Is a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix the Right Dog for You?
A Mastiff Chow Chow Mix is a big ball of fluff, but so much more besides that. These dogs are big and descended from two of the oldest dog breeds. The Mastiff has its origins in early Roman times, while the Chow Chow dates back to ancient China.
A mix of both these breeds provides a dog that is a fun, adventurous addition to your family. Read on to learn more about what to expect from this dog.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Is a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix
- Grooming needs are somewhat unpredictable because of coat differences
- May weigh in excess of 150 pounds
- Poorly suited to newbie dog owners
- Sometimes a little difficult to train
Reasons Why You Should Get a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix
- Perfect for those who can’t resist a big fluffy dog
- A mix of two breeds with a long history of protecting people
- May have a somewhat longer lifespan
- Equally at home in a house full of people or a single owner
- Will enjoy spending a lot of time with you and your family
Appearance, Personality, Coat and Colors, Lifespan, and Traits of a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix
The Mastiff Chow Mix has a unique appearance. Your dog will most likely have a lion-like appearance like a Chow. However, she will also likely have a Mastiff’s bulk.
Many dogs of this mix have strong personalities and are inclined to be the leader whenever they see the opportunity.
These dogs usually get along with other dogs, but proper introductions are necessary to prevent bossy behavior toward newcomers.
A somewhat longer, the thicker coat is typical of these mixes. Most of these dogs are likely to have double coats. Colors may include reddish-brown, gold, black, or brindle. Colors and coat lengths may even vary among littermates.
Mastiffs and their mixes may have short lifespans of less than ten years. However, the addition of Chow blood may add some longevity. Chows and mixes often live up to 15 years, so your dog could exceed your expectations with her lifespan.
Both breeds that contribute to this dog’s ancestry have a long history of being guards and protectors.
One thing to expect from these dogs is their being very alert. another common trait is a willingness to jump into every activity going on around your home.
Buying Mastiff Chow Chow Mix Puppies
Mastiff Chow Mix puppies are not as common as their purebred counterparts. However, you can find these puppies if you know where to look.
Sometimes puppies of this mix or adults end up in shelters or rescues. Contrary to popular belief, there is not necessarily anything wrong with rescue dogs. Sometimes people surrender dogs because of circumstances beyond their control.
There are responsible breeders who breed designer puppies. Selecting a breeder whose premises you can visit will help you make the right decision. When a breeder takes pride in the quality of their dogs, they will be glad to show their premises off.
So-called “puppy mills” sometimes produce designer mixes, as well as purebred dogs. Sometimes these people use deceptive advertising, making things look as though the dogs are raised in good conditions in their advertising. Avoid breeders you can’t visit.
Pet stores are also places where you will likely want to avoid buying puppies. Many puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. Responsible breeders or rescues offer the best chances of getting healthy, happy dogs.
Grooming Your Mastiff Chow Chow Mix
Because a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix is likely to have a longer, thicker Chow-style coat, much of the grooming routine for Chows will apply to this mix.
Some of the helpful things to keep in mind about grooming:
- Brushing may be a daily occurrence
- Bathing is usually necessary every 2-3 months
- Regular hair and nail trims are necessary
- Eye, ear, and teeth cleaning are beneficial
If your dog has a Chow’s coat, you should probably plan to brush your dog daily with a pin brush.
Spraying your dog’s coat with water before brushing will help prevent coat damage. During shedding season in the spring and fall, a shedding blade will help.
Your dog’s coat should get a good brushing before bathing. Quality pet shampoo will help your dog’s coat get the cleaning that it needs. Towel-drying usually works best for these dogs.
Trimming around your dog’s face, ears and feet will help keep him looking his best. However, you should avoid having your dog’s coat shaved during the summer months. When a dog’s coat is shaved, he will lack the insulation needed to stay cool.
Regular nail trimming will help prevent overgrown nails. However, the best way to do this is to trim one nail at a time on a more gradual basis. Trimming the nails gradually helps reduce the chances of trimming the nails too close to the quick.
Weekly cleaning of the area around the eyes helps prevent tear stains. Ear cleaning is best when performed weekly and using a cleaner for dogs’ ears. Weekly tooth brushing will help prevent tartar buildup leading to problems with your dog’s teeth.
Mastiff Chow Chow Mix Health Problems
A Mastiff Chow Chow Mix can develop health problems from either side of its family tree. There are no conditions known to be unique to this mix. However, these dogs may have health conditions that are common to large breeds in general.
Mastiff and Chow Chow conditions may include:
- Gastric torsion, also known as bloat
- Elbow or hip dysplasia
Bloating is a painful condition that can sometimes have tragic consequences for affected dogs. When this condition occurs, the stomach twists while filling with gas. Bloat is an emergency that can result in death if not corrected as soon as possible.
