'Ask the Dog Guy' with John Wade

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Chow Puppy Bites Person in the Face

– Posted in: Aggression, Dog Behavior Miscellaneous Articles, Newsletters
Chow Puppy

Early Aggression in a Chow Puppy

My friends 6 month old male Chow Chow bit my face in the nose and lip area, while I was petting him around the head, requiring 5 stitches. He was nipping at my back calf as I was walking to the kitchen. As well, another friend came to the house and he nipped at her calves as she walked in. Not causing any penatration,but we felt the nip under our pants. And apparently he bit someone in the hand.Is there help for this dog. Or the owners if the are trained.

Susan – Ontario

Hi Susan,
Chows are sort of infamous for this sort of thing. They don’t give a lot of warning either. They were quite popular for a while a few years back and trainers, veterinary technicians, veterinarians and groomers soon learned to exert a lot of caution when handling them no matter their owner’s assurances.
Aggressive Chow ChowTraining should begin sooner rather than later with any dog but with certain breeds and the Chow is one of them it’s not something that should be put off. He is a little on the young side to have such a strong aggressive streak in him. (Even for a Chow).
Do you know how old he was when he left the litter? Some dogs have a problem with bite inhibition if they leave the litter too early.
Due to his young age and track record I’d be trying to contact the owners of his litter mates to learn if there is something genetic as well. There usually isn’t but is worth checking out.
In all likelihood he can be improved upon but to what extent remains to be seen. Either way, it’s not a breed that behaves like a Golden Retriever, nor will he ever (despite their cuddly appearance.) They’re aloof by nature and one of the breeds that is more of the one-person dog mentality.
I’d have to see and work with him and the owner(s) before I could venture an opinion as to how to best advise in any greater detail.

John Wade

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