The Chow Chow is a breed of dog that has been around since ancient times. While they may be an attractive choice for a family pet today, many would wonder about the temperament and personality of this large breed and whether or not they are aggressive.
Today we will examine what makes these dogs wild by nature and, in turn, how that can affect their temperament and lead to aggressive tendencies.
We’ll also take a look at some of the ways you may be able to prevent this from happening to have the best experience possible with your new Chow Chow pup.
Let’s get started.
Are Chows Chows Aggressive?
The short answer is yes; Chow Chows are considered to be aggressive. This is part of their temperament and personality, but many factors contribute to this aggression, so it isn’t necessarily all the dog’s fault. We’ll look at these factors in more detail below.
Male vs. Female Chow Chows
Before we get to the causes of aggression in this breed, it is essential to mention that there are some differences between male dogs and female dogs when it comes to aggression.
Male Chows are more likely than females to be aggressive. This can be attributed to several factors, including testosterone levels during puberty, causing them to be more easily agitated.
It is also thought that male Chows are less likely to be spayed or neutered, making them more aggressive due to the hormones involved in these procedures. This natural aggression can lead to dominant behaviour with other dogs and even people.
However, this doesn’t mean that female Chow Chows won’t become aggressive. They are just less likely to be so, which means you need to treat them with more care so as not to trigger their aggression.
Female Chows on heat (in season) are also more aggressive. This is because they are reacting to the hormones in their bodies.
There are also some notable differences in the body language of male and female Chows that may indicate signs of potential aggression.
While males tend to put their ears back or leave them lying on their heads, females will often have their ears pointed forward. This is a good indicator of how the dog feels, so if they have their ears back, they may be ready to attack.
What Can Make Chow Chows Aggressive?
Several things can influence a Chow Chow’s temperament and lead to aggression. Some of these include:
Dominance for Territory
Dogs of all breeds, including Chows Chows, have a natural need to establish themselves as pack leaders. In doing so, they will often try to show dominance over other dogs in the house.
While this isn’t an issue with other dogs in the house, it may be necessary to be wary of other dogs on walks or when you are out and about. If another dog challenges your Chow Chow’s dominance, there is a chance that they will become aggressive as a result.
The fact that the Chow Chow is also used as a hunting dog can worsen this issue. Because of their large size, they may be more inclined to fight with other dogs on the trail than smaller breeds.
As mentioned above, some Chows are more likely to show aggression due to their territorial dominance. This is also called territorial aggression in dogs and usually results in the dog becoming aggressive when you try to leave them alone.
While this may seem like normal behaviour, it can still be dangerous if not monitored carefully. If your Chow Chow becomes aggressive to the point where they are snarling or snapping at you every time you turn to leave, you should speak with your vet immediately.
This kind of territorial aggression is often overcome through training, but it can take time and patience. Some owners have even resorted to using a shock collar when they leave to prevent fights from breaking out while they are away.
In some cases, the Chow Chow may be aggressive in certain rooms of the home away from where you are. For example, they may be aggressive to anyone else in the house if they try to enter their bedroom.
This territorial type of aggression is also more likely to occur with Chows that have not been spayed or neutered. This is because nature has developed this breed as one that establishes dominance for territory or family, and this behaviour is demonstrated more often when the dog hasn’t been altered.
Dogs sense discomfort in the way humans sense anger. For this reason, your Chow Chow may become aggressive if you are uncomfortable around them.
This is especially dangerous for children or people afraid of dogs in general. They may not stand their ground and act cautiously when the dog is acting aggressively towards them.
Your Chow will sense your fear which can cause them to become more aggressive. Teaching your child how to stand their ground around dogs can help them avoid being attacked.
Breed Specific Aggression
Some breeds of dogs have been known to be more aggressive than others. Chows are one such breed. This is because they were bred specifically for protection and hunting, which often leads to aggression in certain situations with other animals or people.
The Chow has a double coat to protect it from the cold and harsh weather. This can also lead to aggression as their coat will often grow long and thick, making them look larger than they are.
If your dog is acting aggressive towards other people, it could be because of breed-specific aggression. If you have a Chow, it is crucial to be aware of this and take precautions with those who come into your homes, such as small children or older individuals.
Other Causes of Aggression in Chows
Other causes for aggression in this breed are not as common but still important to be aware of. These include:
- Poor dental health
- Pain, either from injury or arthritis
- Lack of exercise
Even with the breeding of the Chow, aggression can still be a problem due to different causes. For this reason, owners need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of aggression.
How to Prevent Aggression in Chows Chows
There are many ways that you can prevent aggression in your Chow. Here are some of the most common ways to avoid this problem:
Spay or Neuter
Most experts recommend waiting until your Chow is at least six months old before you spay or neuter them. This will help reduce aggression in the dog and is often recommended for most breeds of dogs.
Socialise Your Dog
Dogs that are not adequately socialised when young are more likely to become aggressive as they get older. Ensure that you choose a reputable breeder for your new puppy so that they have been raised in a good environment with socialisation from the beginning.
Train Your Dog
All dogs need training, which is especially important for breeds of dogs that are more likely to be aggressive. Make sure that you take the time to train your dog how you want them to behave. If they are obeying, they will be less likely to show aggression.
Increase Physical Activity
This breed needs a significant amount of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. If your dog gets enough physical activity, they are less likely to become aggressive. If you are unable, hire a dog walker or make sure that you take your dog for an extended walk each day to ensure they stay healthy and happy.
Avoid Aggressive Situations
Even if you have a well-trained dog, there are still times when your dog may become aggressive without any previous warning. For this reason, you should always try to avoid these situations to prevent aggression from your Chow.
These may include:
- Being startled or surprised by someone, especially children. Try to train your dog not to be so defensive when approached unexpectedly.
- Visitors to your home, especially those that are unfamiliar to them. Ensure that you know how your dog will act around people before allowing them into your home.
- Other animals in your home, especially pets. If you have another animal in your home, make sure that you monitor interactions between them to ensure that aggression does not occur.
Are Chows a Good Family Dog?
No, Chow Chows are not a good family dog because they can be aggressive to you. They are not good with kids or other animals. They need proper training and socialisation from a young age. Chow Chows do best in homes where they are the only pets because there is no need for aggression when dominance is already established.
If you have a Chow, it is essential to be aware of this and take precautions with those who come into your home. Keep small children and other pets away from your Chow, especially when they are not adequately trained. Their aggressive and stubborn personality can be dangerous to others around them.
Though Chows are not good dogs for families with children, they can still be great pets for responsible pet owners who have the time to train them properly. They are very loyal dogs devoted to their family and protecting them. Just make sure you are prepared for the challenges of owning this breed.
The Bottom Line
Chow chows are not dogs who should be taken lightly. They can be loving pets when properly trained, but they also have the potential to be very aggressive towards you and others around them. If you have a Chow, be careful to watch their behaviour so that your dog does not become a danger to others.
If you do not have the time and energy to devote to training and monitoring, finding a different dog breed might be best. There are many dog breeds who are great family pets and companions, but the Chow is not one of them.
However, for those who are ready to take on the challenge of owning this breed, they can be very loving pets. Just make sure you have the patience and time to train them and keep them well-socialized.