Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds that have originated in Northern China. Early depictions of dogs resembling the Chow Chow appear in pottery and paintings from the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 22 AD). These the dogs were used to guard their owners’ possessions, in fact, One Chinese emperor was said to have kept 2,500 pairs of Chows as hunting dogs. On the down side, their fur was used to trim coats and their flesh was considered a delicacy.

In China, Chow Chow has several names: bear dog (xiang gou), wolf dog (lang gou), black-tongue dog (hei shi-tou). Name Chow Chow dates back to 18th century and was referred to miscellaneous items in their cargo (including these dogs) by British merchants.

It wasn’t until a century later, however, that Chow Chows were imported on a regular basis. Queen Victoria, who loved dogs, took an interest in the breed, which boosted its popularity.

Chow Chows were all the rage among the rich and famous during the 1920s. They even made it to the White House, where President Calvin Coolidge and his wife kept Timmy, a red Chow, and Blackberry, a black chow.

Father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud was also a Chow fan, and his daughter Anna kept and bred the dogs.  In his later years, his Chinese chow, Jofi, frequently attended the office during sessions. Freud thought Jofi had a calming effect, particularly on children, and admitted that she helped him assess patients.

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