Chow Chow Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Chow Chow has his origins in China where he has been known for at least 2,000 years as a guard, hunting dog and also a draught dog. Largely Spitz he has some Mastiff blood in him too. His name may well derive from the word “chaou” which means ‘dog of great strength’. In addition to his working qualities he was also regarded as a food source and his pelt was used for clothing.
The Chow is highly distinctive in appearance with a curious stilted gait and bluish-black mouth and tongue. The coat is of two types – the rough which is seen more commonly and needs grooming daily; this is profuse and coarse and stands off the body with a soft woolly undercoat, particularly thick around the neck to form a mane and plentiful breechings on the hind legs. The smooth coat is short and plush, though the rough coated Chow is more commonly seen
The first Chows were brought to England in 1781 from the Canton area of China by a member of the East India Company, but owing the China’s “closed door” policy to the rest of the world they were slow to make an impact. Queen Victoria was given a Chow in 1865 and 1881 the Prince of Wales had one which was shown.
The Chow Chow Club was founded in 1895 and the Breed Standard was based on a famous dog of the day, Chow VIII and this is still the Standard that is used. The Chow had been recognised by The Kennel Club in 1894.
They began to be seen in the showrings in the 1920s and a number appeared at the Crufts of 1925. Medium in height at up to 22″ they are solidly built and can weigh as much as 32kg; colours allowed are the familiar red and black though they are also bred in blue, fawn, cream and white. All colours are solid though shading is permissible.
A quiet dog, he makes a good guard, and though he is independent he shows loyalty and tends to be a one-man dog.
The Breed Council strongly suggests contacting them before buying a puppy, particularly through an internet site or advertisement. Whilst many of the most respected breeders have websites you may encounter some, particularly in classified type advertisements, whose motivation is purely to make money. Obviously, these people do not have the best interests of the dogs and puppies in their care as the first priority.
Rescue and Rehoming
If you need to rehome your own dog, first contact the breeder to see what support she can offer. If that doesn’t resolve your problem then contact a designated Rescue organisation (if one exists) or a Breed Club.