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rec.pets.dogs: Chow Chow Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/chows
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 10 Nov 1997

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This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. 
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
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It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
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without express or implied warranty.

                                  Chow Chows

     * 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

     * History
     * Personality
     * Training and Socialization
     * Medical Problems
     * Care
     * Confinement
     * Standard
     * Resources
          + 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
   and China.
   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
   dramatic history.
   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.
Medical Problems

   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.
  Heat Prostration
   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
   comfortable length.

   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
   found there.

  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
       Braun, 1996
     * _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
   _Chow Life_
   The official publication of the Chow Chow Club, Inc.
   Carol Patterson, Editor
   P.O. Box 1070
   Chester, CA 96020
   (916) 596-4309
   $30.00 year, $50.00 outside USA
   _Handbook for the Chow Fancier_
   Deborah Barrett
   Chow Chow Club Inc.
   Recording Secretary
   500 Oak Glen Trace
   Birmingham, AL 35244
   $25.00, add $10 outside USA
   E-Mail Deborah
   _Yearly Chow Chow Club Inc. Statistician's Reports (1979-present)_
   _Annually updated Published Champions Report (1979-present)_
   Bill Atkinson
   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
   E-Mail Bill
   _Illustrated Standard of the Chow Chow_
   Ann Crisp
   CCCI Judges Education
   164 W. Birnie Slough Road
   Cathlamet, WA 98612-9714
   Available soon.
   E-Mail Ann
   _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
   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
   (516) 826-3051
   E-Mail Irene
   _Chow Chow Fanciers Of Canada_.
   For information please contact:
   Corresponding Secretary
   Suzanne Staines
   32829 Bakerview Ave.
   Mission B.C. V2V 2P8
   (604) 826-3284
   Fax (604) 820-9098
   Membership includes the Club Newsletter
   published 6 times a year.
   Membership fees per year are:
   U.S.Residents please remit in U.S.Funds.
   E-Mail Suzanne
   _Maple Leaf Chow Chow Club_.
   for information please contact
   Christine Farnell, Secretary
   64 Dorothy Street
   Brantford, Ontario Canada
   N3S 1H2
   (519) 752 1291 Home
   (519) 759 4262 FAX
   E-Mail Christine
   _National Chow Chow Club of Sweden_
   _Chow Chow Ringen_
   For information please contact:
   Jessica Bjorling
   Trumpetgatan 10
   871 61 Harnosand
   Chow Chow Ringen publishes a magazine
   4 times per year (in Swedish)
   E-Mail Jessica
   CCCI Welfare
   Vicki DeGruy
   9828 E. County A
   Janesville, WI 53546
   (608) 756-2008
   E-Mail Vicki
    Chow Chow FAQ
    Steven Miller

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