Please translate my Chow's vocalizations.

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loverman
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Please translate my Chow's vocalizations.

Postby loverman » Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:56 pm

I have a new adult Chow who has joined my family and our 7 cats. Most of the cats hiss fiercely and she gives them their space, but every so often she sees a cat and makes a series of grunting/moaning noises that sounds like a human imitating a monkey. The noises get lounder and more frenzied as she approaches the cat and the grunts mix with whines. I thought that she was saying, "please be my friend and play with me", but then she did they same noise upon seeing squirrels, chipmunks and deer. Now I am wondering if the noises mean, "I want to chase you and eat you". Any thoughts from experienced Chow mommies?

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Judy Fox
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Postby Judy Fox » Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:02 am

Chown Chows generally seem to be very vocal.
They grunt and snort and mutter all the time and I would suggest that she is just talking to them.
You will probably have found that she talks to you also.
I have found that with our Milly and Mabel, they certainly have sounds for different things.
For example, they have their grunts when we meet other dogs on a walk. Now if the other dog is aggressive to them and barks, snarls or growls they will answer with their own particular sounds. They don't bark or growl but their snorts and grunts are very much the "Shut, it you little Sh**! or else we will carve you up!" :evil: but if the other dog is placid they will sit down and grunt away happily.
Also, if they want to go out into the garden, one or other of them will come to me - not my husband - and make a series of nasal grunts that we have come to realise mean "We want to go out a spend a penny, please." :) :)
They will do this in the morning if I have not woken up and they want to go out.
So, what I suggest you do is really listen to their grunts and snorts and huffs and puffs and as you become accustomed to them, you will, I am sure begin to distinguish the different sounds. Remember that Chows are not like other dogs. They do bark, obviously but their other sounds are completely different. :)
Have fun! It is most interesting. :D
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Postby Roxana » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:53 pm

Yes, as Judy says, Chows are very vocal. I had to laugh when you decscribed the "monkey" sounds your chow makes. That is exactly the sound my girl Dakota used to make (when she could still see) whenever she was super excited about something, not necesssarily agressive, but excited.

She also used to make the little grunting, snorting sounds whenever she saw something outside that wasn't to her liking but it wasn't exactly worthy of a bark. Like say for instance, someone walking by on the sidewalk in front of our house was worth a grunt and a snort, while someone actually walking up to the house and ringing the bell was worthy of a bark.

In time you will come to recognize the assorted sounds your Chow makes and what they mean. They are definately characters that's for sure! :lol:

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Postby simbasmom » Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:49 pm

My little Coco makes a kind of squeaking whiny noise when he needs to to go out in a hurry like first thing in the morning or after I have been out for a couple of hours. And he makes funny little grunting noises when he wants to play and noone is paying attention to him or if he is annoyed with me. I really got an ear full of grunts after I gave him a bath today :lol: he didn't like it at all of course I am not sure who got more wet Coco or me. He also has another grunty noise he makes if he is tired and I forget to turn the light off. :D I also know if he is mad at me when I pick him up to give him a cuddle and he turns his face away from mine. :cry:

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Postby Judy Fox » Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:37 am

Yes, indeed - the "We are annoyed with you!" grunts are very pronounced as are the "Gosh, we are happy!" grunts! :)

Fred and I are in the 'dog-house' at the moment. We stayed up later than usual and that did not suit Milly and Mabel. They grunted and snorted and huffed and puffed and in the end Milly cleared off to bed and Mabel went and flung herself down on her blanket in the dining room and there she stayed all night instead of coming in to bed with us! :x

Fred was devastated! :(

Milly was in bed when we went in and snorted and huffed at us. Mabel said good-morning to me this morning but she slept in the dining room all night! :)
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Postby WorknChowz » Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:44 am

Those monkey noises are most likely prey oriented. A slightly different monkey noise can just mean indicision. "Oh, ooo, oooo, what should I do?"

All the funny sounds made by Chows are just one of the reasons I think I will always allow myself to be owned by at least one...

The "Pfff, Pfff" warning that a stranger is too near the house. Lai Fu also makes a deep "OHMmmmvvvvv, OHMmmmmmvvvv" as a warning.
The "Oh, oh, oh..." when a little frustrated. And the Monkey-moan when all the details are just not quite to thier liking. :roll: My DH always says, "When a Chow Chow ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy." :lol:

When Lai Fu is REALLY happy, she snorts like a pig!
When someone new meets her and I show them her favorite place to be scratched, she makes this sound. The new person always looks like this > :shock: and I have to explain it is a happy noise, NOT a growl of any kind.
Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all...

