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Dignified and independent, the Chow Chow is a non-sporting dog. It is distinctive for his lion’s-mane ruff, blue-black tongue, deep-set eyes, and stiff-legged gait. An aristocrat dog of ancient China, the Chow Chow has now become a fashionable pet and guard dog, as well as a much loved companion.
See the fact file below for more information on the Chow Chow or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Chow Chow worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Researchers believe the Chow Chow to be among the oldest dog breeds and that it is native to Mongolia and Northern China. Their genes could prove that this claim might be true. These ancient dogs have slowly moved south, together with the nomadic tribes of Mongolia.
- Ancient dogs that look like the Chow Chow have been spotted on pottery and in paintings from the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 22 AD).
- Historians say one Chinese ruler was said to have owned over 2,500 pairs of Chow Chows as hunting dogs and as guard dogs over his possessions. Unfortunately, their fur was used to make coats, and other Chinese natives ate their flesh and considered it a delicacy.
- In China, Chow Chows had a lot of names, such as black-tongue dog (Hei Shi-Tou), wolf dog (Lang Gou), bear dog (Xiang Gou), and Canton dog (Guangdong Gou).
- In 1781, a book by British naturalist Gilbert White, Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, mentioned the breed.
- White’s neighbors imported a pair of Chow Chows from Guangdong (originally Canton), and he added them in his observations of everyday life in China. Enthusiasts believe the dog has not changed much since White described them more than 200 years ago.
- In the 1820s, they were displayed at the London Zoo as the “Wild Dogs of China”.
- One hundred years later, these dogs were imported on a regular basis.
- Queen Victoria, a dog fancier, popularized the Chow Chows. In 1895, a breed club was established in England.
- A more popular theory of the breed’s name includes the 18th-century trading ships of the British troops. During that time, the pidgin-English expression, “chow chow”, pertained to the small, miscellaneous items found in the ship’s cargo that have not been listed. “Chow Chow” was another way of saying “etcetera”, and these weird yet distinctive-looking dogs British traders got in China were included on the ship’s inventory under the catchall “chow chow”.
- Takya was the first Chow Chow to join an American dog show. In 1890, she won third place in the Miscellaneous Class at the Westminster Kennel Club show.
- In 1903, the American Kennel Club acknowledged the breed, and Yen How was the first Chow Chow registered with the AKC.
- In the 1920s, these breeds became fashionable pets. They even made it to the White House, where President Calvin Coolidge owned a red and a black Chow Chow named Timmy and Blackberry, respectively.
- Sigmund Freud was also an enthusiast, as well as Martha Stewart, who had her Chows appear on her own TV show.
- Chow Chows reach 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh 40 to 70 pounds.
- They are upstanding dogs of Arctic type, medium size, with a muscular build.
- They have large heads, projecting a dignified and snobbish expression.
- Chow Chows are distinctive for their deep, almond-shaped eyes and blue-black tongue. According to Chinese myths, the tongue got its color at the time of creation, when a Chow licked up droplets of the color as the sky was being made.
- They have small, pointed ears with rounded tips. Their nose should be black, but Chow Chows with blue coats can have a solid blue or slate-colored nose. Their necks are strong, well-curved, and compact, accompanied by broad and muscular chests and round and powerful straight legs.
- Chow Chows are also known for their very dense double coats, which can either be smooth or rough. Rough coats have abundant, straight, and coarsely textured outer coats, with delicate, thick, and wooly undercoats. Their coats form a lion’s-mane ruff around the head and neck, and their tail is well-feathered.
- Smooth-coated Chow Chows have the same standards as the rough-coated ones, except that their outer coats are hard, dense, and smooth with a definite undercoat. Their fluffy coats do not form an obvious ruff on the legs or tail.
- Chow Chows vary in colors, such as cinnamon (light fawn to deep cinnamon), red (which can range from light golden to deep mahogany), cream, blue, and black.
- Studies suggested that these dogs “combine the nobility of a lion, the drollness of a panda, the appeal of a teddy bear, the grace and independence of a cat, and the loyalty and devotion of a dog.”
- They tend to judge strangers and can act fiercely territorial of their owners and property. The AKC, however, does not accept an all-too aggressive and all-too timid Chow Chow.
- They are not very active dogs. They can be housed in an apartment despite their size. However, Chow Chows still need daily exercise to avoid restlessness and boredom.
- Chow Chows are loyal with friends and family, making them very overprotective, as well. It is in their nature to be reserved and well-behaved, but they are also resistant to training. They can become very stubborn as they mature, so owners should train their Chow Chow puppies at an early age to gain respect for those who care for them.
- When they reach adolescence, they reject authority from anyone who has failed to earn their admiration.
HEALTH AND CARE
- Canine Hip Dysplasia. An abnormality in the hip socket, causing crippling lameness and painful joint inflammation, such as arthritis.
- Entropion. An eye condition that happens when the lower eyelid rolls inward, making the hair on the lid irritate the eye.
- Chow Chows are prone to autoimmune disease and melanoma.
- They are very sensitive to heat, so it is best for them to be kept indoors with their people.
- For them to be in good shape, owners should measure their food and feed them two times a day rather than leaving food out all the time.
- Brush your Chows three times a week to keep their coats tangle-free.
- Chow Chows are alert and energetic dogs with minimal exercise needs. Owners should ensure daily walks and moderate amounts of play with toys.
NOTABLE CHOW CHOWS
- Stasi was owned by Australian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist Konrad Lorenz, who was often known as the founder of modern ethology. He mentioned his dogs in his book, King Solomon’s Ring.
- American artist Georgia O’Keeffe kept at least six Chows throughout her life. She wrote about her dogs in her letters to friends and relatives, took pictures of them, and even sketched them.
- Jo-Fi Ling, Sigmund Freud’s Chow Chow, was relied on for his assessment of a patient’s mental state.
- Bob was US Navy Admiral George Dewey’s dog. He was bought in Hong Kong in 1898. Chocolates were the cause of Bob’s death in 1899.
Chow Chow Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Chow Chow across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Chow Chow worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Chow Chow which is a non-sporting dog. It is distinctive for his lion’s-mane ruff, blue-black tongue, deep-set eyes, and stiff-legged gait. An aristocrat dog of ancient China, the Chow Chow has now become a fashionable pet and guard dog, as well as a much loved companion.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Chow Chow Facts
- Ciao Chow
- Breed Standards
- Fetch Some Facts
- Growing Up a Chow
- Ask a Chow
- Two Fluffs
- Other Non-Sporting Dogs
- Taking Care of a Chow
- Pros and Cons of a Chow
- Adopting a Chow
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Link will appear as Chow Chow Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 8, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.