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GROOMING CHOW CHOWS Coat care

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发表于 2008-2-11 18:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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GROOMING CHOW CHOWS Coat care

Coat careThe Chow's thick coat requires a lot of care. Puppy coat is very dense and soft, easily tangled and can take several hours a week to groom. The transition period from puppy to adult coat may take several months and your Chow needs to be groomed almost daily during that time. Adult coat is easier to care for but will still need at least an hour or two a week to look its best and prevent matting. Chows shed seasonally, not daily. Once or twice a year they shed their coats and you'll literally be filling trash bags full of hair at that time! Although the smooth coated variety would seem to be less work, it, too, sheds seasonally and needs regular, thorough grooming. You'll need to train your Chow to cooperate and lie on his side during the long hours of grooming. Most Chows would prefer to be groomed by their owners rather than suffer the indignity of going to a professional groomer.
Chows come in five colors: red, black, cream, blue and cinnamon. There's no such thing as "champagne," "silver," "lilac," "chocolate" or "white" Chows -- these "exotic" colors are just creative interpretations of the regularly accepted colors. Colors other than red are not rare and shouldn't cost more.
Red varies from a deep mahogany to a light golden red with light shadings on the tail, breechings and ruff. Red puppies are born a "mousy" brown, often with a black mask. This mask will eventually fade is usually gone at maturity. The fluffy baby coat will start to grow at three months of age and often is not what the adult shade of red will be. To get a clue, look at the adult hair beginning to grow on the face and feet. The nose should be black with no pink spotting. Eyes on all colors of Chows should be as dark as possible.
Black is self-explanatory but some black Chows have silver shadings in tail or breechings (or both). Black Chows sometimes turn "rusty" when kept outside or in the sun. A "chocolate" Chow really is a rusty black! Black Chows are born black.
Cream varies from ivory to a very pale fawn. They are cream from birth and sometimes have tan ears and legs. Light red puppies are often mislabeled as creams by inexperienced breeders. Creams are seldom seen at dog shows because their noses, which may be black as puppies, always turn brown by maturity, and a brown nose is a disqualification.
Blue is a steel gray color, sometimes with silver shadings as in the blacks. Poor quality blues may have brown shadings and blues can also "rust" in the sun. The muzzle and legs have a salt and pepper mixture of light and dark hairs. Noses on blue Chows are often gray or slate-colored. This is the only color of Chow where a black nose is not required, but the nose must not be brown.
Cinnamon varies from a light tan or fawn to almost red. Very light red puppies are sometimes mislabeled as cinnamon. Like the blues, a true cinnamon has a salt and pepper mixture of light & dark hairs on its muzzle. The coat color sometimes has a pinkish cast. Cinnamons may be grayish at birth and have even been mislabeled as blues! This gray cast is usually gone within a few weeks. Cinnamons must have a black nose, not brown.
Chows' tongues are pink at birth and gradually darken. They should be completely blue-black at the age of eight weeks. Some tongues don't change completely. This fault disqualifies the Chow from the show ring and it shouldn't be used for breeding.
As with any breed, Chows can be prone to various health problems. Hip dysplasia and entropion are probably the most common. The chances that your Chow will become dysplastic are reduced if you buy your puppy from a breeder who x-rays hips of breeding animals and certifies them free of dysplasia before breeding. Ask for a warranty against crippling hip dysplasia for a period of at least two years. It has been estimated that as many as 50 percent of all Chows have hip dysplasia. This percentage would be greatly reduced if more breeders would x-ray their stock before breeding.
Entropion is a condition where the dog's eyelids turn inward toward the eyeball rather than outward as they should. This causes irritation to the eye and if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Entropion is usually inherited but can also be acquired later in life as a result of eye injury or infection. Entropion isn't always apparent in young puppies. When you're shopping for a puppy, you should expect to see, clear, dry sparkling eyes on the parents of the litter. Runny, inflamed eyes or crusty eyelids are not normal for a Chow and should be treated by a veterinarian.
Skin and hormone problems are also seen in Chow Chows. These, too, are often inherited and seldom apparent in a young puppy. Ask questions about the parents of the puppy you have in mind. If you're not satisfied with the health, appearance or temperament of the parents, do not buy the puppy!
Good temperament in Chows is partly inherited and partly made by good training and socialization. Almost all Chow puppies are friendly and irresistible. Your puppy won't be little for long and you want to be happy with the adult dog who'll share your life for many years to come. Start out on the right foot by choosing a puppy from parents who have the kind of temperament you want! You should be able to touch and handle the parents of your puppy. They shouldn't be overly shy nor aggressive toward you with their owner present. If you don't like the disposition of the parents or can't handle at least one parent of the litter, do not buy the puppy!
Another source of healthy Chows with good dispositions is through Chow rescue adoption programs. Most homeless Chows became that way through no fault of their own. Their owners had to move, divorced, or met with family tragedies that forced them to give up their dogs. Experienced Chow rescue volunteers screen dogs for good temperament and health and look for families especially suited to each one. These dogs are usually young adults although puppies and older dogs are sometimes available. Despite the Chow's reputation as being a one-family dog, rescued Chows are adaptable and adjust well to a new home. Many of us are just too busy to raise and train a puppy. An older, rescued Chow may fit into your busy lifestyle much easier.
Those of us who know and understand Chow Chows cherish their quiet dignity, proud aloofness and their deep loyalty to those they love. To be loved by a Chow is like no other experience. After that, anything less is just another dog.
发表于 2008-6-19 07:10 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2009-4-26 01:28 | 显示全部楼层
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