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Chow Chow

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The chow chow originates from Asia and is very popular in China. The name chow chow possibly derives from the word ‘chaou’, which means ‘dog of great strength’. The chow chow is best known for its surprisingly blue tongue and its fluffy loose coat.

Character and behaviour
Today, the chow chow is mainly a family pet. It can be very protective of its family and territory thus making it a handful for first time owners. The chow chow is not a very active breed, which means that it is suitable for apartment living as long as it gets daily exercise outside. A chow chow may be arrogant, stubborn, proud, and independent.

History of the breed
The chow chow is one of the oldest breeds in the world. In the 10th century BC the predecessor of the chow chow was mentioned as the odd looking dog of the barbarians.

According to traditions, the barbarians brought large lion like dogs with black tongues when they invaded China from central Asia. In modern times China the chow chow has been used as a guard dog, watchdog, sleigh dog, and as a ship dog.

Appearance, grooming and health
A chow chow is robustly built. In profile its shape is almost quadratic. It has a broad skull with small, rounded erect ears. The chow chow has a very thick double-layered coat. The coat is especially dense around the neck providing the dog with a lion like appearance.

The coat can be reddish, black, bluish, brown, or wheaten. The chow chow has a blue tongue, which is distinctive for this particular breed. The tail is rolled up on the back.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Likes to mind its own business and is not as outgoing as other breeds
  • You cannot make a chow chow do things it does not want to
  • Easy to housetrain
  • Early socialisation is necessary in order for the chow chow’s protective behaviour not to take over
  • Hind legs are straight and stiff. Not built for jogging but prefers walking
  • It sheds moderately and only needs moderately exercise

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