The Chow Chow: A Wonderful and Loyal Breed of Dog - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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The Chow Chow: A Wonderful and Loyal Breed of Dog

Of all the dogs that I've had, and I've loved them all, I've loved my Chow Chow the most.

I've Loved My Chow Chows the Most

Currently, I don't have a dog. A man needs a dog, and this really can't be argued. The next dog that I get—and I will be getting another dog—will be a Chow Chow. In my 37 years (so far), I've had many dogs; or rather, my family has had many dogs, and I've had a few dogs that were just mine and nobody else's. Of all the dogs that I've had, and I've loved them all, and with increasing levels of affection as I've grown older, I've loved my Chow Chows the most.

Now, first off, we do not call these dogs "Chow Chows" in Texas, we simply call them "Chows," or "Chow dogs," so from this point on in this article, I'm mostly going to refer to these dogs as either "Chows" or "Chow dogs." That doesn't change the fact, however, that they are mostly known as Chow Chows.

The Chow Chow's Temperament

Now, it should be stated clearly that the Chow Chow is not the most friendly dog that you will encounter in your life. I'd say that if you are looking to run into friendly dogs to visit with, pet, and get licked by, then you should look towards a breed like the Labrador.

The Chow Chow, however, is a family dog—or even a one-person dog. It's not the dog that is going to like you very much unless it's your dog. If you buy, raise, and love a Chow Chow, then the dog will forever love you as if you are its mother, father, brother, and sister. Honestly, the Chow Chow that you love, care for, and raise yourself will regard you as God almighty.

But your friends who only visit every once in a while, and your long lost cousins—they'd best keep their distance and behave as they should around you, at least whenever your Chow dog is present. Your Chow dog will simply not tolerate any disrespect towards you from other people, or other dogs, or anything else that might come around, either. Satan himself had best beware in front of the man or woman who's raised a beautiful and wonderful Chow dog, lest the devil lose a chunk of flesh from his rear end.

The Chow dog is the ultimate family guard dog, in my opinion; and my opinion in that regard is based on lots of experience with Chows. I've owned German Shepherds, another very fine and beautiful breed of dog; I've owned Labradors, an exceedingly friendly breed of dog; but only the Chow dog has ever proved to me that he is so utterly and completely devoted to me and my well being that he'd even had the foreknowledge to check blind corners before I get to them. What do I mean? I mean that should I be walking the length of my home, the Chows would run ahead of me, and look around the corner to make certain that my path was without intruders, or any sort of danger. Those dogs, with their lion's mane and their deep growls of confidence and authority, are a force to be dealt with, should you be out of place, and they will promptly let you know it.

Chow Chow History

According to Wikipedia, the Chow Chow (or Chow Dog) is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in existence. I can also confirm the statement below about Chow's being friendly towards children. I clearly remember when my youngest niece was first able to walk around on her own, and that was when she was first introduced to my Chow dog, "Rambo," who promptly walked up to her on my parent's back porch, and licked her in the face; a clear way for my dog to say, "I love you too!"

From Wikipedia:

Recent DNA analysis confirms that the chow chow is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Research indicates it is one of the first primitive breeds to evolve from the wolf, and is thought to have originated in the arid steppes of northern China and Mongolia. A Chinese bas-relief from 150 BC shows a hunting dog and a dog very friendly toward children similar in appearance to the chow. Later, chow chows were bred as general-purpose working dogs for hunting, herding, pulling and protection of the home.

For anyone interested in becoming the owner of, and raising a beautiful Chow dog, I strongly suggest that you read up on this breed of dog from a number of sources, the Chow isn't a dog for rookie dog owners, unless you are properly educated for the experience. The experience of "owning" a Chow is very rewarding, and should you be a good owner to the dog, then you will have a lifetime of beautiful memories and experiences from this. You must be educated for it though, as the Chow dog has a very strong will and a very dominant personality, especially in regards to persons that the dog is unfamiliar with, and other dogs. The Chow Chow also has some particular health concerns that are commonly occurring with the breed, and the thick coat when shedding may cause some irritations with owners who were not ready for that. It is no fault of the beautiful Chow Chow should you be an ignorant and ill-prepared dog owner.

Rowdy Dog!

Rowdy Dog!

The Chow Mix

My cream-colored Chow Chow, "Rambo," had been "apprenticed" by our older Chow dog, "Sampson." When Sampson passed away, my mother decided that Rambo needed an apprentice of his own.

The First Monday flea market in Canton, Texas, is not only a wonderful place to shop for everything under the sun, but it is also a great place to purchase animals. And so, my mother and father returned one weekend with a Chow mix pup. The man selling the litter of dogs had tried to pass these off as Chows, and when my mother asked him, "Are these really Chow Dogs?" The man promptly replied, "These are good dogs!"

'Nuff said!

