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I've had a big desire to have a chow chow since I was 10. We had 2 of them when I lived with my grandmother. When I lived at home I was told chows where to mean and temperamental. Now that I live in an apt with a roommate and have a stable job I wanted to know how much I've heard about chows was true and if I have a proper home for one. This will be my first dog other than a beagle my sister had. So please excuse me if you see me asking alot of stupid questions on here.


Thanks Roger
 

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Chows are most DEFINITELY a breed that need to be watched for temperament issues. There's only one breeder I know that I would refer people to for Chow Chows.

If you want a "get up and go" dog, a Chow is not for you.
If you want minimal grooming, a Chow is not for you (they do come in smooth, but it's a very dense coat)
If you want an "I LOVE EVERYBODAYYYYY!!!!" dog, a chow is not for you
If you want a dog that will do as you say, a Chow is not for you (They are highly independent).
If you want a dog you can do COMPETITIVE sports with (such as agility) a chow is likely not for you (they CAN, but they don't usually have the drive for it, and the straight stifles are asking for ACL tears)

If you want a dog with higher grooming requirements, a chow may be for you
If you want a dog that is aloof, a Chow may be for you
If you want a dog that is an independent thinker, a Chow may be for you
If you want a dog that could be good for some fun obedience work, a Chow may be for you

By the way, the only stupid question is the one that isn't asked.
 

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My MIL has had chows her whole life. They are super-independent. If they are not well-socialized, they will try to eat the mailman, the meter readers, the UPS man, etc. They are very territorial. They are "persnickety" and cat-like. All of my MIL's have been super-easy to house-break since they all seem to have hated being dirty or having a dirty den.
 

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I have a chow/akita mix, and the only thing I've heard said so far that applies to her is her territorialness. She's really hard to housebreak, she loves people, is cuddly friendly, although she is fairly lazy, she loves to go for walks when we have the time, and seems to have plenty of energy when she wants to, although she can go days without walking and not get stircrazy. In fact, she's almost never hyper, unless the younger dog engages her in play. She is ultra sensitive, but also very respectful. My little brother jumped in her face, once, and she snapped at him (came within maybe 5 inches of him) but she immediately looked VERY appolagetic (that's something else about her, is that she's incredibly expressive, I've never seen a dog that could communicate with humans so well with her eyes.) She came and leaned against me and looked at my little brother with these sweet sweet loving eyes, as if she were saying she was sorry and she acted really ashamed about it. She's also sensitive with the little dog. Just a little growl in her direction will set them off fighting. But I don't know how many of these traits are chow and how many are Akita. I've heard only bad things about both breeds, and yet Aurora is one of the sweetest loveliest dogs in the world.
 

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I've met a couple of Chows that come in for boarding and the one thing that sticks out about them is that they are very independent. They seem to tolorate strangers, but don't want to be fussed over (much like a cat). We have one that comes in, Chewy, who won't hesitate to bite if you try to get him to do something he doesn't want to do. Thankfully he is a very introspective dog and doesn't cause much trouble. As soon as he sees his owner, however, he turns into an excited bouncing ball of fluff.

I have met two Chows that were just total lovers (one was smooth coated and really small, so she looked like a marshmellow! LOL), and one that would attack any time he saw you. Even the "aggressive" one was perfectly fine with his owners.

I have met plenty of Chow mixes that were absolute babies.

I think a lot of how the dogs will act depends on how they were raised/socialized and also what their bloodlines are.
 

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I'll always have a special place in my heart for Chows - but my Chow cross was a difficult dog no matter how much I loved her. I got her at around 6 months, and she lived in squalid, terrible conditions before I got her - so she isn't an example of a well socialized Chow.

However, she showed *all* the questionable traits one reads about in Chows, as well as all the good. :) Being loved by a dog that actually demands you *earn* her love - really earn it -- is something very special, and I'd not replace the experience for the world.

But, bear in mind that you may end up with a dog that can't be around other dogs unsupervised, that doesn't like the gleeful disorder of children or smaller pets, and that has a sense of propriety that bars loud, squealing women folk from congregating at your home comfortably.

