What would you call a wolf-hunter, an animal herder, a cart puller, a watchdog that turned out to be a cute family pet? The Chow Chow!
The breed is as old as human civilization, and though, no one knows their exact origin, historians and cynologists suggest they originated from China around 206 BC. From their appearance, they somehow look like a mixture of a Chinese Shar-pei and a teddy bear.
In ancient times, the dogs were considered being hardheaded, obstinate, and stubborn. Therefore, pet owners were reluctant to choose the breed as the family pet.
Over time, however, the breed proved to be a fiercely loyal companion, and they are a dignified, strong-willed, alert, powerful, sturdy, squarely built but intelligent dog breed.
So, if you’re looking for an extroverted, playful pooch, a Chow Chow may not be the right choice for you.
Chow Chow breed characteristics
The Chow Chow is characterized by its thick coats that come in several colors, such as cinnamon, black, cream, or blue; however, the red coat is the most common. The dog’s tongue with blue tint gives them a unique look. The dogs stand 18 to 22 inches tall and weigh 45 to 70 pounds.
The dogs have a double coat and can survive the coldest temperatures.
While the dog’s downturned lips paint the picture of an extremely aggressive and angry dog, the dogs aren’t. They are, however, a protective breed that makes good watchdogs. The dogs are intelligent but can be stubborn and difficult to train.
What is an ideal age to adopt a Chow Chow?
The ideal age to adopt a Chow Chow is when he is a puppy, so you will have plenty of time to socialize your dog with friends, neighbors, and children.
The dogs are friendly with children, but as a responsible parent and a dog owner, you should never leave your child unattended with any dog.
No matter what breed you choose to adopt, grooming is a crucial step to keep your dog happy and healthy. The Chow Chow is relatively high maintenance and requires proper grooming.
Hair brushing and shampooing
The Chow Chows coat comes in two types; rough and smooth; both are double-coated and need timely brushing and shampooing. Since the dogs are heavy shedders, they require regular brushing and shampooing.
The dogs require a diet rich in protein, so the chance of accumulated plaque and tartar is high. Therefore, you should brush your pooch’s teeth twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs to prevent periodontal diseases. It’s crucial to avoid periodontal diseases that cause bad breath, gum swelling, inflammation, bleeding, or worse, losing teeth.
No dog enjoys getting his nails trimmed, so you must be careful while doing so. One thing to note with Chow Chows, the toenails of their rear feet grow much slower than the front. Therefore, examine them properly and regularly trim their nails to keep them healthy and clean.
Since the dogs are graced with a super thick coat, they don’t like hot and humid temperatures. Therefore, always keep an eye on your dog’s body temperature and keep him indoors. Avoid confining your dog in a small, enclosed space. Be sure to walk your dog regularly.
Never leave your pooch unsupervised. The dogs can become aggressive and might harm other pets and dogs.
There are certain inherited health conditions associated with Chow Chows. Entropion is a hereditary disorder where the eyelids roll inwards and irritate the cornea, which, in turn, causes visual problems. The condition often has to be treated with surgery.
Another common hereditary disease is hip dysplasia, where the looseness of the hip joint leads to arthritis pain.
Because the breed is high maintenance, you should visit the veterinarian at least twice a year.
The Chow Chow might seem cute and friendly, but they are not suited to every household. If you are a novice handler, this breed is not for you, the Chow Chow is a one-person dog and needs an experienced handler.
If you choose a Chow Chow, use a pet name generator to find the perfect name for your dog.
Due to their thick coat, they are more prone to skin allergies as opposed to other breeds, so you should always take special care of their grooming needs.