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Chow Chow – Ancient Dog Breeds

By Paige
Chow Chow

Image from Dzoker

A large, stocky dog with a big fluff of hair, the Chow Chow’s origins are so old that they are a mystery. Meet another member of the ancient dog breeds of the world.

The History

The oldest known dog fossils date back several million years and bear a striking resemblance to the Chow Chow today. Pictures similar to this breed have been found on Chinese pottery dating back to 206 BC and documentation of their type goes back to the 11th century BC. They may come form similar origins as the Shar-Pei as they share some physical characteristics.

This breed is unique in that their hind legs are almost totally straight (giving them a rather lilted looking walk) and their tongues are a shade of purple or blue.

Global Popularity

The Chow Chow was brought to England in the late 19th century and since then has earned itself worldwide popularity. Found in many European countries as well as North America, their regal looks, aloof, catlike personality & intensely territorial attitude has made them a favorite as a family guard dog.

Chow Chow

Image from Lilly_M

About the Breed

A large, robust dog the Chow Chow possesses a thick double coat of hair ideally suited for colder climates. These are independent and dominant animals and require a firm hand and natural alpha owners. They are a strong-willed breed that will constantly challenge authority, but once they’ve accepted leadership they are protective & extremely loyal.

It should be noted that they possess aggressive tendencies and must be socialized very early in life, but when raised & handled properly they make great pets. Traditionally they were used for hunting, herding, pulling carts or sleds, guarding homes & boats and (sadly for Westerners) bred for their fur and their meat, which is a delicacy in China to this day.

Their name was probably given to them by the English when they were imported, as Chow Chow was the term used to describe the various items that came back from the Far East.

Chow Chow

Image from chaos

Interesting Fact

The Chow Chow’s ancient ancestors may date back millions of years to when the canine and the ursine (bear) carnivore groups split. It is thought that they carry bear-like characteristics because they are the closest dog ancestors to the bear. Their straight hind legs, dark tongue & nose, square muzzle and squat body are all physical indications that provide credence to that theory.

Old Guys of the Dog World

We hope you enjoyed this quick look at one of the ancient dog breeds of the world. Stay tuned, because we’ll be getting to know more of the in the coming weeks.

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