And "Rowdy Dog," our Chow dog mix, was indeed a very, very good dog for a very long time. While he had a completely blue/black tongue, which is the hallmark of a Chow Chow, it was obvious that he was not a full-blooded Chow dog. We never held it against him, and he never disappointed us. The Chow mix can be a supremely wonderful pet, as well. Of course, we have no real idea of what he was mixed with, but he displayed a lot of the characteristics of a Chow, but was also less inclined to get into fights with other dogs, while at the same time had all of the guard dog and loyalty characteristics of a family Chow dog. You could have called this particular Chow mix, a "Chow Light."

Me and Rowdy Dog

Me and Rowdy Dog

Conclusion

I hope that I have shed some light and interest in the beautiful animal that is the Chow Chow, one of the oldest and most loved, most loyal breeds of dogs on Earth. While the Chow Chow does have a somewhat bad reputation, this is not due to the nature of the dog, there are no bad dogs, there are only bad owners. Chow dogs, however, are simply not dogs that are going to become friends with or friendly towards strangers, or even semi-consistent visitors. It's a dog that will love the family around it unconditionally, and be very, very protective of it. It is perfect for single women, or rural families, or just anyone who wishes to have a powerful, loyal, and not so hyper a dog. The Chow isn't a dog that needs or wants constant attention. He is all at once aloof and hyper alert, but he is always your closest friend anywhere.

© 2011 Wesman Todd Shaw

Comments

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on July 29, 2020:

Thanks Elena. I'm in Texas, and they are damned hard to find here too.

I don't think I've seen a chow anywhere in years. Last time I was in Mexico I saw Chows were popular residential guard dogs down there, but no way I can afford to travel that far to buy a dog. I can't speak the language, even.

Elena Lawson on July 29, 2020:

I love Chows!! They are my favorite breed. I also owned two in my lifetime and would love to have another. I agree with everything you said, I'm from Pittsburgh and would love to find one!!

Bernestine BrownIm looking for a chow and cant fine one on July 28, 2020:

Looking for a chow

I live in Pa

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 30, 2020:

You lost a home and some family members, Octavia. I'm truly sorry to hear it.

Octavia on June 29, 2020:

Chows are very smary and loyal dogs one of a kind dogs i had two red and blue chows name king and queen i love them so much i had to give them up cause i had no home for them any more i cry all the time wondering are the ok

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 18, 2020:

@Michaelanthony - I'm really sad to hear about the horrible family situation.

Mothers are supposed to be the best thing in every child's life.

I am glad for you and the dog though. Dogs are so very very wonderful if you treat them well at all. You only have to be half nice to a dog, and it will love you forever and ever.

I hug mine about ten times each day, at the least.

Michaelanthony on June 17, 2020:

I had a chow chow he was a really great dog my mother was not really kind to me I remember one time my mother tried to bet me like always for no reason But she always put my chew bear outside before she started to bet me But one time I spilled a glass of milk like kids to she ran at me and I screamed and chew bear went off I mean really crazy he Attacked her and she was in the hospital for a while I told my dad what happened when he came back home from his business trip and he let me keep my chew bear and got his Divorce from that hateful mother of mine and told me he always wondered why I always had Bruises on my face and body And mother always said he falls a lot down the steps I spoke up that time for once in my life and he asked my mother why no bruises on his face now this time he comes back home so he got my chew out of the dog pound and we lived happy ever after I will never own any other breed of dog to be with my wife and two sons thir great dogsI have not seen my mother in 46 years now thank god

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on August 22, 2018:

I would, but I've currently got 3 accounts in 'facebook jail.' I hate the nannies on that website.

Chow Chows on August 22, 2018:

https://www.facebook.com/robgolfi/photos/a.1015516...

If you love chows, come like this photo to help them shoot to the front of the line in the cutest dog concert!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on August 20, 2018:

I hope you find one, Mildred. I hope to have another one some day too. There is something different about Chow dogs. They seem to, of this is possible, love their humans even more than other breeds of dog do.

Mildred on August 20, 2018:

My first doggie was a Chow, adopted from the Toronto Humane Society at two years of age. He was my baby, my comfort and my best buddy. Our vet called her a 'lovely lady' and that she definitely was. Would love to have another Chow and my next one hopefully will be another loyal, protective, loving and georgous regal Chow.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 08, 2017:

Absolutely Stephanie. Yours sound much of the same mind as the chows I have had.

