|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Mon Feb 27, '12 7:56pm PST |
|Ok....here is the Chow Chow translation.
Chows are a very unique dog, and they are so NOT for everyone. But for some, they would never do without. I, and many, find this breed far, far too popular. Everything the dog fancy is meant to be about....a breed that certainly would have died off, they are extremely unique and offer a singular experience in terms of dog ownership. But I find that for many, the "perfect match" is not with the majority of dog owners, and many get them wanting them to be something they are not.
Correct temperament is a very self assured dog. He's not like most in that class, though. Few breeds....and his will surprise a lot of people....come with as many perks as a Chow. He is quietly very confident, fearless and protective, but not all with with bluffs or drama that tend to come with that package more typically. He is a reserved, dignified animal by nature. Curiously....given that so much of his history is anti pet.....he is naturally well mannered, tends to be easy to housebreak due to his fastidious nature, and seldom makes a pest of himself....rarely is noisy as well. He is not bursting with energy, propensities towards fear and anxiety are rather foreign in a correct example of this breed, equally foreign are exercise-stemmed issues, mental stimulation-stemmed issues and separation anxiety. This is a very well within himself dog. He is also, surprising some I think, wicked intelligent! So that is a pretty amazing package. He is unique looking and gorgeous, for those who prefer such things confident and self assured, yet also naturally well mannered, doesn't need a ton of exercise, and has brains to spare to boot.
Ok. Now to the bad part. It is quite natural for a Chow to have levels of major time funk over people coming in too close or being touched unexpectedly. If they do not expect something, they can turn from a composed and quiet dog to a furnace VERY quickly. They also are not overly fond of strangers nor of strange dogs, and their nature isn't goofy or playful. Even Chow puppies can be....act....a tad different than your average bear.
A huge amount of Chow aggression, which is infamous in this breed, will link to one of three causes. One, they are poorly bred. Two, they lack proper socialization, which in their case includes a lot of desensitization to touch. And three, this is such a naturally composed dog, that you may not see it coming. There can be complacency.
Some vets refuse to treat Chows. Other vets won't do it without a muzzle. It can be almost be a Pit Bull-esque experience owning a Chow, only with a Pit you are prepared for it. It can be very upsetting to people who own their, fluffy, regal dog and all of a sudden are refused or put under big restrictions with a vet, a groomer, a doggie daycare.
This is a breed very well suited to apartment living. I, and most breeders, also suggest that you like cats, because there are aspects to Chows that a cat like. You will *NOT* like a Chow if you appreciate an effusive dog. You will *NOT* like a Chow if playing with your dog, or having him play with others, is a big deal to you. You will *NOT* like a Chow if a readily trainable dog is important to you. He knows his own mind and is not a natural pleaser. Very independent. You will *NOT* like a Chow if you are more of a casual owner. But you WILL like a Chow if you want a responsible protector who is sans the drama that usually goes along with that and if you appreciate a dignified companion....and think cats are cool
The recipe is simple. Start with a good breeder. Like a REALLY good breeder. If this breeder, amongst all the other regularly important issues, does not stress an extraordinary amount of imprinting touch and handling on their puppies from a VERY young age....do NOT deal with that breeder! This shows an awareness and commitment to their breed. Chow breeders are stuck in a difficult situation, because to be correct, a Chow SHOULD be aloof and dignified. So to better the temperament without losing that aura is a fine line. But it must be bettered, and the puppies MUST be acclimated as best they can, if a successful life is to be assured. And then you have to pick up the ball, and socialize crap out of them. Socialization in a Chows case must include a lot of touch. And a dog who will learn to be handled by strangers and be exposed to the unexpected. A lot of Chow aggression, in an otherwise perfectly safe seeming dog, is when he does not expect touch, so socialization ought graduate, when young, from staged scenes where he knows what is going on, to less staged, less expected, so that he develops a better coping mechanism. If not, one brusque vet tech can turn your gentleman into lion for a split second that leaves everyone jaw dropped.
Training....oh heck, it's a Chow A lot of massively stubborn dogs are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Chows are actually extremely intelligent, pick up on training patterns quickly, and can outwit their trainers. They are more than intelligent enough to pick up things quickly, but as they are not particularly arouse-able (meaning that in a good way, like a happy dance or "mommy has a piece of liver!"), extremely independent and non-servants to the max, you need to have the right knack. Only go to a trainer who is experienced with Chows. Well-bred Chows.
Chows can be intolerant of other dogs without wearing that on their sleeve. They aren't going to bluff, but if a dog shoots a serious, dominant challenge, then again....they go from gentleman to lion. Funny aside, but Southpaws had a Malamute who was a bit of an alpha girl. We were letting her meet other dogs at an adoption event....she was principally doing ok. But when a woman walked by with a Chow, I warned Duncan....nuh uh. And one look from that Chow and the Mal changed her affect fast, and wanted to rumble. So you may well end up with a very composed Chow who will set other dogs off. It is nothing we notice with the usual markers, but they can spew dominance to another dog.
I think it's a great breed. If you think cats rock I appreciate something more emotive, but spare for that, and the fact that they don't always share space well, I think they are extraordinary. They are spared so many of the typical doggie problems, and while you may not hear a lot of it in PPD circles, an untrained dog rising in the moment....this breed is WAY up there. They have an exceptional devotion to their families, their people, and are extremely loyal.
Edited by author Mon Feb 27, '12 8:02pm PST
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