Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

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minabear
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Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby minabear » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:51 pm

Hi! I've been researching like crazy for the past week about chowchow's temperement and if it would be the right family dog for us. I also spoke to someone who gave me great tips.

I grew up with dogs (my parents are dog lovers) and we had different breeds from Great Danes to Labradors, a German Shepherd and smaller breeds but I don't have any experience with chows. My 1 year old son is loving towards the two dogs that I own (2 chihuahuas). I am planning to get a Chowchow as a family dog but not really sure if it will be the right addition to our family.

I've read that socialization is a must for Chowchow's and that when not socialized well it could be aggressive towards people and animals, which I agree as I had an aggressive Maltese (as we weren't able to socialize her when she was a pup -- lesson learned). What is the right way to socialize a Chowchow? Do they welcome strangers patting them and giving them hugs?

Also, are they good with young children? My one year old is playful with our two smaller dogs which I am not worried as I know that they will not hurt him but know that I would need to be more cautious with our future Chow. The reason why I want to bring a chow into our family this early is because I want her to get used to small children who are playful as we are planning to have more children in the coming years and thought that if we will get one later when our eldest is 4 or 5 years old that it might be agitated when a baby is introduced..

The person I spoke with who owns a chow said that he is overprotective over his food and they separate the chow with the other dog that she owns. How do I train our future chow to not be like that? I don't want the chow to be aggressive as it might hurt our two smaller dogs..

Any tips/comments will be appreciated! :)

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kingalls
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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby kingalls » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:11 pm

There are many Chow Chow owners on this site that brought a Chow Chow into their home with small children or had a Chow and then kids. The key is socialization, socialization, socialization...that does require a certain amount of effort on your part. Do you have a lot of people that visit to help with the Chow to get used to people coming and going? I will have to say that my Chow boy (RIP Nahkohe) was not socialized enough and more pre-dispositioned to not liking people outside of the family circle. On the other hand, Shiloh is a sweet Chow Chow and accepts visitors. Previously she would bark at people that came to the door because of Nahkohe. Now she doesn't care who comes over and will find her safe spot and lay there and go to sleep.
So you will need to put in effort to socialize your Chow. I am not sure about the food aggression. Nahkohe assumed everything belonged to him but he never went after Shiloh over the food bowls. He did try to claim both food bowls but I would just keep the bowls widely separated so that he couldn't eat and claim the 2nd bowl too.
Bringing a Chow into your family will require effort on your part ( & family) to understand their behavior and needs. I suppose that is true with any breed but the significant intelligence of the Chow increases the responsibility to make sure the Chow is properly trained and socialized.
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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby DrewBear » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:53 pm

Socialization begins with the breeder. Just by chance, the breeder of my Chow had young kids and had everyone in her family handle the pups from the very beginning. I think this helped a lot with the socialization process. Although I've always supervised carefully when he interacts with kids, my Chow has always been very good with young kids. Even infants, who have no control over what they do with hands & fingers, don't faze him. He patiently tolerates their pawing. This was not something that I taught him.

I took over the socialization training when my pup was just over 8 weeks old. I have a large extended family, so that was an easy start. I carried him regularly to the pet store and let everyone I met there hold him; people of all ages, sizes, appearances, scents, etc. I took him to a puppy play group (supervised by trainers & indoors with other pups who had current vaccinations), where he was exposed to yet more people and got his start with meeting other dogs.

Once he completed his full course of vaccinations, I started walking him around town to meet yet more people. Since he's still a fairly small bundle of cuteness at that point, it was no problem finding folks to hold and handle him. I found a good dog park where he could continue to interact with other dogs and enrolled him in puppy school.

All the above took place by the time he was 5-6 months old. I'm pretty sure he met more than a hundred people and a hundred dogs in that time. He's now 15 months old and ignores most people (typical Chow) during our walks and always wants to greet other dogs. He will bark at people approaching his 4 "homes" (including family members' homes), but understands when I give the OK. He continues to be very gentle with young kids.
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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby Crumpet » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:00 pm

If you get a puppy that grows up with your small dogs you should have no problem, providing you are dealing with a good bloodline. My chow came from a breeder whose entire family was in on the hobby and all pups were handled by kids from the time of birth. The breeder herself had 6 children so there was always someone holding one of the pups. My pup was also around cats before he came to me. Since my breeder had 6 kids of her own, she believed strongly that chows can make good family pets, as her kids had all grown up around multiple chows in the home from the time they were infants.

