Should I Get a Chow?

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Should I Get a Chow?

Post by MorganOfTheFey » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:54 am

First, some quick facts about me: I would be a first time chow owner, but I'm not a first time dog owner. I grew up on a farm with dogs my whole life, and the last two dogs were "mine" ie, I raised them from puppies, handled all of the vet appointments, paid for most of the vet appointments, trained them to sit and stay etc, and house-trained them. (Just for clarity, I did this as an adult who had to move back home with my parents after college to save money, not as a teenager. I moved back out again after I found a job in my field.)

I work as a librarian and have read pretty much every training book we have available, and I incorporated positive reinforcement training into how I raised and trained these two dogs, Zoey and Major (an australian red heeler and a miniature american shepherd, respectively).

I live in an 850 sq ft apartment that is literally right across the street from a park. (It goes apartment complex, street, park.) This is also five blocks from where I work, which would allow me to come home during my lunch break. I've read that chows can adapt to apartment living due to their lower energy and moderate exercise needs, and I've looked into purchasing enrichment toys for when I'm not home. I only work 30 hours a week, and again, I could come back on my hour-long lunch break to ensure the dog isn't left alone for more than 4 hours.

I love the personality of chows, including that they can be somewhat stubborn and aloof, since I can be as well! I want a dog that is calm and serious, not a high energy, hyperactive goofball. My dog would also need to be capable of being left alone while I'm at work, since I live alone, and chows seem very independent.

My hesitations are: the apartment, since I've heard some people say a chow would be fine with daily exercise and enrichment toys and I've heard others say there's no way that would work; and my physical size. I'm Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB), which (to use a simplified explanation) means I was "born a woman" but I don't identify as that. I'm 5' 2" and struggle to weigh more than 100 lbs, although I've been steadily gaining weight and putting on muscle as I do weight training. My parents are very concerned that I still won't be physically capable of controlling a medium to large sized dog and should look at small breeds, but excluding breeds with a tendency to bark, have high energy, and need a lot of human companionship pretty much rules out all small breed dogs.

I've been speaking to a reputable breeder who will have a litter born soon in November, ready to pick up by January / February, depending on the actual birth date. The breeding is between two smooth coat chows, so the puppies will be smooths too, and I specifically asked to be put on the list for a female, since I like girl dogs better and I've read they tend to be 40 - 50 lbs.

Any advice from people who have chows and have experience with them would be very much appreciated!

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