Chow Chow (Rough)

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Chow
Country/Date of origin:
  • China
  • First century
  • 18 to 22 inches
  • 45 to 70 pounds
  • It may look cuddly, but the Chow is not a breed to toy with.  It demands respect.
  • They are one-person dogs.
  • Unpredictable with other animals.  Will attack for no apparent reason
  • Very stubborn.
  • A natural guard.

One of the oldest recognizable breeds of dogs.  The Chow Chow is readily identifiable in northeast Asian artifacts that date before Christ.  The original purpose of this large member of the Spitz family was as a hunting dog.  A seventh century emperor of China is said to have kept over 4.000 Chows in his sporting kennel.  The breed gradually became more commonly used as a guard dog in temples.  It was attributed with mystical, supernatural powers and its terrifying warrior scowl was thought to scare off evil spirits.  No doubt the scowl and the Chow’s willingness to back it up with action worked quite well on humans with evil intentions, too.  The first Chows left the Orient in the 1880′s bound for England.  From there, they made it across the Atlantic in less than 10 years.  This breed is firmly in the top twenty most popular breeds in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • Massive, compact body with a distinctive lion-like ruff around the head, unusual blue-black tongue, and a frowning expression.
  • The tail is set high and curved over the back.  It is never altered.
  • Small, erect ears blend into the ruff and are never altered.
  • A stilted gait with a short stride is a unique characteristic of the Chow Chow.
  • Dense, brush-like, double coat is made up of a coarse outer coat and a soft, woolly undercoat.
  • Permissible colors are solid black, red, blue, fawn, or cream.
  • Sheds heavily in the summer.
  • Significant grooming is necessary to prevent matting.
Health and Wellness:
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Pulmonic stenosis.
  • Entropion.
  • Renal dysplasia.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Uveodermatologic syndrome.
  • Pemphigus foliaceus.
  • Idiopathic epilepsy.
  • Alopecia X.
  • Demodicosis.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Melanoma (oral).
What you should know:
  • The Chow Chow got its name from English sailors who referred to it by the term the Chinese gave to miscellaneous cargo or bric-a-brac.
  • Chinese, at one time, used the Chow Chow for food and utilized the pelts for clothing.  This is still a common practice among nomadic tribesmen in the Arctic regions, where the Chow Chow is thought to have originated.
  • A blue tongue is a breed hallmark.  It is not unique among dogs, however.  The Shar Pei, for instance, also has a blue tongue.
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