1. You’ve gotten used to strangers doing double-takes.
Few people can resist staring at your dog’s beautiful lion mane. Many people have never seen a Chow-Chow in person and get excited at the chance to meet one. Those who aren’t familiar with the breed may ask if you’re walking a teddy bear or a lion cub. If well-socialized, your Chow-Chow might love the attention – but it’s not unusual for them to prefer to continue the walk than to accept pets from strangers.
2. You’re happy to educate others about your breed.
The questions can get repetitive, but you don’t mind. People ask if your Chow-Chow has a blue tongue and if they shed a lot. Some questions always surprise you, “Is your dog real?” or “Is that a lion?” Either way, you’re always happy to talk about your dog. Sharing stories and educating people helps them make better decisions when they look for a puppy of their own.
3. You’re heartbroken about the stereotypes.
Many people are afraid of your Chow-Chow because they’re medium-large, or because they have heard of a friend-of-a-friend who was bitten by a Chow. Some people believe that Chows are aggressive and turn on their owners. In some states, apartments and homeowners associations restrict tenants from keeping Chows due to this misinformation. You know that it can be difficult for an under-socialized Chow to meet strangers, but yours is the sweetest, most cuddly dog you’ve ever owned.
4. You always feel safe.
The Chow-Chow is a loyal dog bred for home protection. They’ll guard you with their life, though with any luck they’ll never have the opportunity. Their instinct to guard and protect can be overwhelming. You may choose to work with a professional trainer or behaviorist to prevent your Chow from getting out of control. Even a relatively well-behaved dog could use professional training to make them the best they can be.
5. You protect your Chow-Chow from children.
Chow-Chows are rumored to be bad with children, but you know the opposite is true: most children do not show a Chow the respect and space they need. While your own children may have a beautiful friendship with your Chow if introduced as a puppy, you’re always careful around other people’s children. A Chow will not tolerate hugs, grabs or poke, and may defend itself against a rude child.
6. You have a shedding season strategy.
Fortunately, your Chow-Chow does not shed too much throughout the year, but you don’t look forward to their bi-annual coat blowing. Your dog will shed copious amounts of fur in the Spring and early Winter. You’re prepared with a high-quality slicker brush and comb.
In just one brushing, you’ll collect enough fur to make a whole new dog. Odds are, you’ve seriously considered learning how to spin all of this fur into yarn and knit some warm hats for your family – in one shedding season, you’ll collect enough fur to make hats and gloves for everyone you know!
7. You’re an expert negotiator.
Like all ancient Chinese dog breeds, the Chow-Chow is stubborn and independent. They were bred to make their own decisions, rather than constantly seek instruction from a handler.
That could be the reason why many Chows are difficult to train. They’re intelligent and learn quickly, but they’re also strong-willed and will not go out of their way to obey anyone, even their favorite human in the world.
8. You tell other people not to get a Chow-Chow.
Many people you meet on walks will say, “Where did you get your dog? I want to get one for my kids!”
Those who are less experienced with dogs may choose a breed based on looks. Those button eyes, that fluffy coat and curly tail are impossible to resist. But you know that, even if a Chow is the right dog for you, it’s not the right breed for just anyone.
9. Your Chow-Chow is always at your feet.
Whenever you’re home, your Chow loves to be next to you, though they don’t beg for attention. They just like to know you’re closeby. Despite how loyal they are, however, they can’t be trusted off-leash. Once a Chow sees a squirrel, it’s impossible to get them to come back. Your Chow will eventually come back of their own convenience.
Your Chow doesn’t like swimming at dog beaches, nor are they particularly social at dog parks. While they need exercise, it’s better to play tug and take them on walks than to try to convince them to enjoy activities that they don’t like.
10. Chow-Chow gifts overrun your home.
When your guests need a coffee mug, they can choose between the oversized “I Love My Chow-Chow” tea mug or the “My Chow-Chow hates Mondays” cup. Pillows, throws and decor all prove your devotion to your Chow. But do you have a cartoon of your favorite fluffy pup?