My beautiful Maddie (profile picture) who passed away last year at 15 1/2 was a Chow/ Lab
My new puppy, Emme Lu Who is Chow on her dad's side and Lab/Golden Retriever on her mom's
Of course mixes can/will have characteristics of the breeds they are mixed with however this thread focuses on the Chow
The Chow Chow, often simply called the Chow, is one of the oldest breeds. His exact history is lost in the China of antiquity. Some historians record that the Tarters invaded China a thousand years before Christ and brought back to the West some middle-sized dogs that looked like "lions" with blue-black tongues. The Chow as it is known today is easily recognizable in pottery and sculptures of the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 22 A.D.); other artifacts indicate that he was even a much older breed and that he may have come originally from the Arctic Circle, migrating to Mongolia, Siberia and China. Some scholars claim that the Chow was the original ancestor of the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elkhound, the Pomeranian and the Keeshond. In more recent times, that is, in the T'ang Dynasty (7th Century A.D.), it is reported that one Chinese emperor kept something like 2,500 of these "Chow Dogs" as hunting and sporting animals to accompany his ten thousand hunters! Admired by emperors as well as by Western royalty, used by Chinese peasants for food and clothing,. and adopted as a "favorite" of the movie star set in Hollywood in the 1920's, the Chow Chow has had a dramatic history.
The Chow Chow is a highly intelligent dog and values his independence. He can be hugged and played with. He can even be corrected - often by a tone of voice, but he should never be allowed to dominate the household. He is usually amenable to being touched by strangers if he is introduced by one of his owners and approached properly. Quiet, refined, he should not be teased or treated as a lap dog. His dignity and aloofness must never be confused with a fierce or intractable temperament. He minds his own business and does not generally initiate trouble. Bad-tempered Chows are not representative of the breed, but are usually the result of indiscriminate breeding and a woeful lack of "socialization". The Chow's appearance and personality suggest the nobility of a lion, the drollness of a panda, the appeal of a teddybear, the grace and independence of a cat, and the loyalty and devotion of the dog. The Chow has a little of all these qualities in his appearance and in his behavior. It is, however, his particular intelligence and devotion, his independence and dignity which make him unique.
Perhaps, the most unique feature of the Chow is the blue-black color of the tongue and tissues of the mouth, a characteristic that the Chow shares with only a few other mammals. The scowl is unique, being one of the most typical characteristics of the Chow, along with his blue-black tongue and stilted gait. Although difficult to describe, the scowl relates to the Chow's frowning expression.
The Chow Chow can have one of two different types of coat; either rough or smooth. There are five colors in the Chow: red (light golden to deep mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon (light fawn to deep cinnamon) and cream.
Because some Chows are independent and because some Chows may wish to attach themselves to one person or to one immediate family, the Chow should be "socialized" so that he is completely amenable to being handled by strangers. Socialization is the process by which the Chow puppy is taught to meet and like human beings, other dogs, different environments from his own home, and other foreign situations, with steadiness, calm, and even affability. Here are some rules for "socialization":
Most Chows are intelligent so they may be lead broken and trained easily although at first they may be stubborn. Some Chows are especially willful and most are sensitive enough so that correction can come from the tone of your voice and not from physical means. Some Chows have been trained in obedience work and quite a few have earned the C.D. (Companion Dog) title, a few less the C.D.X. (Companion Dog Excellent), and only one or two have earned the U.D. (Utility Dog) degree. One Chow has won a tracking degree. Chows can be used as hunting companions, splendid show dogs and wonderful pets for the family. Their versatility proves their value as an all-round dog. Like any other canine, the Chow can become a playmate for tots and youngsters provided that they do not mistreat him and provided the Chow has been raised with young children.
Chows should be kept in a fenced-in area or inside the house in a room where they have a good deal of freedom. Chows should not be put on a chain for they resent the feeling of being "trapped". Let your Chow have as much freedom as you have to offer within the limits of his safety and welfare. http://www.chowwelfare.com/cciw/hello.htm