As one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, the Chow-Chow's direct ancestors lived with the nomadic tribes that populated Mongolia thousends of years ago. These dogs were originally not kept as pets, but to supply humans with fur and meat. After Chow-Chows were introduced to ancient China, people there gradually started to take advantage of their exceptional guarding instincts and also used them as sledge dogs as well as for hunting purposes. In contrast to most other breeds that originated in China, the Chow-Chow wasn’t kept by the privileged classes, but by ordinary working class people. Some Chinese emperors in the Hang Dynasty however were known for keeping lots of Chow-Chows as hunting dogs.
The origin of the breed’s name is still connected with different legends as it has not yet been scientifically verified. In its homeland China the word "chow-chow" means delicacy, but the dog is also known as the "bear dog", the "wolf dog" or the "black-tongued dog", referring to its most distinctive feature.
It took until the late 19th century when the Chow-Chow was finally introduced to Europe. Great Britain was the first European country to recognise it as a breed under the name „Pomerian dog“. Until today the Chow-Chow is quite rare in Europe and is mainly kept by experienced dog enthusiasts, who accept its rather difficult and independent nature.
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