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rec.pets.dogs: Chow Chow Breed-FAQ
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 10 Nov 1997
There are nearly 100 FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-fa.../faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
* Steven Miller, Updated October 8th, 1997
With information from the Chow Chow Club Inc's _Hello I am the Chow
Chow_ and the new CCCI pamphlet _An Oriental Masterpiece .... the Chow
Table of Contents
* Training and Socialization
* Medical Problems
+ Select E-Mail Lists
+ Select Web Sites!
+ Select Books
+ Select Magazines
+ Select Chow Chow Club Publications
+ Select Videos
+ Select Organizations
Definitely one of the most impressive of all breeds, the Chow Chow is
an awesome creature with his lion-like appearance and regal manner.
Looking a little like a cross between a lion and a bear, the true
origin of the Chow is unknown and lost deep within Chinese antiquity.
The Chow as it is known today is easily recognizable in pottery and
sculptures of the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 BC to 22 AD); other
artifacts indicate that he was even a much older breed and may have
come originally from the Arctic Circle, migrating to Mongolia, Siberia
Some scholars claim the Chow was the original ancestor of the Samoyed,
Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian and Keeshond. In more recent times,
that is, in the T'ang Dynasty (7th Century AD), it is reported that
one Chinese emperor kept 2,500 of these _Chow Dogs_ to accompany his
ten thousand hunters! Admired by emperors as well as Western royalty,
used by Chinese peasants for food and clothing, and a favorite of the
Hollywood movie star set in the 1920's, the Chow Chow has had a
How the Chow got his blue/black tongue is a mystery. An old fable
offers a theory: When God was painting the sky blue, He spilled a few
drops of paint as he worked. The Chow followed after, licking up the
paint and from that day on, the Chow Chow has had a blue tongue!
The Chow came to America by way of England where it had been brought
from China in the late 1700's. Sailors returning from the east brought
them back in the cargo holds of trade ships. _Chow Chow_ was a slang
term applied to the large variety of items carried by these ships.
Like a nickname, the term stuck to these dogs.
Chows first appeared at AKC dog shows in the late 1800's. The Chow
Chow Club, Inc. (CCCI) was formed in 1906. The breed first knew
general popularity in the 1930's when President Calvin Coolidge kept a
Chow (Timmy) in the White House. The Chow again soared to popularity
in the 1980's. Another notable Chow fancier was Sigmund Freud. After
his death, his daughter, Anna Freud, continued to keep his Chows as
well as raise her own. Martha Stewart is also a Chow fancier and her
chows can be regularly seen on her television show.
For further reading we suggest the following article by David Cavill:
The Chow Chow
The Chow Chow's disposition is quite different from other breeds. They
are catlike in their attitudes: aloof, reserved with affection,
independent, dignified and stubborn. Although their soft fur is ripe
for hugging, they don not always enjoy being fussed over by children
or strangers. The Chow is very intelligent but like a cat, not as
highly motivated to please their masters as most other breeds. They
seem to please themselves first. They do not tolerate physical
punishment. Hitting or beating a Chow may result in viciousness or a
broken spirit. The Chow expects to be treated with dignity and
respect. He will return that respect with undying loyalty if he
believes you are worthy of it.
The Chow Chow's temperament is often misunderstood by people who do
not understand the breed's unique nature. Naturally suspicious of
strangers and territorial, they take their homes and families very
seriously as well their responsibility to protect what they love. On
his own property and without his owner present, the Chow may appear to
be quite fierce. He will seldom let a stranger pass unchallenged.
People used to the warm welcomes of other breeds may be startled by
the seriousness of the Chow. Once greeted by the owner and accepted
into the home, the Chow should accept the stranger but may be reserved
in his desire to _make friends_.
The Chow Chow's appearance also contributes to myths about his
temperament. The scowling face, small deep-set eyes and lion-like ruff
are intimidating. The Chow's natural aloofness, dignity and
indifference to people outside his family is often misinterpreted by
people who expect all dogs to be outwardly friendly and affectionate.