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Chow language

Postby loverman » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:40 pm

I enjoyed reading the description of other Chows' speech patterns. I am hearing such a variety of new noises that I need a dictionary.

The latest is that Summer emits a low growl during the night when she wants me to lift her onto the bed and, if I keep sleeping, this turns to barks. The growl is so strange, I would think it to be agressive if her body language did not say otherwise (i.e. a wagging tail).

She still is doing the monkey grunts and moans as she tries to sniff the cats, but as they swing at her, she is sneezing over and over. I can't imagine how she could trigger a sneeze to use in communication, but this is what she does and has not been scratched despite the cats' attempts.

I am not the only one who needs a dictionary. Summer has concluded that these strange little creatures she shares a house with, play by reaching out and touching each other with their paws. Summer follows up on their extended claw swings by reaching out and touching the cats with her big paw. The cats get even more worked up, swing more, followed by Summer sneezing, sneezing more, grunting, moaning and nudging them with her paw. The cats scoot under a piece of furniture and Summer follows up with a long moan and sign.

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Postby Boogie and Linda » Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:48 pm

Well I just typed up a big response and was proofing it when the cat jumped on the keyboard and it all disappeared. :? I will have to see if I can remember all that I wanted to say. :wink:

Our chow Boogie makes monkey noises too. It is usually when he wants something. I think it is his way of whining. When he gets really excited he sometimes snorts like a pig. He also does the sneezing thing but only when he is on his back and we are rubbing his belly. It is the strangest thing. Every time we are rubbing his belly he has these big wet sneezes that gets spit all over us. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

Boogie also first learned how to play from the cat. It was very embarrassing when we took him to the dog park for the first time. He didn't understand all of the sniffing each other stuff that the other dogs wanted to do. He started pouncing on the other dogs with his butt up on the air and his front really low to the ground (the way a cat pounces). They all looked at him funny and wanted nothing to do with him. He also doesn't fetch. Instead he bats the ball around with his paws and pounces on it. He learned to swing his paw at the cat from the cat doing it to him which one time he accidentally knocked the cat across the room doing that. (He doesn't know his own strength.) He also chases the cat and always looks so surprised when he falls off of the back of the couch when the cat can even run sideways across the back of it. :D The only bad thing is that it has been a year and we still can't have Boogie loose in the house unattended because he will go after the cat. I have watched and the cat antagonizes poor Boogie and then plays the helpless victim when he is "attacked". Boogie sleeps in a kennel in his own room and every morning we will find a bunch of the cats toys in there so we know that the cat has been in there flaunting the fact that he is free while poor Boogie is locked up. The first thing Boogie does when we let him out of the kennel in the morning is find the cat and sit on him. :P

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Postby Judy Fox » Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:44 am

I think that is awful, loosing your message and the second time is never as good as the first draft is it! :roll:

Milly and Mabel both do the play signals of putting their bottoms up in the air and their fronts down low - they also sway their heads from side to side. We can always get them playing with doing the same and then that will send them skidding round the garden and the house, thrilled to bits. :)

Have any of you heard the sound they make that is almost like a cats purr. Milly especially makes that sound when she is very content. Mabel does too but Milly does more.
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Postby Mandy » Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:46 am

Both Ceyanne and Chewie purr. I love it. They always purr when we scratch them under the chin and on the belly. Chewie also sneezes when he is on his belly! I thought it was a strange thing... now even stranger to hear that other Chows do this too! Ceyanne sounds like a piggy searching for truffles when she is sniffing around looking for something. The little oink oink oink's are so cute. And don't even get me started on her snoring...

Mandy, Ceyanne & Chewie

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Postby Judy Fox » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:48 am

Oh! yes, well the snoring!

When Milly Ching came to live with us she was only 6 weeks old and we put a box with blanket in our bedroom. She kept me awake for 6 whole weeks and I was on the verge of suggesting to Fred we put her in the kitchen as I was exhausted! :( I had not slept properly since she arrived - then just as I was near tears, I woke up one morning and found I had slept all night and felt much better so she remains in our room. When Mabel joined us, we had both in our room and it does not bother me at all now. In fact I drop off to sleep myself listening to their lovely contented little snores (sorry, huge snores!! :roll: )
But I agree, I love the oink oink piggy wiggy snorts when they are searching for something. :)
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Postby loverman » Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:27 am

Yes, snores like a passing train. I was already wearing earplugs to sleep through kitty nose whistle/snores, when Summer arrived, but I can still hear her snore through the ear plugs.

