Only a few breeds of dogs, including the Chow Chow, are believed to be descended from wild wolves, and the peculiarities of their behavior serve as further evidence that they are an exception to the general rule. So, one of the most mysterious and ancient breeds is the Chow-Chow, and today we will talk about it.
There are several legends about the origin of this breed since it happened too long ago, we will never know the true ancestors of this wonderful dog, which we can observe today next to us.
In ancient Chinese legends, it was said that the Chow Chow descended from completely different ancestors than other dog breeds, namely from bears. This assumption arose, apparently from the similarity of posture, extraordinary self-confidence, and fearlessness of the bear and the Chow-Chow. However, these assumptions about the origin of the Chow Chow are more likely to be fables.
Chow Chow Origin
So, let’s consider a more reliable version of the origin of the Chow Chow breed.
Although the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang Ti (259-210 BC) destroyed Chinese literature and, accordingly, information about the breeding of purebred dogs, archaeologists and naturalists have established that the Chow Chow is one of the most ancient dog breeds. When excavating burial grounds, archaeologists found Chows together with their owners. Two tribal chiefs, Jiong and Ti, described their hunting dogs as “gigantic, with a black tongue and the appearance of a lion.”
Homeland Chow Chow
The homeland of these dogs was Mongolia, China, and Tibet. All these facts testify to the ancient devotion and service to the man of this breed.
True representatives of this breed, distinguished by outstanding hunting qualities, were really highly valued by high-ranking Chinese, as they were a mirror of their social and political status and well-being. Seeking and walking tirelessly on the trail of a tiger or a bear, overtaking, boldly attacking, confirming his strength and fearlessness with a stranglehold, the Chow Chow was truly an excellent big game hunter. Thanks to its agility and incredibly strong constitution, the Chow Chow has become an indispensable companion and assistant for hunters hunting deer. Having brought such a valuable animal to someone as a gift, one could certainly expect a reciprocal service in the future.
Chinese Legend of Chow Chow
When the world was just being created and the stars took their places in the sky, one dog was allowed to lick the edge of the sky that fell to the ground. This dog was the first Chow Chow, and since then his tongue has turned blue. And all of his descendants also had a blue tongue. Thanks to this beautiful legend, the Chow Chow is sometimes called the “dog that licked the sky” today.
Korean Legend of Chow Chow
Chow Chow is a small Korean bear that once ate blackberries. Then he changed into a dog, and his tongue remained blue (and nature remained independent).
Secrets of Chinese Monasteries
Buddhist temples from Manchuria and North China to Tibet maintained a close relationship in terms of animal husbandry and dog breeding. This fact was discovered during the Japanese invasion of North China by the Englishman K.G. Abshtein. The Englishman was on a business trip in one of the units, the command of which was in the city of Paoto.
About 24 hours away from this place, if you go by car, in the mountains there is a Buddhist temple, founded in the XY century by a branch of the Buddhist church. Between the Japanese command and the monastery, personal ties were maintained by the major doctor, who provided the monastery with a special location, and only this circumstance helped Abstein to penetrate the monastery. Otherwise, access to such monasteries for the Gentiles, especially Europeans, was denied.
When the gates of the monastery opened, a flock of fifty blue Chow Chows ran up to the car. The coloration most closely resembled that of a wild pigeon. The dogs surrounded the car and with a kind of special barking, rather grunting, betrayed their pent-up curiosity and, at the same time, their readiness for the necessary intervention. Three monks came running and recalled the dogs. Every one of the dogs obediently walked away and did not pay any attention to the guests.
Looking at 50 completely identical Chow Chows, the Englishman could not find words. With the striking similarity of their appearance, impeccable body structure, the liveliness of movements, there was something else in them that was exotic and untouched by European culture. For more than a century, blue Chow Chows have been bred in Buddhist monasteries located from Tibet to northern China. In these monasteries, located, as a rule, in the mountains, semi-darkness reigned, and the blue color was not exposed to the unwanted influence of sunlight. Therefore, the color has retained its brightness, purity, and beauty. The dogs were intended primarily for the supervision and protection of the monastery and those living in it, then they were used to guard livestock and, finally, as hunting dogs when hunting various animals and birds – from pheasant to bear. Chow-Chows on the hunt use their intuition and sight and give a special sound.
In the monasteries, special magazines have kept that lead far back into the centuries, in fact, these are genealogical books. Refreshing blood was carried out by exchanging dogs between monasteries. According to the monks, the breed has retained the basis of purebreds for more than a century.
The described ancient Chinese Chow Chows are slightly different from the European type. In Europe, the Chow Chow was adapted to the European taste, it was refined to the kind that we are familiar with art exhibitions. And compared to the original type, it has become even more beautiful, personable, and respectful.