Raising a dog is a fulfilling yet difficult journey. Unfortunately, many people do not realise that having a dog is a long-term commitment, and when things are different from their expectations, they see the dog as a burden instead.
To prevent this from happening, it is good to have an understanding of the breed you’re looking to raise.
Different breeds have their own temperament and choosing the right one is dependent on a variety of factors, such as lifestyle and preferences.
A Chow Chow is an impressive breed sought after by many. With its unique blue-black tongue (which, legend says, was due to a Chow licking up blue drops of paint when the sky was first painted during creation), adorable teddy bear appearance, and strong spirit, it’s not hard to see why.
However, Chow Chows are also not easy to care for and may not be suitable for every pet owner.
Want a Chow Chow? Here are 5 signs a Chow Chow is the right dog for you!
1. You like dogs that are aloof and independent
Unlike many dogs, Chow Chows are independent, calm, and mostly reserved.
They do not need a huge amount of affection and will not regularly seek hugs and cuddles. They also do not like being fussed over and having plenty of attention. Instead, they are attentive and loyal, staying silently by the side of their owners.
As their appearance can be somewhat intimidating, some people may mistake Chow Chows as fierce and aggressive. However, this is not the case. Chow Chows are just generally uncomfortable with strangers and take their homes and families seriously, hence they can be very territorial and protective.
If you’re thinking about having a random dog sitter take care of her, you’d best think twice. Chow Chows are a better fit for families with older children, as they may not be able to provide the friendliness and affection that younger children typically crave in a pet.
If you are looking for a dog that’s sociable and extremely comfortable with attention, the Chow Chow may not be the right one for you.
2. You have the time to invest in proper grooming
Chow Chows’ thick coats require a lot of attention and grooming, especially during their transition from puppies to adults, when they’ll need grooming almost daily.
You should expect to brush a Chow Chow at least two to three times a week to keep her coat in tip-top condition and prevent loose hair from dropping. Chow Chows shed their coat seasonally instead of daily, and during that period, the coat requires a lot more attention and thorough grooming.
You should bathe your Chow Chow at least monthly, more often if you prefer, with weekly brushes between baths.
With this in mind, before you decide to bring one home, ensure that you will have the time to take her to a groomer, or have the patience to groom her yourself!
3. You are patient enough to help your dog learn socialisation skills
Like all pets, socialisation is important for Chow Chows, as it teaches them how to cope in the human world.
They are naturally aloof and suspicious and tend to shy away from strangers and people they’re unfamiliar with. They may even turn aggressive.
Even though most puppies like the people they meet, you should train them to tolerate strangers, especially towards the people handling them.
If you really want a Chow Chow, remember that they are usually solitary when it comes to other dogs, and they are neither particular about socialising, nor eager to seek the company of others. There should be no surprise seeing her shy away from other dogs, or show no interest in playing with them.
4. You are willing to train her properly
Chow Chows are highly intelligent, naturally obedient and they pick up things quickly. Even though they’re rarely disobedient, it is still important to train them from young, as they may refuse to listen to you after they mature into adulthood.
Do remember that they may not be easy to train due to their independent spirit, and you cannot force them to do things that they dislike.
If you are easily frustrated, raising a Chow Chow may not be the right choice for you. You should never use physical punishment, especially with Chow Chows, as they are prideful and will never tolerate abuse.
Hitting them will backfire, and cause them to either be aggressive or to withdraw. In order to train a Chow Chow properly, you will need to earn her respect, and use a caring yet firm approach from the very beginning.
Do not spoil her or let her have her way all the time, or you may face problems training her as she grows up.
5. You have the capability to care for her in poor health
All pets are prone to certain health conditions at some point in time, and Chow Chows are no exception.
Keep an eye out for common problems, such as hip dysplasia, entropion, and skin and hormone problems. If you are buying a puppy, check the health conditions of both her parents as these problems are usually hereditary, though environmental factors can worsen them. That can also help determine what you can or can’t feed your dog.
Handling a Chow Chow with such health issues will not only require dedication and care but may also impact you financially. You may want to consider buying a pet insurance early.
You may need to visit the vet frequently and monitor her closely during this period of time. Hence, be sure that you are capable of managing her and her needs should this occur.
Although it seems like there are many things to consider, a Chow Chow is worth the effort and patience. With the right owner, she will be a fiercely protective and loyal companion till the end.
Taking these factors in mind, is a Chow Chow your ideal pet? Leave a comment with your experiences below.