Chinese Chongqing Dog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
China
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
East Sichuan Hunting Dog
Bamboo Ratter
Chongqing Dog
Chinese Bamboo Ratter

A brief presentation of the Chinese Chongqing Dog

The Chinese Chongqing dog originated in the Chongqing and Sichuan regions of China several hundred years ago. They were successful hunters and also herded livestock and acted as guard dogs on rural farms. Their roles as working dogs enabled them to survive the Communist ban on pets in China in the 1900s and, although they escaped extinction, the recent outbreak of the SARS virus saw them slaughtered in large numbers. They are now thought to be as rare as the giant panda. A breed with a distinctive appearance, their coat is short and sparse, meaning their black skin is often visible underneath. Their bodies are well muscled and proportionate, with the exception of their muzzles, which are noticeably short. Their ears and tail are particularly unusual, both tapering to a point and often completely hairless. The Chinese Chongqing Dog's behavior is similar to that of many guard dogs, but it is protective, loyal and potentially aggressive when it detects a threat. Sometimes dominant, this confident, independent dog benefits from solid training and an experienced owner.

History of the Chinese Chongqing Dog

The Chinese Chongqing Dog is thought to be a very old breed, but there is little evidence to prove it. Known to have originated in southwest China in the Chongqing and Sichuan regions, it has probably coexisted with humans for at least two thousand years, as a watchdog and hunter. Indeed, Chinese works of art dating from the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) depict dogs that physically resemble the modern Chinese Chongqing dog. The Chinese Chongqing dog has many names, including the Eastern Sichuan Hunting Dog and the Bamboo Ratter. The term bamboo is used to describe this dog because of its unique and unusual tail, resembling a bamboo stick, it is straight, thin and hairless. Traditionally used for hunting, alone or in packs, Chinese farmers relied heavily on Chongqing dogs to hunt a variety of species, including rabbits, wild boar, deer and birds. Versatile dogs, they also protected farmers' livestock and homes, and served as a source of food. The breed's popularity suffered a major setback when the Chinese Communist Party branded pet dogs "a symbol of decadence and criminal extravagance in times of food shortage", leading to a total ban on pet ownership and their slaughter. The Chinese Chongqing breed was saved from extinction by the fact that it lived in remote, largely unsupervised mountain regions and was often classified as a working animal. Some 30 years after the ban on pet dogs, in the late 1980s, the ban was finally lifted. The popularity of the Chinese Chongqing dog grew and they were imported from southwest China across the country. Unfortunately, the breed was to suffer a second devastating blow: in 2003, China suffered an epidemic of SARS (a viral respiratory disease). Many of the breed were killed, and their numbers plummeted. Today, Chinese Chongqing Dogs are considered extremely rare, and there are reportedly fewer than 2,000 in the world. Despite this, their popularity is growing, as is national interest in China's native breeds.

Appearance of the Chinese Chongqing Dog

A medium-sized, robust and muscular breed, their powerful body is easy to appreciate due to the short length of their unusual coat. They are squarely built, with a large head that has a distinctly short muzzle. Their faces have modest wrinkles, much less pronounced than those of their cousin the Shar Pei. However, like their Chinese relatives, the Shar Pei and Chow Chow, the Chinese Chongqing dog should have a blue-black discoloration on its tongue. Their ears are distinctive and will be one of the first things you notice when you meet them. They are perfectly triangular, relatively small compared to the size of their large head, and are always very erect. Their tails are exceptionally unusual in the dog world: hairless, straight as a stick and pointing upwards. Males measure between 40 and 50 centimeters, while females are considerably shorter at 35 to 40 centimeters. The smallest female will weigh between 15 and 20 kilos, while the male will weigh between 20 and 25 kg. Their skin is slightly wrinkled, and these wrinkles are visible because of their short, sparse coat. In fact, many members of the breed will display completely hairless ears, tail, muzzle and chest. Their coat may be reddish-brown or dark brown, and their black skin may be visible underneath.

Temperament of the Chinese Chongqing Dog

Depending on their use and lineage, the Chinese Chongqing dog will show different traits. Dogs kept for work are generally more distant from humans, more motivated and active. Those kept as pets will tend to form close bonds with family members, and will be loyal and extremely protective of them and their possessions. Because of its long history as a guard dog, this breed will be wary of new people and tends to show aggression. Very early socialization is essential to enable this dog to interact safely with children and other animals. Mixing with young children is not recommended due to the breed's physical strength and dominant personality. Likewise, keeping the Chinese Chongqing dog with smaller animals is not recommended, for fear of their safety. A dog that has been used for so long as a hunter will always possess the instincts of its ancestors, and will be able to act as a predator when the opportunity arises. Keeping a Chinese Chongqing next to another dog is not recommended, as it tends to show a high degree of aggression.

Needs and activities of the Chinese Chongqing Dog

The Chinese Chongqing dog has moderate exercise requirements and would benefit from a vigorous 30-minute walk every day. They will generally want more exercise than this, however, and would be happy to accompany you on hikes and long walks in the mountains. As with many dogs, if the Chinese Chongqing is underused, it is likely to display undesirable behaviors, such as hyperactivity in the house. They enjoy access to large gardens, but due to their strong prey drive and aversion to strangers close to their territory, the garden must be very secure. Because of this breed's physical strength, territorial nature and potential for aggression, it is not a recommended dog for a first-time owner. In the right hands, however, the intelligent Chinese Chongqing can be well trained. However, they are known to be a stubborn dog who doesn't live to please, so his trainer must be dedicated and patient. The trainer must make it clear that he is the leader of the relationship, a position that the confident and proud Chinese Chongqing dog will constantly challenge.

Maintenance of the Chinese Chongqing Dog

Due to the very short nature of their coat, they are a low-maintenance breed requiring little intervention. They should be brushed once a week to distribute their natural oils over their coat and remove any dead fur. More bathing is not recommended, as it can dry out the skin. Washing is only necessary if the dog becomes particularly dirty or muddy. Because of their potential for hostility and aggression, it is strongly advised that all routine grooming tasks be introduced to the dog at a very young age to increase acceptance. This should include brushing teeth, cleaning ears, brushing coats and trimming nails. In addition, the Chinese Chongqing dog's wrinkles should be checked frequently and the deepest parts of the wrinkle cleaned regularly to prevent wet dermatitis.

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