The Chow Chow does not enjoy the reputation of being the most friendly dog on the planet. Indeed, he is not by nature the most gregarious and outgoing dog. Breeders, however, must emphasize the importance of socializing the Chow so that he is friendly, reliable and completely open to meeting strangers. Chow puppies require extra effort to encourage them to be friendly and amenable to handling. In essence, owners must make every attempt to get their Chow puppies to come out of their shells. Breeders believe that a stud dog, or show dog, is without merit unless he can be handled. Only reliably friendly Chows should be bred, so your puppy certainly should have come from gregarious parents.
It is very difficult to socialize an adult Chow who has not been handled and loved as a puppy. This makes rescuing such an unsocialized Chow a very daunting prospect. Unfortunately, bad-tempered adult Chows have given the breed a bad reputation, to the point that many insurance companies include the Chow Chow on their lists of dangerous breeds.
Socializing your puppy is very important if you want a dog that fits into your home and a dog that is a good companion, enjoyed by everyone. Socializing a puppy is similar to when you bring home a new baby. Hold and pet your puppy so that he knows that he is wanted and loved. Do not play with him constantly, as he is very young and needs time to rest up and sleep. Keep him to a schedule as much as you can, as he will become schedule-oriented very quickly. If he knows that you rise at 7:00 a.m., and shortly after you will take him out, he will wait for you to let him out and will not relieve himself in his crate.
Habits, and that includes good and bad habits, that are learned at an early age become lifelong habits, so it is best to start out on the right foot (or paw). Don’t let him chew on the leg of the old kitchen table and think that it’s cute, because before long he will have chewed on the leg of your expensive dining-room table. Set limits and make sure that the pup sticks to them.
Keep your Chow puppy confined to a specific area, such as the kitchen and den, until he is trained and fairly mature. Use baby gates to block doorways and he will quickly learn that he is welcome in certain areas of the house and not welcome in other areas. And, of course, put him into his crate when you leave home, as he will be comfortable in his house and will sleep until you return.
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