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» Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is one of the oldest breeds of dogs around, with studies suggesting that it could have been developed as long as 4000 years ago. In China it is known as “Songshi Quan” which translates as “puffy-lion dog”. It was in this country where the breed made its name so to speak, with the Chinese often using Chow Chows as hunters, cart-pullers and even guards. It’s thought that this dog didn’t reach England until the 1800’s, although now it is one of the more popular breeds of the world and even though history states it as something of a working dog, nowadays they make excellent companions.
Standing between 18 and 22 inches and weighing anywhere between 45 and 70 pounds, the Chow Chow isn’t the largest dog breed you will find. One of its most distinctive features is its extremely thick coat that is either smooth or rough. This coat can come in a number of colors, with black, blue, solid red, gray, tan and white all being possibilities. Another feature is its tongue which can come in the strange shade of blue-black or purple which although doesn’t cover all Chow Chows, is evident on the majority of the breed. It has a broad head with small, triangular ears stood erect on top. The arrangement of hair around the head makes some people compare this breed with the look of a lion, which is definitely a fair assessment.
As for the temperament, generally this breed is a great companion. A well mannered dog, they usually get on fine with children and other pets as well as long as they’ve grown up with them from a young age. However, a strict training regime is required from the start, as otherwise this breed can grow into one that is dominant and at times aggressive. Any prospective owners should know to be firm and make sure the Chow is in their place. That said, this breed is one that is renowned for being loyal to its family. It is wary of strangers and will take quite a lot of time to adapt to their presence.
The Chow Chow has a relatively long life span with the average being around fifteen years. Unlike a lot of breeds, the Chow isn’t exactly active and they won’t be too discouraged should they not have a yard. However, to maintain their health, daily walks are still recommended. In terms of possible health problems, the breed is relatively healthy. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common problems and so are eye irritations, but other than that the Chow doesn’t generally suffer from many conditions and should lead a healthy life.
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