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Is this a good family dog??

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  • #41
    It was interesting to read this whole thread, and particularly the chow comments. I've never been a chow fan - for no specific reason that I can identify other than the hair - but I ended up with two chow mixes. The first is also fairly obviously parts GSD and Lassie-collie. smart as a whip very obedient, and easy going. But for her black tongue and short solid legs, you'd never know.
    Her younger "brother" looks more chow, also part Golden Retriever - know this because he was born at the shelter. He is much more "chow" in the brain - wary of strangers, independent thinking, obedient only when he feels like it. For a couple years I worried about him w/ other people but after moving from rural setting to small town, they now goes EVERYWHERE and he is constantly introduced to people; the socializing has made a huge difference. Its funny, he's the one everyone wants to hug because he is "cute". His "inner retriever" only surfaces when you throw a ball in the swimming pool!

    Its interesting w/ the mixes to see what traits dominate in a particular dog when you have the uncertain/unknown breeding.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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    • #42
      I try not to be biased either but the only dog I ever refused to groom was a black chow. His owner was furious but clearly afraid of him too. I later found out no other groomers would touch him either. I had started and called it quits 5-10 mins in.

      I just don't appreciate the chow mindset, but understand many do love them.
      "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
      you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

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      • #43
        Palomino - I had to get my chow/golden clipped down due to allergies and a skin infection. Called a groomer and they were verrrrry hesitant, but said to bring him in. Funny thing is that he thinks he is part "foof dog" and loves to be fussed over. He trotted off for his spa day and a couple hours later I arrived back to see him standing on the table getting brushed out, looking for all the world like he belonged at Westminister. The groomer said he was a saint and was welcome back any time. Go figure.
        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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        • #44
          Originally posted by PalominoMorgan View Post
          I try not to be biased either but the only dog I ever refused to groom was a black chow. His owner was furious but clearly afraid of him too. I later found out no other groomers would touch him either. I had started and called it quits 5-10 mins in.

          I just don't appreciate the chow mindset, but understand many do love them.
          Lots of groomers won't do chows. And I completely understand why! But it's a shame for the dog, because if the owner's afraid of the dog, too, then it just won't get groomed. And great googliemooglies, you should see the crap that will actually sprout and grow under all that undercoat once it mats up!

          I adore chows. I think pound-for-pound you can't do better for a protection dog, and they are fanatically devoted to their owner. Notice I said "owner" as in one person. But to that one person, they are very loving, if in a maniacal sort of way, and they are clean and quiet and actually very easily trained. Provided said person understands that nobody wins a fight with a chow. You gotta sleep sometime.

          But the coat is a tremendous amount of work. It used to take me four hours to groom bathe and blow dry one dog! And yes, you must blow dry otherwise the undercoat can kind of mildew on you. And you have to be the sort of owner who can train the little dragon to allow you to work on the coat for four hours.

          And you really have to be alert with chows. They don't growl, y'know. And their facial expressions can't really change much. The only reliable way I could tell a chow was about to bite was to look for two little dimples to appear, one on either side of the nose.

          And OMG, breaking up chow fights! I hope I never have to do that again! You've heard the expression, "won't let go till it thunders?" I think they say it about snapping turtles. But it's equally applicable to chow chows!
          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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          • #45
            Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
            And you really have to be alert with chows. They don't growl, y'know. And their facial expressions can't really change much. The only reliable way I could tell a chow was about to bite was to look for two little dimples to appear, one on either side of the nose.

            And OMG, breaking up chow fights! I hope I never have to do that again! You've heard the expression, "won't let go till it thunders?" I think they say it about snapping turtles. But it's equally applicable to chow chows!
            When I was a kid, a friend of mine lived on a farm and had a trio of Chows.

            They kept them shaved all the time, because they were CONSTANTLY going after each other. Apparently it was easier for the vet to stitch them up if their coats were already pretty short.

            The family ultimately got rid of them when they wandered over to a neighboring property and attacked the neighbor's tiny new Golden puppy. From what I understand, they literally tore him apart. In front of a young girl.

            I'm not sure what the dogs' fate was, but I still get upset when I think about that poor little girl and her puppy.

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            • #46
              Yes, sadly, that's the other real drawback to chows - they kill things. Other chows, other dogs, other animals.

              According to that CDC study, chows were even responsible for killing a few people - like nine or so - during the survey period. Although I don't quite understand how that would happen unless it was a little kid.

              I got my first chow because, as an eight month old puppy, he ripped a full-grown Irish Wolfhound from mandible to pastern, requiring nearly a hundred stitches to close the dog up. The owner was going to euth, but, since I was nineteen and had more confidence than sense, I talked her into giving him to me. Had him the rest of his life - thirteen years. And he never killed, or even seriously hurt, anything else during all that time, although not for lack of trying.

              I cannot imagine someone letting three chows run loose! I see why you don't like the breed, if that was your early introduction to them.

              That's why I probably will never have another - I like having a multi-dog household; hate breaking up fights; and have too much sense nowadays to get something that has to be watched like a hawk for fear it will make a gruesome snack out of the nearest helpless kitten. Or its fair-haired infant owner.

              And yet - there's something about that purple-tongued gargoyle grin that still melts my heart.
              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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