Chow chow is the ancient mystery of the East. There are several versions about the origin of the breed. According to some DNA analysis, it is one of the oldest known breeds. Studies show that it originated from the big gray wolf in northern China and Mongolia. According to other researchers, the breed originates from the north regions of Asia. Italian Baleref dated 150 BC shows a dog that looks very much like the modern Chow Chow. Historically, these dogs are bred for home protection, deer hunting and working dogs. In some parts of China the black Chow Chow was reared for meat consumption.
Some scientists claim that this breed is the predecessor of Pomeranian Spitz and Samoyed. Chinese legends tell about soldiers who carried large black dogs that look like lions. Another legend mention a Chinese ruler who owned 5,000 Chow Chow dogs.
In the US, they were very popular pets in the 20s of the 20th century. Some people say the original Teddy Bears is modeled in the image of Chow Chow dog that Queen Victoria had. Today in the USA puppies for sale are extremely popular and the AKC register about 10,000 dogs per year.
The average height is 43 to 51 cm. Weight reaches an average of 20 to 32 kg.
Chow Chow is a dog with a healthy physique and a massive head with a wide skull. The eyes are medium large, almond-shaped. The ears are small and triangular with slightly dropping tips. The breed is distinguished by its unusual purple tongue. The genome of the purple tongue is dominant, as all dogs are crossed with Chow Chow retain this color tongue. This does not mean that all dogs with purple tongues come from Chow Chow. There are many other pure breeds that also have a purple tongue.
Another hallmark of the Chow Chow is the curved and voluminous tail. The breed has a very thick double coat that is smooth or rough. Fur is especially thick in the neck, giving and distinctive appearance, resembling a mane.
The coloration of Chow Chow may be red, black, blue, maroon-beige or cream in color.
Character and behavior
The popularity of the Chow Chow as a pet is growing. While looking relaxed, these dogs can be quite aggressive towards strangers to protect their owners and their property. Early socialization can save you from such unpleasant situations. According to the standards of the AKC, too aggressive and too timid representatives of the breed are not acceptable.
Training and education
These dogs are very loyal. They are calm and well-behaved, but often refuse to be trained.
Therefore, it is very important to educate them while they are still puppies and win their respect. When dogs reach adulthood, they obey only to owners who have earned their trust.
The most common diseases to which Chow Chow is prone are: Entropium, glaucoma, Canine pemphigus, Hip dysplasia, Diabetes mellitus and Stomach Cancer.
There is a high risk of an autoimmune disease and cutaneous melanoma. Due to the thick and dense hair, Chow Chow have serious problems with fleas. Life expectancy is 9-15 years. They are generally healthy dogs.
Grooming and care
This breed requires regular, but not strenuous outdoor activities. They do not feel good in warm and humid weather. So in the summer months it is better to walk the dog early in the morning or evening, when temperatures are bearable.
Chow Chow change their fur in spring and autumn. It is important to choose the right brush for combing to avoid skin damage. The thick double coat requires combing at least 3-4 times a week. Bathe your dog at least once a month or when necessary.
The food you give your puppy must be high in protein. Chow Chow grows very fast and around 18 months he is already in his adulthood. Regulation of food depends on many factors such as the age of the dog, its metabolism, size, etc. It is advisable to feed him twice a day. These are heavy dogs and overweight can lead to problems with the hip.
Children and other pets
Their aggression towards animals is usually directed towards dogs, especially if they are Chow Chow too. You should keep your pet on a leash, especially around cats and other small animals. They get along well with children as long as they were raised with them.
An interesting fact is that Chow Chow moves a lot in the house. At night that dog can change ten places to sleep at each one for several minutes. During the day, dogs of this breed like to lie down somewhere where they can monitor everything.