Showsight Presents The Chow Chow

JUDGING THE CHOW CHOW

“A POWERFUL, STURDY, SQUARELY BUILT, UPSTANDING DOG OF ARCTIC TYPE, MEDIUM IN SIZE WITH STRONG MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT AND HEAVY BONE.”

CHOW CHOW DISQUALIFICATIONS (AKC STANDARD) Drop ear or ears. A drop ear is one which breaks at any point from its base to its tip or which is not carried stiffly erect but lies parallel to the top of the skull. Nose spotted or distinctly other color than black, except in blue Chows which may have solid blue or slate noses and cream Chows which may have a range of nose colors. The top surface or edges of the tongue red or pink or with one or more spots of red or pink. The Standard documents the qualities which determine “Chow type”— the stilted gait, the square profile, dark blue-black pig- mentation of the tongue, and the distinct scowl. Further exami- nation must be performed to evaluate the front assembly structure, the body and rear structures, and proper coat texture. Gait is also indicative of proper or improper structure. The Chow Chow’s stilt- ed gait can only be evaluated from the side. Quote from the AKC Chow Chow Breed Standard: “General Appearance – Characteristics – An ancient breed of northern Chi- nese origin, this all-purpose dog of China was used for hunting, herding, pulling and protection of the home. While primarily a companion today, his working origin must always be remembered when assessing true Chow type. A powerful, sturdy, squarely built, upstanding dog of Arctic type, medium in size with strong mus- cular development and heavy bone. The body is compact, short

coupled, broad and deep, the tail set high and carried closely to the back, the whole supported by four straight, strong, sound legs. Viewed from the side, the hind legs have little apparent angulation and the hock joint and metatarsals are directly beneath the hip joint. It is this structure which produces the characteristic shorter, stilted gait unique to the breed. The large head with broad, flat skull and short, broad and deep muzzle is proudly carried and accentu- ated by a ruff. Elegance and substance must be combined into a well balanced whole, never so massive as to outweigh his ability to be active, alert and agile. Clothed in a smooth or an offstanding rough double coat, the Chow is a masterpiece of beauty, dignity and naturalness. Essential to true Chow type are his unique blue- black tongue, scowling expression and stilted gait.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Love Banghart and her husband, Bob, have been actively involved with loving, breeding, and showing Chow Chows since the mid 1970s, using the Rebelrun Chow Chows kennel name. in 2018, they received the AKC Non-Sporting Breeder of the Year award. Love is an AKC specialist judge and has judged the US Chow club National Specialty three times, as well as specialties in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Italy. She writes the Chow Chow column for the AKC Gazette and has held most offices in the parent club through the years.

248 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2022

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