Chow Rescue in Canada
Is A Chow Right For You?
The Chow Chow is a breed of dog that was first developed in Mongolia about 4,000 years ago and was later introduced into China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan (Pinyin: sōngshī quǎn 鬆獅犬), which literally means "puffy lion-dog".
The chow chow is one of the world's oldest breed of dog.This ancient breed was once used to hunt tigers and bears and was also prized for its ability to scent, point, and retrieve pheasant and quail. The Chow was also revered as a ferocious guard and keen shepherd. Their work did not end here—they were also used for pulling sledges, employed to protect caravans and served as sentry on sampans and junks. The blue-tongued Songshi Quan while undoubtedly related to the Tibetan and other Asian sheepdogs and mastiffs, its development was also greatly influenced by the ferocious wardogs, hounds and smaller spitz-type dogs from Siberia and Mongolia, introduced to different parts of China throughout history by the various invading tribes, resulting in the establishment of Northern and Southern variants within the breed, as well as the Mongolian and Manchurian sub-types, which were traditionally distinguished by height, weight and colour differences from one another. As a working dog, the Tang Quan was employed for a variety of jobs, from pulling sleds, herding cattle and guarding property to performing a range of hunting duties and fighting other dogs. Also, its meat was a very popular food item and its rich fur was used for clothing purposes in the region until the early 20th century, when this practice and dog-meat trade were officially forbidden in China.
Although recognized as a Chinese breed, it should be noted that these dogs were also common in Korea and other regions in Asia, including Tibet and possibly even Japan, but the present-day incarnation of the Chow Chow was actually developed in England, where it first appeared in the 1780's, only to be kept and bred by the London Zoo, before a number of specimens were given to Queen Victoria in 1865 as watchdogs. Native names like Songshi Quan, Mang, Ti Ao, Man Kout Chao and Tang Quan were dismissed in favour of British ones, two of these being the "Foreign Dog" and "Chinese Edible Dog", before the fanciers settled on the still-current Chow Chow misnomer. Early imported Tang Quan representatives and other Chow-like dogs were too aggressive and had greatly varied in size, leading to the selection and breeding programmes in Britain aimed at establishing an exotic breed of uniform appearance and agreable personality,
The Chow Chow is a fiercely loyal animal; they will protect their family to the ends of their ability. This trait makes him a good choice as a watchdog. If you mess with anything that he considers his own, he will probably bite!
Chows tend to be very independent, and while they will always know where you are in your home, they are not constantly underfoot, or in your face, needing attention as do some of the more dependent breeds.
Despite their quiet nature, chows are natural guardians. They do not need and should not have special watch dog training. The Chow Chow will instinctively guard your home, which is one of the reasons they require extensive socialization. They need to learn that not all strangers are threats.
Friends and strangers should wait to be properly introduced. Most Chows are not given to indiscriminate friendships and do not need or want attention from every person that crosses their path. This does not mean that people should be afraid of Chow Chows. This does mean people should treat Chows as the beautiful, noble breed they are, giving them their space and respect, not forcing themselves on the dog.
The Chow Chow is not a suitable dog for large families or visitors or homes with an open door policy with friends, neighbours and family constantly coming & going, and we can't stress this enough. This would make the Chow Chow a very wrong choice for you. You must always remember the original design and purpose of a chow, which was to be: " a guard dog", so needless to say, you or a close family member who lives in your home, will have to walk your own chow. Don't expect your chow to be happy about letting in dog walkers and baby sitters. Chows are not recommended for first time dog owners either, and our rescue is no exception to that philosophy, because 90% of chows in shelters got there through mis-management by their owners. Yes, they are cute and cuddly looking balls of fur, but there is a lot more to the breed, and this must be respected by all chow owners.
A chow chow is a cautious, singular, devoted breed that dislikes strangers and acts very protective and reserved. It's like a well-to-do gentleman that's not outgoing or stranger-friendly. It can even take special preference for the main owner at the expense of the family.
