Forestway Chows
John & Kimberley Tansek
P O Box 225
Monroe , Mi 48161

New Puppy Guide

Congratulations on getting yourself a new puppy. Now the fun (and work!) begins. Your puppy was carefully raised and cared for the first few weeks of its life. Weaned on to a kibble style dog food, romped and played across our house (particularly in the boys room), has received a good start toward house breaking and was socialized with strangers and new situations. Your puppy has received its first shot (without lepto virus), had a veterinarians examination and has been wormed. All of this is standard and is a very good start for your puppy.

Now here is a list of things that your puppy will need to have done in the next few months:

Medical Needs

Shots: Five puppy vaccinations spaced every four weeks (at 6, 10, 14, 18 weeks ) and 6 months old ( 6 week shot already given). Give NO Lepto vaccinations to your chow. Lepto can cause anaphylactic shock & can kill your chow. Additionally do not use Fort Dodge vaccines on your dog (there have been several severe reactions in chows to Fort Dodge vaccines).

At 18 weeks it is recommended to give a rabies shot (good for one year) and a bordetello nasal spray

Worming: Worm with Strongid T at 6 and 12 weeks (6-week worming is already done)

Heartworm Protection: Heartgard Plus (protects from heart worms): One tablet every month: test once per year (no test needed initially) For the best protection and Heartgard guarantee this should be given all 12 months of the year.

Anesthesia: Chows are not a good breed to put under anesthesia. Many chows do not come out from under anesthesia so you should be very careful. Do not put your chow under unless it is absolutely necessary. Please contact us prior to any surgery and we will let you know what we have found to be the best choice for anesthesia in chows.

Training Needs

Once the puppy is 10-12 weeks old and has had at least three puppy shots he/she is ready for basic obedience training at a local training center. Feel free to contact us about suggestions as to where to go for training. To ensure a well-adjusted and well-behaved adult your puppy needs to be socialized and trained. This will enable your puppy to be an excellent life long companion. Puppies should be 'crate trained' for their protection and well being.

Feeding Needs

You should have water available to your puppy at all times. We open feed, that is having food available to your puppy at all times (for puppies we limit this to 7 am to 7 p.m. so the puppy doesn't want to go to the bathroom at 3 am ).

Your puppy was weaned from mothers milk on to Nutri Source Puppy Food (let me tell you it was a messy process). We also suggest that you limit treats and definitely do not feed your puppy any table scraps. Puppy food may not look exciting to eat but it contains everything your puppy needs. If you feed table scraps or switch foods you may find out this can lead to intestinal upset (diarrhea).

We have also found that it is a good idea to use sliced cheese as an occasional treat. This will be a great help if your puppy needs to take medicine (just wrap up the pill in a small piece of cheese and the puppy will swallow it right down).

Heat Stroke and Frostbite

Care should be taken when your dog is left outside in even moderate temperatures. Make sure a reliable water supply is available and also the dog can get into some shade. When temperatures start to rise into the 70's (here in Michigan its May thru Sept) don't leave your chow outside unattended, especially younger dogs. Younger dogs are much more energetic and over heat much quicker than an older dog. Be careful when playing with a puppy outside in the heat. Additionally the danger of overheating a dog in a parked car should not be overlooked. A bright, sunny day can raise the temperature in a car 40 to 50 F over the outside temperature.

As expected the rough coated chow takes the cold better than the smooth coats do. A chow, rough or smooth is fine outside in temperatures down as low as 10 F for short periods. If the temperature goes below that the chow should only be allowed outside to take care of their business and then brought right back inside, remember they may have a nice fur coat but they are also bare footed.

Eye Car

Proper eye care is important to keep your puppies eyes clean and healthy. Weekly your puppy's eyes and ears should be wiped with Listerine (NOT MINT) or its generic equivalent. A simple wash cloth is ideal for this purpose. Should your puppy's eyes tear excessively or have a colored discharge contact your vet or us for guidance on what further actions are necessary.


We recommend that you neuter or spay your companion at 5 to 6 months of age. This will lead to a longer, healthier life for your companion (lower cancer risk, no unwanted breeding and no heat cycles).

