Chow Chow is a breed of dog which originally comes from Northern China. It is an ancient type of a breed and is just one of the few ancient breeds still remaining. As its history goes well back, they have 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 dog. Its origin dates back to 3,000 years ago and is tied to the Artic Asia. It is belived 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. A Chow Chow is a type of breed which 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 for these dogs are its black-blue tongues. This is something which 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 disease that are frequent for this breed and they also might have skin melanoma. Fleas can also be a 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 to brush the hair each day and you have to use different kind 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 shinny coat this way. Dental hygiene and nail clipping is important as well and needs 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 gives 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 Chow Chow 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 a dog. Simply check out the pages of Adopt-A-Chow Rescue, Chow Chows to the Rescue and Chow Dog Rescue and get more information.