first time chow owner needs advice please

Health topics and issues with Chow Chows.

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Sandie
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first time chow owner needs advice please

Postby Sandie » Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:51 pm

I know that chows are a different breed of dog which is one reason we wanted one. We researched different breeds before deciding on a chow. And I am so glad we got a chow ~ don't think I'll ever get another breed. I just want to learn the correct way to teach him. ~ I did purchase the book from this site but it didn't deal with this subject.
2 things have come up recently that has caused us to discipline our chow. And to be honest I don't know how to do this so that he will understand that he cannot do this action again.
The first was that he took off running out the front door. in 2 years he has never done this. the backyard has a 6 foot stockade fence around it which he is free to play in anytime he chooses. He is an inside dog and goes out back whenever he wants to. if the sliding glass door is closed and he wants in he hits it hard enough to get you up and running to let him in. but the other day we had the front door open and were putting things in the car when he came out like a flash of lightening and was headed north. Ken followed him in the truck. Beatle went west then cut back south thru the alley way. When I could hear my husband's voice I began to call Beatle. He came running and went right into the house as if nothing had happened. I was so happy that he was home I stayed outside because I had no idea what to say to Beatle.When Ken got home he popped beatle on the bottom, once and not hard ~ first time he ever did this because we don't believe in hitting ~ but he was so upset that we could have lost Beatle, that's his baby, that it was just a reaction. He turned around a growled at my husband. So, they had a chat, no hitting, on who was the boss. They both think they are. :)
Beatle is your typical chow, loving and obediant when he wants to be and when he doesn't want to be he just isn't.
The second thing is begging and taking food. When the grandkids come over and get something to eat I have to put Beatle in another room because he will take the food out of their hand and eat it. Since the kids are only 3 and 18 months they aren't tall enough to keep it out of his reach. But today I went to answer the phone and came back to him eating my lunch off of the table! when I told him no he just wagged his tail and kept eating. He even tried to eat it while I was taking it away! We have never owned a dog that has done this and we have both had dogs all of our lives. (Our other dog, a pit, doesn't do this and when you tell her to go lay down she does.) By begging he rest his head on my lap when I am eating. he will only watch my husband but when it comes to me he puts his head right there so I can't miss him. ~ we don't feed him from the table or when we are eating, never have.
So, how do you discipline a chow? :?
Other then these 2 things he's a great dog. ~Oh after their chat he hasn't run out the front door again although we don't leave it open anymore either. :wink:

I just want for him to be safe and for everyone to be able to eat without fear of their food being taken.
Mommy to Storme, Beatle, Bailey and Mufassa aka Moose.

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Postby ngraham » Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:40 pm

I have a 14 week old male who does the exact same things Beetle does. So I'm going to be REALLY interested in the responses posted. Again, Koda is very hard headed and I would never, ever hit him. But boy, he does know how to try my patience. As far as the begging goes... that's my daughter Amber's fault. No matter how much I told her to NOT feed him while she is eating, or feed him any people food, of course when I am not home, she does. And now Koda begs. Grrrrrrr
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Postby kingalls » Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:44 pm

I joined this site almost 3 years ago and early on I was advised not to ever hit your Chow. The growl probably confirms that. As well, Chows have a long memory about such things. Chows are very intelligent as they are stubborn. I think discipline via your voice tones will be just as effective.
As for Beatle taking off through the front door - well, this kind of goes hand in hand with not letting them off leash as they will take off and will come back when they bloody well feel like it. Even though you may have had the chat, I wouldn't leave the front door open - too tempting for Beatle - you'll have to help him be good :)
Shiloh and Mr. N will check out what we are eating but a strong NO will take care of it. We have never given them food off our plate or else they will think it's acceptable.
Beatle sounds like a riot! :lol:

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Postby Judy Fox » Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:56 pm

Sandie, two problems, and in my opinion, and I stress in my opinion, two perfectly simple answers.

First, running off!

There are a few on the site who have chows who do not run off but generally, I was told by the breeders when I was researching the breed before we got Milly that chows are 'little jiggers' about running off. We have had the problem with Milly and Mabel and for that one reason, we never, repeat never, let them off their leads. For that reason, we have 27 ft. long pony lunge reins to take them for a walk.

So, I suggest, simply don't let Beatle out in the front! :roll: Basically, I would suggest that you won't cure him of it. Chow being Chow and all that!!! :lol:

Secondly, regarding food - again - deal with it!! :) And I don't mean that rudely! 8)
We have had many dogs over the years - some were thieves and some were not!
We had a beautiful Great Dane called Lizzie and we could leave food on the coffee table and she would not dream of touching it and we had a boxer called Meggy who would blatantly steal anything she could.

