Chow chows are a breed of dog. Identification is easy. They are on the large side of medium, stocky and square. They have a huge, thick coat of hair, a black tongue, a short snout and their tail usually curls up over their back. They are alledgedly the oldest recognized breed of dog, via China about three thousand years ago. The story goes that they were once bred to protect Chinese nobles, and that would explain their fixative loyalty: If you raise a chow, it will love you in an aloof way, but it will react very agressively to anyone who ain't in the family. May God have mercy on your soul if you break into a house with a resident chow chow. On a personal note, my girlfriend owns a chow, and to tell you the truth, I'd prefer it if she owned a crocodile. They are fairly intelligent and can be trained well by a firm hand. Georgia O'Keeffe was an avid fan of this breed.

I've heard of cases where a chow chow will let a burglar into the house, but it won't let them out.

They have purple tongues. As the legend goes, when God painted the sky blue, the chow was there licking up the spilled paint.

They come in five colors: black, red, cream, blue, and cinnamon.

The chow has a somewhat earned bad reputation. They can be one-owner dogs but if, when they are raised, they are well socialized, meeting new people and other animals, they will be friendly enough to your guests. If you are looking for a dog that will jump all over your friends, try another breed. A chow will try to be the alpha dog, and will become your master, if you let it. They often succeed, which will cause people to need to get rid of them. It's not a good dog for someone without a good amount of dog training experience

Like pit bulls, chow chows can lock their jaws closed. I've seen one do this to a chain-link fence. Like crocodiles, they should be not be approached from certain directions (outside their peripheral vision), or else they become startled.

They can be stubborn and are usually proud. They have been used to pull carts and guard boats for ages, and were also bred for their thick coats and for meat.

Their fur comes in two lengths, referred to as rough and smooth. They do well even in hot humid climates if their owner brushes the soft undercoat. If this undercoat is not brushed, they will overheat quickly.

Common problems include hip dysplasia, eczema, which is usually attributed to improper bathing, and entropion, which is when their eyelids fold inside, towards the eyeball, rather then out.

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