The Chow Chow is one of the most astounding and visually-stunning dog breeds, thanks to its lion-like appearance and fluffy coat. Even cuter is that its offspring looks like teddy bears. Whenever I see one head-on, I can’t help but think of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.
The Blue Tongued Furry Chow Chow
Their origin traces back about four thousand years, when their ancestors were used as working dogs for herding, hunting and even pulling sleds. They were originally bred by Mongolian tribes and later were introduced into China. Most authorities believe its ancestors to be the Roman Mastiff dogs and Spitz type dogs, as well as the Shar-Pei and the Akita.
Another interesting thing about the breed is its unique sky blue tongue, which may vary to as dark as a blue-black color. A legend says that it got its tongue color when a few drops of paint from the sky (when God was painting the sky blue) fell onto its mouth.
With a standard size of 17 to 21 inches and weighing around 45 to 85 pounds, the Chow Chow is truly one of the best dogs to keep in your home. They can come in five different colors: cinnamon (most common one), black, red, blue (steel gray like color) and cream.
Although the breed is quite easy to housebreak, there is still a catch – Chow Chows are usually leader-like and stubborn, meaning they do not particularly want to be bossed around. They tend to be anti-social — just the opposite in personality of the Golden Retriever. So if you want a nice fluffy dog to play and cuddle, then a Chow could be completely different from what you want. Many of them do not like to be cuddled, and are not particularly good with children.
They are loners, and will do well in a yard, especially if staked. But, they prefer being inside with their master when the master is home.
If you really want one, the biggest thing you should do for your “due diligence” is to check the blood-line with breeders you’re considering. There are some blood lines that have good temperaments. A breeder that “doesn’t know” is probably a clue that you should avoid them.
Many people feel that they have a cat-like attitude, aloof and easily angered when provoked or treated the wrong way. With this arrogant attitude, some people label them as one of the most vicious dogs around, but this is not the case – they’re just naturally stubborn.
They are also territorial, meaning that they will seldom be friendly with strangers and become aggressive towards unknown guests who cross into their territory or that of their masters. Therefore, if you have a guest in your house, you should let your dog know that this person is a trusted person before your dog thinks he or she is a threat.
Despite the fact that Chow Chows are naturally home-based dogs and like to be alone, this does not mean you can simply shove them out of your house and into the yard or the doghouse. They need their owners to spend time with them and need lots of exercise, otherwise they can become anti-social.
The secret to gaining a Chow Chow’s respect and trust is to be a strong-willed and responsible owner. You basically must train your dog very well while it is young, otherwise you may have problems later.
Do you have a Chow? Please share your experience below.