To keep your chows coat in top condition and free of tangles a weekly grooming at home will keep the coat in good shape. As far as bathing is concerned your chow can normally be kept clean with a bath every month. Puppies however seem to find the tiniest mud puddle to wallow in (or anything else they can find as long as it’s gooey or stinky), and should be bathed as necessary to keep them at an acceptable level of cleanliness.

Occasionally a chow will start to limp on their rear leg/legs during the 'lock down phase' when the rear legs stiffen up at about 6 -10 months old (giving the Chow their unique, stilted gait). Please call us at that time and we can give you guidance on what to do.

If you have any questions or medical issues please call us and we'll be happy to help you through the problem.


Forestway Chows
John & Kimberley Tansek
P O Box 225
Monroe , Mi 48161

Food :

Nutri Source……Small & Medium Breed Puppy Food-Chicken & Rice Formula
( this is what your puppy is currently eating )
Eukanuba……Small Breed Puppy Food

These foods have SMALL bites that are safe for your puppy…Larger bites may choke & kill your puppy. Both these foods can be fed to 1 year of age. After 12 weeks of age you may switch to Iams Smart Puppy Food or Eukanuba Growth Puppy Food

When your puppy reaches 1 year of age you should change to Adult food.


Iams Adult Chunk / Green Bag / (12 months and older)
Diamond Naturals / Chicken & Rice Formula for Adult Dogs / (12 months and older)

Vitamins :

Pet-Tabs Plus …1/2 a day until 20lbs. …then 1 a day
Nutro Max Puppy Drumsticks Bones

Grooming :

Medium wire slicker brush (for puppy coat)
Medium nail trimmer
Dermaplex Shampoo (for dry coats) Dilute in 1/2 with water.
Listerine Mouthwash (NOT MINT) - this is for washing their eyes and ears
Fresh & Clean Pet Cologne
Clippers : Andis Ultra Edge AGC Super 2-Speed clipper / normally comes with # 10 blade
Small ear-face clippers : Andis Cordless model D-4.... Sally's or Target
Nail Grinders : Craftsman 4.8-volt Cordless Rotary Tool /
get extra 1/2" Drum sander refills course grit .... Sears

Misc. :

One dog food bowl
No spill water hole (with snap lid)
5/8" X 8"-12" Adjustable nylon collar & matching 6 - 9 foot lead
Vicks Digital Thermometer ( human )
Pampers Aloe Baby Wipes

Books :

Dog Training for Dummies
Cesar Millan…A Member Of The Family
Cesar's Cesar Millan / The Dog Whisperer
Cesar Millan / Understanding & Caring for your dog CD

The Book of the Chow Chow (by S.Draper & J. Brearly)
The World of the Chow Chow (by S.Draper & J.Brearly)
The Proper Care of Chow Chows (by Bob & Love Banghart)

Toys :

Nylabones Chicken Flavor…Wolf size…NO !! Edibles
Cotton fiber rope
Tennis balls
Fuzzy Lambskin Toys

Crate : 24 inch wide X 36 inch deep X 26 inch high (or larger) wire crate …NO Plastic !!
(This will fit puppies and adults.)

Mail Order Companies :

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply 1-800-343-7680
Drs. Foster & Smith 1-800-826-7206
Pet Edge Pet Supply 1-800-738-3343


The Chow

The Chow Chow, often simply called the Chow, is one of the oldest breeds. Bred in northern China since ancient times the Chow was raised to serve many purposes. Hunting, herding, pulling and a watchdog were all roles filled by this versatile canine. A Han Dynasty pottery model dated from 206 BC clearly depicts a Chow, establishing the Chow as one of the oldest breeds. The Chow was first imported into Europe in the 18th century with other miscellaneous cargo (miscellaneous cargo was nick named 'chow chow' in pidgin Chinese). The Chow then slowly gained in popularity until Queen Victoria added one to her kennel earning the breeds acceptance in Europe and later in the United States.

The Chow can have one of two different types of coat: either rough or smooth. The most common coat is the long-haired or rough. The smooth coated Chow has a short, hard, dense 'smooth' outer coat. The rough and smooth are two distinct varieties of Chow and although there are many rough coated Chows with fairly short coats these should not be confused with the actual unique, smooth coats. Most importantly, the Chow is unique in it's blue-black tongue and stilted gait.

