History and origin : The Chow Chow is a member of the Spitz family that is known for over 2000 years. This Chinese breed was once used for guarding and hunting. His thick coat protected him in harsh weather and, unfortunately, provided clothing for the infamous Mongols, who also reportedly used the dog for food.
Description : The Chow Chow stands 16 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 65 pounds. He is a powerful dog with a short, broad muzzle. The coat may be rough or smooth. Through coat is dense, straight, and coarse with a thick undercoat; he sheds profusely, particularly in early summer and needs daily brushing. The smooth coat is shorter and less dense, but sheds just as much. The color may be red, blue, black, fawn, or cream.
About the breed : The Chow Chow is a beautiful dog who tends to be very loyal to only one or two people. Intelligent and intensely stubborn, the Chow is highly resistant to training, particularly when learning the "Down" command. Proud and moody, this dog likes to take the lead and have his own way. He does not like to be touched on the head, legs, or feet, even by his owner, and can be very difficult to groom. The Chow is extremely aloof with strangers and can be vicious, even to family members. He will not tolerate lots of people coming and going and prefers a consistent, predictable environment. He can be very dog-aggressive and has a high prey drive toward small animals. The Chow may bite a stranger who reaches out to pet him. Training must begin early and must be firm and persistent. This breed despises the very idea of submitting to anyone and may attempt to bite even his owner if so inclined. Socialization is crucial and will be the cornerstone of successful ownership of a Chow. Spoiling this breed will create a bossy, dangerous animal. As a Chow owner you will very likely have to deal with challenges to your authority, and you will probably face some aggression problems with this breed, no matter how effective a leader you are. The Chow needs regular exercise each day to stay fit. He is susceptible to hip dysplasia, entropion (a curling in of the eyelids), and skin disorders, and he does not do well in warm climates.
Feeding : Recommended feeding for this breed is 1-1 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 5 cupfuls of a complete dry food.
Ideal home : This breed is not suitable to live in an apartment. A house with a well built-in fence and secluded yard is essential. If you lead a predictable, quiet life, an owner with strong leadership skills, and prefers an aloof, protective, serious dog, then this might be your breed. Chows are not advisable for those who have children. The elderly and the disabled may not be able to establish dominance with a Chow and should consider another breed. There should be no other small animals in the home with a Chow. Spoilers may create a dominant, dangerous animal that bites. Time to train and socialize this breed must be made available.
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