For those of you dog lovers out there who’ve always wanted to own a lion, we have good news! Now you can! We’re talking about the Chow Chow dog breed. Not only does the Chow Chow resemble a lion with a full mane of bushy brown fur, but the general disposition of this breed is […]
For those of you dog lovers out there who’ve always wanted to own a lion, we have good news! Now you can! We’re talking about the Chow Chow dog breed. Not only does the Chow Chow resemble a lion with a full mane of bushy brown fur, but the general disposition of this breed is as “lion like” as they come!
Originating in China during the Han dynasty of 206 BC to 220 AD, this noble and magnificent dog breed loyally guarded royal Chinese palaces, keeping both royalty and their priceless heirlooms safe. At that time, this dog breed wasn’t called “Chow Chow,” and to this day historians aren’t certain what these royal guard dogs were called.
It was the English who deemed these lovely lions of the canine world “Chow Chow,” as imported spices and delicacies shipped from East Asia were guarded by these dogs. In other words, in the eyes of the English, the dogs that made sure the Chinese food arrived in England must be the “Chow Chows.”
Oh, lighten up! It was the 1700’s! Besides, Chow Chows don’t mind. Their confident dignity helps keep their chins up, as long as you love them!
Here’s why the Chow Chow is a puppy you’ll forever love!
The Chow Chow is a medium-to-large sized dog. Standing at 20 inches paw to shoulder, these adults have a hefty, sturdy physique and can weigh as much as 70 lbs of pure muscle. This purebred dog breed comes in a variety of solid colors, which are cream, red, cinnamon, black, and blue. The most common Chow Chow color is cream, and this color often appears darker brown around the face of the dog.
Thanks to the very thick, double-coat of fur, the Chow Chow can appear twice its natural size. The fur tends to be longer and bushier around the head and under the chin, creating a “lion’s mane” look that adds to the Chow Chow’s fierceness. This dog has intense, black eyes, and conveys a “serious” demeanor thanks to its natural facial expression. This can be an added benefit for anyone who wants an intimidating looking guard dog. In the dead of night, an intruder might mistake your Chow Chow for a bear or lion, and really regret targeting your house!
The Chow Chow has a dynamic personality in which strangers will encounter an entirely different side of your Chow Chow than the one you and your family know and love. This is because Chow Chows are highly loyal guard dogs. They would easily die for the families they love. And since they’ve been used as royal guard dogs since the days of Ancient China, this instinct is pretty much baked into their DNA.
What this means for Chow Chow owners is that you should apply special time and attention to thoroughly socializing your Chow Chow when he’s a puppy. Socialization, i.e. exposing your puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and things, will help to train your dog to accept that not all strangers are a threat to you and your children. That being said, you should still exercise caution when introducing your Chow Chow to new people. When friends, family, or anyone comes to your home for the first time, make a special point to introduce your Chow Chow to these new people, and reward him for being calm and friendly. A well-socialized Chow Chow will act aloof and indifferent to new people, not aggressive.
Chow Chows are intelligent dogs and enjoy being trained. They’re not self-willed or stubborn, but as puppies they will test their owners during training. Mostly the Chow Chow puppy will try to get you to play. Keep your basic training sessions short with your Chow, spending no more than 5 – 8 minutes a session. As long as you integrate the commands you’re teaching your puppy into daily life, the actual training sessions need not occur more than twice a week.
If you get a Chow Chow puppy from Petland Florida, we highly recommend that you use our Free 6-Week Puppy Training Course that meets in-person once per week. During this puppy training course, you will learn from one of our trainers how to communicate with your puppy. This is a great bonding experience for new puppy owners and their puppies!
Chow Chows have moderate-to-intense exercise needs. The average Chow will be happiest and remain at its healthiest if it receives four leisurely-paced walks per day. These walks need not be long. A walk around the block will do it. But if getting up and out the door with your Chow Chow four times a day sounds like too much, then this breed may not be a good match, as a cooped up Chow can become destructive within the home.
For this reason, Chows do very well in families where multiple family members take turns bringing their Chow Chow out for walks. Chow Chows also like general outdoor play, such as playing fetch, tug-of-war, and even light wrestling. Since Chow Chows have a very thick coat of fur, which helped them stay warm in the frigid East Asian mountains for thousands of years, it’s best not to walk or exercise your Chow during the hottest hours of the day.
Depending on whether your Chow Chow has a smooth or rough coat of fur, you’ll probably need to brush him three times per week or daily. You will soon see the density of your Chow’s coat, and should brush him accordingly. Chow Chows love being brushed because it’s a way to bond with their favorite person! Brushing regularly will prevent matting, and as long as you brush your Chow to meet its needs, you won’t have to go to the professional dog groomers more than twice a year.
That being said, we recommend that you bathe your Chow Chow at home at least once every six weeks. If that’s not possible, then taking him to the groomers for bathing will be necessary. You should also check your Chow Chow for fur, skin, and ear issues, and finger through its coat regularly to look for and remove ticks if your Chow Chow spends a lot of time outside.
Do you want a cuddle monster who will keep your family safe? Have you always wanted to live with a lion that longs to be your best friend? Would you like to know that your children will be safe at night if left alone with your loyal dog? If you answered yes to these questions, then you can’t go wrong inviting a Chow Chow into your home. Just don’t expect your Chow to come bringing a boatload of Chow Mein! That’s racist!