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Chow Chow is a Chinese breed that is considered to be one of the olders breeds of dogs, based on recent DNA analysis. As per the research, the Chow Chow roots should lie in the steppes of northern China (Mongolia) and it should be one of the first breeds that evolved from the wolf. Chow Chows used to be general working dogs, serving as guardians, hunters or herding dogs. These days they are mostly kept as house pets that are known for their specific looks and the unique blue tongue. These dogs are loyal to their family, but sometimes can become overprotective of their family members and property, so they are not the best breed of choice for a first time dog owner.
My Chow Chow Dog blog will give you the basic information you should know about keeping these dogs, along with some photos and videos that I liked. There will be some articles about history, health problems and diet on the site too. Please send me photos of your dog, in case you own a Chow Chow, and I will post the pics here. Should you run a site dedicated to these dogs, send me link and I will publish it on my site too. Thanks.
Chow Chow are smart and clean dogs and house training them shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Even so a bit of advice never hurt anybody.
When you bring your new Chow Chow puppy home you’ll want to place him in his crate, this is the place that he will from then on consider his home. If the crate is not too spacious he will never go to potty there. While he is still a small puppy his bladder will not be able to hold a lot of liquid so you’ll want to take him out every half an hour, as well as after each meal and after longer playing sessions.
Always take him to the same place that you have designated previously for such activities. After the puppy is done with his business praise him and give him a treat. Don’t be scarred that you’ll go overboard, be as excited about his success as possible.
It would be ideal if you could spare the time to be around the puppy as often as you can. Watch him between the bathroom breaks. In time you’ll learn to recognize the body language that signals that he needs to go out. In case he has an accident in the house, scold him and take him out immediately. If he continues to go while he is outside, as soon as he is done, reward him with praise and a treat. Never punish the puppy if you determine that he has had an accident in the house if you didn’t catch him in the act. This would just confuse him and send the wrong signals.
Regardless of the type of the coat on Chow Chow, coarse or smooth, it will require weekly grooming if you don’t want your pet to turn into a ball of matted fur. They are very noble and dignified dogs and if you want to keep your dog looking like that you’ll need to take good care of him. Of course, grooming is not only necessary for aesthetic reasons, your pet’s health might depend on it as well. This article should give you a basic overview of some of the techniques used in grooming a Chow Chow.
First you’ll need to softly brush his coat with a pin brush. This might be a rather delicate process, as the fur can get entangled and matted and these spots might make it quite difficult for the brush to get through. Brush his fur in slow, downward motions, and when you come upon a cluster of matted fur, stop and untangle it carefully with your fingers. Be very careful not to hurt your dog while doing this. If you find that this is too difficult, try using some spray on conditioner, it should help you with the process. If you can’t untangle the hairs cut them off with scissors, just make sure that you don’t cut off more than you actually need to. While doing this pay special attention to the dog’s skin as it might have some wounds, irritations or parasites. Cover the irritated spots with antibiotic cream and remove the parasites that you can. If you notice that there is a lot irritation on the dog’s skin you might want to report that to the vet.
Nor every brushing should be followed by a bath, but you might want to do this every once in a while. Soak the dog completely, but try not to get any water in his nose, eyes or ears. If you are not sure that you’ll be able to avoid it, place cotton balls inside his ears, just don’t push them too far in. Once the dog is soaked apply a mild shampoo and cover your dog in it. There is no need to rub it in his fur, just leave it on and it will lift the dirt up. Carefully rinse your dog. If there is any shampoo left after the bath it might cause serious irritation.
Dry your Chow Chow, first with a towel and then with a blow dryer. Don’t set the dryer on too high a temperature or it will hurt your dog. Once he is dry you’ll want to check the insides of his ears and look for infections, filth or parasites. There are a lot of antibiotic ear washes available that will help stave off the infections.
The final part of the grooming is reserved for nail clipping. This might be a bit risky. If you cut too high you might cause your dog’s nails to bleed. If you haven’t done this before you might find it better to leave this part of the grooming to a trained professional, or use a file instead of clippers, this should minimize the risk of injury.
Chow Chow can occasionally suffer from a number of health issues. If you already own one, or plan on buying or rescuing a Chow Chow it would be wise to get to know what the most common of those problems are in order to be able to recognize them in their initial stages as doing this on time will enable you to report the condition to your vet and, possibly, stop it from progressing further.
One of the problems, common not just for Chow Chow, but for almost all dog breeds is hip dysplasia. This condition is characterized by the fact that the socket of the dog’s hip bone and the end of his thigh bone don’t fit as well as they should. This is a joint that suffers from a lot of stress, and when it is not properly formed, that stress causes a lot of wear and tear, of both the bones and the cartilage that is caught between them. Initially, it will manifest itself as limping, but as it progresses it will make your dog completely immobile. Luckily, surgical solutions are available.
Unfortunately Chow Chow seem to be the dog breed that has the most trouble with going under anesthesia. It is unclear why this is so, but some people believe that this is caused by their heart to weight ratio. In proportion to the size of their bodies they have rather small hearts, and seeing that the quantity of the anesthetic is measured according to the body weight, people might have been giving them too much of it. Regardless of the cause, if there is a non surgical solution to a condition your dog is suffering from, you should definitely opt for it first, before resorting to surgery.
Another problem that has taken a lot of Chow Chow lives is gastric torsion, or as it is also known, bloat. This is twisting of the dog’s stomach, probably caused by his too rapid intake of food. This condition is often deadly if not noticed in time, and its progression rate is extremely fast. If you notice that your dog is experiencing dry heaves, that he can’t seem to settle in one place, and that he is salivating more than usually, call your vet immediately, as fast response is the only thing that will save your dog’s life.
Dogs in general are often stricken by some of many eye conditions and Chow Chow are by no means an exception. One of such conditions is entropion. This condition is characterized by an eyelid (usually lower) that is not developing properly and that starts growing towards the dog’s eyeball. The condition is easy to notice and to treat.
A much more serious eye condition often afflicting Chow Chow is glaucoma. This condition causes the increase in the pressure in the dog’s eye. It might be gradual and slowly progressing, leaving the dog with no consequences for a long time, but it can also be quite sudden and painful and cause immediate blindness. You can indentify it by the dog constantly rubbing his eyes that will get red or cloudy.
Chow Chow are not a breed for inexperienced dog owners. They can be stubborn and require strong leadership from their owner if they are to develop proper and tolerable temperament. If you do manage to form an adequate relationship with them, however, you will be getting an extremely devoted and loyal companion.
Chow Chows are not too friendly with strangers, and when you first bring your new puppy home that is exactly what you will be to him. Don’t allow your friends and family to instantly rush the puppy and try to play with him. Give him some peace and quiet so that he can get familiar and comfortable with his new surroundings and people that inhabit it. Make his crate a safe zone, when he enters it don’t disturb him or pull him out of it. He needs to know that there is place to which he can retreat when he wants to be alone and that his peace will not be disturbed once he is there.
Make sure to call your vet and see about getting the puppy vaccinated. This process can sometimes take months and the puppy shouldn’t be placed in contact with other dogs before it is done. While he is still young (less than six months old) your puppy should be getting three meals a day. Try to give them to him in regular intervals, and always in the same time during the day. Try to have some stability and a regular schedule when all of his activities are concerned – eating, training, playing, the routine will do him good.
Try to socialize your Chow Chow with other dogs as often as you can. This breed can be somewhat unfriendly with other dogs, especially if they are on his territory; socializing him while he is still a puppy should keep such tendencies at a minimum.