Oh - and when you took her running, after about 1 mile she'd stop dead in her tracks and demand you carry her home. There was simply *no* getting that (stubborn little) dog to move on her own! She was more of a "mosey along" kinda girl.
 

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I had a chow/lab mix and she had the qualities of a lab when it came to me but anyone else and I mean EVERYONE else she was very aloof and would not go near them, a definate Chow trait. If you came over often enough, she might allow you to pet her head but then she would walk off. She looked more like a chow except her hair which was the lab. I couldn't ask for a more affectionate loving dog and I still miss her after 5 years. And to think she had the name of Tinker Bell (which she had when I got her)! :D

As others have said, Chows are not for everyone. I would think very carefully about getting one. Wanting and taking care of a particular breed are two different things.

And when it comes to asking about a dog, there is NEVER a stupid question! ;)
 

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I think chows are awesome! :p They've got a moderate energy level and as long as they're well socialized and picked out from a good breeder (or through a good rescue that screens for temperament), they're generally really nice dogs. Yes, they're independent, and no, they're NOT tolerent of much handling from strangers. They DO need a LOT of socialization and an owner who is really responsible, but still.
 

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gee, I think i should of bought a Chow. I have 7 cats and love their independance and they aren't super needy. I love my Berner but WOW! I can't believe how much attention she wants! She can't ever be in the same room with us without her touching us or wanting her belly rubbed
 

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My Chow girl also played like a cat - It was quite cute to see this big ol' dog batting about old soda bottles. She also had a strange relationship with water that had some cat threads in it - although she did also love a good swim and dove into the water with resoundingly large belly flops and splashes. God I love that dog! I still miss her and it's been several years.
 

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I have a Lab/Chow mix and a lot of what the other posters said is true of Cooper. He's very independent, aloof, sensitive, but quite stubborn. You aren't going to make him do something he does not want to do. He was very easy to house break and hates to be dirty or wet. He walks around puddles on our walks. He also likes his "alone time" and will go to another room or upstairs. I've gone upstairs before and he's just laying in the doorway to our bedroom. :)

He loves kids. He spent a week at my parent's house while we were on vacation and my Mom runs a daycare out of her home and the kids just loved him and he loved them. But, when he needed a break, he just went and took a nap behind the couch (my parents pulled it out from the wall so he could fit behind it :) ). My Mom made sure the kids left him alone and when he was ready, he came back out. The kids just loved it when they got "Cooper kisses"!


He absolutely HATES water, so bathing is only when necassary. He has a thick, medium length coat. The only grooming that he has done is having his nails cut. We brush/bathe him here at home.


He's got more of the lab look, until he sticks out his tongue! It's completely blue. There have been times when total strangers have asked me if he was part chow. I guess at certain times I see more lab, and other times, I see more chow. I guess he's just a perfect mixture!
 

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I have/had 2 Chow mixes. Both dogs are awesome, but they are more wary of strangers.
The stray I have took me 9 months of feeding daily in order to get him to trust me enough to be able to catch him. He will bark at strangers. But he is very smart, and loyal. He's very good with my other dogs.
The one I used to have I found when he was about 9 yrs old. He lived for 7 yrs. He was my shadow. Tolerated other dogs but wasn't one to seek them out. HATED men in work type clothes.
 

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I forgot to mention that Tinker got along my other dogs...as long as mom brought them around she was ok. She was top dog tho and the others were aware of it. Lucy was devastated when I had to have Tinker PTS. They had been together for 13 yrs. To me Tinker was Tinker but when I think back on it, she really only wanted to be with me and Lucy. God, I miss that girl. She was such a baby...loved to have me hold her like a baby and rub her tummy. She would fall fast asleep. I'll see you across the bridge darlin Tinker...momma misses you.

Oh, and she HATED men in work uniforms....oh lordy, lordy, she hated them.
 

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My sister has an 8 yr old chow and had wanted one since she was little. I don't know how much research she did on them because her dog has bit or gone after (advanced on, growling, bearing teeth) every person who's lived with her except her son. (he was 3 when she got the dog)

The dog bit my husband pretty badly and scared the crud out of me when he came after me...(we lived with her)...the dog just plain makes me nervous.

That all being said...it's my sister's fault 100%. She did not properly train him, he totally runs the household and has gotten away with everything. He's also full of mats and hasn't ever been properly groomed.

