The Chow Chow is probably one of the most impressive appearances in the dog world. Just as idiosyncratic is his character, which his experienced owner shapes into a pleasant and level-headed being. This dog is proud, but whoever manages to gain his trust has the best friend and loyal companion for life.
In eastern Siberia, researchers found the first evidence of “Tatar dogs”, the predecessors of today’s Chow Chows. They have been known as working dogs since the early Stone Age, pulling carts or helping out in hunting on land and in the water. Around the birth of Christ, records were found in northeastern China with clear descriptions: the heavy build, the blue tongue, the thick fur and the straight hind legs. Some opinions point to parallels with the bear in terms of appearance and anatomy.
There are also peculiarities such as the less concentrated urea, the bear-like skull and the higher body temperature compared to other dog breeds. However, the thesis that the chow is a cross between both species is biologically impossible. In the Middle Kingdom, crossing with the Mongolian Shepherd already gave birth to today’s appearance. Many specimens lived as jewelry dogs in the imperial palace, with the common people he was a working dog and was unfortunately also trained for dog fights.
There are several terms and meanings of the name in circulation. The Chinese call this breed Wonk, fluffed lion dog, Hsiung Kou (bear dog), Lang Kau (wolf dog), Kanton Dogs and Hek she (blue tongue). “Gou”, “Kou” and “Gau” simply mean “dog”. In the business and commercial language of pidgin, a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Portuguese and English words, the term chow-chow was formed: First, the spice is called ginger, which is the same color as the dog’s fur. The second translation is “delicacy”: In Asian culture, dog meat is a specialty, with the Chow Chow being very popular because of its particularly tender meat.
Members of the West Indian colonial administration are said to have brought the first Chow Chows to Great Britain around 1780. The pronounced hunting instinct adapted seamlessly to the new situation: Instead of leopards, it now tore sheep and the poultry of English farmers. Around 1820 the first specimens were in the London Zoo, where many people immediately took a liking to this extraordinary dog. Even Queen Victoria fell in love spontaneously and brought animals to her court. From then on, the Chow became the luxury dog of high society. The British Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1894 after pure breeding began in England in 1887. The Chow was also crossed: with his help, the outwardly very similar Eurasier and the Elo were created. The breed came to Germany around 1920, and in 1863 Chows were invited from abroad to an exhibition in Hamburg. The oldest German breed club is the General Chow Chow Club eV, legal successor to the Chow Chow Club founded in 1930 in the German Empire. The VDH has been a member of the VDH since 1950, currently with nine regional groups. The first American chow club was founded in 1906.
The variety with the lush fur and the teddy bear image is admittedly in the focus, but there is, albeit rarely, a short-haired stroke, which in turn comes much closer to the archetypal appearance. As with many other pedigree dogs, dubious ideals of beauty that make life difficult for the animal were also stylized with the Chow. Restricted freedom of movement results from an extremely straight hindquarters and a nose that is too short hinders breathing. Puppies often have to be brought into the world by caesarean section, as their oversized head does not fit through the natural birth canals. Responsible breeders know this and act accordingly. Future dog owners should also carefully examine where the puppy comes from. The reputable website Chow in Not, where many adult animals are looking for a home, has had numerous hits and hits.
