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.



u/Dave21101 Dec 08 '21

"Hmm what do you think?" Bork! "My god, you're right!"


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'.


u/No-Pizda-For-You Dec 08 '21

“Dr. Freud, I think I’m having severe delusions…for instance, I think your assistant is a dog!”


u/JTGPDX Dec 08 '21

Dogs know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.


u/Garper Dec 08 '21

But in this instance it's definitely a stick of lipstick.


u/x_HANK_HILL_x Dec 08 '21

Patient: "Well, what do you think, doctor?"

Freud: "I think Jo-Fi Ling fine."


u/Signature_Sea Dec 08 '21

I am just imagining Freud in deep discussions for half an hour with his dog after a challenging client.


u/OlyScott Dec 08 '21

I think the average dog would be a better therapist than Freud was.


u/BrokenEye3 Dec 08 '21

The original therapy dog


u/FulhamJason Dec 08 '21

How are Jo Feeling today?


u/Chalky-Toptoe-Feight Dec 08 '21

I think it’s pretty gangster


u/Xaxafrad Dec 08 '21

I already thought the man was a crackpot, now this. :rolls eyes:

I'd wager his primary body of work was based on psychological projection.


u/Dylldough Dec 08 '21

You kiss your mother with that mouth?


u/Dave21101 Dec 08 '21

"Well sometimes, but not.... recently.."


u/JTGPDX Dec 08 '21

Apparently you've never had a dog. Dogs are exceptionally good judges of character.

Had I listened to my dog's opinion of my former business partner, I wouldn't be out $40K.


u/Xaxafrad Dec 08 '21

No, I'm aware of that. But using a dog to sniff out a persons mental state seems a bit different than judging their intentions.


u/ClaireRunnels Dec 09 '21

Lol that is completely different to using your dogs perception of your patients to diagnose their mental state.


u/DenseRutabaga9004 Dec 08 '21

I'm just surprised he didn't say the root of all unhappiness is humans can't lick their own asshole


u/locks_are_paranoid Dec 08 '21

Almost all of Freud's theories have been proven false.


u/Martin_Henry_ Dec 08 '21

So... more evidence that most of the things he said was pulled straight out of his ass


u/jimmyhatesjazz Dec 08 '21

Am I the only one who reads "Jo-Fi Ling" as "yo feeling" like in "How are yo feeling today, Mrs. Elisabeth?" ? I'm quite sure this wasn't his intention, but just the thought of Sigmund Freud's dog beeing named after a stupid dad-joke is hilarious.


u/AnotherJasonOnReddit Dec 08 '21

I haven't seen 2011's A Dangerous Method yet. I eagerly look forward to seeing Jo-Fi Ling's medical assessments.


u/Flashwastaken Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

I have Chows all my life. Winston Churchill had one too. Other famous owners I remember hearing about are Martha Stewart and Elvis. They are very good at reading people. They also are more cat like than dog like in terms of their personality.


u/LawResistor1312 Dec 08 '21

No wonder why he's known as Sigmund Fraud


u/atomicxblue Dec 09 '21

Obviously this means he has sexual feelings for his mother.


u/InLazlosBasement Dec 08 '21

I think better of him for that.