Chow Chow

  • Recent DNA studies indicate that the chow chow is among the 14 most ancient breeds recognized by the AKC.
  • Its origin is unclear except that it has been known in China for hundreds or even thousands of years.
  • They may have been used as hunting dogs for the Chinese nobility, and later kept in monasteries. Other accounts claim they were used for food in Mongolia and Manchuria.
  • The dogs were brought to England in the late 1700s, and were dubbed chow chows by the English. The name is probably derived from a term meaning Oriental knick knack.
  • Only in the late 1800s, with the sudden interest in exotic breeds aroused by the advent of dog shows, were chows earnestly brought to the western world.
  • Queen Victoria was a proponent of the breed.
  • The AKC recognized the chow chow in 1903.
  • In the 1980s, the breed soared in popularity in America, peaking when it was the 6th most popular breed.
  • Since then they have plummeted in popularity, their numbers falling by 91% in the last decade.
  • The black or blue tongue is a breed characteristic, as is the somewhat stilted gait.
Chow Chow Behavior Concerns
  • Makes a devoted and protective family member.
  • Generally tolerant of children, but may not be playful enough for them. As with any large dog, they should be supervised when around children.
  • Not overly demonstrative.
  • Reserved toward, and even wary of, strangers.
  • Not friendly towards strange dogs.
  • Usually good with small pets.
  • Tends to be independent and stubborn. Rebels against forceful methods.
  • Does best with a firm owner who can combine reward-based training with good control and leadership.
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Chow Chow Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a calm and alert housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a leisurely walk, short jog, or quick game. It is not physically suited to overly vigorous exercise.
  • Enjoys cold weather.
  • Becomes overheated easily.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
Chow Chow Grooming
  • The chow chow comes in two coat types. The rough coat is straight and off-standing. The smooth coat is hard and smooth. Both coat types have wooly undercoats.
  • The rough coat needs brushing every other day to remove dead coat and prevent serious matting. The smooth coat needs brushing once or twice a week.
  • Shedding is above average.
Suggested Chow Chow Nutritional Needs
  • Cow chows tend to stay in good weight or to be slightly overweight. You must use your hands to feel beneath the thick coat.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet

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