It is interesting to read how the trends in chow coloration have changed over the years. The original imports from China were chosen for their deep rich “self” or solid red or black coats, so when some of the shadings started to appear in the ring, they were penalized. Shadings (gradual transition of color with no defined patches) were always in our breed even in pre importing from China. Once the shadings became fashionable, the self red has become very difficult to find. It makes me think of what the Chinese in the 1800’s described the common chow being….. pale and washed out, with the solid reds being highly prized. Today, most colors in our breed with “shadings”, seem to be a very dominate coloration
1906 CHOW STANDARD in America states on coat color:
COLOR – Whole-coloured, black, red, yellow, blue, white etc. not in patches. (The under part of tail and back of thighs frequently of a lighter colour)
1925 CHOW STANDARD in America changes wording to “shadings”
COLOR – Any clear color, solid throughout, or, with lighter shadings on ruff, tail and breeching.
1941 CHOW STANDARD in America is amended further to include coat texture description
COAT – Abundant, dense, straight, and off-standing: rather coarse in texture with a soft , woolly undercoat. It may be any clear color, solid throughout, with lighter shadings on ruff, tail and breechings.
1986 CHOW STANDARD in America is rewritten from ground up and includes further clarification of the 5 acceptable colors. This standard is what we use today.
Clear colored, solid or solid with lighter shadings in the ruff, tail and featherings. There are five colors in the Chow: red (light golden to deep mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon (light fawn to deep cinnamon) and cream. Acceptable colors to be judged on an equal basis.