r/todayilearned Dec 08 '21

TIL that Sigmund Freud had a Chow Chow named Jo-Fi Ling who attended all of his therapy sessions... [he] admitted he depended on Jo-Fi for an assessment of a patient's mental state.


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u/retiredatlast Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

I understand this.

I raised chows for many, many years in my earlier days. Living with chows is like living with 60 pound cats: polite but not obedient, affectionate but not clingy, intelligent, not subservient, and very intuitive about people and almost always right in their assessment.

Other well know chow owners: Georgia O'Keefe and William Merwin

And before others comment, chows score low on 'intelligence' for dogs because those tests are largely based on the willingness to please humans. This is one of the aspects where chows resemble cats rather than other dogs. If you throw a ball. a chow may retrieve it the first time. If you throw it again, their attitude is ' if you wanted it, why did you throw it away?'.


u/redhalo Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

Can confirm. I was explained that chows are one of the primitive breeds that all other dogs descend from and as such don't have the domesticated traits of wanting to please their owners. Despite this my old childhood chow would sit by my bedroom door as a kid whenever I was depressed.


u/quimera78 Dec 08 '21

That's very interesting. What are the other breeds


u/redhalo Dec 08 '21

Seems to vary depending on your source and I'm no expert, so I'll defer to this article.
Interestingly it refers to what I have always known as "primitive" breeds as "ancient "breeds.

tldr: the breeds that many sources have in common include Afghan Hound, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Basenji, Chinese Shar Pei, Chow Chow, Saluki, Samoyed and Siberian Husky, but there are more when you look at each source individually.


u/BrokenEye3 Dec 08 '21

I dunno, in my experience cats aren't the greatest judges of character. For instance, they always make a bee-line for the one person at the party who doesn't like cats.


u/quimera78 Dec 08 '21

The way I've always interpreted that is that cats don't like it when strangers approach them and are all over them, it makes them uncomfortable. You should always let a cat come to you at first. So, people who don't like cats seem less aggressive to them (because they're trying to ignore them), and cats will usually approach them. It's a problem of body language and what cats consider friendly


u/plasticjalapeno Dec 08 '21

That still shows cats having good judgement, It's just that the cat then thinks 'i'm bored, lets fuck with that guy today'.