Description

Chow Chows or just 'Chows' are a medium-haired, medium-sized dog breed. They are loyal, aloof and stubborn one-person companions who are loyal to their owner but are unwelcoming towards strangers — often acting somewhere between cold and aggressive towards people and animals they don't know.

Neonatal

During the first 4 weeks of your Chow Chow's life, they should spend most of their time with their mother and litter-mates. It is highly unusual for the puppy's owner to care for them during this time and is best left to a responsible, reputable breeder. Your puppy's body will double in weight as their muscles, organs and bones develop.

Nutrition During the neonatal stage, your Chow Chow puppy will get most of their nutrition from their mother's milk. At around 4 weeks you may wish to introduce a mush of minced protein such as beef, but always consult your vet first before changing your puppy's diet at this stage.
Health During this time it is important to monitor your Chow for any infections, diseases or birth defects. Puppies are unable to urinate or defecate by themselves initially, so their mother helps them but may additionally require your assistance.

Keep your vet's contact details close by and educate yourself thoroughly on this stage of puppy development. By the end of this period, your puppy will be mobile and will explore the world mouth first — be sure to keep choking hazards and toxic foods out of their reach.
Behaviour During most of this time your Chow Chow puppy will be asleep or inactive, but they will soon be playing with their brothers and sisters. After 3-4 weeks they will go through as much sensory development as a human baby does in a few months. It is important to avoid disturbing the puppies' mother as she will be likely be protective, but some interaction with the young pups is normal so they become used to human touch.

Weaning

When you take your Chow puppy home (usually at around 8 weeks) you should provide them with lots of stimulation and affection. This is a formative time for your puppy and will be when they learn to walk, play, bite, hold their bladder, and interact with others. If you have other pets or children who visit regularly, you should introduce them to your puppy early as Chow Chows often bond only with one person and can sometimes be aggressive if poorly socialised.

 

Nutrition During the weaning stage, you should slowly introduce into their diet a nutritionally complete dog food which is appropriate to your Chow's moderate size and young age. Feed your puppy small meals to avoid bloat, which Chows are particularly susceptible to. You should also familiarise yourself with lists of toxic foods and plants to avoid — they will spend most of their lives inside so this is especially important.
Health During this time you should provide your puppy with a small, shallow bowl of clean water and refresh the contents frequently. Make sure that your Chow Chow puppy becomes accustomed to being bathed, brushed and clipped as this will be a daily necessity for the rest of their life.
Behaviour Due to the changes in their environment, your Chow Chow puppy will be under a significant amount of stress. It's important to provide lots of affection and socialise your puppy thoroughly to avoid eccessive barking which is likely to upset neighbours. Chows are naturally quite fastidious — often likened to cats in their cleanliness — and take easily to toilet training. Be encouraging with your words and offer affection for doing the right thing as they will be fearful of shouting.

Puppy

By the time your Chow Chow reaches puppyhood their personality will be well developed, so you will have an loyal and independant friend who values you above all others. Your Chow Chow is unlikely to be very social with strangers, but you can help alleivate their anxiety around strangers by socialising them from a young age.

 

Nutrition Your Chow Chow puppy's diet should be based around a high quality, nutritionally complete puppy food. You may also wish to introduce them to fresh, lean raw meat — however, don't feed your puppy any meat you would not feed to a fellow human being. It is important that you feed your Chow Chow two smaller meals per day rather than one large meal as eating too much at once will leave them bloated and unwell. You may also wish to add water to their food to help with their digestion.
Health Chow Show puppies are high maintenance and require daily brushing and relatively frequent baths, however, as they only need around 15-30 minutes of exercise per day they are unlikely to be dirty under ordinary circumstances. Chow Chows are generally healthy, long-living dogs with few ailments over their lives. After around 8 weeks your puppy will be due for some vaccinations, so they will need a checkup at the vet and to arrange for boosters after that.
Behaviour Chow Chows are often described as regal, standoffish and aloof — these archetypes run true for almost every one of its species. They do not dislike other dogs or children, but rather they do not care about them enough to interact unless they already know them. If you wish to avoid this antisocial behaviour in later life, introduce your Chow puppy to as many of your friends and their dogs as possible but do not expect miracles. Children should be instructed not to cuddle or be rough with your Chow — it is more akin to a lion with a mane than a ball of cotton wool to be caressed.

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