We have two Chows, Milly and Mabel - Milly will try to get off Fred's plate and the cheeky little madame, if we are eating say in the sitting room with a television supper, she will put her chin on the edge of the plate and try to push it down. Mabel won't! :?

So, again, I suggest you just keep food up! Tell Beatle "No!" or whatever, if you catch him and just make sure he is not around when your grandchildren are eating. Perhaps making them sit at the table and excluding Beatle from the area.

You are not going stop him doing it by negotiation or reasoning with him! :roll: He is a Chow Chow and if he wants to do it, he will! 8)

You have got to deal with the problem by tackling it head on! :)

Don't let him out where he can run off ..................

and don't leave him where food can be pinched.

Then you have won! :)
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Postby wrat » Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:16 am

I would say always give your chow or any dog for that matter the chance to succeed rather than fail..We`ve had many dogs and not once have they been fed from our plates or the table so no begging...

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Postby Sandie » Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:35 am

Thank-you so much for your help. We are very careful of the front door now and will soon be adding a fence and gate around the front porch for added protection. Not that the door will be left open but with small kids as the grandchildren are things happen. As for the food we will deal with it but I am happy to hear that we are not bad parents it's just a part of who Beatle is. ~ which I don't want to change him, I love him just the way he is~
Thank-you again for all of the help.
Mommy to Storme, Beatle, Bailey and Mufassa aka Moose.

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Postby Judy Fox » Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:52 am

Sandie, of course you are not bad parents - you are just the parents of a Chow Chow, not a dog!! :)
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Postby Mandy » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:26 am

I agree with everything that has been said. They love you but will they listen? Not really. My husband thinks he is going to convince our Chewie that he can't sit on the couches. I just laugh at the whole thing because I know it will never work. Here is how it usually goes. Chewie leaps on to the couch and plops down. Drew says "no!" really forcefully and takes him off and puts him on the floor. Chewie looks at him, gives him a little "harumphhhh" and a snuff and jumps right back up. (usually to sit next to me!) The same thing happens again and this time Chewie runs away, runs around the table, around the room, snuffs and jumps right back up. As if we can tell him what to do! It all is just too funny. You have to learn to love their stuborness. It is one of most enduring things about them.

You're both fine parents but do stress to your husband that every "tap" of his hand will be remembered by your Chow.

Chows are Chows!

Mandy

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Postby Samorrathis » Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:42 pm

We have had a problem in the past of Nanuk barging through the door even if it pushes one of us aside. To correct this problem, we have been using this method.......
Before letting your chow in or out have them sit a few feet before the door and stay. After you have passed through the door you then let them know it's ok to come on in or out. It took a while now but Nanuk really has slowed down and won't dart out the door or cut us off.

As far as the begging thing it is a work in progress. He is still learning go lay down, so for the moment after several tries we put him out in the yard until we are totally done with dinner. I also try and give him a chewie to keep him busy in another room as we eat.

I'll be checking back to hear the other idea's people have, cause like I said it is a work in progress.

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Postby kiwani » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:09 am

Sandie wrote:

"Not that the door will be left open but with small kids as the grandchildren are things happen."

---

You could add sliding locks to the tops of the doors in the meantime, giving the adults more control.

Secondly, punishing the Chow after he returned home, just reinforced in his mind that returning home doesn't get *rewarded*, and being hit reinforces in his mind that humans can't be trusted. He will remember all that, if there is another escape.

Thirdly, I believe that feeding a Chow better quality foods greatly reduces begging/stealing behavior. When a Chow is fed quality foods, and receives additional fresh foods on his plate daily, such as meat, dairy, fish, and is fed *before* the humans have their meals, it's less of a stimulus,there's less interest, because they don't feel deprived.

The better quality foods, don't yo-yo a dog's blood sugar levels, and this glucose yo-yoing adds to behavioral problems too.

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Postby kiwani » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:36 am

MandyBarrett wrote:

"My husband thinks he is going to convince our Chewie that he can't sit on the couches. I just laugh at the whole thing because I know it will never work."

---

I haven't had Chows showing much interest in couches. Maybe it's because the dog bed in the livingroom is a slip-covered baby crib mattress with a plush shag rug topper. It's much more comfortable, with plenty of room to stretch out. It's a good place to do grooming too, and the Chows have even *expected* tooth brushing and tartar-scraping, nail clips, all done while *relaxing* there. Chows want the same things that their people have. They don't want to feel deprived.

