Adopting my first Chow

General discussions about Chow Chows.

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Banananas
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Adopting my first Chow

Post by Banananas » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:40 am

Hi everyone,

I'm considering adopting my first Chow chow puppy. I've had a dog before and I've been around dogs. I've read a lot about the breed and watched a lot of videos so I'm aware Chows are a special breed, quite different from other dogs.

I also currently have 2 cats, both strong personalities and they 'own' the flat. I've read that Chows are normally good with cats because they have a cat-like personality and there shouldn't be any problems if they're introduced as puppies. I've read a lot of the topics here already, but I would like some advice from all you experienced Chow owners :)

1) I know Chows can be quite territorial, will that be a problem with the cats or will the Chow accept that the whole flat doesn't belong to them? (they would have a dedicated spot and cats also have high areas for themselves, but one of them can't really jump so he sticks to the ground and lower areas).
2) I have looked into kindergartens and schools for dogs, also some online training. I currently live in a country where Chows are not that popular, so I wasn't able to find any Chow specific training or socializing facilities. Are regular dog trainers okay for Chows? Is there something they'd need to know, that I'd need to tell them?
3) Was it hard for you to switch from other dog breeds to Chow? Did it take a lot of adjusting? Or have some of you only ever had Chows? (I read they're not great for a first time dog owner)

Thank you!

jesica
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by jesica » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:25 am

It is really good to hear this
It is jesica.. =D= =D= =D=

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Brisco
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by Brisco » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:14 am

Firstly welcome and I hope you enjoy your new Chow when you get it.
I've had many Chows and they were all good with other animals, even cats. I don't see that being a problem any more than any other breed.
Be careful with dog trainers. Many of them won't listen to you in regards to your Chow not being typical and will just do the same thing they do with the other dogs, this can be worse for your Chow than you just teaching it yourself. They are smart and I find them highly trainable with calm, quite, and not too long of sessions. My last two chows learned to sit at the age of 8 weeks old in about 5 minutes, NO kidding and NO exaggeration. I walk my current Dog Cisco, off lead 99% of the time and we have a lot of Kangaroos around for distraction. Do not scold them aggressively, do not ever frighten them with yelling or jerking them with the lead too hard and certainly never hit one. You will ruin it forever and it will never forget unlike most breeds that just take it and act like nothing happened 2 minutes later.
Switching breeds can be difficult as Chows tend not to be as playful or overly affectionate although this isn't always the case. What I can tell you is that it would be much harder to ever go back to another breed once you've had a good Chow.
Good luck with everything, Cisco's dad
No matter where you go, there you are.

Banananas
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by Banananas » Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:15 am

Hi Brisco,

Thank you very much for all the information. And thank you for explaining how you train your chows, that's really helpful. The dog I had before was very different in that regard. Needed very energetic training. And good to know that they are trainable. I've read many contradicting articles about this. Some say chows are super intelligent but stubborn (so you have to be firm and consistent and they will learn) and then some articles say chows are one of the least intelligent breeds and will only learn very few basic commands.
I'm actually very happy to hear they are trainable and can learn things if you're calm and consistent with them.
It's good to gear they're not as playful as well. I think my cats will appreciate that very much!
Btw, Cisco is a very nice name, I assume that's him on your photo, very cute :)

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Brisco
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by Brisco » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:10 am

Hi again, I'm not use to getting many responses on this site. I have an analogy in regards to their intelligence. The Red Coats trained there soldiers to march straight into enemy fire knowing they would be killed. This made them easy to train, NOT smart. The smart ones were the ones up on the hill watching, waiting for it to settle down before joining in. The Chow would be the one up on the hill. People that say Chows aren't smart haven't spent much time with them. Here is something that I posted years ago that might help.
Unlike most breeds they are typically NOT destructive, noisy, overly active, starving for affection (although they don't mind it, usually) or messy, mine do not even go to the bathroom in our yard, they wait for there morning walk, and I did not try to teach them this, no kidding. They ARE, loyal, protective, quiet, clean, intelligent, beautiful dogs.
Mostly I would say that it comes down to how you need to deal with a chow in it's training that makes it SO different. A Chow needs to respect, and even more importantly, trust it's owner (although don't let him/her hear you say that) I find that most breeds will do almost anything just to please it's owner. It doesn't matter how they are treated, to a degree anyway, they just want to please and play. Not all breeds or all dogs, but on the whole I would say the majority of dogs. If you yell, scare or god forbid, hit your Chow, it will take a very long time for it to forgive you and it will almost never forget it. I've seen other breeds practically beaten and 2 minutes later waiting anxiously for there next command, never a Chow, you may not even get close enough to pet it again for hours. You could ruin a Chows whole character by one or two bad events. They must be treated as a friend and companion 100% of the time if you want to keep there loyalty. A Chow will listen to you because he wants to, NOT because he thinks he has to. Be firm but try not to ever frighten him/her.

