Why do chows have so bad reputation?

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Knutodeg
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Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by Knutodeg »

I always hear people saying chows are agressive. I get that they were originally guard dogs, and that they’re confident and dominant but so are lots of different dog breeds too, and yet chows top the lists of agressive dogs. My chow is the most gentle, loving, cuddly dog. He loves all people and wags his tail when strangers approaches him. Where does this bad reputation stem from?
Mr Chow's Mama
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by Mr Chow's Mama »

Hi there! I totally agree; my 6-month male Chow is super friendly with strangers, all dogs and cats. However, I wasn't even allowed to touch my Chow's dog mum when I went to meet Mr Chow at the breeder before I took him home as I was told she doesn't like to be touched and can snap very quickly! Obviously some breeds are just naturally more protective and have aggressive tendencies due to the breed's history, but I genuinely think it's pretty much all down to the owner. As long as the owner socialises the Chow properly from a young age and trains him/her, I think Chow's are just big fluffy teddy bears! Maybe lots of Chow owners in the past wanted them to be aggressive and protective rather than a friendly family dog and that's where they get this reputation from. All the best, Emily and Mr Chow x
Mumma2Simba
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by Mumma2Simba »

I completely agree with Mr Chow’s Mamma. I have a four month old Chow called Simba. He is great with strangers/children. Although when we first got him I was told he had been well socialised I don’t think he was. So me and my husband have been working very hard with this and he is now so loving and waggs his tale at everyone. It definitely depends on the owner. Mumma2Simba
Silly Sue
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by Silly Sue »

It's not the Chow, its the owner. I've had three chows, two females and one very aggressive champion male. The females were very docile and never bit or were aggressive. The male would bite a stranger who jumped the locked fence (good boy), but was never aggressive out in public. Chows are palace dogs, great indoors with fine antiques. Incredibly loyal workers and smart. Chows take a lot of work and time. I like to start early with bathing, opening the mouth, working on the ears, paws, etc. I like to give my puppy food, take it away, give it back; always with respect and soft talking. I let others give my puppy treats and hold her. I do most of my own veterinary and have raised three chows to 16, all fed daily with warm chicken, broth, and brown rice. They also get some of what I'm eating. I NEVER yell at my Chow, a soft voice has always gotten good results. Chows are loyal soul mates and deserve the same. I have fought to protect my dogs, I am a Chow person for life.
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JasonandNat
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by JasonandNat »

Never blame the animal for human issues. Chow's earned the rep, of course challenging one probably shouldn't be your goal in life. We have bones from everything from mice up to foxes, coyotes, geese, turkeys and the confrontation never lasts long. Back in the 80's everybody wanted one without understanding a damn thing about them. This brought about many tragic stories focused on the breed rather than on the unscrupulous breeders and idiots who wanted a chow like it was a Cabbage Patch doll. As posted many times, calm and respect will get you a long way with a chow. We even teach our vets how to work with them and accept that some will speak their minds. Speaking and acting of course are not the same thing.They actually come out as puppies totally set for all life has to offer until a human messes it up.
Krista
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by Krista »

My two-year male chow is very sweet and well-socialized. He likes to greet our guests and when he is done saying "hi", will go lay down. If our friends bring their dogs, he will play tirelessly, and then go thank the dogs owners. He will also play with a few of our friends by goosing them (he has his silly side).

However, he does have a resource guarding issue, and it is very scary when he vocally tells someone to step off. The worse incident was when my adult daughter whom he never met visited and she decided to get down on hands and knees and go nose-to-nose while he was guarding a bone. That turned out real ugly and she ended up with scratches on her face and neck. We didn't know how bad it was and rushed her to the ER. While I was waiting with her in the ER, my husband picked up our dog and surrendered him to the shelter. My daughter was shaken, but she was okay because the scratches were superficial. She begged us not to have him put down. She grew up with chows.

We cried for days, and finally decided to get him from the shelter. We met with a trainer, but he was one of those trainers that uses choke collars which doesn't work with Chows. My husband has stopped giving bones and has limited the number of toys. We are also keeping him away from people who consistently refuse to follow our rules and provoke incidents. It just reinforces the behavior.

We are not sure what to do at this point because traditional training methods don't generally work on chows, and we do not want to create more problems. The trainer said our dog is a sensitive dog that is selfish, but he seems like a normal chow. The only thing we can do right now is to prevent situations that would trigger that behavior.

Has anyone else encountered resource guarding with their chow? If so, how did you resolve?
GinaP001
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by GinaP001 »

Gosh Krista - this sounds soo scary. I hope things are going better now!
Krista wrote: Sat Mar 19, 2022 10:30 am My two-year male chow is very sweet and well-socialized. He likes to greet our guests and when he is done saying "hi", will go lay down. If our friends bring their dogs, he will play tirelessly, and then go thank the dogs owners. He will also play with a few of our friends by goosing them (he has his silly side).

However, he does have a resource guarding issue, and it is very scary when he vocally tells someone to step off. The worse incident was when my adult daughter whom he never met visited and she decided to get down on hands and knees and go nose-to-nose while he was guarding a bone. That turned out real ugly and she ended up with scratches on her face and neck. We didn't know how bad it was and rushed her to the ER. While I was waiting with her in the ER, my husband picked up our dog and surrendered him to the shelter. My daughter was shaken, but she was okay because the scratches were superficial. She begged us not to have him put down. She grew up with chows.

We cried for days, and finally decided to get him from the shelter. We met with a trainer, but he was one of those trainers that uses choke collars which doesn't work with Chows. My husband has stopped giving bones and has limited the number of toys. We are also keeping him away from people who consistently refuse to follow our rules and provoke incidents. It just reinforces the behavior.

We are not sure what to do at this point because traditional training methods don't generally work on chows, and we do not want to create more problems. The trainer said our dog is a sensitive dog that is selfish, but he seems like a normal chow. The only thing we can do right now is to prevent situations that would trigger that behavior.

Has anyone else encountered resource guarding with their chow? If so, how did you resolve?
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Cam Atis
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Re: Why do chows have so bad reputation?

Post by Cam Atis »

Resource guarding can trigger aggressive behavior as you have seen. You must be aware of it and tell all people sharing the house with you to watch out for it. Take a different route until the object has been taken away. We take away the item being guarded and reward with a treat. Bloom (our chowmix) developed that behavior a year after she stopped having pups. She clamped down hard on Cassie (my chow her mom) one day and my girls were shaken after they handled the incident. They told me Bloom’s behavior was terrifying in that she’s so determined in pinning down Cassie even though she’s being told to get off and stop it. She let go after I instructed the girls to use an umbrella to smack her out of it. water hose didn’t work. Bloom would usually guard a tub of dogfood or an empty tub or a fallen fruit whatever she likes. She normally guards her trophy ( a dead rat) but lately she switched to inanimate objects. She passed away last month and we were so sad coz it was sudden. She’s been a very good guard dog. And nothing can compare to her zeal. She once duped me by hiding under the bushes and once I opened the gate a crack, she zoomed through it before me. She knew she ain’t allowed and so she deviced a plan, she let me walk way ahead of her, and she sneaked sideways amongst the bushes and potted plants to wait for me reach the wooden gate that’s locked.
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