Unlike many of its canine counterparts the Chow Chow is not a recent ‘invention’. Its roots are believed to go back 2-4000 years originating in Mongolia. Essentially a working dog used primarily for hunting, guarding and drafting purposes, during its early history it is also claimed to have been used as a source of meat and its pelt for clothing or coverings.

The breed first found its way to the UK on merchant ships and obviously became popular as the first official breed club was formed in 1895. Today’s Chow Chow is still based on the standard written up at that time. More recently the written standard has seen some significant changes, ensuring the emphasis is firmly on those areas that most affect the overall health and soundness of the breed, giving a much clearer definition of the hindquarters with the intention of helping reduce the incidence of possible cruciate ligament problems; and the clarification of leg length to body ratio to ensure the overall balance and soundness of the Chow Chow, avoiding any restriction in mobility.

The breed is very aware of the need to maintain good health through education of best practice in the breeding and welfare of the Chow Chow for the long term benefit of the breed.

(Reprinted from the Chow Chow Breed Council website)

The Midland Chow Chow Club is a member of the Chow Chow Breed Council website , which is actively engaged in researching health issues that might have been associated with Chow Chows, this may involve attending seminars and workshops, gathering and analysing data, training future judges to consider functionality and health when judging the Chow Chow taking into account breed specific traits and conformation. The health scheme is funded through donations, running seminars and the generosity of those giving up so much of their time and energy to organise fund raising events.

The Chow Chow Breed Council has set up two health schemes for Chows :

The Bronze Health Scheme

In order to get the Bronze Certificate Health Scheme, a Chow must be permanently identified (microchip or tattoo) which must correspond to the number written on the form before examination takes place. The vet must ensure that if the identification is through a microchip that the chip is actually in the dog and not in a collar etc). The dog should be over 15 months at the time of examination.

This is a basic exam by a vet , who is required to comment on :
1. Basic sounding with a stethoscope (heart/lungs)
2. Visual/auditory assessment of dogs breathing
3. Visual assessment of nostrils, ear canals
4. Normal clinical assessment of eyes, please comment if entropion or ectropion is present or any corneal scarring is observed that may have been caused by these conditions.
5. Physical assessment of hocks for stability
6. Tail, Testes and Temperament
7. Skin & Coat, general condition of skin and coat (allowing for normal moulting or changing puppy coats) and for excessive length taking into consideration untrimmed coats or changes in length and texture resulting from neutering.
8. General comments

The examination should take approximately 10 minutes.

The above health report and its results are not a guarantee against hereditary or acquired conditions that may develop in the future.

The White copy given to the owner, the Pink copy retained by the veterinary surgeon and the Yellow copy to be forwarded to the Chow Chow Breed Council Health Officer. A copy of the form should be sent to the Chow Chow health coordinator (details below) for data collection purposes.

The Silver Health Scheme

In order to get the Silver Certificate Health Scheme, a Chow must have the following :
1. Chow Chow Breed Council Bronze Health Scheme Certificate
2. KC/BVA Hip Score
3. KC/BVA Elbow Score
4. KC/BVA Eye Test certificate

Further information please visit the Chow Chow Breed Council website

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