One of my favorite dog breeds is the Chow. Although they are steadily becoming popular in Nigeria, a lot of people are still unaware of their presence. The fascinating thing about them is their thick mane (which reminds me of a lion) and their purple/blue-black tongue. I saw one for the first time at the Double Paws Dog Championship and he looked really cute, a friend of mine also owns one. Here’s a brief history of the breed.

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Double Paws
Double Paws


The Chow Chow is a dog breed originally from northern China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan which means “puffy-lion dog”. The breed has also been called the Tang Quan, “Dog of the Tang Empire.” It is believed that the Chow Chow is one of the native dogs used as the model for the Foo dog  , the traditional stone guardians found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces. It is one of the few ancient dog breeds still in existence in the world today.

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The Chow Chow is more than 2,000 years old as a breed and many authorities believe it may date back much farther. The breed probably originated, as one popular theory states, as a result of crossing the old Mastiff of Tibet and the Samoyed, a breed originating from the northern parts of Siberia. Refutation of this theory lies in the fact that the Chow possesses a blue-black tongue, leading some to maintain that the Chow is the basic breed behind the ancestors of the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elkhound, the Keeshond and the Pomeranian. The Chow was officially recognized by the AKC in 1903.

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Breed Personality

Excessive suspiciousness The breed can be aggressive towards people and other animals when not socialized properly. They can be excessively suspicious of strangers and strong minded.  The chow is not a breed for everyone, they are for experienced dog owners who can dedicate a lot of time to train and socialize them.

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There is no known reason or explanation for the origin of the Chow’s purple tongue.


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