Chow Chow Pictures at American Kennel ClubThe Chow Chow is a beautiful, sturdy, arctic type dog. It is well-known for its blue/black tongue, its extra-long mane-like fur around its head, and its tail, which curls up and around toward its back. Its is also well-known for its unusually straight back legs, which give it a unique stilted gait. Chow Chows can be one of five colors: red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream.

The exact origin of the breed is not known, but the earliest historical references are found in Chinese art of the Han Dynasty, dating 206 B.C. to 22 A.D. They were a working dog, used for hunting, herding, pulling, and protection. A couple of sources mention that the dogs were and are bred as a delicacy to be eaten in certain parts of China. While this writer is unsure about the reliability of this statement, it has been my personal experience, from my travel to the Ji Lin province in north-eastern China that many locals in those parts do enjoy dog meat, although I don’t know anything about breed preference.

Chow Chow Pictures at American Kennel ClubThese dogs require early and thorough socialization as puppies. If they are not exposed to a variety of caring, but firm and authoritative humans from an early age, they take on the alpha dog characteristic and believe they are in charge. But when properly trained from an early age, they make wonderful, loyal companions. They can make good indoor and/or apartment pets if they are taken for walks daily. Their coats require frequent brushing and care.

For more information on the physical characteristics of these dogs and how to purchase one, visit the American Kennel Club site.

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