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Chow chow: character, care and predisposition to diseases

Chow chow

Chow chow is a representative of the race, which probably has its roots in Mongolia, although its history is shrouded in a mystery.

These dogs scared away evil spirits, guarded Buddhist temples, took part in hunting, and also served as a means of transport during mountain expeditions.

Only approx. 1860. thanks to English travelers who brought 8 individuals to the continent, and it was these eight that gave rise to a modern race.

According to the FCI Chow-chow belongs to group 5.

  • Chow chow breed description
  • Chow chow: name
  • Chow chow grooming
  • Chow chow character
  • Chow chow disease
    • Myotonia
    • Congenital increased muscle tension
    • Entropium
    • Glaucoma
    • Growth hormone responsive dermatosis
    • Leafy pemphigus
    • Flea bite hypersensitivity (FAD)
    • Anterior cruciate ligament rupture
    • Melanoma
    • Malignant lymphosarcoma
  • Is it worth choosing a Chow-chow?

Chow chow breed description

Chow chow breed description

To some, it resembles a formidable lion with an abundant mane, others a mighty bear, or just a teddy bear.

One thing is certain - each of us will recognize this race from afar.

The Chow chow is a medium-sized dog with a compact and well-balanced body:

  • height at female withers 46 - 51 cm and weight 18 - 20 kg,
  • height at the withers of the male 48 - 56 cm and weight 20 - 25 kg.

The head of the Chow chow is broad and flat, framed by the lush hair that forms the aforementioned lion's mane.

Dark (or robe-colored) eyes and small and thick ears, tilted forward and directed towards each other, contribute to the characteristic pouting face.

A unique feature of the chow-chow is its tongue - blue, black, navy blue or blueberry, which (if you believe the legends) obtained its color thanks to the fact that dogs of this breed were able to lick pieces of the sky ?

Neck, back and loins strong, chest deep and broad.

The pectoral limbs are straight and the pelvic limbs are slightly angulated at the tarsus, which makes the gait slightly stilted.

The hair cover comes in two varieties:

  • coarse - thick, coarse top coat and woolly undercoat,
  • smooth (short-haired) - straight, short and protruding hair, resembling plush

The hair around the neck forms a ruff, and the pants on the thighs.

Color of this breed:

  • black,
  • redhead,
  • White,
  • creamy,
  • blue.
White chow-chow

What it looks like chow-chow dog you can see in the video below

Chow chow puppies first time see each other
Watch this video on YouTube

Chow chow: name

There are many different versions as to the etymology of the name of this race.

According to some sources, the name "chow " refers to the word "meat " or simply "yum " and refers to the taste of their meat, which was once a delicacy in China - apparently the bluer the tongue, the better the meat.

Another translation comes from the words "cha " or "chao ", meaning a dog of great strength.

Still other sources indicate the English origin of the name, where "chow - chow " is a term once used in mixed English to describe trinkets that were brought from the Far East.

Chow chow grooming

Chow-chow bath

As you can rightly suspect, the biggest challenge in caring for a Chow-chow is caring for its coat.

Dense undercoat must be combed frequently, so that the coat does not tangle and the dead hair does not block the access of air to the skin.

Since this activity is laborious, the dog should be accustomed to this type of treatment from the puppy, so that in the future his temperament will allow us to perform them calmly.

We use baths on an ad hoc basis, unless our quadruped suffers from a skin disease, which is, unfortunately, quite common with them.

It is also worth checking the skin folds on the face on a regular basis, as inflammation can occur in these places.

Due to the susceptibility to FAD, regular flea prevention is recommended.

Chow chow character

Chow chow character

The Chow Chow is definitely not an easy-going breed.

Chow chow is:

  • stubborn,
  • independent,
  • distrustful of strangers towards whom he may show aggressive behavior.

Even though it looks like a cuddly toy, she doesn't really enjoy playing with children, tugging or pulling her ears.

He is a dog of one master who must deserve his friendship and loyalty.

It is suitable for living in a block of flats, as long as it has its own, quiet corner and the possibility of going out for long walks.

Chow chow disease

Chow chow disease


Myotonia is an inherited condition and consists of delayed muscle relaxation after exercise, resulting in muscle stiffness and hypertrophy.

A characteristic feature is the recess left on them after pressure, as in plasticine.

Congenital increased muscle tension

This disease is inherited autosomal recessively and consists in a disturbance in the concentration of chloride and potassium ions in the cytoplasm of cells, which leads to increased tension in muscle fibers.

Puppies have problems with moving and standing up, tremors may appear, as well as overgrowth of the tongue and muscles of the limbs and neck.

The disease is incurable and clinical symptoms usually stabilize within a year.


Entropium consists in wrapping up a part of the eyelid towards the eyeball, which causes rubbing of the eyelashes against the surface of the cornea and its chronic irritation.