Just be careful, because your pet chow will likely not be as friendly toward your child's friends as it is toward your family.

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby Heatherlynnfor » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:29 pm

Before I had my son I had previously owned a total of 4 chows. As others have stated socialization is key. Still, I waited until my son was 6 before getting a chow again because I needed him to understand how to treat the puppy. The child needs to be able to be over the chow in the pack. If not the chow will try to be over the child and that is not always a great thing with little kids.

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby turquoisesky » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:18 pm

I have two small kids and a dog and everything works fine from the beginning. I think they got used to each other.

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby Sirchow » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:27 pm

Whilst socialisation is absolutely key so is education and vigilance for your one year old. I have seen pictures of young kids playing with dogs...endlessly hugging them, poking them even riding on their backs and every bit of body language says the dog is nearing the end of its tether with what it is having to put up with and still the parents keep laughing and videoing. I am not saying that is how you are with your dogs but when those dogs finally snap and give the child a nip, or a growl or a bite as they would a puppy they head straight for the pound and the owners dont realise it is their fault. So please dont ever leave a dog in a position it has to defend itself from you child. :D
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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby mayibat » Tue May 05, 2015 7:10 pm

I recommend you do more research. I bought a couple of different books on the breed, found some in the library and read them cover to cover before I made my decision. What dog I got was very important because I ran a day care business in my home and had 4 toddler children in my home. I also visited as many "small" breeders who were advertising puppies to see their adult dogs interact with strangers, etc. Most chow owners love to talk about their chows and how to socialize them as well as share the pitfalls. That was 25 years ago and I've had 4 Chows altogether over the years and one of them became blind at about age 5. back to children - I received permission from the parents to let the children handle the 8 week old puppy under my watchful eye. we had puppy time every day at the same time, the toddlers also learned how to respect another creature. the rest is history. my chow loved children until he passed of old age. It's a lot of work in the beginning, this is not a breed you can bring home and forget about him, just letting him "do his own thing", actually no dog should be handled that way, but the chow is the most loyal dog I've ever been around so the work for socializing and obedience training is worth it. With the wrong owner they can be quite stubborn, also, how you pick your puppy is important. look at the entire litter, and pick the one right in the middle between boisterous and shy. Definitely do not take the last one remaining due to having a 1 yr old and no experience with Chow Chows. I wish you luck.

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby shine789 » Sat May 30, 2015 1:44 am

I have two kids and two chows and it seems like everything works between all of them. I think you should try.

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby king990 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:00 am

When our boy was little, we took a Chow Chow home. They grew up together, they are like brothers.

mercado
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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby mercado » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:35 am

Same here. They are really good for kids. Don't be afraid.

michael74
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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby michael74 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:23 pm

Don't be worried. I have one and I have a kid. They are ok together :)

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby Cafe_Latte » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:15 am

First and foremost, Chow Chow are a strong (willed & physical strength) breed, and knowing they were bred as guard dogs, meaning they need lots of socialization that is constant and ongoing, a well definition of who is the Alpha in the pack, an extreme understanding of their temperament.
I personally have & have had chows that are good with all children and other that tolerate as long as you look but no touchy.

My son, now 19yo, was raised with Chows since birth. My Chows at that time accepted him as part of the pack and were extremely protective of him and at the same time with extreme tolerance to allow my son as a toddler to hug, hold, grab, pull, yank, crawl all over them without and care in the world. At times they would all curl up together and take a nap. The same behavior from the dog was also displayed with neighborhood kids.
My current Chows, though they are great with me & family, they are less so of outsiders, but they never show aggression unless provoked.
They prefer non-family to look but no touch.

They have a tendency to bond to a single person, but will also accept the family as a single entity.
Outsider whom you want the dog to accept as part of the family, will need to brought in regularly as part of the socialization process.

A chow is not for everyone, they do take a bit of work and are extremely loyal.


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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby xenya485 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:38 am

Oh yes. I agree too. They have strong but flexible characters.

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Re: Is it right for us? (Family with small child)

Postby beata90 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:42 pm

Don't be so sure. My chow literally hates children...


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