Chow Chow is a breed of dog which originally comes from Northern China. It is an ancient type of breed and is just one of the few ancient breeds still remaining. As its history goes well back, it has been around for a very long time and used for different purposes. It is believed that the Chow Chow was sued as a model dog for the Foo dog, the traditional stone guardians which you can see in front of Buddhist temples and shrines.
Some people refer to this breed simply as Chow, but in China, its name is Songshi Quan, which literally translates as “puff-lion-dog.” The name actually describes the dog pretty well. They are also called Tang Quan, which means “Dog of the Tang temple.”
History & Origins
The Chow Chow is an ancient breed of dogs. Its origin dates back to 3,000 years ago and is tied to Artic Asia. It is believed that the ancestor of this dog crossed to China some 2,000 years ago and they started using them as guard dogs for their temples. They most likely come from the steppe regions of Siberia and Mongolia.
There have been many mentioning of this breed through history. During the Han dynasty, they started using them as guard dogs for shrines and temples. But there are also records of them being used as war dogs. In fact, they accompanied the Mongolian army in their attempt to overtake China and during their many war endeavors. It was only later that the Chows were bred to be multipurpose dogs. They were used for herding, pulling sleds, and many other uses. Today they are mostly used as companion dogs.
Chow Chow Characteristics & Temperament
Many people describe the temperament of a Chow Chow as being cat-like. They can get aggressive but at the same time, they may be timid. They are generally good as house pets but it all depends on their behavior. This dog is a type of breed that forms a great attachment to an individual. They are very protective of their owner or the person who trained them and will often disregard any other people. This is why it is highly important to train them early on. They can be stubborn at times, but early socialization and activity will help them adapt more. This is why it is crucial to train them while they are still pups.
A Chow Chow does not have a high level of energy. They are very quiet and do not really like to run around or exert themselves. This means that you can keep them around the house and they are easy to housetrain. But you still have to provide them with some physical exercise and allow them to get out for a walk at least. They are fond of young children as well, but make sure that they are properly trained before allowing them to hang around your kids. Some owners prefer to keep these dogs leashed.
Appearance, Colors, Size
A Chow Chow has a square profile, broad skull, and small triangular ears. Their built is sturdy and they are recognized for their really dense double coats. This is mainly due to the cold region they originate from. Some accepted coat colors include shaded/self-red, black, blue, cinnamon/fawn, or cream. There are individual dogs with multicolored coats, but these are deemed unacceptable by any organization. What is characteristic of these dogs is its black-blue tongues. This is something that makes them recognizable.
A typical Chow Chow dog will grow up to be somewhere between 17 and 20 inches in height. On the other hand, their weight is 40 to 70 pounds.
Chow Chow Health
The Chow Chow has a standard life span for its size. They can live up to somewhere between 11 and 13 years of age. They can generally a healthy breed of dog but you have to watch out for certain conditions if you want to be an owner of one.
Some conditions that you will have to be aware of include entropion, juvenile cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes mellitus, hip dysplasia, canine pemphigus, and gastric cancer. There are a lot of cases of autoimmune diseases that are frequent for this breed and they also might have skin melanoma. Fleas can also be problematic due to big.
Grooming & Shedding
Due to their massive coats, a Chow Chow is a heavy seasonal shedder. They will lose a lot of their fur during these periods and it will cause you to make additional effort to groom them properly. Grooming can be tough as you have to subdue all this hair that they have. But if you do it as often as you can, you will prevent additional shedding. What you can do is brush the hair each day and you have to use different kinds of brushes for different parts.
If brushed frequently, the dog does not emit any dog odor. You still have to bathe the dog on a monthly basis and allow it to keep is a shiny coat this way. Dental hygiene and nail clipping are important as well and need to be done from time to time.
Chow Chow Price and Breeders
The unique appearance and the loveable nature of the Chow Chow dogs actually give them a lot of value. Even though they are kept today as companion dogs mostly, their price has surged and they are recognized as one of the most expensive breeds in the world. A single pup may cost you anywhere between 3,000 USD and 8,000 USD. There are many quality breeders that work today and allow you to get one.
With the extremely high price of these dogs, you sometimes cannot really afford to pay so much for a single dog. But there are other ways that you can get your hands on one. We are talking about adoption. Rescue groups have emerged and are providing such services, allowing you a much more acceptable way of getting this type of dog. Simply check out the pages of Adopt-A-Chow Rescue, Chow Chows to the Rescue and Chow Dog Rescue and get more information.
Are these dogs an aggressive breed?
The Chow Chow breed is characterized by being overly aggressive. It is probably their biggest flaw as they can display various forms of aggression. It usually manifests towards other dogs and animals. They can even be aggressive towards same-sex dogs of their own breed. But they will particularly run around smaller animals due to their prey drive. They are primarily hunting dogs and it is in their nature to do that. However, if socialized and train properly, no problems are to be expected.
Why are Chow Chows banned?
Since Chow Chows are considered aggressive dogs by nature, there are bans or restrictions for their ownership in certain cities. Actually, it depends on the area and place where this dog is banned. But you will see bans in many states in the US as well. Improperly trained this kind of dog will display territorial behavior and aggression. Even though they resemble teddy bears, these dogs will act out. But the ones that are trained well are not dangerous to have by your side.
Are they dog-friendly?
Even with all the prejudice about the high aggression of Chow Chow dogs, they can be really friendly. In fact, they will bond with their human owners and will form an attachment to them. They are friendly and happy once they are around them. They are even great with children. However, they don’t really play well with other dogs and pets but can learn to love them if they are raised alongside each other from an early age.
Do Chow Chows have health problems?
There are certain specific problems that a Chow Chow may display during its life. It is nothing to be concerned about but you should be careful about which breeder you buy your dog. The most common type of problem that occurs is related to their eyes like cataracts and glaucoma. Some other problems that are more common than others are hip and elbow dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis and patellar luxation.
Do they like to cuddle?
You may be surprised to know that a Chow Chow is not a dog that likes to cuddle. Due to their fluffy fur, it may seem as if they are docile and amiable animals. But they are self-autonomous and have a cat-like behavior. They do like hanging around people and children abut are not really fond of being snuggled at all. Try not to do that and this dog is also not really recommended for first-time dog owners.
Do Chow Chows bite?
In general terms, a Chow Chow is not an attack biter. It will not try to bite people without any reason. It will not do that if not provoked. But if you do a challenge or if it is put in a stressful situation, it will try to retaliate and fight back. It can also happen that they attack strangers who try to challenge them or try to disturb them in some way.
Do Chow Chows bark a lot?
A Chow Chow dog is generally known for being a dog that barks a lot. This is one of the main reasons that makes them probably the worse apartment dogs. There are multiple reasons for them to do so and it is hard to determine why they start to do so in the first place.
Why does this kind of dog have blue tongues?
Actually, a Chow Chow is not born with a blue tongue. Puppy dogs have pink tongues as most dogs do. As they get older the pigment will change. Sometimes it goes slower, but by the time a dog is six months old, the tongue will change the color and become black or blue.