There is also conjunctivitis, blepharospasm and sometimes corneal injuries.

Treatment consists of surgical correction.


Glaucoma, as a hereditary disease, affects both eyes and consists in an increase in intraocular pressure as a result of a disturbance in the outflow of aqueous humor from the eyeball.

Acute glaucoma in chow chow is most often manifested:

  • soreness,
  • immobilization of the pupil,
  • swelling,
  • hyperemia.

In chronic glaucoma, chow chow is dominated by:

  • enlargement of the eyeball,
  • scarring of the cornea,
  • blindness.

Since primary glaucoma responds poorly to pharmacological treatment, advanced surgical methods are most commonly used to facilitate the drainage of fluid from the eye.

Growth hormone responsive dermatosis

Growth hormone responsive dermatosis is a disease manifested by a loss of hair (first the outer coat) mainly on the sides of the body, as well as on the neck, ears and back of the thighs.

The exposed skin is hyperpigmented, so this condition should be differentiated from other endocrine diseases.

Treatment is by administration growth hormone, with its documented shortage.

Leafy pemphigus

Leafy pemphigus is an autoimmune disease.

There is an antigen-antibody reaction between keratinocytes and desmosomes, and the antibodies produced by your body.

This leads to acantholysis, that is, loss of connection between epidermal cells, and these single keratinocytes, as acantholytic cells, are one of the characteristic features in the cytological examination, allowing the diagnosis of pemphigus.

Clinical signs of deciduous pemphigus in chow chow appear in middle-aged animals in the form of pustules, which exfoliate to form scabs on the bridge of the nose, pads, or auricles.

The prognosis is good to moderate - in some dogs the disease remains in remission after drug withdrawal, while others require the lowest effective doses for the rest of their lives.

Flea bite hypersensitivity (FAD)

APZS is a disease involving the formation of inflammation of the skin, as a result of the body's hypersensitivity reaction to proteins contained in flea saliva.

Typical changes appear in the lumbosacral region and at the base of the tail in the form of alopecia, resulting mainly from self-injuries caused by itching.

Treatment of APZS includes:

  • therapeutic baths,
  • use of anti-flea preparations (both on the dog and in its environment),
  • use of antipruritic preparations.

Anterior cruciate ligament rupture

This disease affects the intra-articular ligament that connects the femur with the tibia.

Revealed sudden lameness or the complete lack of burdening the limb.

The diagnosis is confirmed by the so-called. drawer test, showing a significant "play" in the knee.

The most common treatment is surgical.


Melanomas appear as stiff and pigmented skin tumors that may be ulcerated.

In most cases, melanomas are benign, but those around the fingers and claw bed, cutaneous-mucosal junctions are more malignant and may have distant metastases.

The treatment of choice is radical surgical removal, and in the case of malignant lesions - chemotherapy.

Malignant lymphosarcoma

It is a cancer that originates from B lymphocytes or T lymphocytes.

Clinically, we distinguish the following forms of lymphosarcoma:

  • digestive - infiltrates or tumors within the digestive tract; with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss,
  • dermal - epiteliotropic (derived from T lymphocytes, resulting in the formation of nodules or plaques, generalized erythema and ulceration of the mucous membranes) and non-epiteliotropic (derived from T and B lymphocytes, with the formation of subcutaneous nodules, e.g. within the conjunctiva),
  • mediastinal - enlargement of the chest lymph nodes, accumulation of fluid in it, shortness of breath and cough,
  • multifocal - enlargement of the lymph nodes, lack of appetite, apathy,
  • extra-nodal - most often it affects the kidneys and eyeballs.

The diagnosis is based on biopsy study, supplemented in doubtful cases histopathological examination a tissue section or lymph node.

The prognosis is cautious and the only form of remission is chemotherapy.

Is it worth choosing a Chow-chow?

Is it worth choosing a chow-chow??

Chow-chow is definitely the dog you buy need to think twice.

It is a dog that is quite difficult to train, so it should not be tried by people who have no idea about the basic principles of training.

And you have to teach these dogs from a puppy in order to be able to deal with the dog in such prosaic-sounding activities as combing or, for example, in the future. holding for injection during vaccination.

Socialization with other animals and people is also very important.

From my own practice, I will mention that I have repeatedly encountered the impotence of the owners when taming a dog for blood collection or even a clinical examination, because the dog is so distrustful that it bites not only the doctor but also its master, which makes diagnostics or, for example, much more difficult. makes it impossible to carry out physiotherapeutic procedures.

By nature, they are dogs with a cautious approach to strangers, so you should remember that a chowchow dog must see some authority in its owner.

It is not particularly suitable as a mascot for children, and all games should be carried out under the supervision of adults.

If, on the other hand, we manage to establish a thread with Chow, we will definitely gain a loyal defender and a wonderful friend.

Sources used >>

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