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Postby willowchow » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:47 am

I've fortunately never had any experience with her running out the front door. However, I agree with Kiwani's statement regarding the "popping". Dogs just do not understand hitting of any kind, they are not little kids. From what I've read the alpha dog shows very little physical punishment over the other dogs in the pack. I think by hitting you are basically confirming in his mind that he is the boss because in his mind, your actions are making him think you can't be. If you get angry, hit, yell, carry on, etc, your just diminishing your alpha status.

I'm amazed that some of the chows here are allowed to disobey. If Willow gets on the couch it's because I've invited her and she must get down when I tell her too. If she's even remotely not doing that, she loses couch privledges. If we aren't home and I think she's going to try to get up there, I gate the room off. I agree that chows are and can be stubborn, but they must also know they do not make the rules. This is how aggression issues happen.

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Postby wrat » Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:18 am

willowchow wrote:I've fortunately never had any experience with her running out the front door. However, I agree with Kiwani's statement regarding the "popping". Dogs just do not understand hitting of any kind, they are not little kids. From what I've read the alpha dog shows very little physical punishment over the other dogs in the pack. I think by hitting you are basically confirming in his mind that he is the boss because in his mind, your actions are making him think you can't be. If you get angry, hit, yell, carry on, etc, your just diminishing your alpha status.

I'm amazed that some of the chows here are allowed to disobey. If Willow gets on the couch it's because I've invited her and she must get down when I tell her too. If she's even remotely not doing that, she loses couch privledges. If we aren't home and I think she's going to try to get up there, I gate the room off. I agree that chows are and can be stubborn, but they must also know they do not make the rules. This is how aggression issues happen.


I could not agree more well said!!

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Postby kiwani » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:07 am

Re: "I agree that chows are and can be stubborn, but they must also know they do not make the rules. This is how aggression issues happen."

You're right on target.


Excerpt: Respect and Trust

"If you give in to your puppy's every whim, your pup will never learn self control and self discipline. Your puppy will never learn to respect you. If your puppy does not respect you, it will have no reason to do anything for you. Your relationship will be like two 5 year olds bossing each other around.


If you do not take up the role of leader, your dog will; and you will end up with an unruly, disobedient, out of control, often aggressive monster of a dog. Most of these dogs end up living a life of isolation in the back yard because no one can deal with it; or they end up dead - euthanized at the local animal shelter.


Other people have an equally erroneous misconception of this issue...they think that to earn the dog's respect they must bully, dominate and terrorize the dog into being submissive. A dog treated this way will eventually bite their owner. This is not respect. Respect is not something that is forced. It is won. A dog will not respect someone it does not trust."

http://www.perfectpaws.com/pup2.html

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Postby bruinsmom » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:17 am

Congratulations on becomming a chow chow owner.
They're great!
My oldest chow Brandi was taught the "heal" and "stay" command. We live on a busy street so I wanted to make sure she was extremely familiar with these commands. It didn't take long for her to learn them.

I was also advised to train her at an early age. As a result, she was use to the commands and this avoided any problems with growling and knowing who alpha was. I would take 10 minutes a night and have her sit, lay down, come, heal, stay etc. I also would say these commands while walking her.
When she did them, boy did she get praise and lots of kisses (and a few treats too). By doing all of this training, she knew who was alpha and growling was a thing of the past.

Your chow sounds like a sweetheart! Try training on a daily basis - believe me, it will help both you and your chow.

Best of Luck,
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Postby Sandie » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:28 pm

There are some great suggestions here. I do want to re-state that the pop was just one time and something that was not expected and won't happen again ~ no one is happy about it. I did tell Beatle when he was cmning back to the house that he was a good boy for coming home. He is just as loving as ever and by his behavior you would never know what happened. Except he no longer even steps outside the door when it's opened. We take full responsibility for what happened because looking back we see what we did was wrong. Beatle would be so excited to see dad come home that he would be watching thru the window for him. As soon as he saw the truck he was dancing against the front door. When ken opened the door beatle was so excited that he wouldn't even let him him. he danced all over him. When ken would walk into the kitchen, Beatle was right there walking on his hind legs with his front paws on ken's back. we should have stopped his door dancing, but we thought it was so cute, never dreaming the next step would be outside, since none of our other dogs ever went out the front on their own.So far the grandkids haven't left the door open. Only one is big ebough to open it if the deadbolt isn't shut, but it's a habbit to keep the deadbolt on even when the kids aren't here. But, I know that it's just a matter of time before something happens or he pushes past one to get out. It was something that we want to avoid. Which is the main reason that we will be fencing in the front porch. :D
As far as begging and stealing, we have never feed any of the dogs table food (ok so I snuck them stuff sometimes, but never while eating) I did not realize that we were supposed to feed them table food.
I thought I researched Chows and knew what we should do but it is turning out that we didn't get a dog but a new baby. No matter what you read you never know enough. :wink: i guess we are over indulgent parents but he makes it so easy. He is allowed on the furniture but the only time he sits on the coach is when he gets a treat or I want to groom him. I sit on the floor with my back against the couch and call him. he responds by jumping over me a sitting on the couch! Then I get that "what?" look. he only gets on the bed after you call him and if he wants to. (our pit is always on the couch laying down) Now that I think about it he's more like the grandkids cause he is spoiled where the kids weren't...as much anyway. :wink: i just love him to death more then I thought possible. :)
Mommy to Storme, Beatle, Bailey and Mufassa aka Moose.

