I often lie awake in the early morning hours thinking about how drastically the chow breed has changed in such a short span of time, considering how long this purebred dog has been on the planet.
The next oldest canine is the wolf, and and he has remained relatively unchanged since prehistoric days. The Chow possessing 97% of the Asian Wolf DNA, making him one of the top 3 oldest breeds known to man. The Pekingese and Shiba Inu also in this group as well.
So I decided I wanted to create a “visual” , using my artwork to illustrate how the wolf would look , had it gone through the fast changes the chow had from about 1910-1970
Below is a pretty accurate comparison
The ORIGINAL FORM wolf I painted, compares to the earliest chows imported at the turn of the century, in it’s athletic ability and functionality. These chows could still hunt and work as their ancestors did without missing a beat, moving effortlessly with their unique stilted rear.
This is the original chow…the true chow who’s prototype we should all aspire to protect as breeders. I’m not saying we need to breed dogs this moderate (personally I love this type), but in my opinion, the essence of the chow, no matter the substance ,needs to remain in tact for any individual dog to be classified a “Chow”.
The FANCY WOLF illustration I would compare to the most extreme deviations from correct chow proportion, which we experienced from the 1950s into the 1980’s. This example above is a pretty mild one as the bone and head mass became much more pronounced shortly after the 1960’s. This dog would be hard pressed to move “effortlessly” or even correctly for the breed.
The essence of the chow is missing in the dog above,….just as the essence of the wolf is missing in my second FANCY WOLF illustration. I think it is much easier to visualize these changes when there is a side by side comparison. These two dogs hardly seem to be the same breed !