Chow Chow


What should I know about a Chow Chow?

There is a myth surrounding a Chow Chow dog that it is a lazy breed that does not need or want much exercise. The myth is not true and must be assumed to have arisen on the basis of lazy owners. With the right training, the Chow Chow dog breed gives you a family member who feels most comfortable in a safe environment, but who can easily handle a long walk. If you read on, we give you insight into some of the most important aspects of the medium-sized dog.

The history behind the Chow Chow dog breed

Most modern dog breeds date back to sometime in the 19th century, when people were particularly concerned with breed categorization. But in fact, you can find the Chow Chow existing several thousand years back in East Asia, where it was used in both China and Mongolia as a working dog for sleds as well as a hunting and guard dog.

China brought the dog to its homeland from Mongolia in times of war, where the Chow Chow dog was regarded with awe. Along with the Pekingese breed, it was considered the Buddha's sacred lion, supposed to keep evil spirits away from the temple. During the 18th century, the breed was shipped to Great Britain as part of colonization.

There is doubt as to whether the breed is descended from point-type dogs. Worldwide, the dog is one of the most popular breeds, while in the country of origin (China) it has not had the best conditions since the latter part of the 19th century. In addition to being used as a hunting and guard dog, the dog has also ended up on the dinner table, just as large parts of the population were exterminated during the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and ten years later under Mao Zedong's rule.

The Chow Chow's physical characteristics

The breed is a robust, medium-sized dog with an almost square profile and very straight – almost pole-like – legs, which give a very distinctive gait. The breed is characterized by a curly tail that goes up over the back, upright ears and a relatively broad skull. But what most people probably know the dog for is the blue-black – sometimes purple – tongue, which can only be found in this particular dog breed and in the South Chinese Shar Pei breed. The color goes on the dog's lips, whereas the oral cavity of most other dog breeds is black.

The fur of the breed can vary from black and bluish to red and cinnamon colored as well as white and cream colored. It is worth noting that not all Chow Chow colors are considered representative of the true breed - especially if the dog has several colors. On the face, the breed has folds that are covered with fur. For an adult Chow Chow, the height for males is typically 48-56 cm, while the height for bitches is typically 43-51 cm. The size therefore varies, and so does the ideal weight. Depending on the size and gender of your dog, the Chow Chow's weight should be between 16-40 kg.

The dog's activity level

Like all other dogs, this breed also needs to move and get daily exercise. It is not a dog breed that just goes on and on, as you know from many European breeds. But make no mistake that the Chow Chow dog can easily handle long trips and is actually quite fast over short distances. The peculiar and slightly stilted gait can be traced back in terms of evolution to the bumpy and rocky terrains of Asia, where the dog is originally from.

Fur and fur care

Within the breed, there are two types of fur – slightly long and coarse fur and short and smooth. Both varieties have upright undercoats, while the undercoat is dense and soft. If you have a long-haired Chow Chow, you should set aside time daily to care for the fur so that it does not tangle. If you want to get the best possible out of this routine, we recommend that you start fur care from the time your Chow Chow is a puppy. This will make it much easier to handle your dog as it grows and becomes more independent.

If you have a short-haired Chow Chow dog, the fur care routine can be done less frequently and is less time-consuming. Regardless of whether you have a long or short-haired dog, you must pay attention to cleaning the facial folds thoroughly, as dirt tends to settle here and be held back by the strong facial fur.

Temperament and stimulation

We are dealing with a dog breed that tends to be antisocial, self-contained and not very outgoing. It is therefore important that you train your Chow Chow puppy so that it gets a good dose of healthy socialization. It is therefore a good idea to let it interact with both people, dogs and other pets outside the family.

As an inherent guard dog, the breed can easily end up becoming dominant and tend to watch over its pack. You must therefore train your dog patiently, consistently and creatively to keep it stimulated and socialized in the hierarchy. If you train your Chow Chow dog well, you will get a dear member of the family who is both protective and kind-hearted. A well-behaved Chow Chow is also good to have for competitions, as the dog often gets good positions in agility and obedience exercises.

You must pay particular attention to this

In addition to good training and upbringing, you must pay extra attention to your dog's diet and nutrition. The dog breed tends to eat less than other dogs of the same size, and has problems processing protein-rich food.

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