Updated 08/04/2012 05:00 AM
Pet Pointers: Chow Chows
There are several breeds on the dangerous dog list, including Chow Chows. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza dispels the rumors and gets to the real story.
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Origins of the Chow Chow date back more than 2,000 years to ancient China. Their intimidating leonine faces made them great guard dogs that were also used as hunting dogs and family companions.
Chow Chow enthusiasts enjoy their independent cat like behavior, that includes affectionate nuzzling and sleeping a lot. However, Chow Chows are on the CDC’s dangerous dog list because they have a reputation for being aggressive and, as documented by the CDC, have been responsible for severe bites and fatalities.
Chows are very loyal and protective of their families, sometimes bonding strongly to one specific family member. This protective nature, if not channeled properly, can lead to a Chow becoming difficult to handle and surrendered.
“They are not socialized properly can become aggressive. They are such cute puppies it’s hard to discipline them,” said one Chow rescuer, Cindy Stone.
Chows are also the victim of over breeding by puppy mills because these adorable teddy bear looking puppies are hot sellers in pet stores. However, inexperienced dog lovers may find that as adults these medium sized, intelligent, beautiful dogs need more attention than they bargained for.
Their double coat needs daily brushing and comes in a variety of colors: black, blue, red, cinnamon, and cream are all accepted by the AKC. They are also famous for their blue-black tongue and need daily exercise to be happy and healthy.