There are five colors in the Chow: red (light golden to deep mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon (light fawn to deep cinnamon) and cream. The predominant colors are black and red. Less common, the so called 'dilute' colors of cinnamon or blue do occur. Occasionally a cream will appear, but usually this specimen will have a pink or flesh colored nose such that it can not be shown according to the Chow Clubs Breed Standard. The dilutes are not actually rare, and the dilute color has nothing to do with a dog's value. The Chow's worth depends not on his color, but how closely he approximates the Breed Standard as recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The pigmentation in dilutes is seldom as blue-black as found in the reds or blacks. Finally, what should be stressed is that the color does not make any Chow more or less valuable. The Chow is a medium-size dog generally weighing 55 to 80 pounds. The average height ranges from 17 to 21 inches at the withers. An average sized Chow bitch would range from 55 to 65 pounds, an average sized male would generally weigh 60 to 80 pounds. The Chow should be balanced in that the height of the Chow at the withers should form a square with the length of the Chow's body. Perhaps the most unique feature of the Chow is the blue black color of the tongue and tissues of the mouth. A Chow with any pink coloration on the tongue is disqualified under the requirements of the Breed Standard and can not be shown. The Chow's heavy head and muzzle is surrounded by an off standing ruff. His eyes are almond shaped and deep set, giving him the inscrutable mysterious look of the Orient. The tail of the Chow lies on the back and is thick at its root, tapering off to the tip, the tail should be high set. The Chow has only a slight bend of the stifle and is straight in the hocks rather than angulated There for, his unusual rear gait appears choppy and stilted.

Personality and Socialization
The Chow is a highly intelligent dog and values his independence. He should never be allowed to dominate the household, nor should he be overly shy. He is amiable to being touched by strangers if he has been introduced by one of his owners and appropriately approached. Bad tempered Chows are not representative of the breed, but are usually the result of indiscriminate breeding and a woeful lack of socialization. Because some Chows are independent and some Chows attach themselves to one person or one immediate family, Chows should be socialized so that he is completely amenable to being approached by strangers. Once you have picked up a puppy, pet him and talk to him quietly. At first a puppy may whine or cry, but should soon become accustom to your handling and to your voice and will grow to like the experience. When a stranger comes by to visit, pick up the puppy and hand him to the visitor. The puppy should enjoy being handled by others, not just by you or your immediate family. Although a Chow puppy may be very friendly and well adjusted at home, even to strangers, any new environment, like his first walk in a park may make him feel threatened. When the puppy drops his tail or flattens his ears, take that as a sure sign he feels uncomfortable, threatened or apprehensive. Introduce your puppy to strangers and ask them to squat down to the puppy's level. Let the puppy sniff their hand then have him reach under the puppy's chin followed by petting and scratching him on top of the puppy's head

The Chow is perhaps the cleanest dog of all. Most puppies are easily housebroken by the age of eight weeks. The Chow has very little body odor ("doggy" smell) if he is brushed on a regular basis. He is a good eater and does not require a great deal of exercise.

An obedient Chow is a must. Puppy kindergarten should be started by three months of age with a good trainer. Most Chows are intelligent so they may be lead broken and trained easily although at first, they may be bored. Chows are sensitive enough so that correction can come from the tone of your voice and not be physical means. Like any other canine, the Chow can become a playmate for youngsters provided the Chow has been raised with young children. The social Chow is a more stable, contented dog than if he had been raised on his own. A Chow which is not socialized and trained is a constant concern for his owner.

Ailments and Care
Generally, Chows are 'poor risks' when anesthesia is involved, so surgery should only be performed if absolutely necessary. Many Chows suffer from allergies which can cause the eyes to water. if your Chow tears excessively, consult your veterinarian for advice. The Chow is subject to heat prostration if left in a hot, closed in area or in the sun. Never, never leave any pet in the car in hot weather. If you travel with your Chow in extremely hot weather your car should be air conditioned. The Chow needs to be brushed at least weekly or more if possible. Grooming is essential to keep the long, thick coat in peak, clean condition. Nails should be trimmed regularly to a comfortable length. We recommend that you neuter or spay your companion at 5 to 6 months of age. This will lead to a longer, healthier life for your companion (lower cancer risk, no unwanted breeding and no heat cycles).

Chows, like any other dog, should be kept in a fenced in area or in the house where they have a good deal of freedom. Crate training is also highly recommended.