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Postby Sandie » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:30 pm

i do want to teach him to wait until we get thru the door before he comes in. We;ll start working on that. thank-you.
Mommy to Storme, Beatle, Bailey and Mufassa aka Moose.

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Postby kiwani » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:34 am

Sandie wrote: "I did not realize that we were supposed to feed them table food."

---

Sandie, I only gave my opinion, based on my experience of not ever having had Chows with food stealing, or 'begging at the table' behavior. You mentioned feeding Ol'Roy, and that may be a reason why your Chow is so ravenous. Not every ingredient is digestible.

You mentioned that your Chow was grabbing food out of the children's hands, grabbing your food too, and ignoring your command to stop. Here, a guest could offer morsels of meat or cheese to the dogs, but the Chows wouldn't bother with it unless they felt hungry, and they take offered morsels gently.

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Postby ngraham » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:59 pm

As far as Wal-Mart's Ol' Roy goes... Koda was weaned on Purina One Lamb and Rice puppy formula. When we got him, that's what I bought for him. My 17 year old daughter has a mixed breed 5 month old pup and they have always fed him Wal-Mart Ol' Roy Gourmet puppy food. Well, Mr. Koda decided he liked the Ol' Roy better than his Purina One. Hummmm So trying to give him what he wanted, I just started mixing both dog foods so both dogs got what they liked (Sam, Amber's mixed breed) liked the Purina One better. Well, when I took Koda to the vet, we talked about what to feed Koda and he wanted Koda off the Ol' Roy... in fact, he didn't particularly want Sam on it either. He said altho Ol' Roy has come a long way in the last 10 years and they don't see the problems in dogs eating it like they used to, he said with Koda being a chow and chows being allergy prone the way they are, he needed not to eat Ol' Roy at all. He said he wasn't going to recommend the more expensive "premium" brands unless he started having alergy problems, but for sure keep him on the Purina One. So after the Ol' Roy was gone, that was it. Both dogs are eating Purina One and I will possibly look into the Nutro since everyone here recommends it so highly.
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Postby kumathechow » Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:57 pm

ngraham wrote:As far as Wal-Mart's Ol' Roy goes... Koda was weaned on Purina One Lamb and Rice puppy formula. When we got him, that's what I bought for him. My 17 year old daughter has a mixed breed 5 month old pup and they have always fed him Wal-Mart Ol' Roy Gourmet puppy food. Well, Mr. Koda decided he liked the Ol' Roy better than his Purina One. Hummmm So trying to give him what he wanted, I just started mixing both dog foods so both dogs got what they liked (Sam, Amber's mixed breed) liked the Purina One better. Well, when I took Koda to the vet, we talked about what to feed Koda and he wanted Koda off the Ol' Roy... in fact, he didn't particularly want Sam on it either. He said altho Ol' Roy has come a long way in the last 10 years and they don't see the problems in dogs eating it like they used to, he said with Koda being a chow and chows being allergy prone the way they are, he needed not to eat Ol' Roy at all. He said he wasn't going to recommend the more expensive "premium" brands unless he started having alergy problems, but for sure keep him on the Purina One. So after the Ol' Roy was gone, that was it. Both dogs are eating Purina One and I will possibly look into the Nutro since everyone here recommends it so highly.


Kuma just started a Nutro diet, and she loves it! I've noticed that it smells better than most dog foods, for me atleast. Altough it is a little more expensive, it may be worth it in the long run. Once Kuma is off the puppy formula, the regular lamb and rice formula's price is pretty comparible to Iams.

