Top tips for Chows on choosing an owner...
For more info on Chows try the following links...
We get lots of questions about Bella and Bi-Bi from people we meet, many of whom have not seen a Chow before. Chows may look like cuddly teddy-bears, but they need a reassuring, positive upbringing from young to ensure you have a furry friend you can enjoy meeting new people with.
Q. Where do Chows originate from?
A. Chow Chows are one of the most ancient dog breeds, thought to be originally from Northern China where they guarded temples in China, Tibet and Mongolia.
Q. That fur must take some grooming!
A. Actually, we find Chows relatively easy to groom. They have a thick double coat that sheds in clumps rather than falling as individual hairs. Their thick coat means they resist dirt well and a good brush is normally all it takes to get a Chow clean again.
Chows like to stay clean and they will often clean their paws and wipe their chops after meals. Chows do not need frequent bathing and indeed this can be detrimental to their skin as it can cause irritations and dryness.
Q. What's their temperament like?
A. Chows are characteristically aloof and independent - we liken them to being almost cat-like in that respect. You have to earn their respect and they can bond closely often to one 'top dog' in the family. At home they are generally placid and quiet, but they will bark to warn you of unusual noises or movement. None of our six Chows have ever barked away from the house (unless it's a cat they've seen!)
Q. Does she play 'fetch'?
A. Chows do not do obedience! They are very difficult to train (but it's essential you get the basics down) and generally we have never walk them off the lead unless it is in an enclosed space. They live by the philosophy of 'if you throw it, you can fetch it too!' They do however like a good chase round the garden and a bit of rough and tumble!
Q. Are they friendly?
A. Chows can be 'discerning' about strangers and like to take their time to size someone up before getting too close. It's really important to consistently and positively socialise a Chow in their first few months to make sure they are confident and comfortable around new people and other dogs. Equally, get them used to be groomed and examined so they are at ease when visiting the vets.
Bella was always super-friendly and up for a fuss and tickle. She'd happily stroll up to strangers to say hello but she shies away if someone stares at her as they approach.
Bi-Bi is a little more timid, but getting more confident every day. Chows like you to be confident and casual as you approach them. Always introduce yourself with the back of your hand to their nose first and try not to stare them in the eyes as it makes them nervous.
Q. Are they fussy eaters?
A. All dogs are different, but generally we have found the Chows have sensitive tummies and prefer home cooked or hypo-allergenic foods. Bella mainly ate Wainwright's Turkey or Rabbit food, mixed with plain boiled rice. Bi-Bi prefers home cooked chicken and some good quality kibble that is high in fibre.