Stephanie ward on December 08, 2017:

We could not live without our chow,most loyal breed on earth,not a dog for everyone at all,very agressive,very protective, my Chevy likes two people my husband n i,he's our dog,he's never once touched anything while he's home alone,easily house trained,very thick coated,if u don't love to brush then not the dog for u,nobody but me n my husband can touch him period I'm just being honest,if u mistreat them or hit them,it breaks their heart n spirit,their life is spent making every step u make n guarding u every minute,no breed thinks as highly of itself as the chow,they aren't scared of anybody or any animal, when I have company my chow is on people's trail every move n it gets worse the longer they stay,not better,it's scary to people once again I'm being honest,we have given our lives to our boy n its been great,but a chow is not for everyone trust me,mine is very hot natured n we leave our ac on even when we're cold bc chows are very expensive n have allergies n ear yeast often,mine is on grain free,ask me if u want to know anything I'll be honest,if u want a dog that can be touched by strangers or friendly company dogs,do not own a chow,they are weary of strangers,vet cannot touch my chow,I am always at his face its a ritual n ordeal once again I'm being honest,most don't like kids that I've known unless they are raised,my brother can touch my chow he's the only one besides my husband period,he will bite,he hates kids,dogs,horses,n cats,he kills cats if they come around

Suzie from Carson City on April 05, 2017:

Wes....As a dog lover in general, I appreciate any & all sources of information on breeds of dogs and the experiences of individuals who have raised them. I have to comment that from all that I have ever been able to glean, so much of our dog's behavior & tendencies, (aside from instinct, of course) largely results from their training, how we raise them and the dog-owner relationship. Would you agree with this? The popular & expert "Dog Whisperer," Caesar Milan, has a couple of invaluable books out on just about anything we could possibly want & need to know about man's best friend. His expertise is astounding and I have one of his books. I refer to it often.

In any event, Wes, I have a little background info on Chows via second hand information and observation. I have never had a chow myself nor do I believe they are a good breed for me, personally. My cousin (from Texas) actually raised chows for years. From everything the family could tell, she was totally devoted and wrapped up with her dogs and worked at it constantly. So much so, that for years, we never saw her at family functions (weddings reunions etc) because she simply would not leave her babies in the care of anyone at any time.

Then, after many years, came the shocking day, one of her Chows turned on her and viciously attacked her. She had serious injuries, to include horrendous trauma, as you might suspect. What transpired, sadly, was she gave them up and never went back to raising chows. Believe it or not, it took her a long time to completely get over this incident. Years later, in talking with her, it was still emotionally difficult for her to discuss it. She did however, offer up quite an education on Chows and their very unique personalities (can we use the word, "personalities" for dogs?) I guess it's OK.

As a result, I would be extremely leery to even consider owning a chow. There are several other breeds I much prefer anyway.

Thanks for another great hub, Wes. Peace, Paula/Effer

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 04, 2017:

I'm so glad, Ashley, to hear you rescued a Chow mix. I figure those may not be in for such a good outlook for adoption. Chow's don't do submission to larger dogs well at all. Thanks again! :)

Ashley on April 04, 2017:

Loved reading your post! Just adopted a Chow mix from the pound and was nervous about his temperament. He's only had one incident where I've seen any sort of aggression (my friend's rottie growled and my chow stood in front of me and growled/barked back until we separated them). So far he is great with all kids, adults and animals. Couldn't have a better companion and protector!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on January 05, 2016:

Thanks Joyce! They are wonderful dogs!

Thanks Judy, I find most dogs are frightened by fireworks, and it is very understandable for them to be so. Chows love their families far more than they love themselves!

Judy on June 29, 2015:

My Chow Chow is wonderful. She is so protective of me and my family.

She hates fire crackers and changes from a strong proud protective dog to a scared dog following me everywhere I go, even wanting to get into my recliner with me. I get so angry when people have to have fire crackers around the 4th of July. Are they not illegal?? I appreciate the 4th of July but do not look forward to the idiotic people that must use fire crackers, days before, during and after the 4th of July. It scares my Chow Chow so much and I feel so much love for her and feel her pain.

Joyce on August 16, 2014:

I too have a chow mix. Have had her since she was old enough to be away from her mother. I don't know what she is mixed with but she's a great dog, soon going on 15 years! Still plays like a little pup, is very active - only have to lift her in/out of car... Great health other than that... Wouldn't trade her for the world... Hope this encouraged future chow-mix owners.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 04, 2014:

I so love chows. I've not had one in many years now...this year adopted some mixed pups from a neighbor...I really just love dogs, and have seldom met one that would be aggressive towards me, as I know how to speak and approach them in a friendly manner. I do know that sometimes chows just aren't the slightest bit interested in ever having a stranger pet them at all....but they're especially concerned with the well being of their human family.

blaze on June 04, 2014:

I have a chow her name is Stella and I have three daughters we just love Stella but she will only obey me. ....she has never barked once she dose not know she has a voice yet lol

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 01, 2011:

Hey Christopher! I used to surround myself with both. It was always amazing to me how our fierce chows would allow our cats to just lay on top of them as if they were pillows!

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on April 01, 2011:

That seems to be a very interesting and intelligent breed of dog. I am a "cat man" myself. But I can see the attraction in such a loyal pet as a Chow Dog.