I could go on and on but I think that i've got MY view and/or point across.
No matter where you go, there you are.

Banananas
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by Banananas » Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:16 am

Hi Brisco,

Thanks again. This helps. Yes, it seems there aren't many responses here :) But this was the only chow chow specific forum I could find.

I guess this makes them sort of like giant cats in a way. Do you maybe have an advice on what to do with unwanted behaviour? Other dogs seem to respond to a firm 'no' and by the tone of your voice they will somehow know you disapprove. I know one person that's using a squirt bottle (wouldn't like to use this tho, seems a bit unnecessary).

I've read that about chows, that you need to earn their respect. And that they need to be socialized early on because they tend to be possessive and can get aggressive towards other people/pets in your life if they're not used to seeing them.
Did you ever had a bad experience socializing your chows? I know people with dogs, kids etc. that would be willing to help me with this, but there are people all around and you never know how someone will react. Especially kids on the street, could be unpleasant for any dog if a kid just comes running up to them, trying to pet it (not all parents would restrain your kids, this happened to my friend and fortunately her dog didn't mind, but some dogs do). If something like that happens with a chow, would it still be possible to socialize them or would they completely lost trust in kids/dogs (like if another dog is aggressive towards them).
Sorry for so many questions :)

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Brisco
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by Brisco » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:28 pm

Hi, I'm always happy to give my opinion/advise to anyone that has an interest in learning about Chows before and after getting one. I got my first one in 1980 and have had them ever since so I feel that I know enough about them to give advise. I usually do discourage the average person from getting a Chow because most people seem to "want one" within 20 seconds of seeing one and then regret their choice because they didn't know anything about what kind of dog they were getting. You are welcome to ask as many questions that you have.
They can certainly be disciplined. When I say don't yell at your Chow I'm speaking of real yelling, like an aggressive loud father who's kids are afraid of him even though he has never hurt them. You need to use a firm but controlled tone so they know that they are being corrected without causing them to cower from you in fear, irm but not scary. They do need to know that you are the boss which is the respect side of things more than the fear side.
for socializing just simply make sure the they are exposed to other dogs and get around people. There is a big difference from a mean dog and a protective dog. Chows are very protective by nature and it doesn't need much encouragement. Make sure people know to only approach from the front so you Chow can see them coming and don't surprise them from the side as they don't have good peripheral vision due to their hair. Also, I make sure that they never reach for the top of their head to pat it. I make sure they put their hand down low, let them sniff them and then scratch their cheek or under the chin on the neck.
As for other dogs, mine have always been very good with other dogs, no problem from my end. The problem is that other dogs quite often don't seem to like Chows. I think it might have to do with the Black tongue and mouth, it might appear as an aggression of some kind??? I've had Golden Retrievers that have never growled before be mean to my Chow. In saying this, I still let my Chows loose to play with most all dogs with no trouble at all. My current Chow is 5 years old and is around strange dogs all of the time when we travel and has never been in a fight so I don't think it is anything to worry about any more than any other breed.
No matter where you go, there you are.

Banananas
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Re: Adopting my first Chow

Post by Banananas » Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:12 am

Thank you again for all the info. It's completely different reading the articles and watching videos about a chow or getting actual information from someone who has experience.
It's good to know that you never had a bad experience with another dog. I was just a bit scared, my friend has a dog (he's a mix, he is quite possessive, protective and independent). And the dog was socialized, did well with other dogs. And then one day a German Shepard attached him. First he was only aggressive towards that breed, but it's gotten worse with time to the point where he only tolerates the dogs he actually knows (like his 'friends') so they need to re-socialize him.

Thanks for offering to helps with info in the future too :) If I'll have any questions I'll just post here! I think for now I will check out different kindergartens and dog trainers to see if anyone has experience with chows here so that they will know how to treat it. I still have a few months before making a final decision and I want to be 100% sure I can handle a chow before actually getting one.

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