While every dog is unique in its own way, not all can be good family dogs. Not all animals of this type can be good pets, and that is because they do not meet certain requirements.
Remember that having a dog can be daunting. You must know everything about the breed you have or are thinking of acquiring in order to provide it with a good lifestyle and care.
Similarly, knowing every aspect of this breed will let you know if it will suit your family and if it can be a good family dog. In this case, this topic will revolve around the Chow Chow.
Unlike what many people think, the Chow Chow is an affectionate and friendly dog with its loved ones. These canines have earned a reputation as aggressive and dangerous animals.
While that may be true on certain occasions, it is something that should not happen if they receive the proper socialisation and education. Even so, these aspects must be taken into consideration to determine if the Chow Chow is a good family dog.
Is Chow Chow a Good Family Dog?
It is not easy to tell if a Chow Chow is a good family dog or not since its temperament is unpredictable. As we have said, these dogs can be aggressive on certain occasions, and that is because they were bred from their origins as hunting and guard dogs. This caused them to develop distrust toward strangers and other animals.
A Chow Chow can make a good family pet depending on its family and home. For example, if this dog lives with a family with children, then it may not be the best choice.
We have to remember that this breed can act aggressively under certain circumstances, and one of them is when it is disturbed. Children can be a trigger for irritation in Chow Chows.
On the other hand, a Chow Chow is ideal for families without children. Generally, these canines form strong bonds with their owners, and if they are well trained, they will learn to get along with other people.
The following aspects will help us determine in-depth if the Chow Chow is a good family dog:
Chow Chow Personality and Behaviour
According to what you have read and everything you have heard from other people, you will surely think that this dog is dangerous and that you should not acquire it for any reason.
However, it is a mistake to think that way. In fact, it is one of the most incredible, friendly, and loyal animals you will find.
Chow Chows are best for small families or one person. That’s because these dogs prefer to spend time with their owner and some other family member they’ve bonded with. They are not the best canines for families with children due to their hunting instincts.
Chow Chows are generally calm, but when a child teases them by pulling on their fur, ear, or tail, they may react aggressively. That does not mean that a Chow Chow cannot learn to get along with children and other pets.
If you provide it with enough socialisation training from puppyhood, then it will also form strong bonds with them. Obedience training is also essential in this breed of dog.
You have to be careful when your dog is in front of strangers (they can be neighbours, friends, or someone from work which has visited your house).
Chow Chows could be distant and cautious with people who are not part of their family, and if they feel that something is not right, they could attack anyone. In fact, there are cases of people seriously injured due to the bite of these dogs.
Taking that into account, we can say that Chow Chows are not the best option for families with children and not for first-time owners.
Interaction with Other People and Pets
One of the essential requirements to consider a dog as a good family pet is its good interaction with all the members of its family, including children and pets. In this case, the Chow Chows do not stand out for that.
While these animals can get along with their loved ones, they will have difficulty interacting harmoniously with smaller pets, children, and even strangers.
Chow Chows were bred to be guard dogs for temples during the Han dynasty, so they developed an aggressive nature towards all those who came near those places.
Obviously, that aggressive nature has been maintained until today, and that is why they are dogs that do not trust just anyone. Chow Chows will see any stranger who comes near the house as an intruder. As a result, they will start barking to intimidate the person and may even attack.
It is also important to note that these canines were also bred as hunters. They have a hunting instinct that will make them chase any small pet in the house.
This will cause them to show a lot of hostility towards those animals, seeing them as easy prey that they can attack. This undesirable situation can be avoided if you raise and socialise your Chow Chow and your other pet together from an early age.
The same thing can happen with children but in different circumstances. Remember that these dogs have a particular temperament that makes them difficult to handle. Generally, Chow Chows are calm animals that will want to spend time alone at certain times of the day.
A Chow Chow does not usually show any type of aggression towards children unless they irritate it. These dogs do not like to be disturbed by others as they will otherwise tend to react aggressively.
Children may see these dogs as teddy bears that they can play with, but this will only make these animals angry.
Physical and Mental Stimulation
Chow Chows are not known for being the most active and energetic dogs. These canines are designed for families with inactive lifestyles. That is because they are animals that love to spend time indoors doing nothing but resting in their space.
That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get exercise every day. Regardless of the level of physical activity of each breed, each of them must be exercised daily to maintain good health and physical condition.
Chow Chows are prone to becoming overweight, especially if they do not do any kind of physical activity on a daily basis.
Generally, Chow Chows only require about 30 minutes of daily exercise, unlike other breeds requiring 45 minutes to 2 hours. Therefore, having a dog of this type will not be a problem for people who do not usually do physical activities.
These dogs love walks to the park, so you can split those 30 minutes of daily exercise into two 15-minute sessions. During those sessions, you can provide any type of physical activity such as walks to the park, games, training, etc.
As responsible owners, we should never leave our Chow Chow without exercising; otherwise, its lifestyle will be poor, its health will not be good, and it will be an unhappy dog. Regardless of whether you are an active person, you should always set aside some time each day to exercise your pet.
Remember to also provide mental stimulation as Chow Chows can easily get bored and behave inappropriately because of it.
Chow Chow Diet
Feeding a Chow Chow is not as easy as you might think. Because they are low-energy animals, they only require little daily exercise, as we have said in the previous point. That means that its diet has to be specifically designed to go hand in hand with its daily exercise routine and prevent it from gaining significant weight.
In fact, an adult of this breed should consume 3 cups of food daily, which is equivalent to 1000-1300 calories. Keep in mind that its diet can vary depending mainly on three things:
- Physical activity level
Veterinarians recommend high-quality food that provides sufficient nutrients and vitamins for Chow Chows. These dogs need approximately 22% protein in their daily diet. Therefore, avoid feeding foods with a lower percentage of protein or those with a higher amount, such as canned foods.
You have to choose specific foods to find a perfect balance between all the nutrients. Meats, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and cereals are some of the most recommended. Milk, lentils, and beans can also be good options, but in controlled amounts since these foods can be harmful in some other breeds of dogs.
Chow Chow Grooming
Chow Chows are not easy to groom not only because of their size and robust body but also because of their large amount of hair.
These canines have abundant fur that should be brushed frequently, especially during intense shedding seasons. In fact, each brushing session takes 30 minutes.
Bathing a Chow Chow is also a priority, although it can be a difficult task for the same reasons mentioned above.
These canines need to be bathed once every 4 to 6 weeks. You must also cover other grooming needs in your Chow Chow, such as oral hygiene, nail trimming, ear cleaning, etc.