Vega Étoile Chows
The Chow Chow History

Definitively one of most impressive of all the breeds is the Chow Chow, an imposing creature with its appearance of lion and fine behavior. Watching well it has it similarity to one crosses between a lion and a bear, nevertheless, the true origin of the Chow Chow is not known and it was lost in the deep thing of the antiquity.

It´s assumed that during the Miocene period (between 28 to 12 million years back), the evolution of the Hemicyon, an intermediary between the Cynoelesmus ("father" of all the canine ones) and the Daphoneus (from which the bears descend as we know them actually), originated the Simicyon, an animal that varied between the one of the fox and a small bear that inhabited in the sub-Arctic regions Siberia and the Northwest of Mongolia and of which it is known had 44 teeth. The Simicyon is considered the predecesor of the Chow Chow.

Combined to its similarity the bear, the Chow Chow shares the characteristic blue language with the small bears of Tibet and Manchuria, the ample skull, the short snout and the square body, in addition, while the common one of the canine races has 42 theet, the Chow Chow have 44 teeth like the bears, although usually lose their extra pair of teeth when they become adults. The Chow Chow, or a very similar predecessor, established Mongolia and central China many years before the appearance of the Homo Sapiens.

The Chow Chow as it is known today, is represented in the pottery and sculptures of the Han Chinese Dynasty (206 AC to 22 AC); other devices indicate that it was still a much more old race and can have come originally from the Arctic Circle, then migrated into Mongolia, Siberia, and China.

Some scholars affirm that the Chow Chow is original ancestor of the Samoyedo, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian and Keeshond. In more recent times, that is to say, in the T'ang Dynasty (of century VII DC), The Emperor Ling Ti bred Chows as members of the Imperial Household which were fed on the best rice and meat by an army of servants, had a military escort, slept on rich carpets and were awarded high courtly titles and decorations such as the Order of Kai Fu (Viceroy). These Chows had the double purpose of guarding the Palace and looking handsome and dignified.

Emperors of the Tang dynasty had hunting kennels of 25,000 couples of 'hounds' of true Chow type. In the Book of Rites (7th century EC) the 'foreign chow' was classified as a hunting dog used to attack wolves and leopards.

In the monasteries of Tibet they specialized in the raising of Chow Chow blue, work that had to take to them to several generations and much dedication, since they managed to perfect a pale blue color. The Chow Chow blue was and continues being used in the monasteries for the protection, as well as the hunting and the pasturing, in addition it says that the bad spirits auyentan.

With the ending of the Tang dynasty came an increasing national poverty and, except within the monasteries, selective breeding ceased. The original pure race only stayed in the houses of the richest merchants some noble and in the monasteries.

In those days people take advantage of the great force and coat of the Chow Chow for the hunting, the pasturing, the shot of sleighs, the monitoring, the manufacture of some articles to dress in its skin and inció cunsumo its meat. Great farms of dogs were generated in the districts of the North of China in where the Chow Chow was strangled around the 10 to 12 months of age to avoid that the skin was damaged.

In Manchuria when a girl farmer married she received a six dowry of Chow-Chow as she bases to form his farm. The tongue of the Chow Chow was considered like manjar, in addition of which it said myself it has curativas properties.

The Chow Chow came to America via England of where it had been engaged in of China at the end of 1700's. The sailors who returned from the East brought them in the compartments of the merchant boats. The Chow Chow was a term of jargon applied to the great variety of articles taken by these boats. Like a nickname, the term surrounded these dogs.

The first European person to mention and describe the Chow was Marco Polo, who visited China as a guest of the Great Mogul in the 13th century and who wrote about them in his account of his travels. But the Chow was unknown in the Western world until the late 15th century when it was brought back as a curiosity by sailors and merchants in the Clipper ships of the East India Company. Writing in his book The Natural History and Antiquities of Seaborne, the Rev Gilbert White describes in accurate detail the import of a pair of puppies from Canton by a young gentleman of the East India Company.

These were 'of the Chinese breed of Canton such as are fattened in this country to be eaten' He goes on to say'the hind legs are usually straight without any bend at the hock. The eyes are jet black. small and piercing, the inside of the lip and mouths the same colour and the tongues blue.

Several Chows were housed in London Zoo in the Wild Dog area and in 1865 Queen Victoria was presented with some Chows which were kept in cages at Windsor.

But an interest in Chows for breeding and exhibition must have begun in 1879 when a black Chow bitch named Chinese Puzzle came to England . I he following year she was exhibited at the Crystal Palace dog show by her owner Mr W K Taunton.

In 1884 the Earl of Lonsdale imported a Chow and three years later he gave the Marchioness of Huntley a dog named Peridot She then bred a Chow named Peridot II which was the foundation for Lady Granville Gordon's kennel. LadY Granville Gordon was instrumental in getting the Kennel Club to recognize the breed as a Chow Chow rather than as a 'Foreign Dog' She also owned the first blue Chows in England . Her daughter, Lady Faudel-Phillips, later founded the famous Amwell kennels and became the leading breeder and exhibitor until about 1898. In 1890 the first Chow was exhibited in America . This was 'Takya' owned by Miss A C Derby.

One of the most important years in the history of the Chow must surely be 1895. Four important events occurred. Champion Chow VIII became the first ever Chow Champion, Peridot II was awarded Best in Show at the LKA Championship show, the Chow Chow Club was formed and the breed standard was formulated based on Ch Chow VIII.

Since then the breeding and exhibition of Chows has gone on apace. Mrs Jarrett of Philadelphia founded the first American Chow kennel and got recognition for the breed from the American Kennel Club.

Chinese Chum was exported to Mrs Proctor of America where he became an American Champion and sired many American Champions including Am Ch Black Cloud and Am Ch Night of Asia , which were the foundation for her 'Blue Dragon'kennels. In 1906 the American Chow Club was founded. This was followed in 1924 by the foundation of the French Chow Chow Club by Mme Mareschal (revived after the last war by Mme Yvonne Diot). Also in 1974 we have the first entry of a Chow in the German Stud Book.

Gradually the Chow's lovable character became more widely known and from the 1920's the popularity of the breed steadily increased and is still increasing to this day. Quite a number of well known, not to say famous, people have owned Chows. In our own Royal Family others as well as Queen Victoria have had Chows as pets.

Queen Alejandra, had a Chow Chow exported by Sir Henry Knollys.

The last Duke of Kent own a Chow Chow and Queen Isabel II has infantile memories of the Chow Chow own by her relatives.

The statesman Lloyd George had twoChows and President Calvin Coolidge had a Chow Chow (Timmy) in the White House in years 30.

The actress Sarah Bernhardt, the dramatist George Bernard Shaw, the Dr Konrad Lorenz and the famous orchestra conductor Herberl von Karajan had Chow Chow.

Another notable fanatical of the Chow Chow was Sigmund Freud, after his death, his daughter, Anna Freud, conserved the Chow Chow of his father and increased the number that she had. Martha Stewart also is a fanatic of the Chow Chow and their dogs can be seen regularly in her tv show.

One of the most enthusiastic descriptions of a Chow called Chow "Pooh-Baht" can be found in the book "The Bird in the Tree" wrote by Elizabeth Goudge that did not have a Chow Chow but it lived in same Villa who Mr. Martin Nitram (Nitram Chows) and obvious must been have fascinated by the character of the Chow Chow.

The Chow Chow was admired by emperors as well as by the Western royalty, used by Chinese farmers for work, food and clothes, he has been favorite for a set of Hollywood's stars in 20's, presidents and personalities. Without a doubt the Chow Chow has had a dramatic history.