Chow Chow Studs

The Chow Chow is a dog with an unusual character. Very independent and cautious of strangers by nature, it is an excellent guardian. Discreet, silent, neither very playful nor very active, it prefers to lead a quiet life. One thing to note is that due to its strong temperament, it is a dog only suitable for pet lovers with experience, since educating them as pets will not be an easy task.

History and origins

Despite being a very ancient breed, its origins are uncertain. Used in China as a war dog, it soon went on to function as a sled dog, guard dog, and finally as an animal highly prized for its meat and skins. The English quickly adopted the breed during the 19th century, and it was the early English breeders and their studs that were responsible for the breed reaching the rest of Europe from the United Kingdom. There is much discussion regarding the breed’s name in English, but the most popular explanation is the term from pidgin-English used by 19th-century mariners to refer to miscellaneous cargo for sale which was not included on the ship’s manifest – ‘chow chow‘.

History and origins

  • Life expectancy: Between 9 and 12 years
  • Character: Quiet
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat types: Short, Long

Types of coat

Their hair can be short or long. Long-haired chows have an abundant, thick, smooth and loose coat. The outer coat is coarse, while the undercoat is soft and woolly. Short-haired dogs also have a thick, loose coat, thick but not smooth, with a fluffy undercoat. In both varieties, the structure of the fur is thicker at the neck level and shapes the breed’s characteristic mane.

The coat is of a single colour: black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white. They can present nuanced tones, but never spots of another colour. A multi-coloured specimen is not considered within the official KC breed standard.

Eye colour

The eyes should be dark in colour, but lighter shades are tolerated for blue and cream-haired specimens so that the eyes look in harmony with their fur.

Physical characteristics

The physical structure of this compact dog features a short back and a lion-like appearance, with a proud bearing. It also has the peculiarity of having a blue-black tongue. The features of its face make it look somewhat sullen.

Character

Even if this breed’s attachment to its social group is real, this dog does not usually show signs of affection, which can make it appear cold and distant with its own.

Its proud and independent temperament makes it an especially calm animal. It is not very playful nor requires a lot of attention, so as pets they may be suitable for people who do not want to constantly respond to their dog’s calls for attention.

Previously, they were used as a guard or hunting dog, but now primarily as companion pets or exhibition animals.

It has a healthy distrust of strangers. Although very faithful and protective of its social group, it distrusts any strangers who approach their territory.

For this reason, as pets, their few displays of affection will be for their masters and not for new people. In short, these dogs do not like to be caressed by strangers, especially not on the head.

Behaviour

The Chow Chow tolerates loneliness very well, and the absence of its owners does not cause the least stress. Due to its homely and calm character, it does not like to be disturbed; tranquillity is very important to it.

The education of this magnificent breed is quite difficult, due to its strong temperament and its sometimes total indifference to interactions with people. By its nature, it will not be very interested in obeying the orders of its owners. To remedy this, it will be necessary to educate it from puppyhood, be patient, consistent and assertive.

Being quiet, discreet and with a taste for solitude, this breed is not at all destructive. It can spend several hours a day completely alone without doing any kind of damage at home.

Despite its apparent indifference to its social group, it is very attached in its own way and shows it with a highly developed protective instinct.

If what you are looking for is a pet that protects the home, this breed may be a good option, since it will defend its territory without hesitation.

This Chinese breed is not suitable for any type of owner. People without prior experience will find this breed difficult to handle. Being neither playful nor gluttonous, their education requires a very good knowledge of the particularities of this breed to get the best results.

Its strong temperament, independence and strength are fundamental aspects that must be taken into account before making the decision to adopt one.

Exercise

Despite its past as a hunting and sled dog, nowadays it is not at all sporty. As with other dogs, it will be necessary to take it out for a walk a couple of times a day, making sure that these sessions are not very long.

The physical activity should be quite moderate but it will be necessary to maintain a minimum level of activity so that it does not gain weight.

The Chow Chow and children

This dog will be able to coexist without problem with the little ones in the home, although care must be taken with babies and young children. It does not tolerate noise and movement by others in its immediate surroundings very well. Children will have to be taught to respect certain rules of coexistence so that this little animal does not feel overwhelmed.

Price

The price of a good specimen for sale varies depending on its origins, age, gender and overall physical structure. In the UK, a litter of puppies with a pedigree will cost around £11,000 to £15,000. KC recognized lineages can exceed £20,000 at sale. Seeking popular features, such as a blue coat, can also influence the price. You can expect to pay a stud fee of around £500 for a good sire. Although the size of each litter can vary, the average size of litters is 4-6 puppies, some of which will be kept for breeding and others put up for sale.

Cleanliness

Maintaining the hygiene of this breed with thick fur can be a bit laborious, especially if it is a long-haired animal. It is recommended to brush it regularly, even on a daily basis if it is shedding, to avoid knot formation and maintain the natural shine of its coat.

In addition, their eyes will have to be checked to detect early signs of infection, since this dog tends to tear a lot.

Diet

The food you provide must be of high quality since it is an animal prone to developing gastric problems. Whether commercial, homemade or raw food, the quality of the ingredients must be a priority. For good digestion, it is best to divide its daily intake into 2 or 3 meals throughout the day. Puppies especially must have an adequate and quality diet to guarantee their healthy growth.

Health

Their life expectancy is approximately 10 years. Although a robust dog, unfortunately, it is paying the consequences of excessive selection. Fortunately, its thick coat and woolly undercoat give it excellent protection against the typically bad English weather.

Weight gain

This breed is prone to obesity due to its little interest in exercise. That is why it is essential to take care of diet and adapt it to the age of the animal, its activity level and state of health.

Common diseases

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Entropion (creasing of the eyelids)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ligament problems (cruciate ligament tear)
  • Skin diseases (allergies, pyodermatitis, alopecia, etc.)
  • Patella dislocation
  • Pemphigus (set of autoimmune immune diseases)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Chow Chows be aggressive?
On occasions, yes. But normally, although they a primitive breed, they only distrust strangers, and will protect their territory if necessary.
Can a Chow Chow kill a human?
Although not a naturally aggressive dog, there has been more than one case of an attack on humans. But it is much more likely to bite another dog while protecting its territory than bite a human. In most cases, poor training of puppies can be identified as a factor in attacks on humans.
Do people eat Chow Chows?
In China, historically, this breed was famous for its meat and was bred to be eaten, among other purposes. This practice was abandoned long ago, and in the UK, it is illegal for dog meat to be sold commercially.
Why do Chows turn on their owners?
As previously stated, this breed is extremely territorial and will attack if it feels threatened, especially in its own resting place. Although it will be submissive to its master if trained properly, poor training and abuse can lead to any dog turning on its owner.
What makes a good stud?
A good Chow Chow stud should be of good pedigree, healthy, and with the test results to prove it. Ideally, the stud should be KC registered. Check their overall physical structure and especially the eyes for any issues. You should also research previous litter production to see the results produced and if they are in line with what you want. Are you looking for specific features such as a full blue coat or just a hint of blue? Be clear about what you want before looking for a suitable stud.

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