Her dog is very cat like, a really picky eater, has a "sensative chow stomach" as she says and he hates most people, esp men and it takes a long time for him to warm up to you...like I said, he really makes me nervous.

He wasn't from a reputable breeder, just someone who had chows all their life and had two at the time and decided to breed them and give away the first litter. (they had planned on having more puppies and then selling them, but someone poisoned their two dogs so they never did)

I'm not saying the breed is bad, I am trying to give an example of bad dog ownership and how the dog turned out...I do know some people (have never met the dogs myself) who have chows and they are wonderful dogs...

So, if the OP plans on one...just do your homework and be ready for the obedience training and grooming part of it all!
 

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I can't say I like Chows... they are the one and only breed that I do not like, will not own, and really don't like to be in contact with much.

I grew up with a Chow, my best friend and their family owned one. From the time I could walk, me and all the neighborhood kids loved that dog, and played with him every single day. My friend who owned him would let him out his pen after school, and we'd all hang out in the yard with that big ball of fluffiness.

Then one day, after many, many years of being with this dog daily, I was in the street with all the other kids playing. I went to pet him, as I had done nearly every day of my life, and he sunk 11 gaping holes into my back, and latched onto me as I ran the 1/2 mile home. He had to be pried off of me. What made him turn? No one knows. But he was well socialized around people, had tons of training, was neutered since a baby, you name it. And he and I were about 9 years old at the time (because we basically grew up together), and after 9 years, that's what happened.

I can't say this makes all Chows bad, but they are a breed that is known to be very territorial, and have an aggressive streak for strangers and other animals. So my only word of advice is to research, research, research this breed because they are not one to jump into without knowledge.
 

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I've always admired chows from afar. Could never own one - the grooming requirements alone rule them out for my lifestyle. I can handle aloofness and independence (I own greyhounds, after all!) but would prefer not to deal with the aggression that can come with a chow...another reason I'd not own one.

On a side note - When I see chows on TV they are always so much smaller than I imagine they are in my mind. We don't see many chows down here in the south, but my aunt had one when I growing up and I remember that dog being really big!!
 

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On a side note - When I see chows on TV they are always so much smaller than I imagine they are in my mind. We don't see many chows down here in the south, but my aunt had one when I growing up and I remember that dog being really big!!
Maybe it was your small size as a child that made them seem huge..:D They aren't big dogs...what I call a "small medium" size.

Here's a link I googled. Range from 45-70 (although I've never seen one as big as 70#).

http://puppydogweb.com/caninebreeds/chow.htm
 

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Before I picked samoyeds, I researched chow chows. I think they're beautiful dogs, but just not for me. I want a go-anywhere do-anything kind of dog that I can compete formally with, and would definitely want a dog that I can go hiking with, and I would worry that a chow chow would not like that much of an active lifestyle.

Besides, my serious boyfriend has a dog of his own that has some fear aggression issues, and I want a dog that's more laid back around other dogs, just in case something should happen.

I would say that if you are a single person who is willing to put alot of time and effort into socializing and grooming a dog, they may be a good choice. Also, if you are willing to spend alot of time researching the breed, because I think they do have many health issues you'll want to get to know before you make a decision.

If you DO go through a rescue, I would definitely ask many, many questions of the rescue personnel and make sure that they do some kind of temperment test on the dog before they rehome it. Unfortunately, chow chows have very few doggy mood signals, so it's really hard to read them.

I know I may get flamed for this, but chow chows are not a dog in which rescue would be my frist choice IF I was a first time or novice dog owner. JMHO. If I was in that situation, I would most definitely find the best breeder that I could who had dogs that had done obedience work with the dogs, and that the parents had CGC titles.
 

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I know I may get flamed for this, but chow chows are not a dog in which rescue would be my frist choice IF I was a first time or novice dog owner. JMHO. If I was in that situation, I would most definitely find the best breeder that I could who had dogs that had done obedience work with the dogs, and that the parents had CGC titles.
Oh, no, I agree with you. Chows in general aren't a breed I would want in the hands of a novice. I think they can be great dogs, but it takes a dedicated person to bring them to their potential.
 
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