How to Buy a Puppy Although you may only want to buy a Chow for a pet, you will want to purchase the best specimen you can get. Chow puppies which are purchased from pet stores are rarely from good stock. A prospective puppy buyer should ask the seller for a pedigree. If the seller can not produce the pedigree for the puppy, in all likelihood the puppy in question does not represent much quality. The buyer should look at the puppy pedigree to ascertain if there are any AKC champions. While champions in a pedigree are not a guarantee of quality, it is more likely that a puppy with a champion parent or grandparents is a better specimen of the breed. The parents to the puppy should also be examined as they will give you a very good idea on what the puppy will look like as an adult. The buyer should receive the AKC registration slip and pedigree for the puppy when the puppy is purchased. Alter purchasing a puppy; he should be immediately taken to a veterinarian for a health check up. A puppy will also need a series of vaccinations and, depending on the season, be started on heart worm medication.


Your pet should be spayed or neutered at 5 months of age.

Make sure your vets are VERY careful with medications!
Make her / his appointment with the vet for first thing in the morning.
Make sure she / he will be done FIRST... not later in the day.
Many vets have all dogs come in first thing...then wait hours as they do each surgery. By being first she / he will have less stress. She / he will be better hydrated & have more recover time while still at the vets.

We allow vets to use only 2 pre-medications.
Valium & Ketamine.
NO other tranquilizers !!!

Many vets use reversible tranquilizers ... these reversible drugs do not work on chows & many die due to their use

The gas used on your chow should be Isoflurane or Sevoflurane. Both of these have good results.
Your dog will not need pain killers upon returning home.
After a typical spay or neuter your chow should be able to come home the same day.

Books on Chows

Make sure your vets are VERY careful with medications!
Make her / his appointment with the vet for first thing in the morning.
Make sure she / he will be done FIRST... not later in the day.
Many vets have all dogs come in first thing...then wait hours as they do each surgery. By being first she / he will have less stress. She / he will be better hydrated & have more recover time while still at the vets.

The Book of the Chow Dr. Samuel Draper & Joan McDonald Brearley
The World of the Chow Samuel Draper & Joan McDonald Brearley
The Proper Care of Chow Bob & Love Banghart

Books on training
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Cesar Millan
"Puppyhood & Beyond"

Cesar's Way: Cesar Millan
"The Natural Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems"

Be the Pack Leader: Cesar Millan
"Transform Your Dog and Your Life"

A Member of the Family: Cesar Millan
"A Guide To Living With A Happy Healthy Dog"

Dog Training for Jack Volhard & Wendy Volhard
Dog Tricks for Sarah Hodgson

Children's books on Chows
Little Black Chaing by Dorothy K. L'Hommedieu (rare library book , can be VERY expensive)
Jolly Roger...A Dog of Daniel M. Pinkwater (library book)
Buster...( a series of several books ) by: Hisako Madokoro
Chow Chows Chinese Princess Dogs Caroline Selden

Medical books on dogs
Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook 3rd Edition... by:James M Giffin MD. & Liisa D. Carlson DVM.

Merck Veterinary link
Care-A-Lot ...800-343-7680...
Chow Artists

J. Lee Harris


Prior to purchasing your puppy, the breeder will have started his "puppy shots" and will either have wormed him and/or had his stool checked for parasites. They should offer you a written list of what was given and when, what tests were done, and the results. Puppy boosters can vary in content and time schedule given. The puppy shots are generally started around 6 - 7 weeks and are given every 3-5 weeks thereafter for a total of 4 puppy combo shots. Additionally do not use Fort Dodge vaccines on your dog (there have been several severe reactions in chows to Fort Dodge vaccines). There are a variety of preventative shots and medications available and your pup may or may not need them depending on where you live and how much exposure your dog will have to such things as other dogs, parks, wooded areas, etc. or areas heavily infested with mosquitoes, fleas or ticks. Here are some of the more common reasons for your pups shots and medications.

DISTEMPER - This is a common viral disease, highly contagious and spread by secretions from infected animals. It is easily destroyed by disinfectants. Symptoms are: fever, watery nasal discharge, yellow eye drainage, and loss of appetite. If ignored, distemper can affect the respiratory, GI and central nervous system with twitching, unsteadiness, weakness, paralysis and seizures. It can be fatal, or result in serious chronic physical problems.

