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Chow Chow

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Chow chows are independent, remote, even introverted dogs. Chows need adequate exercise, socialization and supervision. They have cat-like aloofness. Although they look quite huggable, Chows do not appreciate constant attention.

Chows have very dense coats with a thick neck ruff. They are usually red or black, but may be cream, cinnamon or even blue. Most Chows have ears that prick up and dark eyes. The Chow tail curls over the back.

Chows make excellent watch dogs. Chows are very affectionate to those close to them. They are often one-person dogs.

Chows may have come from the Arctic Circle with human migration moving from there to Mongolia, Siberia and China. Some say the Chow was the original ancestor of the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian and Keeshond. The Chow was originally a hunting and guard dog, kept by Chinese royalty and used for food and clothing by peasants. The origin of the blue/black tongue of the Chow remains a mystery. 

The dog's name came from the 18th century western sailors who brought the dogs back from Asia in the cargo holds of trade ships. "Chow-Chow" was a slang term applied to the varied cargo carried by these ships. The nickname eventually stuck to the dogs.

Fun things to do:
Chows need lots of exercise but not off-lead exercise. They enjoy romping and walking, and can usually get enough exercise within their own yards. They may not be trustworthy off-leash, because of their tendency to be aggressive to unknown dogs and people.
Health Risks:
Chow chows have a risk in being anesthetized due to the short muzzle. Veterinarians should be aware of this potential problem.

Entropion. Excessive tearing may mean your Chow has entropion, a condition in which the eyelids turn inward.

Heat prostration occurs in Chows with high humidity and temperatures above 80 degrees. Do not leave this breed of dog in a hot or closed in area, especially in the sun.

Things to watch out for with this breed:
Chows are strong willed and stubborn. Socialization should begin at birth. Continual training is necessary to ensure a well-trained dog. Chows can be aggressive with other dogs and people, and may bite the owner if touched unexpectedly. They are especially touchy in hot weather. Because of their strength and often aggressive nature, be very careful of this breed with children. Some individuals will even be aggressive with their own families.

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