Dog Breeds: The Chow Chow

September 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

The Chow Chow

Want a dog that reminds you of your favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal? Then a Chow Chow may be the right breed for you. Here is some information you might find helpful before you buy your next pet companion.

Origin

Chow Chows are an old breed of dog. It is believed that they originated in Asia millions of years ago. Many fossils from that time show bone structures similar to the modern species. One thing that makes them distinctive is their blue or black mouth. This is a quality that is shared with the Chinese Shar-Pei, leading to the conclusion that they are somehow related.

Originally, this dog was put to work in many areas. They made great hunting dogs, finding sables, wolves and pheasants. Because of their muscular build, they were also used to pull carts and sleds. It was also not unusual to find them herding other animals or protecting an owner’s property and family.

Temperament

In a good environment, a Chow Chow displays obedience and manners. They get along well with other animals in the household as long as they are socialized from pups.

This dog can have behavior issues if he sees that his or her master is not behaving as an alpha in the family. In order for the dog to know his place, he has to recognize that all humans in the pack are higher up than he.

A Chow Chow will readily challenge and usurp power in the pack if they see that their master is faltering. These dogs are strong willed and will become stubborn to a fault in these situations. Their actions will come off as mean to their owners but is their way of showing that they decide what to do and not the humans.

Care

A Chow Chow is a large thick dog. Their most common colors are black, cream, blue, red, and cinnamon. It is also not uncommon to see them in tan or gray coats. Their telltale feature is that they have a blue-black tongue in a black mouth.

They maintain a dense coat that can either be coarse or smooth. Regular brushing is important to maintain the coat, especially in the seasons when they shed heavily.

This dog is also prone to a few health issues. They have eye irritation due to entropion, a condition where their eyelids roll inward and their eyelashes end up scratching the surface of the eye. You will also find that they deal with hip dysplasia, cancer, and ear infections.

Training

A Chow Chow needs a firm hand in order to be trainable. They can be difficult and require a strong dominant owner. For this reason, many people give up this breed, because they were not able to handle him in that regard.

When properly trained, these dogs are quite intelligent. Given a task, they will continue to perform it until they have pleased their owners. It is not unheard of for Chow Chows to learn to “shake hands” with people, jump around on their hind legs, and perform other tricks.

These gentle lion-like dogs are playful and obedient when trained well. If you have a firm strong personality, a Chow Chow may find a home in your household.

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