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Dog Breed : Chow Chow


Arguments prevail as to whether the Chow Chow is one of the truly original dog breeds or whether it is a descendent of the Tibetan Mastiff. What is known, is that this breed with the unique blue-black tongue (note: shown in photo at right), has existed in China since 150 BC. Many of the Chows were used as guarding, hunting or carting dogs, although the few that were born with the smoky blue color were often elevated to the role of Buddhist temple dog. At one time, this breed was also raised as a food supply for Chinese tables, hence the name "chow" which is Cantonese for "food." Chows found their way to Britain in the 1800's and gained popularity once Queen Victoria herself took a liking to the breed. The breed was officially recognized in 1901 in America and in 1912 in Canada. The Chow Chow enjoys most accommodations, makes a good watch dog, and requires daily exercise.

Height: 17 - 20" (43.2 - 50.8cm)

Weight: 35 - 75 lbs (15.6 - 33.5 kg)

Coat Type: There are two types of coats: rough (above) and smooth (left); both have a dense, wooly undercoat. The outer coat of the rough variety is longer, harsher, straight and thick. The smooth coat is shorter, straight and thick as well, but appears to be sleeker. The solid body colors include red, black, blue, sandy, cream or white. Regular, thorough brushing is required to keep the full, luxurious coat of the Chow Chow healthy and free of mats.

Temperament: The Chow Chow is a dignified, independent, assertive dog. However, he is also a very loyal and faithful guardian to his family. Although in past years, he was considered an adult's dog with a sharp temperament, breeders have been working very hard to breed a Chow with a "family" temperament. A well-bred and well-socialized Chow will be just that: an excellent family dog.

Special Interest: A T'ang Emperor in China was known to have kenneled 2500 Chow Chows!

AKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
CKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
KC: Non-Sporting - Utility Group
FCI: Group 5
ANKC: Group 7 - Non Sporting

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