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The Chow Chow Dog Breed Profile

Jun 17, 2008
The Chow Chow is an ancient breed from China. It is believed to be one of the oldest of the pure breeds and representations are found in Chinese sculpture dating as far back as 1000 B.C. It may be that he is the origin of many of the Spitz type breeds. The Chow Chow is commonly shortened to just one word, the Chow. He was used in China as a guarding and hunting dog and held in much favor in the Imperial courts. The Chow was a populous breed in China and was also raised as a source of food.

The Chow Chow is shown in the Non Sporting Group in the show ring in the United States. The coat is red, blue, fawn or black, with variations of light and dark in these colors and never with any markings of white. There are two varieties of the coat, the "rough" or long coated and the "smooth" or short coated. Both types of coat are dense and double.

The Chow Chow's most distinguishing characteristic is the color of the tongue, which must always be blue-black in color. The pigment of the lips and gums must also be of the blue black color. The Chow Chow has deep wrinkles in his brow, making him appear to "frown" or "scowl" and this expression is another distinctive characteristic which is a part of the breed standard.

The tail curls over the top of the back. The shoulders and neck of the Chow should have a large ruff, in appearance this should be like the mane of a lion and the legs on both the front and the rear should be heavily "feathered" with longer hairs on the backs of the legs. Chows need to be regularly groomed, the coat will mat and become impossible to care for if left untended.

The overall appearance of the Chow should be that of a nearly "square" dog, with a deep chest and lion-like look about his head and neck. He has a somewhat "stilted" gait, almost rolling in nature. He should move with deliberation and is a beautiful sight in the show ring.

The Chow Chow has a distinct character . This is a dog that displays a certain independence and often seems not to "need" human companionship. A person who is going to purchase a Chow needs to study this breed first and decide whether or not this is the breed for him. They are universally thought of as a "one man, one family" dog. They must be well socialized early in their lives, as they are "stand-offish" and do not fawn over people or demand attention.

They are quite aloof and dignified and are not accepting of strangers. A well-bred and well brought up Chow Chow should not show aggression towards people. They are good watchdogs, setting up a bark to warn of strangers and are devoted and loyal to their immediate family or owner. Chows who are aggressive are usually the product of irresponsible breeding or irresponsible owners and are not representatives of the type of character the Chow should posses.
About the Author
For more information on the Chow Chow or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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