The Chow Chow: A Wonderful and Loyal Breed of Dog
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.
Sampson and RamboClick thumbnail to view full-size
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!"
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.
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!"
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."
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