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Chow Chows highlighted

FOLLOWING ON from the report from the Kennel Club regarding highlighted breeds mentioned in the European Convention on Pet Animals, representatives of the Chow Chow were the first to be invited to the Kennel Club in Clarges Street, writes Thomas Oakley.

Members from the Chow Chow Breed Council were Claire Merrion, Secretary; Thomas Oakley, Vice Chairman; Linda Squires, delegate for North Eastern Chow Club and Ken McKie, delegate for Scottish Chow Club.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Ruth Barbour - Chairperson Breed Standards, with Mrs Meg Purnell-Carpenter - Vice Chairperson Breed Standards, Mike Heritage - Chairman KC Scientific Committee and Mrs Sheila Jakeman - Chow Chow Breed Representative.


We were a little apprehensive as to the full implications of this meeting, however this was soon to be dispelled. In fact the KC had highlighted the Chow Chow as a breed that has made considerable inroads into health problems. Specific issues looked at were entropian, breathing problems and cruciate ligaments.

On the question of eyes, it was felt that although the eye shape had been altered within the standard, in actual fact breeding away from heavier, excessively wrinkled heads had not only improved eye irregularities but also improved on breathing problems. It was also felt that judging preferences in recent years had also contributed greatly to improvements within the breed.

On the question of cruciate ligaments it was felt significantly less problems now exist owing to selective breeding by responsible breeders and it was felt any change to the shape of the Chow’s rear leg would take away one of its unique points.

In conclusion, it was felt the meeting went very well from both sides, being a frank and very useful exchange of views.

It is hoped work will be implemented on a documented health scheme in the future to produce figures for the government in its fight to stave off the European Convention.