My sister had a Shepherd-Chow mix that was the nicest, sweetest dog ever-great with kids, lived with a tiny dog, well behaved all the time.
My Chow mixes have more of what I think are the stereotypical (standard? http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/chowchow.htm
) attributes. I am also not sure what the effect is of being a mix-does it amplify certain traits? I don't know! So you can ignore me if you'd like because mine are all mixes!
Kramer-has always done well with other dogs, but only because they all (except one dog ever) defer to him. Was not good with kids at all when I got him, had some temperament issues but worked with him to the point where he was safe with people. However-give him an inch...how many miles can he take-many! Consistent NILIF type training was needed. DAILY-still-at 15.5, and he is getting away with a lot more because of his age, he tests me at every turn. Stubborn, willful-will crash through a storm door like a bull if the other door isn't closed and I am outside. It is so much fun to have a dog like this (to me) because it keeps my mind active. I won't figure out what he has pulled until well after he's gotten the upper hand. Then we start again from square one. He's clean, never touches anything that isn't his, won't walk near poop or pee, has never wanted to kill anything-even when he could have (a baby bunny he found, several stray cats that would wind around him, squirrels), and naps like a champion. His Shepherd side I believe gave him great intelligence and when engaged in learning that he enjoyed, readiness to perform. When doing anything repetitive he would mutter the whole time-complaining. If he can get treats, pity, or applause, he is interested in other people.
I believe that Ava is a Chow mix-she is monkey smart, has her own agenda and will repeat the same behaviors she has been told are not appropriate over and over and over again. Bossy! She still uses her paw as a hand/hook on me-4 years I have had her and told her to knock it off! Same as harassing Ilsa, bothering me for meals, etc. She would always do her own thing in obedience classes to the point where I would call her Liza Minelli because she acted like she was on pills and booze-her sits would be facing me instead of at my side, her heeling would include circles around me-just funny, do it my way things. Things that Bella or Bruno would do-so I know I knew how to train it! She is good with other dogs, resents the cats but behaves around them, and is fine with kids. I had her certified for therapy, but realized that the only person she cared about providing any comfort to was me-she would ignore patients and I would end up having to do the work!
Mariele (above-ticked off about a bath that violated her rights) and Ilsa are also Chow mixes (so you see I do like them). Mariele had other issues so it's hard to tell what is what with her. But she is very stubborn and likes to get her own way (and I have to say she does a lot). She makes up rules that I don't understand-like in the morning she won't come in when called and waits for me to close the door and THEN she runs in. When I leave and my mother takes care of her she has to leash Mariele or she will not come back in the house, go in her crate, etc. She is good with other dogs and not interested in people much.
Ilsa is probably most like Kramer. She is totally a one person dog and that took months. She will literally turn her back on people when they talk to her/try to engage her. Her lip quivers when strangers pet her-I have to watch her-she doesn't want to bite, she just is annoyed that they are taking liberties with her. She is most cat like-I even found her sitting on the table in between my two cats once! She winds around my legs, is very neat and clean, well behaved in the house, a good napper, food motivated but extremely stubborn. She will never, ever be allowed on furniture-she gets nutty. Any privelige and she gets delusions of grandeur! When I take her places I have to watch her (Mariele and Ava are similar) when we return because she believes that she has elevated to best dog status and will try to take over the pack. Try is the key word! But it is a daily thing with her of making sure I am not doing anything to allow her to feel as if she is in charge. She is not good with dogs outside her pack. She is not a dog I would ever have around kids.
The key is nothing physical with them-it is all about leadership, NILIF type little things. Because they (mine) are watching and waiting to take advantage. Oh-did you let me eat without sitting? I guess I am in charge of food now. Oh-did you let me go out without waiting? I guess I am in charge of property and space. Oh-did you pet me without having me sit first? I guess I am in charge of YOU now. I think it's an interesting game and it keeps me on my toes. I don't get into peeing matches with them because I know they have better skills and longer memories than I do.
They also make me appreciate Anna, Bella and Nina so much!!!!
Long! Sorry! There are Chows who are not like this perhaps-but I like the ones I have for being who they are. However, they are a serious dog generally and one who needs to be led and supervised.