Chow Chows - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Chow Chows

Hi everyone, I haven't been on this board for a long time... but I thought this might be a good place to ask for advice. I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with Chow Chows?

I'm fostering one, a gorgeous adult female. My son is buying a house, and he is really crazy about this dog. He wants to adopt her. She gets along well with the other animals. I haven't seen any aggression issues, but she is too aloof and stubborn for my tastes... yet she does seem to respond to him. Are they typically one-person dogs?

Any input about the breed is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 05:43 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

From what I've read about them, yes. They are one-person dogs and are very much aloof. They also aren't great if your looking for a dog that is forgiving of rough handling (like from a child). As far as obedience training goes, its like training a cat, aka "What's in it for ME?"

I think they are gorgeous looking dogs, but they aren't for me temperament-wise.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:24 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

If I am not mistaken, forum member "IliamnasQuest" may have one or two (Not positive), you might check her out

Chows are beautiful, like little minature bears, and tough.

I don't think there is bad as Akita's can be at times (I believe any dog is workable within reason).

There is actually a Therapy Akita in Alaska somewere.

The park I walk Jasper at, there is an all black Chow, it's very well behaved, the ower appears to be very on top of things, kind of like a good ower of a GSD.

Good luck.

~JACK~

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:35 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

they arent as "readable" as some other breeds, therefore most people perceive them as unpredictable.

i've heard many times that they aren't known to be best with small children.

personally, if i was set on getting a chow - it would be one of those breeds that i'd have to has as a puppy and in a situation where my kids and other pets were already in the home first.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 08:15 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

I have Chow mixes and will come back later to share the I have for them.

However, the is partly due to my wackiness!

I would definitely want to know about his plans for children.





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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 08:40 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

When my son was a few months old, we adopted a pure bred solid black Chow Chow who was 8 months old. The previous owners didn't want him anymore because they wanted to spend all their time with their tiny lap dog. Anyways we got him and he was so good from day one. Never got into anything, never had an accident in the house, very rarely did he ever bark and I never heard him growl, no food aggression, got along great with the two cats and the foster dogs we took in, our son could climb all over him and he'd just lay there and five years later when we had our daughter, he was the same with her too. He was our perfect dog. He had his funny little quirks and brought so much joy to us. We had Bear for over 13 years, he passed away last September and we still miss him greatly. He wasn't really a one-person dog but an everybody's dog. Of course, many people were scared of him because of him being a Chow and he was solid black with his big lion-like mane, but he was the gentlest dog I've ever known.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 08:59 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

Hi - I have a high chow mix. Chows do generally thrive in being a one person dog, but we have 3 people and she is fine. Chows are really loving and mine just LOVES kids. Also, generally, chows are a bit wacky, and often get really excited around other dogs, but it sounds like the one you have gets along well with dogs, so that is good. LOL - i do have to laugh, though, stubborn is a good word!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 10:42 AM
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Re: Chow Chows

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
http://www.akc.org/breeds/chow_chow/
http://www.chowwelfare.com/cciw/chowinfo.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.





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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 02:45 PM
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Re: Chow Chows

When I was probably about..oh, 9 or 10. We had a sweet little chow female come around. My grandfather at the time didnt want any dogs around. So he would keep running her off.

Well, she would run out of the yard, stop in the neighbors yard and wait for him to turn away or go inside and then would come back to our yard.

She had a red old tattered collar and one of those chain leasesh with a red hoop.

She would NOT leave and I probably didnt help going out there, feeding her and playing with her. Papaw hated it, but my Mamaw supported me.

I swear I was bonded with this dog from the beginning the moment I laid eyes on her.

Finally after about a week we took her in and my grandfather began trying to find her owner. We put ads in the paper, on the radio and flyers up. My aunt and I (sadly) took her door to door in TWO neighborhoods and no one knew who she belonged to.

After about two weeks, nothing..and she had already been there a week, so, I got my way :P and we got to keep her! I named her Cinnamon cause she was all brown and we were hardly ever apart. She did have to stay outside and she was chained up, but that never did anything to her. She loved me but got along great with my friends and family.

About a month after that, we were outside one day and mind you im only around 10yrs old at the time and this guy walks into our yard. Tall skinny dirty unkept hair, etc etc etc. And..he had a HUGE wrench in his hand.

I was with a friend playing with Cinnamon and Cinnamon instantly cowers down behind me shaking like crazy. My friend tries to get me to run inside and I said "Im not leaving my dog!"

I swear, at 27 I remember the convo. word for word.

Tall guy: "Hey, you seen a dog like that running around?" <point wrench at Cinnamon>

Me: "No sir I havent"

Tall guy: "You sure?" <stares at Cinnamon behind me>

Me: "Yes sir" <I look at Cinnamon behind me then back at tall guy> "She's been MY dog for quite a few months now. Her name is Cinnamon"

We stare at each other for a few minutes

Tall guy "Ok then"

And then leaves.

My friend looks at me and goes "your nuts" LOL.



I think, that if you get one. You should look for a good breeder or one that has been evaluated good so you know what you get. They can bond closely to one person. Cinnamon was bonded to me the most...HOWEVER, I made sure that she was around other people, dogs and cats in a positive way and we NEVER had an aggression problem.

They can be a bit stubborn, Cinnamon sure was sometimes, but I was even more stubborn so it worked out..lol.

I think if you are fair and firm with them and show leadership they can be WONDERFUL dogs, even with children as long as you go about it the right way. I was able to read Cinnamon just fine, however I was with her all the time and I got to know her and her pesonality.

On the flip side, one of my dads friends had two chows. Bonded to him and tolerated his wife, never around anyone or anything else. If anyone came back there without my dads friend, they would attack and possibly kill whatever came back there.

So said, they were so beautiful.

My fav. thing to do with Cinnamon was use her as a pillow in the summertime to watch the clouds outside. hehehe

~Johanna~

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chow Chows

Wow thank you all for this good information. I'm going to share this stuff with him... he has to really think this one through. Of course, right now he isn't thinking of kids, but time marches on...
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