Elbow and hip dysplasia have their origins in improper joint alignment. These conditions can result in painful arthritis, especially if your dog becomes overweight. Surgery may be helpful if the symptoms interfere with your dog’s life.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer that dogs get. Leg pain and lameness are among some of the earliest symptoms that your dog may experience. If caught early, the odds of tumor removal being successful are much higher.
Cataracts are a common eye condition inherited from the Mastiff side and may lead to blindness. An opaque eye appearance is one of the most noticeable signs of cataracts. Veterinarians can perform surgery to restore lost sight.
One of the best ways to take the lead in combating health problems is to follow up with regular vet visits. Annual visits, barring a health condition requiring monitoring, will help most dogs. Senior dogs may require semi-annual visits.
Mastiff Chow Chow Mix Food Requirements
One of the most important things to remember about feeding a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix is that these dogs need to eat on a regular schedule.
Many dog owners only feed their dogs once a day or do free-feeding. However, this is not the healthiest way to feed a dog, especially one as big as these mixes become. Establishing a regular routine and preventing bloat are good reasons for a schedule.
When you’re housebreaking a puppy, scheduled feedings will help you know when to get your pup outside to potty.
Knowing when your dog is likely to pee or poop will help you prevent accidents in the house. Your dog will be less likely to have accidents.
Feeding routines also make it easier for your dog to adjust to changes in your home, like a new baby or a household member moving out. Your dog will get used to receiving food at certain times during the day, which helps reduce begging behavior.
Two meals a day are essential, at a minimum, for preventing bloat. However, if your dog prefers to eat three times daily, this is also a schedule that is likely to work. Waiting too long in between meals or having one meal a day increases bloat odds.
Large-breed formulas work well for dogs in this size range. These types of food contain ingredients that promote bone health. Antioxidants also help protect dogs’ eye and cardiovascular health as they age.
Whether you feed your dog food with or without grains is a matter of personal choice. However, grain-free food is often less likely to trigger food sensitivities. These types of food often contain high-quality proteins, as well as vegetables.
When your dog is a puppy, you will want to consider using puppy food. These foods have been formulated to help provide healthier growth.
Feeding the same brand from puppyhood to adulthood may help you keep better control over your dog’s health.
Mastiff Chow Chow Mix Exercise Requirements
Most of the exercise needs for a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix come from the Chow side. The Mastiff side of the dog’s family is more likely to contribute to a quiet personality.
Although these dogs are not ultra-high-energy, they require stimulation to reduce destructive behavior because of boredom. A 20-30 minute walk will keep most of these dogs satisfied. Making sure you have good leash control is essential on walks.
Casual yard play provides the perfect off-leash playtime for these dogs. Playing catch, hide-and-seek, or encouraging a good gallop around the yard is fun for these dogs. If your dog gets along with other household dogs, they can play together.
Taking your dog on a hike if you live near nature trails can also be exciting. Selecting a longer trail will help your dog get the maximum exercise. Another option on shorter walks or hikes is outfitting your dog with a weighted backpack.
If the weather is excessively hot, you may need to keep outdoor play sessions short. In these circumstances, you may want to consider having playtime in the early morning or evening hours. Your dog will enjoy the benefits of exercise without overheating.
Mastiff Chow Chow Mix Training
As with other breeds and mixes, the Mastiff Chow Chow Mix responds well to positive reinforcement training methods.
Dogs are very responsive to rewards for good behavior. Denial of a reward or stimulus when the dog doesn’t behave properly sends a message, without resorting to harsh punishments. Many trainers have veered away from dominance-based models.
One of the most important takeaways is that dogs respond to sensory experiences more than any other type of stimulus.
Although we often think of dogs in terms of being pack animals, modern dogs’ pack structure is different from their ancestors.
Mastiff Chow Chow Mix and Families
The Mastiff Chow Chow Mix’s status as a family dog may depend on whether it takes more after a Mastiff or Chow.
Mastiffs have a reputation for being excellent with people of all ages, including children. Chows, on the other hand, are often intolerant of childrens’ roughhousing. Because a mix may take after either parent, these dogs can go either way.
Proper socialization around people of all ages, including children, is essential. Children of all ages should understand the need to treat dogs with respect. Providing proper supervision during interactions between kids and dogs always helps.
Mastiff Chow Chow Mix and Other Pets
Whether a Mastiff Chow Chow Mix is good with other pets depends on the training and socialization, as well as characteristics inherited from the parent breeds. The Mastiff has a reputation for being good with pets.
Chows, on the other hand, are very intolerant toward other animals. Both breeds have been used for guarding in the past, and may sometimes get territorial.
Careful introductions to other animals will help prevent a lot of problems. When these dogs initially interact with other pets, supervision is essential so you can intervene if necessary. Rewarding your dog for tolerating the other animal always helps.
Separating dogs when eating helps prevent a lot of problems. Another thing that helps is making sure each pet has a safe space. Animals that can separate from each other in times of stress are less likely to act out.