Focus on the Chow Chow

A native of China, the Chow Chow is a stocky medium-sized dog that stands up to 22 inches in height and can weigh up to 70 pounds. This is an easy breed to recognize but to its elaborate, plumed tail, bear-like face, and unique blue tongue. The coat is short and dense and is usually red in color, although black, blue and cream coats are also found.

This ancient breed is thought to have originated in Mongolia round about 200BC. They were used in a number of roles including guarding, herding, hunting and pulling carts. They were also a source of food for the ancient people of this region.

The origin of the name Chow Chow is a matter for some debate. One theory is that it was given to the breed by English sea captains, and that it derives from the colloquial term for cargo. Others suggest that the name means, “food”. The Chow Chow is believed to be the progenitor of several other dog breeds, including the Keeshond, Pomeranian and other Spitz type dogs.

Chows are naturally dominant dogs and require an experience owner and a firm hand. They have a reputation for aggression, but this is mostly unwarranted, and often down to poor breeding practices. It’s been said that “no-one can blank you like a Chow”, and while they do have a tendency to be aloof, at times they can also be affectionate. That affection, though, is normally reserved for the one person they bond with.

They are not a good choice for a family with very young kids, but do well with older children. They also do well with other pets,. as long as they’ve been properly socialized.

If you want to train your Chow, you’ll need the patience of a saint. Chows are very independent and strong-willed, so any training that gets done, will have to be on their terms.However, as training is a must with this breed you’ll have to tough it out. The do like to please their favorite human, so training can succeed with persistence, and lots of patience.

These are healthy dogs, that live on average 15 years. However, they are not immune from the diseases commonly found in purebred dogs. Hip and elbow dysplasia, entropion and gastric torsion are all known to occur. The latter condition is particularly dangerous and will be fatal if not immediately treated by a vet. Feed your dog smaller, more regular meals to mitigate the risk.

Chows are heavy shedders, and that elaborate coat needs daily brushing to keep it looking its best.

The Chow is an independent dog that doesn’t actively seek human companionship, outside of the person they bond with. As such they are quite happy to live outside. The do not do well in warm climates, but their thick coat offers protection in cold weather.

Finding good dog names, for a Chow Chow can be a challenge. Your best bet is to use an online dog names database like Puppy Names HQ, which has literally thousands of excellent dog names, including a mega-list of girl dog names.