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Chow Chow Origins

 

Did the Chinese REALLY put thousands of years effort into creating the perfect meal?

           
 

Selective breeding was pioneered by early Asian cultures. Congruence and integrity, a 'wholeness', was (and is) fundamental to the Asian concept of virtue. They designed and created whole sub-species, applying rigour to:

  • physical isolation of breeding stock;
  • determination of breed standards;
  • consistent selection for conformance to breed standards;
  • preservation of 'good' specimens; and
  • culling of 'poor' specimens.

The art of writing first emerged amongst settled, agricultural, peoples for the purposes of managing property. In Asia - the ancient seat of culture, philosophy, art and literature - the earliest writing was also devoted to maintenance of detailed breeding records.

Breeding was a highly specialised endeavour, requiring discipline, persistence and an almost obsessive attention to detail. In those early days it was an undertaking restricted to the most educated people - in temples, monastries and palaces. 'Good' specimens were venerated and, conversely, 'poor' specimens were culled and eaten to preserve the breeding pool.

Additionally, 'good' specimens may have been captured by the many marauding invaders - and succeeding emperors - and eaten as an insult to the conquered peoples. Even cannibalism was sometimes practiced to terrify the enemy! There is no evidence to suggest that Chow Chows were eaten any more or less than other animals.

Only in the most recent few hundred years, with the prestige of selective breeding long past, have the poorest communities farmed dogs for food - seldom pure-breds, although a representative number of them may have resembled the indigenous Chow Chow.

 
photograph of Pekingnese dog photograph of Chinese Crested dog
photograph of Lhasa Apso dog photograph of Chow Chow
photograph of Mandarin duck photograph of Goldfish
   
         
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