The Chow saves his affections for those he loves most dearly and finds
little reason to seek attention from anyone else. He minds his own
business and simply does not care what strangers think of him.
Training and Socialization
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. Chow puppies are naturally well-behaved,
seldom destructive or disobedient. Because of their good behavior,
some owners feel that training is not necessary. When an untrained
Chow reaches adolescence, though, he may refuse to accept authority.
We have found that most people who experience behavior problems with
their Chows failed to train and socialize them properly.
Socialization is the ongoing process in which the Chow puppy is taught
to accept new people, other dogs and environments outside his home
with politeness and calm. Socialization should begin at birth with
regular handling by the Chow's breeder. A responsible breeder
introduces the puppy to as many new experiences as possible before the
puppy is placed into its permanent home.
It is critical that you continue the socialization process by
regularly introducing him to strangers, children, animals and places
outside of your home. Socialization with children is especially
important if the dog is to be good with them as an adult. Teach
children how to hold and pet the puppy properly so that all his
experiences with them are pleasant. Puppy _kindergarten_ classes
hosted by your local kennel club are excellent opportunities for
As soon as your puppy is old enough, you and he should attend
obedience classes with a qualified instructor. The AKC or your
veterinarian can refer you to local kennel clubs that host these
classes. Training should continue at home and obedience commands
should be incorporated into your Chow's daily life. A well-trained
Chow is a joy to live with! He is a happier dog because he knows what
is expected of him and how to please you. He can go more places and do
more things with you because he knows how to behave properly.
Generally, Chows are _poor risks_ when anesthesia is involved, and
Chows should be treated by the veterinarian as he would treat a
Bulldog or any extremely short-muzzled dog.
If your Chow tears more than you feel is normal, he may have
_entropion,_ a turning-in of the eyelashes. If your Chow tears
excessively, consult your veterinarian for advice.
Another problem with the Chow is that he is subject to heat
prostration if left in a hot, closed-in area or in the sun. He is
particularly bothered by extremely high humidity, especially if the
temperature climbs above eighty degrees.
Skin Problems / Allergies
Skin problems are becoming more common within the breed. Hot-spots,
allergies and probably the most common causes. If your Chow starts
scratching excessively or has raw, irrated skin that looks infected
consult your veterinarian immediately.
The Chow needs to be brushed at least twice weekly or more if
possible. Grooming is essential to keep the long, thick coat in peak,
clean condition. Chows have a dense undercoat that supports the
coarser outer coat and gives it its fluffy appearance. Many adult
Chows have a ruff almost like that of a lion that must be handled with
care because it can be stripped away by too much grooming. The puppy
undercoat, however should be brushed out when it starts to loosen so
that the adult coat may come in properly. Always brush out the dead
coat and be careful that the remaining coat does not mat. Both a rake
brush and a pin brush (both kinds are available at any pet store and
even at most supermarkets) are needed to keep the coat in good, clean
condition. The rake is useful in the removal of the fluffy undercoat
and the pin brush to groom the longer, off-standing guard hairs which
are of coarser quality. Nails should be trimmed regularly to a
Chows should be kept in a fenced-in area or inside the house in a room
where they have a good deal of freedom. Chows should not be put on a
chain for they resent the feeling of being _trapped_. Let your Chow
have as much freedom as you have to offer within the limits of his
safety and welfare.
The Standard is the physical _blueprint_ of the breed. It describes
the physical appearance and other desired qualities of the breed
otherwise known as _type_. Some characteristics, such as size, coat
quality, and movement, are based on the original (or current) function
for the dog. Other characteristics are more cosmetic such as eye
color; but taken together they set this breed apart from all others.
The Standard describes an _ideal_ representative of the breed. No
individual dog is perfect, but the Standard provides an ideal for the
breeder to strive towards.
Chow Chows are typically between 17 and 20 inches at the shoulders and
usually weigh between 40 and 70 pounds. Chows can be any of 5
different colors: red, cinnamon (dilute of red), black, blue (dilute
of black), and cream (dilute).
