The thousand-year history of one of the most beloved dogs of the Chinese aristocracy and the clergy is adorned with dozens of incredible legends. Outstanding appearance and strange character of these dogs inflamed the imagination of the ancient owners. Who did not write down in the ancestors of the Chow-Chow: lions, bears and even an ancient extinct species of polar wolves. The aristocracy considered these dogs as messengers of the gods, and the poor in some parts of China used them as a healing delicacy.
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Many tests and selection experiments fell on their lot. However, neither the legends nor the breeders answered the numerous riddles of the breed. Why does the Chow Chow have a blue tongue and straightened hind legs? Why this proud silence and extreme cleanliness?
Stories of the breed
Gift of the Barbarians
Unfortunately, it is already impossible to trace the pedigree of dog breeds in China. Ruler Qin Shihuang-di, because of a quarrel with scientists, destroyed in the 3rd century BC virtually all the literature of his empire. In the number of incinerated books there were also records about the breeding of Chinese dogs. The only surviving evidence is a clay gilded statue of a dog, very similar to the chow-chow.
Researchers believe that the progenitors of the breed came to China during the raids of the Tatar-Mongol tribes. "Huge, lionlike dogs with black tongues" - so the leaders of the barbarians described their pets. These fierce hunters terrorized the enemy and from one jump poured Chinese soldiers to the ground.
After the conclusion of the truce, the Mongols presented as a gift to the emperor four-legged fighters. The ruler of China was shocked by such a gift, and the court aristocrats highly appreciated the curiosity. The rich immediately began to breed incredible dogs and discovered wonderful hunting abilities in them. It is known for sure that one of the emperors of the Tang dynasty in the year 700 BC contained a huge nursery - more than 5000 similar to modern chow-chow dogs. About 10,000 hunters led them. Imperial dogs were considered valuable property. High-ranking people gave them only to eminent persons as a sign of special disposition and gratitude.
Dog since the beginning of time
According to one legend, when the world only appeared, and the stars occupied their places in the sky, one of the sacred dogs the gods allowed to lick the edges of the sky. This was the cha-chow, which has since become blue. Although it is worth noting that the puppies of this breed are born with a pink tongue.
Gradually the era of great battles and large-scale hunting fell into oblivion - and the chow-chow lost their palace privileges. Dogs are too many, but the quality of the livestock has worsened. The aristocracy no longer wanted to cherish the mystery of the breed, so the dogs spread widely across China.
The new masters of the chow-chow were ordinary poor. Alas, it was difficult for them to feed huge dogs. Only small animals were left for the farm, and the rest were simply eaten.
The working dog of the peasants had to learn many new professions. She hunted with the same valor, guarded housing and property, grazed sheep, transported loads, accompanied caravans.
No one cared about the cleanliness of the breed. The owners were worried only by the developed skills of the livestock. Pets, who did not have special talents, immediately went to the kitchen and the master's table. Thoroughbred chows became a delicacy. It was believed that their meat has medicinal properties.
The ever hungry Chinese poor people kept whole farm dogs for slaughter. Annually in the beginning of summer feast A-Chi was held. However, as a food, bessards were bred - bastard chow. But there were also purebred cattle. They were kept for a magnificent fur. To make it look better, the dogs were even transferred to a vegetarian diet.
Chow-chow was still considered a valuable and expensive property. Their fur coat and meat could be sold for good money. Rural newlyweds as a dowry were given 6 pairs of eminent dogs, so that the family's well-being grew.
What does chow-chow mean? Origin of the name of the breed
There are many versions of the origin of the breed name. Someone believes that he refers to the Chinese "chow-chow", which translates as "edible", "delicious." Others believe that the name of the breed appeared because of a funny mistake: the Europeans misunderstood the word "chao-chao", meaning "hunting dog". But still the most plausible version is recognized, according to which the name came from the commercial premises of merchant ships "chow-chow", where the first representatives of the breed were transported. By the way, in Chinese, the name of the breed is different.
In 1878, in the Chinese city of Catone alone, 25 restaurants worked, where they cooked dishes from canine meat. Officially, the sale and purchase of such delicacies has been banned since 1915. But this prohibition, unfortunately, is sometimes violated.
The Mysteries of Chinese Temples
Perhaps we would never have seen pureblood Chow Chows, if the Buddhist monks had not interfered in the history of the breed. For centuries, the dog breeders of Manchuria, Tibet and Northern China diligently bred black and blue chow-chow, and also conducted detailed genealogical books. They did not dare to use canine meat for food, for fear of anger the gods.
Sacred pets were used for the protection of shrines, hunting for birds and animals. It is interesting that their fur coat was almost not exposed to the sun in the monastery's semi-darkness, so it retained a virgin color. To update the number of churches, the churches periodically exchanged dogs.
An amazing meeting with the four-legged guards of the monasteries was described by Englishman K. G. Abshtein. In the middle of the last century, in the course of a business trip to, he got to China. His crew drove past on the car of the temple. Local monks maintained good relations with the expedition, so they allowed the gentiles to enter the sacred territory.
