Chow Chow dogs were first bred in China. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1903, these dogs are known for their strong personalities and lion-like appearance. Due to surges in popularity, there are many mixed breed Chow dogs available for adoption. With their unique physical characteristics and strong-willed personalities, Chow mix dogs provide both challenges and pleasures for owners. The needs of a Chow mix dog are determined by those of the Chow breed, including regular grooming and a job to complete to quell boredom. You also must consider the needs of the other breeds mixed with the Chow.
- Skill level:
Exercise your Chow mix on a regular basis, states the "New Owners Guide to Chow Chows." Chow dogs were bred as working dogs. Mixed breed Chows still retain the need for a job to complete, or boredom sets in.
Have patience. The American Kennel Club's "Dog Breed Bible" identifies Chow dogs as strong-willed and independent. Unlike other dogs, Chows and Chow mixes do not have an extreme willingness to please their owners.
Don't use physical punishment when dealing with a Chow mix. Chows do not respond to physical punishment and are likely to become vicious or depressed, according to "The Dog Breed Bible." Motivate your dog with rewards instead.
Groom your Chow mix on a regular basis, particularly if the dog has the thick coat characteristic of the Chow breed. Groom your Chow mix everyday or every other day to prevent painful matting or tangles, states the "New Owner's Guide to Chow Chows."
Take your Chow mix to a veterinarian for annual wellness visits. Chow dogs are prone to glaucoma, allergies, hormonal issues, obesity, bloat, hip dysplasia, diabetes and problems with ligaments. Educate yourself about these problems and learn to recognise their signs and symptoms.
Learn about the other breed or breeds relevant to your Chow mix. Each breed is prone to different problems and may have different needs as far as exercise, grooming and training, according to "Mixed Breeds for Dummies." Mixed breed dogs often have traits from all or most of the breeds they are mixed with.
Socialise and train your Chow mix dog. The Chow breed is naturally territorial, according to the "Canis Major Dog Owner's Guide." Properly training and socialising a Chow mix with other humans and animals reduces the risk of a temperament problem.
Keep your Chow mix dog indoors. Although they love the outdoors, Chow mix dogs that are left alone and tied up or confined tend to turn antisocial, according to the "Canis Major Dog Owner's Guide." Exercise them outdoors under supervision, but allow them to remain indoors as part of the family.
Tips and warnings
- Chow dogs have a very strong prey drive, which can be countered through good training. Untrained Chows do not get along with cats or other dogs.
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- "The Dog Breed Bible: Descriptions and Photos of Every Breed Recognized by the AKC"; D. Caroline Cole, PhD; 2007
- Canis Major Dog Owner's Guide: The Chow Chow
- "Dog Basics for Newbies - The Ultimate Guide for the Health and Well Being of Your New Best Friend!"; Manuel Ortiz Braschi; 2009
- "A New Owner's Guide to Chow Chows"; Richard G. Beauchamp; 1998
- "Mixed Breeds for Dummies"; Miriam Fields-Babineau; 2007