CANINE HEPATITIS - Not the same as the human form, this disease primarily affects the liver, kidneys and the lining of the blood vessels. Symptoms are various as this virus can be anywhere from mild to fatal and can strike suddenly with rapid advancement. High fevers, bloody diarrhea, refusal of food, painful movement, jaundice, bleeding gums and sensitivity to light require immediate vet intervention.

PARVOVIRUS - Highly contagious between dogs, it is transmitted by contaminated droplets and stool. It can easily be transported from kennel to kennel on shoes, crates or other inanimate objects. Affecting the GI tract, bone marrow, lymph nodes and heart, the symptoms are: abdominal pain, fever, bloody diarrhea, depression with loss of appetite and difficulty breathing. It is highly fatal to puppies. This virus is resistant to most disinfectants.

PARAINFLUENZA - Is another cause of Kennel Cough. Although parainfluenza is often a mild respiratory infection in otherwise healthy dogs, it can be severe in puppies or debilitated dogs.

CORONAVIRUS - Coronavirus is transmitted by contact with infected saliva and/or stool. The stool is usually noted to be yellow-orange in color, foul smelling, watery, and often bloody. Dehydration, weight loss and death can occur. It can reoccur 3-4 weeks after the initial symptoms subside.

NO !!!!! LEPTOSPIROSIS - Transmitted through the urine of infected animals, it has been on the rise in the past few years. It is contagious to humans. Symptoms are: vomiting, depression, kidney pain with frequent urination, ulcers of the mouth/tongue, and a thick brown coating of the tongue. Both bloody vomiting Both bloody vomiting and stools may occur. This shot should NEVER be given to chows! This shot can cause Anaphylactic Shock & can KILL chows !!!

HEARTWORM - Contracted from the bite of an infected mosquito, it grows into a long, threadlike worm that makes it home in your dog's heart. Symptoms are: coughing, decreased exercise tolerance, and weight loss. Advanced stages will have a swollen abdomen, fever and difficulty breathing. It is difficult to treat, but left untreated, it is fatal. We feel that you should use only Heartgard Plus not a generic! This should be given 12 months a year.

KENNEL COUGH - Caused by several different bacteria and viruses, such as canine parainfluenza, canine adenovirus-2 and bordatella bronchoseptica. Severity of symptoms varies with age and condition of dog. To puppies, older or debilitated dogs, it can be fatal. Symptoms are: spasms of dry, harsh coughing, usually followed by gagging or retching, fever, nasal discharge and depression.

LYMES DISEASE - Transmitted by ticks during their feeding. Symptoms are: a rash that is "target" like in appearance, fever, lameness caused by joint stiffness/swelling, and paralysis. Treatment is difficult and can extend over a long period of time.

RABIES - Transmitted via infected saliva and affects the brain. Symptoms are personality changes, staring off into space, sensitivity to light, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. As the virus progresses, the dog will either become agitated and aggressive, or paralytic - the mouth drops open with the tongue hanging out, drooling, coughing and pawing at the mouth. Once symptoms develop, it is fatal. Definite diagnosis can be made by autopsy only.

GIARDA - Caused by contaminated food or water from an infected animals stool, most often a wild animal or cross contamination at a dog park or other place where many dogs gather. It is usually asymptomatic in adult dogs, but will cause diarrhea, possibly mixed with blood and mucous in puppies. Diagnosis can be difficult, but once found, is easily treated. The source of the giardia contamination must be removed.

COCCIDIA - Very common in the canine population, it is estimated that 80% of all domesticated dogs are infected with coccidia. Again, like giardia, it is asymptomatic in adult dogs, but the spores are shed in stool, recontaminating the ground for youngsters to pick up once they trod through contaminated areas. It is also easily treated, but often recurs due to the spores shed and ground contamination. Luckily, treatment is cheap, however must be given for 21 days. Immaculate yard pick-up of feces is a must during this time. There is no way known to completely decontaminated the yard/play area, although it is surmised that a good winter freeze will do the trick. I suspect that it is just the pup coming into adulthood that ceases the symptoms, rather than a winter freeze.

Forestway Chows
John & Kimberley Tansek
P O Box 225
Monroe , Mi 48161