Chow Chows are one of the most adorable breeds of dog. They are very fluffy and look like teddy bears, which means they are often appealing to children. But are Chow Chows good family dogs?
Are Chow Chows Friendly With Kids?
Chow Chows have personalities that sometimes seem more similar to a cat than a dog. They can be aloof at times, and quite introverted.
If they are socialized from a young age, then they will learn how to behave around children, but may still be wary of children who are outside of the family unit.
The key ages for socialization are around 3 to 18 weeks, the experiences the dog has in this time will shape their future behaviour. You should ensure that your dog has plenty of opportunities to meet new people of all ages under positive experiences during this time.
They do not deal well with rough play and lots of heavy handling, so are better suited to families with older families who have an understanding of how to treat dogs with respect.
It is not advised to leave children under the age of 6 alone with certain breeds of dog, and Chows Chows fall into this category. They have poor peripheral vision, so if a child approaches from the side they could startle the dog.
If you already have a Chow Chow and you are going to bring a baby home, try and do this as gradually as possible. Bring a blanket or item of clothing home that smells like the baby and show it to the dog.
Keep the dog on a leash when you first introduce it to the baby, and ensure you give the dog plenty of attention and praise so it doesn’t feel pushed out of the family.
Keep interactions between the dog and the baby short and sweet to begin with, slowly increasing the time they spend together as they become used to each other.
Do Chow Chows Like To Cuddle?
Despite their soft, teddy bear appearance, Chow Chows are not the biggest fan of cuddling. They are quite independent and can be a little standoffish at times.
That doesn’t mean that they don’t feel love for their family and form close emotional bonds with their owners, but they don’t necessarily express it in the same way as other breeds of dog.
It can take some time to get close to a Chow Chow and to earn their trust, but once you have it they will be very loyal to you.
If a Chow Chow is close to you, they will probably be quite excited when you come home. When they want to display affection, this will likely be in the form of a gentle lick and approaching you for a little bit of attention rather than showering you with kisses and climbing on your lap.
Chow Chows do not enjoy being picked up or having their personal space invaded, so it is best to let them come to you.
If you have a Chow Chow from a puppy, then you can train them to be okay with being handled by giving them a lot of praise as you pick them up and pet them.
This won’t make them as affectionate as other breeds, but it will help them to be less stubborn as they get older and you need to pick them up to put them in the car or the bath!
Can Chow Chows Be Left At Home Alone?
Chow Chows are more independent than many other breeds of dogs, and do not rely on human companionship to feel happy.
An adult Chow Chow will be quite satisfied spending a large portion of the day on their own, as long as they have plenty of toys to play with, enough food and water, and they get a nice walk in the morning or the evening.
However, you should not leave a young puppy on their own for long periods of time straight away, as this will make them sad and anxious. It will also make toilet training more difficult, as puppies need the toilet more frequently and will not be able to wait until you get home.
If you plan to leave your Chow Chow at home on their own, you should start with a short period of time like half an hour. Gradually extend this to an hour, then two hours, building up to half a day and then a whole working day.
It is important to do it this way, as your dog will learn that every time you leave, you will definitely come back. This reduces the chance of them developing separation anxiety and getting upset when you leave.
Are Chow Chows Good With Other Dogs?
It takes Chow Chows a while to warm up to people, and it is the same with other dogs. They can be aloof and independent and making friends doesn’t necessarily come easily to them, but once they form a bond with another dog they will be very close to them and make loyal friends.
Socializing your Chow Chow from a young age and giving them plenty of opportunities to interact with different dogs will make it easier for them to make friends as they grow older. Even so, if a dog invades their personal space or is too boisterous then your Chow Chow could become snappy and unfriendly.
It is best to supervise your Chow Chows interaction with other dogs. They are territorial, and they might aggressively defend their toys, food and bed area from other dogs.
For this reason, they might get on better with dogs who have a submissive nature. If it comes down to a power struggle, they won’t back down and could end up in a fight.
If you get a second dog and your Chow Chow bonds with it, they can become very attached and will get upset if you try to separate them from their friend. They will probably enjoy going on walks together and playing together.