Good and Bad Aspects of the Chow Chow Temperament
The Chow Chow temperament is one of the most difficult to manage. This breed originated in China, and were used to hunt and to guard boats. Their nature is such that they are really only suitable for experienced and competent dog owners who can manage their aggressive and stubborn personality.
The increasing popularity of this breed in the 1980's led to people believing they could make a quick few dollars by producing and selling Chow Chow puppies. This had a devastating effect on the dog's temperament. While responsible breeders would never use aggressive animals in their breeding program, these new breeders were less concerned with this, and the Chow Chow became known for his antisocial disposition.
Watch Video of Chow Chow
Aggression and How to Prevent It
This is the most dangerous of all dog temperaments, and it is extremely common in the Chow Chow. This dog is protective over his territory and his family, and won't willingly allow people into his home and yard. He will growl and even bite an unwelcome visitor.
The Chow Chow is aggressive towards other dogs of the same gender. He will live harmoniously with a dog of a similar size, but of the opposite sex. He is definitely not suitable for homes with cats or other small animals as his strong instinct to hunt will take over. For this reason, he should never be let off leash because he will attack any other animals in his immediate vicinity.
What about children? Small children are at risk of getting bitten by a Chow Chow, because they often poke and prod at dogs without being aware of the consequences. Older children can live with this breed, providing they are taught now to behave around him. No dog likes to be tormented, and the Chow Chow is no exception. However, this breed is very likely to bite to make an annoying child go away. Click here to learn tips on how to stop dog biting.
You can prevent, or reduce, an aggressive dog temperament in your adult Chow Chow with a lot of hard work while he is young. It will be time consuming, and it may be expensive, but it is absolutely essential. He must start obedience training at puppy school, and be given the opportunity to mix with other puppies in a controlled environment. From there, regular dog training will remind him that you are in charge, and allow him to get used to other dogs of all shapes, sizes and genders.
How Trainable is the Chow Chow Temperament?
In a nutshell, not at all. This dog is extremely dominant, and doesn't like anyone telling him what he can and can't do. He doesn't appear to be particularly concerned about pleasing his owner either, so you need to find another motivator for him. Otherwise, he'll just do what he wants to, with no regard for what you are trying to teach him. Fortunately the Chow Chow responds reasonably well to clicker training and food rewards.
One interesting feature of this particular dog temperament is that he is naturally quite well mannered when he is young. This can lull his owner into a false sense of security and by the time he becomes a teenager, you have a problem on your hands. He will resist your authority and have no respect for you at all. Don't fall into this trap, and make sure you train and socialize your Chow Chow puppy, even if it appears that he doesn't need it.
Never be tempted to use physical punishment to train your Chow Chow. It doesn't work and given his aggressive tendencies and dominant nature, he may retaliate and bite you. Firm but fair leadership with positive training methods are the best way to teach your Chow Chow how to behave.
This is definitely not a breed I'd recommend for just anyone. He is aggressive, suspicious and protective of his loved ones. He is not very cuddly, so if you're looking for a companion to snuggle up to on the couch, this is not the dog for you. However if you are an experienced dog owner and are attracted to dogs that are aloof and independent, then the Chow Chow temperament might just fit the bill.
Other Non-Sporting Dogs
The Chow Chow belongs to the Non-Sporting Group. The breeds in this group are all over the spectrum when it comes to appearance, and their temperaments are equally diverse. Take a look at the following temperaments of other memebers of this group to get a feel for their personalities.
- French Bulldog temperament
- Lhasa Apso temperament
- Boston Terrier temperament
- Bichon frise temperament
- Dalmatian temperament
- Bulldog temperament