Chow Chows to Be Judged on Ramp

The Chow Chow Club, Inc (CCCI) requested that the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club amend the policy for the ramping of Chow Chows so that ramping is required for the breed for all levels of competition. A motion requesting this revision was passed, with a quorum present, at our 2014 annual general membership meeting, with over 93 percent voting in favor. The Board of Directors met, with a quorum present, and voted to adopt the motion that was passed by the membership.

A letter was written to the AKC by the Chow Chow Club, Inc., president and approved by the CCCI Board of Directors. The following justification for this request was included in the letter:

Chow Chows are trained for examination on the ramp and may go into group competition with limited experience with examination on the ground. Correct and thorough examination on the ground may be difficult and uncomfortable for the dog and the judge, occasionally having the effect of compromising the balance of either the dog or judge and resulting in an unsafe, disadvantageous experience. Chow Chows face a distinct disadvantage in group and Best in Show competition for a number of breed-specific as well as general reasons.

  1. All Chow Chow breed-specific disqualifications are on the dog’s head. (“Drop ear or ears. Nose spotted or distinctly other color than black, except in blue Chows, which may have solid blue or slate noses, and the top surface or edges of the tongue red or pink or with one or more spots of red or pink.”) The evaluation for any of these disqualifications necessitates an accurate evaluation of the head.
  2. The Chow standard states: “Keen intelligence, an independent spirit and innate dignity give the Chow an aura of aloofness. It is a Chow’s nature to be reserved and discerning with strangers.” Use of the ramp provides a more comfortable and safe experience for the judge, dog, and exhibitor.
  3. Overall balance. To correctly assess the balance of a Chow, the judge must use their hands in order to minimize the perception created by coat. This exam is much easier when the dog is on a ramp.
  4. The Chow is required to have a relatively straight rear leg, with the hocks and rear feet under the hip joints and with sound hock structure. Again, this is much easier to assess if the dog is elevated rather than when the dog is on the ground.
  5. With an ever-increasing number of senior exhibitors and judges, the ramp makes presenting and examining the dog easier for both parties.
  6. Since Bulldogs are already a mandatory ramp breed and are in the same group as the Chow Chow, the superintendent may schedule Chows in the same ring as the Bulldogs, thus there will be no additional work for the superintendents. The addition of Chow Chows to be judged on the ramp at all levels of competition would in no way cause delay of a show.

This request resulted in the following amendment to AKC rules, effective January 1:

“As a result of an approval of a request made by the Chow Chow Club, Inc., Chow Chows must be judged on the ramp at the breed, group, and Best in Show levels.” For details, please see images.akc.org/pdf/judges/table_breeds.pdf.

—L.B. (March 2015), Chow Chow Club, Inc.