Chow Chow Dog Breeds
The Chow has been known for thousands of years in China, where the breed was put to work as a hunter, cart puller and boat guard. One Emperor is said to have kept 2500 Chow pairs. One was given to the Prince of Wales, the future Edward Val. Over history, the Chow has been used to hunt wolves, sable and pheasant, and to pull sleds. His fur was used to trim coats. The flesh of these dogs was considered a delicacy in China. Dog is still eaten in China today. This beautiful dog was first brought to England by merchants in the late 1800's. The name probably originated from the pidgin English word "chow-chow," a term used to describe all sorts of miscellaneous stuff brought back from the Far East. The Chow has become very popular in the United States as a companion dog. Some of the Chow Chow's talents are watchdog and guarding.
The Chow is a sturdily built dog that is square in profile with broad skull and small, triangular ears that are rounded at the tip. The breed has a very dense coat that is either smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick around the neck, giving the distinctive ruff or mane. The coat may be one of five colors including red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream. Individuals with patchy or multicolored coats are considered to be outside the breed standard. Chows are distinguished by their unusual blue-black/purple tongue and very straight hind legs, resulting in a rather stilted gait. The blue-black/purple tongue gene appears to be dominant, as almost all mixed breed dogs who come from a Chow retain the tongue color. This is not to say, however, that every mixed breed dog with spots of purple on the tongue are descended from chows as purple spots on the tongue can be found on a multitude of pure breed dogs.
The two most distinctive features of the Chow Chow are its blue-black tongue and its almost straight hind legs, which makes it walk rather stilted. Its dense furry coat is profuse and comes in two varieties, smooth coat and rough coat. The most common colors are solid red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream, but it can also come in tan, gray, or (rarely) white. The coat sometimes has lighter or darker shades, but is never parti-colored. The ears are small and rounded and there is a huge ruff behind the head, which gives it a lion like appearance. Its head is broad and its skull is flat. The muzzle is broad near the eyes and narrows toward a black nose without becoming pointed. The chest is broad and deep and the kidney area is short and strong. The tail is thickly covered with hair and is carried over its back.
The Chow Chow is usually well-mannered, but can be willful and protective. Bossy, serious and very independent. They are self-willed to the point of obstinacy. Often a one-person dog, very loyal to his family, though he may act reserved, even with them. If strangers push themselves on this dog, he may become aggressive. This breed can be quite a handful, but it is otherwise polite and patient. Some do not accept leashes and collars easily, while others do not seem to mind. Most Chow Chows like to dominate other dogs, but in contrast, they are quite good with children. If they get to know cats and other household animals when they are young, they will get along with them when they are adults. They must be extensively socialized when very young to combat potential over-protectiveness as an adult. They need firm training right from the start. Their personality is mainly due to their past treatment.
The Chow Chow will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Sensitive to heat, but can live in or outdoors.
Chow Chows can be lazy, but need to be taken for a daily walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display a wide array of behavior problems.
The average height of adult specimens is 17 to 20 inches at the withers but in every case consideration of overall proportions and type should take precedence over size. Proportions-- Square in profile and close coupled. Distance from forechest to point of buttocks equals height at the highest points of the withers. Serious Fault Profile other than square. Distance from tip of elbow to ground is half the height at the withers. Floor of chest level with tips of elbows. Width viewed from the front and rear is the same and must be broad. It is these proportions that are essential to true Chow type. In judging puppies, no allowance should be made for their failure to conform to these proportions.
Height: 18-22 inches (46-56 cm.)
Weight: 45-70 pounds (20-32 kg.)
Coat: Thick and coarse
Color: Red, black, grey, cream, fawn or white
Litter size: 5 pups
Life span: 9–12 years
Beware of hip dysplasia. They are prone to suffer eye irritation called entropion, caused by eyelid abnormality; this can be corrected with surgery. Other than that they are generally healthy.