Introducing The Lion-Like Chow Chow
Chow Chows may look like fluffy bundles of joy and with the right training, they most certainly are. However, they aren’t as cheerful and obedient as one might think. The truth is, this breed is actually quite serious and composed and they have a royal aura around them, with their dignified behavior and careful attitude toward the world.
Maybe the best way to describe a Chow Chow is by saying that they are introverted but loyal to a fault. They make amazing watchdogs, which is in their blood. The most important thing to say about them is they need to be trained from a young age so that they wouldn’t become overly defensive and flat out aggressive in some situations. Socialization is the key here and it should be done properly if you want to have a functional and happy Chow Chow.
Since they look like mini bears or lions, many people believe they are a perfect fit for children, though it is not always the case. Chow Chows aren’t very patient and while they get along with their owners just fine, they are quick to jump to defensive biting if somebody gets on their nerves. This isn’t a rule, of course, as there are Chows who love playing and cuddling with people, no matter their age.
The Chow Chow is an excellent choice for people living in apartments because they are quiet and don’t mind living in small spaces. Moreover, they aren’t the greatest fans of vigorous activity. Their build is bulky and their coat is thick, so too much exercise is not really an option for this breed. They are very easy to housebreak and they learn quickly. Just going for a walk one or two times a day will be perfectly enough to keep your Chow happy and healthy. As we mentioned, they are quite dignified and not as playful as some other breeds, so you won’t have problems with their excess energy.
It also needs to be stated that they are excellent hunters. Their ancestors were both fighting dogs and watchdogs and this background has provided them with strong urges to run after, catch, and even kill pretty much any small animal. Chows are also quite dominant, so chances are they won’t react very well to other dogs of the same sex. They will chase cats, birds, and who knows what else unless they are trained not to do so.
As we already said, they are polite toward people they don’t know, but they will always be cautious when introduced to strangers. This is their watchdog instincts kicking in and while this is acceptable with complete strangers, it might be problematic with your friends and other family members. An overly suspicious Chow is one step from becoming an aggressive Chow and this is again where socialization with people, as well as with other animals, becomes crucial. You should get them accustomed to spending time with unknown people and small animals. This should be done when they are still puppies.
When it comes to obedience training, be prepared to work and work with dedication and measure. Chow Chows need to be approached carefully and also keep in mind they will not allow you to jerk them around as you see fit. Don’t try to impose your dominance in every way possible, do it gradually and consistently, respect their boundaries but know when to reproach them. Food will inspire them to pay attention to their training; otherwise, they’re known to stubbornly shut down or again, jump to defensive biting. Their limits are blurred but you will get to know your Chow as your training continues. What is paramount is that this dog has to respect you in order to listen to you and trust you, which are two key ingredients for good training.
It’s not very surprising that grooming them will require a lot of time. They shed throughout the year, which you can easily conclude from just looking at them. When talking about the Chow’s health, they’re not the healthiest of breeds and their skin and eyes usually suffer the most.
Chow Chows are great but serious companions who approach life carefully, so you better be sure that you can keep up with them before you bring an adorable Chow puppy to your home.