Nowadays, it is well adapted to family dog life. It's serious tone toward strangers can be discouraging to visitors, and it seems to have territorial and protective instincts for its owner's home. Chows are quite fine staying alone for most of the day, but it has tight bonds with its owner. The Chow Chow is one of the most ancient dog breeds, and, although it originated from the wild wolf, it looks nothing like it.
Chow chows are famous and historically relevant because they were probably accompaniments to the Mongolian hordes during their invasions of China, the Middle East, and Europe in the early part of the last millennium.
Their popularity soon spread to the United States, and the American Kennel Club classified the Chow as a member of the Non-Sporting group. The Chow Chow weighs between 45 to 70 pound and stands 17 to 20 inches high. Some people have commented that its down turned lips can give this breed an almost angry appearance.
Combine this with its lion like mane, and it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that this dog is somewhat unfriendly. But the truth is, that they are very devoted to their families, and usually adore children, but they can very standoffish and aloof towards strangers, and sometimes, towards other pets.
The full coated Chow Chow has a profuse, thick double coat with a definite undercoat. Red, is the most common coat color, but blue, black, cream and cinnamon are also popular. Chows need regular grooming to keep their coat in healthy condition. There are two distinct coat types. A full coat, and a smooth coat chow. The smooth coated chow requires less attention to his coat, but still requires grooming from time to time to keep the coat healthy and vibrant.
The heavier Chows are not a particularly active breed and are well suited to apartment life. Be prepared to take your chow for a brisk, daily walk, even if you have a fenced yard that he can explore.
If you are taking him to the park, be wary of other dogs. Many dogs don't understand the nearly inaudible "clicking" sounds that a chow can make when greeting new friends. Many dogs often can't see the tail waggling on the back, nor the position of the ears, so from time to time can entirely mis-interpret signals given off by very hairy chows. Body language is a very important aspect of communication between canines. If a dog can't see these signals and postures, sometimes, intentions can be mis-interpreted. Please be wary of this. Like any properly socialized dog, chows can often live together with other dogs, cats and other animals.
The Chow Chow is an extremely POOR choice for people who assume to use underground electronic collar type or invisible fencing containment methods. Ourselves and almost all chow chow breeders will discourage you from using this type of device. They are not good for chows.. period. We will not adopt any chow to individuals using this type of fencing . Keepin mind that underground fencing does not keep unwanted visitors out of your yard either.
It is our observation that the mature adoption Chow Chow IS a better choice for the 1st time dog owner than a puppy would be. Chows are not considered an entry level breed to being with, and new chow enthusiasts would most likely fare better with a senior or adult chow rather than a young one that requires socialization, schooling and formation. An adult chow will have already formed it's character so there are far less surprises for the first time owner, so unless you have chow experience, or unless you are absolutely prepared to take your chow to school, consider a mature chow instead or as a stepping stone towards puppydom somewhere down the road.
While it's true that there are some extremely docile chows, even they are true to their original design and purpose and are better suited to dog owners who are comfortable with assertive breeds. Puppy classes and obedience classes can be a very good method to socialize your puppy and even a mature chow an in some instances we contractually oblige the adopter to attend at least one session of obedience school with their dog if we feel you do not have enough canine experience.
Chows are inclined to be aloof towards people outside of their immediate family. They are not interested in being everyone's friend, and generally speaking, are very independent and often willful. Chows also have a tendency to dominate people if they are allowed to. Inexperienced dog owners can find themselves being bullied, sometimes even threatened, so it essential that you are firm, but fair with your Chow. Consistency is paramount with this breed, and so is previously attained dog training knowledge.
Chows chows from our rescue are evaluated based on the qualities and characteristics of their breed.
We are committed to informing our adopters of the individual temperaments of our chows so that there are no surprises.
We try as much as possible to match the personality of the adoption chow to that of the future home to create a win/win situation. The chow chow is NOT an entry level breed of dog, so if you are new to dog ownership, we encourage you to seek out other, more docile breeds of dogs.
If you are looking for a dog to jump through hoops, run races, impress your guests with dog tricks, a chow is NOT for you.
If you are looking for a fiercely loyal, demure and unconditional friend and companion, then a chow is the perfect choice.
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