The Chow Chow is a large lion-lookalike breed with a typical weight of 32 kg and a lifespan of 15 years. It is described as an independent, loyal, and docile breed. The Chow Chow is one of the oldest living breeds of dogs we have today. It has a sturdily built body, equal in height and length, a large head with small triangular erect ears, a very dense double coat, and a characteristic blue-black/purple tongue. It has a moderate length muzzle, large black nose (lighter coloured in cream coats), and dark oval-shaped eyes. The front legs of this breed are perfectly straight while the hind legs appear straight from the hocks downward. It has small, round, cat-like feet with strong and hard pads that cushion the dog from the ground. The tail is highly set and carried well over the back.
The coat of the Chow Chow can be smooth or rough and is particularly thick over the neck area that forms a distinctive ruff or mane. The rough-coated type has a profuse, dense, straight guard hairs with a soft woolly undercoat. The smooth-coated type has a short, dense double coat that is plush-like in nature. Coat colours range from whole coloured red, black, blue, fawn, or cream. Male Chow Chows stand between 48 – 56 cm at withers while females have an average height of 46 – 51 cm at withers.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Chow Chow is originally from northern China where it is known as Songshi Quan or “puffy-lion dog”. It is known to be one of the oldest living canine breeds in existence, dating back between 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. Experts believe it either came originally from China or from Arctic Asia and then migrated to the high steppe regions of Mongolia or Siberia and then to China. It was originally used as a temple guard, as a hunting dog, a war dog, a sled dog and as a general purpose working dog in ancient Tibet, China and Mongolia as evidenced by archaeological artifacts dug dating from 150 BC. It was also used as an important food source in ancient China and its valuable pelt was utilized as trimmings on clothes. The first Chows arrived in Britain in 1780, brought by traders from China in clipper ships. In 1820, an English newspaper published a news article referring to an oriental dog imported from China with a thick red coat and a blue-black tongue. This report gained so much attention that interest in the breed soared. In 1828, the London Zoo imported some Chows from China which were called “the wild dogs of China”. Queen Victoria also had a Chow Chow in 1865. The breed was officially registered and recognised by the Kennel Club in 1894 and a breed club was established a year after.
The Chow is independent, loyal, and quiet. It has a very independent nature, often aloof towards strangers and happily alone in its own space. It is a loyal dog to its family which often displays affectionate behaviour but will never seek attention from total strangers. Most of the time, the Chow will become attached to a single member of the family, especially the one who feeds him, but is nevertheless loyal to the whole family and will typically accept visitors as long as they are welcomed to the house. It rarely barks but when it does, there will be a good reason for it, which makes it an excellent watchdog. It is also one of the cleanest dog breeds, often seen licking at his own feet, face, and fur similar to what a cat does when cleaning itself. In fact, it has a lot of cat-like mannerisms, including being afraid of water. The Chow absolutely hates to get its feet wet but will enjoy playing outside all day in good weather.
Training is a bit of a challenge. The Chow Chow is not the easiest breed to train in obedience owing to its independent nature. However, it should be taught basic obedience command which it can learn relatively easy. Lead training should also start early, preferably doing so in a secure environment such as the home yard before taking the puppy outside on the street. Do not allow the puppy to pull but rather train him to walk progressively by your side. Never let a dog off the lead until it is trained to return on call. Early exposure or socialisation to as many people, places, other animals and experiences as possible is also highly recommended. Taking the Chow to a busy area will get it used to people moving around. Training the dog to get used to the car is also a good method to bond with your dog. Take the dog on short trips but never left the dog alone inside the car.
Although the Chow has a dense double coat all over, it is not a heavy shedder. Regular brushing on a weekly basis is advised in order to help remove loose dead hair. Brushing carefully down to the skin will promote a healthy blood circulation. Any tangles should be removed, paying special attention to the long hairs behind the hindquarters, front legs, and on the chest. It absolutely hates water so when giving the Chow a bath, make sure to bathe him on a warm sunny day, bathe the dog outside on leash and let him shake its wet fur thoroughly before rubbing him dry with a towel. It has a soft, very dense undercoat which takes time to dry so make sure the dog does not get cold.
The Chow is a compact, heavily-built breed that should not be persuaded to jump onto furniture or go up and down the stairs as this might injure its legs, hips, or joints. It is known to suffer from the following health problems:
Exercise is very minimal while the Chow is still a puppy but the amount can be gradually increased as the dog gets older. A long daily walk is an ideal exercise for an adult Chow Chow, but it will also get enough physical activity by letting it roam freely in a well-secured yard. Do not take the dog for a walk during hot, humid weather or it will suffer severely. An ideal time is during the early morning or late in the evening when the weather is cool, if permissible. After taking the dog for an exercise, it is wise to let it drink enough water and let it rest quietly.
The Chow Chow is a loyal breed and is excellent with children. However, they should be thought to handle a Chow puppy properly. A puppy that needs a rest (and it needs a lot of it!) should be left alone. It will not grow up to be a stable breed if it’s always disturbed when it wants to sleep. Most Chows are infamous cat chasers and will stop at nothing to go after them. It has a strong herding instinct and may try to chase other small animals from time to time.