The Illustrated Standard of the Chow Chow can be found on the Chow
Chow Club web site. A text copy of the Chow Chow Standard can also be
Chow Chow Email-Lists
ChowChow-H A Chow Chow Chat List
ChowChow-L A Discussion list for Serious Breeders and Fanciers
type _subscribe "Your Full Name" _in the body of the message.
Selected Web Sites
The Chow Chow Club Inc. Home Page
Chow Chow Club of Greater New York
North Texas Chow Chow Club
Wisconsin Chow Chow Club
Chow Chow Club of Ireland
Chow Chows of Spain
The Swedish Chow Chow Club
Chow Chow Club of Victoria
* _The Book of the Chow Chow_ by Dr. Samuel Draper & Joan Brearly
* _The Canadian Chow Sourcebook_ by Jennifer Bunting
* _The Chow Chow_ by Anna Katherine Nicholas
* _The Complete Chow Chow_ by Kip Kopatch
* _The World of the Chow Chow_ by Dr. Samuel Draper & Joan Brearly
* _Topsy: The Story of a Golden-Haired Chow_ by Marie Bonaparte
* _The Proper Care of the Chow Chow,_ Bob and Love Banghart, 1995
* _The Chow Chow: An Owner's Guide To A Happy Health Pet,_ Paulette
* _Ko-Ko the Chow Chow_, Jay Hanover. KoKryp Press, P.O. Box 211545
August GA, 30917
The Chow Chow Annual
Hoflin Publishing Ltd
4401 Zephry Street
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-3299
(303) 934-5656 or (800) 352-5678 for orders only
$40.00, add $5 outside USA
Chow Chow Club Inc. Publications
The official publication of the Chow Chow Club, Inc.
Carol Patterson, Editor
P.O. Box 1070
Chester, CA 96020
$30.00 year, $50.00 outside USA
_Handbook for the Chow Fancier_
Chow Chow Club Inc.
500 Oak Glen Trace
Birmingham, AL 35244
$25.00, add $10 outside USA
_Yearly Chow Chow Club Inc. Statistician's Reports (1979-present)_
_Annually updated Published Champions Report (1979-present)_
CCC Inc. Statistician
121 Mountain Drive
Sound Windsor, CT 06074
$15.00 for the Statistician's Committee Report
$25.00 for the Published Champions Report
_Illustrated Standard of the Chow Chow_
CCCI Judges Education
164 W. Birnie Slough Road
Cathlamet, WA 98612-9714
_The Chow Chow_
_The American Kennel Club_
Video interpretation of the Chow Chow standard with examples of Chows.
_How To Raise A Happy, Healthy Chow_
Deep Cove Productions
6282 Kathleen Avenue, Suite 502
Burnaby, BC V5H 4J4 Canada
Tel (604) 431-2917; Fax (604) 431-2918
$39.95 + $5 shipping & handling
Local taxes apply for Canadian and BC customers
_CCCI National Show Videos_
Available in VHS in NTSC ( US/CANADA/JAPAN ) or
PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, SECAM and MESECAM
from the Domino Video Company, P.O. Box 540,Seaford, NY 11783.
Cost: $79 to $150 depending on tapes and format.
_The Chow Chow Club, Inc_.
National organization of Chow fanciers. For breed information,
breeder referrals and regional Chow clubs, write to:
Irene Cartabio, Corresponding secretary
3580 Plover Place
Seaford, NY 11783
_Chow Chow Fanciers Of Canada_.
For information please contact:
32829 Bakerview Ave.
Mission B.C. V2V 2P8
Fax (604) 820-9098
Membership includes the Club Newsletter
published 6 times a year.
Membership fees per year a
U.S.Residents please remit in U.S.Funds.
_Maple Leaf Chow Chow Club_.
for information please contact
Christine Farnell, Secretary
64 Dorothy Street
Brantford, Ontario Canada
(519) 752 1291 Home
(519) 759 4262 FAX
_National Chow Chow Club of Sweden_
_Chow Chow Ringen_
For information please contact:
871 61 Harnosand
Chow Chow Ringen publishes a magazine
4 times per year (in Swedish)
9828 E. County A
Janesville, WI 53546
Chow Chow FAQ
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