I hope you have many happy years together.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 27, 2011:

Hey Willie, I can literally see it. I love reading how you psychoanalyze both dogs and owners, and I only wish that in the past I had had your insights, like I do now.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 27, 2011:

Crystolite, Thank you very much!!

Hey A.M., yeah, I like German Shepherds, and Labs; and I bet a mix of them would be a great dog!! German Shepherds. . . those pups cost a ton of money around here. Chows are less expensive, but they are pretty hard to find.

Chows aren't really "small," but I've never seen one that was as big as a lab, rott, or Shepherd; but I've seen Chows that were a lot bigger than any of mine were. pound for pound, the chow is a beast though.

You know, I forgot to mention it in the hub, but our chows never bothered cats at all. The red chow at top was a very aggressive dog, but he used to just let our cats curl up on top of him, which was very strange to see.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 27, 2011:

Hey AliciaC, thank you!! Yeah, it's a smaller dog, of course, but generally will be more intimidating. I HAVE seen some black labs that could be fairly frightening too though.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 27, 2011:

kashmir56, thank you very much! I'm still pretty sad about the dog we had coming up missing. I should have spent more time training him. :=\

DoItForHer on March 13, 2011:

A childhood classmate had a Chow that had poor training. It bit me one time simply because I was walking towards my classmate on his unfenced property, but despite its poor training, it would not go after anyone outside of its property. It did not bark incessantly. It did not chase cars or kids on bicycles. This dog had an exceptional ability to discriminate when to protect and when not to protect; unfortunately, the owner allowed the dog to decide what the boundaries were and what situations needed protection. This dog decided to protect the family from anyone no matter the circumstances, but once I learned what the boundaries were, I was safe. I could ride my back back and forth across the road or, from a specific distance, yell at my friend to come out, but as soon as I got about three feet from the yard- game on!

If the owner had taken the time to establish the boundaries and the situations, the dog would have been excellent. Instead the dog had to be locked in a room whenever company came over. This is typical of the breed and shows that a competent owner is necessary.

I want to be clear that I'm not saying bad things about the Chow. My experience with this one Chow was that it excelled as a guardian and was highly consistent in its behavior; these are highly desired traits that, if guided in the proper direction, would have produced an excellent guard/family dog. The dog was left to try to figure out what the boundaries were on its own, which didn't work out so well.

Allen Werner from West Allis on March 10, 2011:

I'm going to forward this to my eldest daughter. She and her boyfriend keep talking about getting a dog and he wants a rottweiler which she doesn't want. I've always mostly had GermanShepherd-Lab mixes and they were awesome dogs. Still my favorite is anything with some GermanShepherd in it. Never had a small dog even though other extended family members did. Afraid our big old cats might beat it up. Every time we get cats they get as big as small dogs - must be how we feed them or something. Also liked the pics. Peace

Emma from Houston TX on March 10, 2011:

Awesome work with cute pics,thanks for sharing.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 08, 2011:

I've had several breeds of dog but never a Chow. Chow Chows sound like an interesting breed, but they certainly have a different personality from my black lab! I enjoyed learning about them.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on March 08, 2011:

Hi Wesman, great information on the Chow Chow, loved the video to ! Hope you are able to get a dog soon !

Awesome hub !

Elefanza from Somewhere in My Brain on March 08, 2011:

Heehee. Awesome. :)

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 08, 2011:

Oh, but see, if YOU raised one, then you'd not have to worry at all. You'd have a beast that thought you were a Goddess, and would go all Helm's Deep on anyone that moved wrong around you!

Elefanza from Somewhere in My Brain on March 08, 2011:

A family of mine had a chow and that dog was scary! She would glare at you if you moved improperly. The other chow they had was much nicer, but I'm still scared of chows.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 07, 2011:

Thank you very, very much, DOGS 101!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DOGS 101 from Planet Earth on March 07, 2011:

Loved reading your hub. I learned some new things.

justom from 41042 on March 07, 2011:

You got that right!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 07, 2011:

Cool story Tom!!! My lab ran off about a month and a half ago, and I'm lonely for another dog. I'm gonna save me some money and get myself another AKC Chow dog, ain't nobody coming in the yard then!

justom from 41042 on March 07, 2011:

What up Todd? I've been lame lately trying to get stuff done to make some $. Dude I owned a black chow in the mid 90's. She was 2 when we got her and knowing how they are I wasn't sure how she'd do with a second owner. That dog was the best dog I've ever owned. When my friends came over (male only) she would greet them at the door, sniff their leg, then lower her head and raise her nose up to smack them right in the nuts. It was hilarious! Taking her for a walk was funny too, folks would move to the other side of the street when they saw her coming. At night was a real trip. Good hub man, you brought back some nice memories. Later! Tom