As soon as the gate opened, the car was immediately surrounded by a pack of gorgeous blue-colored dogs. Having surrounded the car, they curiously curled and menacingly grumbled. By stroking the fifty equally impeccable dogs, the British lost the gift of speech from surprise.
Four-legged Tibetans in England
But the first news about the Chow Chow came to Europe much earlier. The Italian traveler Marco Polo lived in Tibet for a long time in the 13th century, where he often met the ancestors of the breed. The navigator noted restraint and incredible hunting qualities of these dogs. He also described the story of one dog, which was sold to a new master in Nepal. She was able to get used to it only two months later.
The next mention of the breed dates back to 1780. Two individuals were brought to Foggy Albion. They were placed in a London zoo and demonstrated to the public under the guise "wild dogs of China"
However, the real interest in the breed woke up only in 1865. Queen Victoria was given a puppy of Tibetan chow-chow. Fascinated by a fluffy baby, more like a bear cub, she decided not to give it to the nursery and settled right in her chambers.
Import of dogs from China has increased the same. In 1882, they were first shown at an exhibition in the section of foreign dogs. And in 1887, the breed was taken seriously by British breeders - and eight years later the Chow Chow standard was approved.
The nature of the chow-chow
Breeders did a lot of hard work. Wild dog from China was returned to the legendary lion's face and noble charm. The deposed nobleman, who was a tramp, slave and monastic hermit, turned into a real English lord and devoted companion.
Like any aristocrat, the chow-chow looks majestic and behaves very discreetly. His body is compact, strong, and the tail is tightly pressed to the back. Hock joints are directed downwards, due to which the breed has a unique stilted gait. The gloomy expression of the breed is attached to the ears that are inclined to the eyes and ears, and also the inexpressive transition from the forehead to the muzzle. A special charm adds black gums and a bluish-black tongue.
The breed with unusual appearance became popular in England and America, then in Switzerland, Germany. But the sharp increase in the number of livestock did not happen. It's not surprising! Prices for puppies even now bite. And in times of active breeding, experienced owners and professional cynologists and did spread out for the individuals of the chow-chow colossal amounts.
Although its current representatives are considered decorative dogs, they are still firmly connected with their Tibetan past. These are very independent and arrogant dogs, who are devoted to only one owner. They are alienated all day, like Tibetan monks. They prefer to sleep for a long time, but they love animated walks with games.
However, even during entertainment this breed remains the most silent of all. Chow-chow owners rarely hear their pets bark. When communicating, they only grunt fairly. Occasionally, Chinese dogs voice. He's bassy with screechy notes.
Although chow-chow are mean in the manifestation of feelings, they sometimes wake up rebellious spirit. Offended by the owner, they can refuse food, affection and games. But the relatives for the insult can even take revenge, after eating a bite.
According to the results of research by British scientists, the Chow Chow is less likely than other breeds to learn. Natural obstinacy creates numerous difficulties in training - pets do not regret regularly repeating the same exercises. Therefore, they have to be trained according to special programs. Only experienced and patient masters who are able to understand the mysterious soul of the Chow Chow achieve success.
Pet of celebrities
Silent chow-chow was in Sigmund Freud and the king of music Elvis Presley.
Three-week-old puppies of the breed, who barely learned to walk, meet the need strictly on the newspaper. Many of them are quite scrupulous and shy, so they prefer a secluded toilet. Growing up, some chow-chow do not get rid of shyness and continue to "go on business" to some remote thickets.
It is interesting that these dogs do not tolerate dirty and rainy weather. They are difficult to lead for a walk in the pouring rain. They, like cats, try to stay away from the water: they do not like walking on wet grass, avoiding puddles and avoiding water procedures.
However, in moments of serious danger, this dog forgets all its whims. In 2008, when an explosion of domestic gas took place in one of Moscow's apartment houses, the Chow Chow of the Baikal rescued its mistress. The woman went for a walk with the usual route, but the python refused to wrap her around the corner of the house. While she was persuaded to go on, a thunder broke - and a wall collapsed on the path the mistress was about to go.
Another story occurred in late autumn in one of the Russian villages. Raisa Goncharova went for mushrooms that day. After scampering through the forest, she was already going home, when suddenly the chow-chow appeared from somewhere. The dog looked into the woman's eyes, then walked away a little, and then returned, as if calling for herself.
Raisa realized that the uninvited guest was waiting for help, and went after her. Running through the forest not one hundred meters, the woman was on a country road. Here she saw an inverted cart that had crushed the man. He was almost not breathing. Gathering all her strength, Raisa pushed the cart and freed the man. Saved Sergey woodpeckers are infinitely grateful to his clever pet Jack.
Experienced chow-chow owners say that this breed has absorbed the deep wisdom of Tibet and has learned the harmony of silence. Only a skilled dog breeder will be able to solve all her riddles and bring up a truly brave, proud and faithful dog. You have to grow up to such a pet!
Price of chow chow puppies
The cheapest puppies are dogs without documents or tribal marriage. Their cost varies from 3000 to 5000 rubles . Puppies with pedigree documents, which are suitable for further breeding, cost from 12,000 to 20,000 rubles . And the most expensive chow-chow puppies are future champions, show-class puppies. As a rule, their price starts from 30 000 and the upper limit can reach 50 000 rubles .
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