This distinctive-looking dog breed has a proud, independent spirit that some describe as catlike.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Chow Chow.
As with most dog breeds, the chow chow's beginnings are a little unclear. It’s believed that the dogs have been around for roughly 2000 to 3000 years. Historians have found records of a chow-like dog in texts from the 11th century, and Marco Polo wrote about them in his travels. Some believe the chow is a result of mixing the mastiff of Tibet with the Samoyed in northern Siberia. Others insist the chow influenced the Samoyed, the Norwegian elkhound, the keeshond, and the Pomeranian. Some suspect that the Siberian dogs made their way to Mongolia, and were eventually brought to China by the Mongols. The bear-like dogs were then welcomed into Tibetan monasteries.
We might call the dogs chow chows, but in China, the breed is called songshi quan. The name ‘chow chow’ comes from a pidgin-English term used to describe anything coming from the East in the 18th century. The catch-all phrase was meant to describe various knick-knacks or tchotchkes like dolls, porcelain, and other curios and, despite being living creatures, the dogs were roped in with the other baubles. As a result, the chow chow inherited the name from merchants who could not be bothered to properly mark what they were shipping.
3) Cat-like Personality
Their cat-like personalities make them independent, stubborn and less eager to please than other breeds. They require early socialization and training, and some kind of exercise daily. The strong willed, stubborn Chow needs an equally strong willed, stubborn owner! This breed has a mind of its own and may easily become your master if you let it.
We tend to think of dogs as good swimmers, but not all breeds are built alike in that respect. Chow chows do not do very well in the water, and once again, it's all that thick fur that's to blame. The breed enjoys two coats, including a very wooly undercoat that's great for keeping the dogs warm in cold weather, but that coat becomes waterlogged and quite heavy when wet.
5) Tongue Color
One thing that might surprise someone new to the breed is the chow’s uniquely-colored tongue. As puppies, the dogs have standard pink tongue, but with age, their tongues turn much darker. Full grown chow chows have blue-black tongues that look almost lizard-like. The only other dog to sport this unusual tongue is the Chinese Shar-Pei.
The chow has a bad rap for being a kind of a jerk. The dogs are often aggressive and distrustful of strangers; some insurance companies refuse to cover chow chow owners. Typically, the chow is a one-person dog that bonds to one owner and scorns the rest. This rude and sometimes dangerous behavior can be prevented with proper training and socialization. With the right upbringing—and plenty of exercise—the chow can be the perfect furry companion.
It should come as no surprise that the soft, fluffy coat that makes a chow chow so attractive demands some intense upkeep. Bathing at least once a month is a must, as well as weekly brushing to keep the chow chow's significant shedding at bay. Chow chows also need regular clipping, not just to look good, but to keep hair out of the eyes where it can impair vision.
8) Sigmund Freud
The famous psychoanalyst once had a chow chow named Jofi that would frequently sit in on his sessions. The furry dog made children feel more relaxed, and even helped Freud analyze his patients: Jofi had a way of telling who was nervous and would only approach calm patients. “Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object relations,” he wrote.
According to the American Kennel Club, chow chows come in five colors: black, blue, cinnamon, cream, and red. Their coats can also either be smooth or rough.
The Chow Chow is generally healthy, but is certainly not in the category of healthiest dog breeds. In fact, this dog is susceptible to all kinds of diseases, including those of genetic nature and certain eyes health problems. So, the Chow can suffer from canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, lymphoma, autoimmune thyroiditis, diabetes mellitus, bloat, myotonia, patellar luxation, juvenile cataracts, glaucoma, entropion, canine pemphigus, and is at high risk for gastric cancer and skin melanoma. Now, when you look at this long list of diseases, it might seem this breed is a complete hopeless wreck, but that is actually not the case. You see, all these health conditions can be easily avoided with proper care and treatment.