnatural look.
Between 48 and 56 cm (18.90 to 22.05 inches) for the male
Between 46 and 51 cm (18.11 to 20.08 inches) for the female
Between 24 and 35 kg (52.91 to 77.16 pounds) for the male
Between 24 and 35 kg (52.91 to 77.16 pounds) for the female
His dress is rather uniform but can vary. Standard colors are red, black, blue-grey or cream.
His head, with a flat skull, is rather large and reminds one of a bear and sometimes even a hippopotamus, a bit like the Shar Pei's head.
His eyes are like small dark almonds. His ears are small and rounded.
His nose can be black or lighter in color depending on the specimen. His tail looks like a real panache and is very full. The lips, gums, tongue and palate should be purple, very dark blue or even almost black.
The dog's hair is very thick and abundant. It is generally long, but there are also short-haired ones. The hair is also covered by a very woolly undercoat.
According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 5, section 5 and is #205
Characteristics of the Chow-Chow
Does this dog suit your lifestyle?
Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.
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Tips About this breed
This particular dog is ideal for owners who do not appreciate big signs of affection.
The Chow-Chow being very independent, he does not lick or jump on his masters and guests. He will rather tend to withdraw and hide.
On the other hand, you have to be very patient and provide him with a gentle but firm education. Since he tends to be stubborn and sulky, he should never be allowed to dominate.
He needs to know early on who is the leader of the pack. Even if he doesn't accept to be dominated, if his education is adequate, he will always obey his leader.
It is imperative that he knows the boundaries as soon as he arrives home. Tenderness and gentleness must welcome him the same time as firmness.
It is also important to make sure that no one disturbs him when he eats, drinks, sleeps or relieves himself outside. He is very clean but also very modest.
He has the ability to hold himself back for a very long time, but needs a little privacy to relieve himself. He is a dog that must be respected because his tolerance is limited.
A household with children will be able to live with the Chow-Chow as long as the dog and the children respect each other.
Since he is not a great sportsman and is very quiet, he can easily live just about anywhere.
Health of the Chow-Chow
The Chow-Chow is a very robust dog without any particular health issues.
Eye infection and dysplasia can sometimes affect some specimens but this is rare.
Of course, due to his enormous, woolly and dense coat, the Chow-Chow needs regular brushing with a brush that is appropriate for his coat.
Make sure you get him comfortable before you start brushing. He needs to be reassured and relaxed before letting anyone brush him.
The coat must be well maintained, especially if the dog spends a lot of time outdoors, in order to prevent parasites from becoming embedded in his thick coat.
History of this breed
Originally from China, the Chow-Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds. The breed has been known in China for over 4000 years.
British merchant ships brought specimens of the breed to England along with exotic goods. The crates containing the dogs were marked "general merchandise". On arrival in England, a Chow Chow was even offered to the Prince of Wales.
At the time, the emperors of ancient China apparently used the Chow Chow as a hunting dog, specifically for leopards and wolves.
Later, the Asians, fond of murderous fights, trained some specimens for dog fights. It even happened that his skin was traded and that he was appreciated for his flesh.
The Chinese also used him to pull their small carts and to guard junks. Unfortunately, the breed was mistreated in his early days and the result was a distant, indifferent looking dog with a not very expansive character.
Previously used as a guard and herding dog, the Chow-Chow later became a companion dog. He is more and more appreciated nowadays.
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