The Chow-Chow has an imposing head, large and wide, with hardly any stop. The sullen facial expression (Scowl) is caused by the thick, erect ears, which he wears pointing forward over his eyes, standing wide apart. However, this characteristic must not be caused by wrinkled scalp. The eyes should be medium-sized, oval in shape and dark, with deer-colored and blue fur, the eye color may be suitable. The evenly wide, medium-length muzzle ends in a large nose that is usually black. In the case of almost white and cream-colored chows, the pigmentation may be lighter, in deer-colored and blue specimens the same color is allowed. The muzzle and the lips are ideally completely black, with lighter coat colors the pigmentation is weakened. The strong jaw has a complete scissor bite, the upper incisors reaching over the lower ones. The peculiarity of the breed is the blue coloration of the palate and tongue. The strong, slightly curved neck carries the head upright proudly above the horizontal line of the back. The chest is deep and wide, but not barrel-shaped. The strong body is supported by straight, muscular limbs. The elbow of the forehand is equidistant from the ground and the withers. The hindquarters are also not angled with a deep hock joint. The Chow Chow stands on the toes of its small round paws. As is common in spitz-like breeds, the high-set tail is carried over the back. There are two variants of the coat. The long-haired type is adorned with dense, straight top hair of a rather coarse structure that forms a lush collar. The hind legs are well groomed. The top hairs of the Shorthair Chow are shorter, so that the thick undercoat gives it a plush look. The coat should not be cut, with the exception of the growth on the feet. The fur colors are red, blue, monochrome black, white and cream. Spots or piebalds are undesirable, light shades on the underside of the tail or the habitation are allowed.
Chow Chows are one of the primordial breeds that are genetically highly demarcated. A prehistoric mixture with gray wolves may be reflected in the characteristics of the breed to this day. These dogs are territorial, dominant to occasionally stubborn, at the same time calm and reserved towards strangers. If the Chow Chow feels threatened, it shows less or less clear warning signals than its colleagues, so that visitors are advised to handle them carefully. This means that you should approach the dog from the front if possible so that it is not frightened and defends itself at lightning speed. Thanks to early socialization, preferably in a dog school, in conjunction with the consistent but loving upbringing of an experienced owner, the lion dog develops into a loyal companion who can not be upset so quickly – unless when taking a walk through the In nature he discovers a hare. Then an irrepressible hunting instinct emerges from the four-legged friend, which is usually not so eager to run, like a terrier, so that one should at least keep him on the drag line in the field. As a family dog in an apartment, he usually integrates well, he is fond of children and charming. Walking laps don’t have to be too long, he’d rather go out more often. Since the breed originally comes from the Siberian-Asian region, warmth with the thick coat is perceived as very unpleasant. Even fast dog sports can cause overheating in the long run, if he can be motivated to do so at all, and his steep knee joints are relatively unsuitable for long running or jumping. The strengths of the Chow-Chow are in rescue and search dog work, in guarding properties and as an official dog.
Inwardly curled eyelids, which permanently irritate the eyeball and therefore tear heavily, are more common. The so-called entropion can be corrected surgically. As with the other representatives of the Asian group (Akita, Shar Pei, Dingo and Shiba Inu) a naturally predisposed microcytosis can occur. These are reduced red blood cells that are also too small in the blood. Due to the thick coat, eczema can occur, especially in summer, regular brushing helps remove dead hair and ventilate the skin. Some owners have the winter coat of their Chow sheared briefly (contrary to the breed standard) in order to make the warm season more bearable for him. If young dogs are subjected to excessive physical stress in the first few months, for example by climbing stairs, this can develop into a patellar dislocation or hip dysplasia, which in turn is hereditary. Responsible breeders and keepers have regular preventive checks carried out in order to identify the malfunctions mentioned at an early stage and to treat them successfully.
The Chow Chow at a glance
Origin: China Patronage: Great Britain FCI Standard No. 205, Group 5 Spitz and primitive dogs, Section 5: Asian Spitz and related breeds Alternative names: Lion dog, Wonk, Hek She, Lang Kau Height at the withers: male 48 cm – 56 cm, bitch 46 cm – 51 cmHair coat, long hair: coarse, straight outer hair with a thick undercoatHair coat, short hair: protruding, plush-like dense Coat color: fawn, monochrome black, blue, red, white, cream, often shadedEyes: oval shape, dark or matched to the lighter coat colorEars: carried upright, small, thick , rounded at the tips, physique: strong, short, straight back, use: herding dog, sled dog, tracking dog, companion dog, character: calm, reserved, headstrong, very vigilant, health risks: entropion, hip dysplasia, eczema, microcytosis, patellar luxation, life expectancy: 9 – 12 years
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