Summer is on the bed, moves to the floor, wants to come back on the bed all night. Is this relocation thing a Chow behavior? She seems comfortable enough. During the day, she goes from sofa to floor over and over.

Every once in a while, we are treated to her rolling on her back, feet in the air snorting, grunting and growling like a lunatic. This is especially likely to occur when she is on the lawn on a leash next to me while I garden and cannot wander off (wandering off is the highest priority activity, even better than eating).

As strange as her noises are, there are times that she makes no noise. When she is taking me for a walk in 4-wheel drive. That is very important business and no silly noise or leisurely stroll interferes with getting from point A to B. She is also strangely silent as I embarrass her by cooing and kissing. She looks away, mortified, as do the cats.

She also does the kitty soccer thing with her tennis ball, but seemed to have come hard wired to do this as she started before watching the cats do it. I am very suspicious that if I did a genetic analysis, Summer would be more cat than dog. She reaffirmed this suspicion by chasing the cats' giant twisty tie (a low-budget, beloved toy) when my husband threw it yesterday and holding it between her paws and biting it. Oh, and the purring as she is scratched under her chin!

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Postby Judy Fox » Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:50 pm

Milly and Mabel have a football in the garden and they dribble it along together, joined at the shoulder. They love it - they will ignore it for weeks though and then decide to play with it. :)

But run and fetch a ball - you must be joking - that game is for dogs!
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Postby ngraham » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:13 pm

Koda is still small and isn't making too many of the normal "chow" piggy noises yet. I do remember Sasha making them tho when she was here with us. The first night Koda was here, he was asleep on my bedroom floor snoring. I thought.... man I had forgotten what it was like to have a snoring chow in the room with me. LOL They are just such delightful creatures... noises and all :)
Nancy and Tai

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Postby loverman » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:55 pm

I hadn't thought what it must be like to hear someone elses chow noises for the fist time. We had a technician test our security system (not the chow one, the electric one) today. He let Summer sniff him and then she followed him around learning the trade. As some point he gently asked if she barked! I realized that she had been grunting and muttering as she studied the alarm system which was beeping on command. Poor fellow, he must have though he was being followed by a very strange animal.

She also lets loose with barks and growl/snort combos when the phone rings!

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Postby Debbie » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:53 pm

I know that strange growl you speak of as the tail goes back and forth and Bones has an excited look on his face. I once too thought whoa, is this aggressive, but it means that he wants something from me like to go out of our bedroom or outside at an unusual time.

I was also laughing at the "monkey"description of the high pictched "nn nnn nnn nnn nnn" noise. Bones made it today on our walk as another dog behind a fence barked and barked and ran along the fence line. I wondered why Bones made this particular noise as he usually saves it for home and interacting with his humans?!

I too think Chows are quite cat -like but not quite a cat nor not quite a dog. Delightful reading about how similar the noises are.

Now another phenomenon I noticed is similar between my Bear and my Bones. They will each leave 1 piece of food left in the dish. Not all the time but enough that I have noticed it happens and with both of them?? Anyone else?

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Postby Elaina » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:07 am

Debbie,
I know what you mean! Sometimes Max, Maha, and Mei-Mei will leave 1 kibble in their bowls. Then they will go to each other's bowl and sniff the single kibble. Afterwards they grunt, huff, and leave the kitchen together. I wonder what it means!?

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Elaina, Max-A-Million, Mahayana, and Mei-Mei

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Postby loverman » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:38 am

Summer's new thing is looking through the French doors at the cats on the other side who she's been with till coming into the kitchen for a meal. She makes a series of whine/moan noises going up and down the scale and ending in a huge sigh. It sounds like longing to me.

Her growls seems to be used to communicate in non-aggressive situations like waking me to be lifted onto the bed. I wonder how she thinks we're supposed to tell the difference between a simple request and a warning.

Our cats reserve the growl for warnings including the tortise-shell who growls out the window at workers such as the lawn care guy moving past and settling differences among themselves.


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