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Postby ngraham » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:47 pm

Josh,
where did you get the Nutro at? I priced it at Petsmart online and it wasn't too much more than the Purina One... in fact I think you get about 3 pounds less dry Nutro for the same price as Purina One. I don't know if Petsmart's price online as it is in the store, but will probably check it out this weekend sometime. Also, are you feeding canned or dry kibble? My cats HATED Iams. LOL They get dry cat food all the time and then occassional treat of a can of canned cat food. They wouldn't touch Iams canned for anything. Stuck their little feline noses up in the air and walked away. The Iams dry, they nibbled just enough to keep from starving and that was it. LOL Good old Purina Indoor dry cat food... they love it and a cheap old can of WalMart Special Kitty as their occassional treat. Feed Iams to my Koda baby???? No way!!! Not gonna happen!!! LOL I have heard way too many bad things about Iams and Chow Chows.
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Postby kumathechow » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:31 pm

Nancy,
I heard about Iams and Chows too, that's why I pulled Kuma off of it right away. I am buying 5 Lb. bags of Nutro at Pet Supplies Plus (We don't have a Petsmart here) for about $7.50. I think that is the cost of the 8 Lb. bag of Iams. I haven't fed Kuma any wet food yet, I was warned not to. Maybe as a treat I will, but for now she is satisfied with her kibbles. I do give her Iams Puppy Biscuits as a reward though, and since she's such a good girl (sarcasm... lol!) she probably has about 8-10 a day.
I too feed my cats wet food as a treat, they aren't brand specific, usually just whatever is on sale. I did pull them off of the more generic dry food because of urinary tract crystals. Our cats who recently passed suffered from them, and I was recommended to change his diet. Right now the kitty (Charlie) is on Iams Kitten and Simon is on Science Diet. I do want to change their diets too, but haven't done much research on any brands yet. I'm sure they will be Nutro babies too.
Sorry I get a little too detailed and ramble. Hope you all don't mind. :P

Josh, Kuma, Simon and Charlie

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Postby ngraham » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:16 pm

Josh,
nawwww.... I tend to ramble too. So we're fine. LOL I had a hard time finding something that Sadie (my 4 year old cat..... see post Koda's feline friends? LOL) would eat. Which is why I tried Iams. Lucky doesn't care what he eats most of the time... just that he eats, but he didn't like Iams either. That said it all for me. Both love the Purina Indoor dry cat food and have really done well with it. Even if I had't heard the bad stuff about Iams and chows, I wouldn't have even messed with it after trying it with the cats. I am thinking about doing the Nutro thing, but I have Sam here too, so it is both of them eating and we are going through about 20 pounds of dry dog food every 2 weeks. So I looked into the price of the big bags at Petsmart online, since we do have a Petsmart in Springfield. My vet's way of thinking was that is Kodie didn't show any signs of allergy, there wasn't alot of sense in paying extra for "premium"dog foods unless I had to. Koda is doing real well on the Purina One puppy... gained 5 pounds and 5 ounces in 3 weeks time. He goes back to the vet a week from this coming Saturday (I work to pay the vet... LOL) and I dread seeing how much more he has gained. He is going to be a BIG boy the vet says... he estimates about 75 pounds when he is done. I buy Bil-Jacs liver treats for training and Ol' Roy flavored hard bones (they come in 4 or 5 flavors) for just ordinary treats just because he looks cute. LOL He adores the liver treats (so do the cats... LOL) and they are really good for him. Right now piggy ears (which he also loves) and rawhide bones are a no-no until we figure out what to do about Sam fighting with Koda over them. I also bought some chicken jery treats for both doggies and they eat them but you can tell they aren't particularly thrilled with them. But believe me, they get their share of treats.... needed and not needed. LOL
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Postby kumathechow » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:42 pm

This may be a little off topic, but for all the extreme animal rights people i have a site for you.

iamscruelty.com

That will definitely make us hate Iams more. LOL.

Nancy, I was contemplating on going to Purina One for Kuma, but I didn't want to test her allergies. Better safe than sorry. If Koda is a healthy boy, and has no side effects, I don't see any reason to going to a more expensive "premium". For all we know, it could be the same product with a different label?

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Postby Sandie » Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:57 pm

I am so happy and very proud of my boy! usually when Storme and Beatle get a treart he gets his first or he'll hold his in his mouth AND go steal hers. But today I gave her her's frist and when he leaned up I looked at him held up one finger and said no. He sat back down and waited!!! I was so happy ~ lots of loving for that boy.

He doesn't care if he is hungry or likes something or not he wants it if Storme has it. He has taken a treat that he does not like and just held it in his mouth, half in and half out until she finishes eating. Then either he would take his time eating it or just tease her with it. he would wait until she got close to him and then he would put it in his mouth until she leaves. if he really doens't want it he'll drop it and go somewhere else. Storme hsa learned to wait until he leaves the room to go get it. LOL.
(She's a pit)
Mommy to Storme, Beatle, Bailey and Mufassa aka Moose.


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