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AKC Breeder of Merit William Buell, III grew up in Western North Carolina. His mother and her mother always had a Chow Chow. Bill has, since he can remember, almost always had a Chow Chow in the home. When he was young, he had two that would find, hold point and flush grouse. Although he has primarily bred and shown Chow Chows for 43 years, he has also successfully bred and shown Belgian Malinois and Shiba Inu. Additionally, he is also breeding and showing Cane Corsi.


AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs? 

Bill: After graduation from college, I purchased a Chow Chow puppy and thought I might like to breed him since he was, in my limited opinion at that time, a great dog. So, I was told to go to a dog show. That was where the “good” dogs were. At that time the Chow Chows in the shows were too heavy to go around the ring more than once and could never do what they were meant to do: hunt, guard and herd. I did show a dog I bought that was not at all worthy. And I purchased two Chow Chows from a show breeder. I showed the male, but he had severe hip and elbow dysplasia and was euthanized at a year of age. I then purchased a puppy from Carmen Blankenship. I showed her to an AKC Championship and went on to breed her after clearing OFA hip and elbow evaluations. Ch. Chinabear Caraway was the foundation bitch of my kennel as it is now. Her first litter produced a Best in Show dog. Her promise is still evident in my dogs today.


AKC: What is the most important thing to know about Chow Chows?

Bill: The Chow Chow is NOT the breed for novice dog owners. The breed is cat-like, very independent yet can be very intelligent. Very few in the breed will retrieve a ball or consistently come when called. In fact, if your Chow Chow takes off after something you may call until you turn blue as it continues on its chosen path. If you are lucky it may acknowledge your call only briefly, then turn and trot off. They need extensive socialization when young to be a good friend in crowds. A Chow Chow will choose one person in the family and be that person’s dog. “One man’s dog” I would always hear, and this is correct. My dogs are very happy to see me when I come home and then settle quickly into a prone position where they can see everything that is going on in the room or on my feet when I sit down. The crux of the matter is that if you expect your Chow Chow to act like a Golden Retriever, you will be sadly disappointed.


AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?

Bill: Why are you searching for a Chow Chow? Have you ever lived with one? Are you ready to take on the grooming necessary to maintain a rough coated Chow Chow? Do you have a securely fenced yard for the dog to exercise? Please tell me about the home the dog will be living in, are there any children, other dogs or other environment issues? These questions give me a good ideal if the prospective home is acceptable for a Chow Chow.


AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?

Bill: Having either owned a Chow Chow successfully and are looking for another or have successfully owned any other guardian breed of independent thought. Homes that are settled and not loud with a lot of activity. People who have owned dogs before and are looking for another to share their lives within their house. Fenced yards… too many times people think that they can set loose their Chow Chow and expect it to stay around. Wrong position. Persons that will come and visit the kennel before the puppies are born, again when the litter is young, and then a third time when it is time for the puppies to go to new homes.


AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?

Bill: Spend years learning about the history of the breed you are choosing to breed, about dog psychology, and about dog structure. Know the health issues in your chosen breed and in the bloodlines you purchase so that you can test for and avoid such. Learn about dog nutrition and about the mechanics involved in breeding, whelping, puppy maturation and raising litters long before the first breeding ever happens.



AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?

Bill: Yes, I train and show my own dogs in conformation and have sold many into conformation homes. These include the #2 overall Chow Chow /#1 Chow Chow bitch in Sweden for 2022 (SECH, FICH, FI JUCH, FI V-22, HE W-22 Nord V-22 Sitze-Gou’s Alaura, owned/loved/handled by Eva Kovac) and the first smooth Chow Chow in the history of the breed to be #1 at the end of any year (BISS, Multi Group Winning AKC Grand Champion Silver Sitze-Gou’s Glazz Paragon). He was the #1 AKC all breed point Chow for 2008 and the #1 AKC breed point Chow Chow for 2011. Dogs of my breeding have won Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed, Best of Breed and high in trial at the Chow Chow Club Inc. national specialty shows, many regional specialty shows, and all-breed shows.

A major part of my breeding program involves keeping the working history of the Chow Chow alive by breeding for biddability, high trainability and athleticism in all my dogs. The results were multiple Chow Chows that have done well and excelled in the obedience ring. One, owned and shown by Jennee Stalzer-See, is still the top winning obedience Chow Chow in the history of the breed: High in Trial, OTCH-pointed Sitze-Gou’s Glazz Misbehavin UDX RA. Jennee is now training her fourth dog from me. Others are owned and shown by Adrienne Morton: Sitze-Gou’s Glazz Kaitlyne Step-In Out For Me CGC CGCA CGCU and Sitze-Gou’s Midnight CGC CGCA CGCU. Both are young dogs, and the first, maybe the youngest, Chow Chow to complete all her CGC titles before the age of 6 months.


AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs? 

Bill: Seeing the planning and study of dogs and pedigrees prove out with litters of highly intelligent, trainable, biddable dogs that continuously win in the ring. It is an extreme joy to watch years of study and planning express itself in a litter that all are healthy, happy and beautiful and to have litters that are exactly what I planned them to be and more. To have puppies that crave to be with you at all times and are confident babies that can go into any situation and be successful. Breeding is an art form that is a game of statistics. There is no perfect dog and there never will be, but by golly it is my intention to get as close to the ideal as I possibly can.



AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story? 

Bill: Back in the late 1990’s I was living in Boone, NC, while attending Appalachian State University working on my master’s degree in technology education. I was working part time as a finish carpenter on a property in Banner Elk. I had a very nice rough bitch, Kissy, who was very close to whelp, so I took her to work with me along with multiple towels and other needed supplies just in case she went into labor while I was there. It was a cool and clear day, so I left her in the van and looked in every hour or so to make sure she was okay. When we broke for lunch, I went to the van to find her in early labor. I had a 45-minute drive home. I got into the van and drove like a crazy person. Halfway, as we drove through a town named Foscoe, she screamed and shot out the first puppy like a projectile whom with a splat hit the engine housing. I quickly pulled over and gathered this new puppy in a towel, rubbed him, made sure he was fine and continued on to the house wherein Kissy had the rest of her litter. I thought of naming him “Splat” but instead named him Foscoe. He lived a long and fruitful life as Ch Sitze-Gou’s Knight Banneret.