So, you want to buy a Chow! First of all,
read the overview of the characteristics and qualities of a Chow. Remember that these are intelligent, but somewhat difficult to train dogs. Then, read over and think about the pros and cons of owning a Chow. An informed pet owner is a good pet owner.
Here is a brief history on the breed: The Chow Chow is one of our most ancient breeds. Chow Chow ancestors were noted for having escorted the Tartars on their assault of China. The generally accepted belief is that Chows are an original breed of dog that was first domesticated by the Mongolians. Existence of Chows has been documented as far back as eleventh century B.C. Chows are featured on Chinese pottery and in ancient paintings. One hypothesis for the source of the Chow’s name is that it comes from the Chinese word “chaou.” This Chinese word translates to the English equivalent of “a dog of great strength.”
Chows became fashionable in the U.S. roughly around the same time that they were gaining respect in England. "Chinese Chum" was the winner of the first U.S. Chow Chow competition in 1905. “Chinese Chum” also won best of breed at the Westminster Dog Show in 1906.
An overview of the characteristics and qualities of the Chow:
The Chow Chow is a compact, powerful breed whose typical appearance is one of leonine self-sufficiency. Chows have thick, rough coats. Chow Chows may be red, cream, brown, or black in color. Chow Chows should have large heads. A proper Chow Chow will carry his/her head erectly. The Chow Chow has deep-set eyes, usually brown in color. A lion-like ruff accentuates the Chow Chow’s short muzzle. The Chow Chow’s nose is broad and black in color. The Chow Chow is noted for possessing a uniquely blue-black tongue. A Chow Chow should have a chest that is broad and deep. Chow Chows are also noted for having an attractive tail that curls over the back. A Chow Chow’s forelegs should be straight, while its hind legs should be heavier and more muscular. A full grown male should stand about 20 in tall and may weigh more than 50 pounds. Females will be only slightly smaller and weigh only slightly less than their male counterparts.
Pros of owning a Chow:
Chow Chows are loyal watchdogs. Chow Chows are steadfast protectors of domicile and family. They are naturally unfriendly to and suspicious of strangers. This helps Chow Chows to be good guard dogs. Chows rarely bite unless threatened or cornered. Chow Chows seem to naturally give a growl warning, at least twice, before attacking or biting a perceived danger.
Chow Chows may be more difficult to train than some other breeds, but have a natural instinct to protect their owners. When properly trained, Chow Chows will give their lives for their homes and families.
Chow Chows are often compared to cats, as they will let their owners know when they want attention and affection. They do not require large amounts of petting and touching, nor do they seem to prefer being fawned over by their owners.
Cons of owning a Chow:
Chow Chows have an independent and sometimes extremely stubborn in nature.
Chow Chows can be jealous. Be cautious when introducing a new baby into the Chow Chow’s home.
Chows are prone to killing small animals such as rodents and cats. A Chow Chow may even leave a mouse or other dead animal at your door as a gift, not unlike a cat. Chow Chows have been known to kill smaller animals just for sport.
Chow Chows are difficult to train, and are not recommended for first time pet owners. If you are unable or unwilling to show your dog who is the boss, don’t buy a Chow Chow.
For more information on Chow Chows, contact your American Kennel Association.