An excellent guard dog and watch dog, he’ll protect against strangers.The Chow Chow has several unique characteristics: a blue-black tongue, the coat of a teddy bear, the scowl of a lion, and a distinctive stilted gait.

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Nor is it true that colors other than red are rare.

If a breeder isn’t honest about coat colors, it’s fair to wonder what else he or she isn’t honest about. It’s an unhappy Chow Chow who is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship.

The Chow Chow is one of the few breeds who has a truly valid claim to being an ancient breed.

A 2004 study of the canine genome established “genetic fingerprints” for 85 breeds, 14 of which were determined to be part of an ancient group. He probably descends from ancient Tibetan mastiffs, and he himself may be the ancestor of spitz breeds such as the Keeshond, Norwegian Elkhound and Pomeranian. Depictions of him, in particular a bas-relief from the Han Dynasty that portrays him as a hunting dog, date to 150 BCE.

Chows come only in red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream.

Any other color description is simply a creative marketing term.

Independent and dignified, the Chow usually attaches himself to one person even though he will have affection for the whole family.

When raised with children, he’s usually fine with them, although the kids may be disappointed that he’s not a hugger.

He is a Chinese breed, hailing from that country’s chilly northern region, and was developed as an all-purpose dog capable of hunting, herding, pulling a cart or other vehicle and guarding the home.

The Chow Chow has a low activity level and can live happily in any home, including an apartment or condo.

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