Meet the Breed: The Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is a known as the "puffy lion dog" in China. This is an apt description of this dog as it is large and has a large ruff around the neck which looks like a mane. The other striking feature of this breed is the blue-black tongue and mouth. The ears are triangular and upright. The tail is fluffy and curled over the back. The profuse coat may be red, black, blue, cinnamon/fawn, or cream.
The Chow Chow is most likely one of the first descendants of the gray wolf. It originated in Northern China/Mongolia. Some have suggested that the Chow Chow is the ancestor of the Pomeranian, the Samoyed, the Keeshond, Elkhound and Chinese Shar-Pei. The Chinese have employed this dog as a general farm worker including for hunting, herding, cart pulling, guarding, and have even considered them a delicacy for human consumption.
The Chow Chow has been described as having a cat-like personality, meaning they are intelligent, somewhat aloof, and less eager to please than other breeds. This is not a breed for the first-time dog owner. It requires early socialization to ensure this is a good canine citizen. Can coexist with other non-canine pets when raised with cats from an early age. This dog is naturally suspicious of strangers and will be protective of its family. Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance may rise with owning a Chow.
Breed Club Links: Chow Chow Club, Inc.
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Photo courtesy of Olga Filonenko.