chow chow

chow chow

[chou chou]
chow chow, breed of powerful nonsporting dog whose origins are obscure but whose development was accomplished many centuries ago in China. It stands from 18 to 20 in. (45.7-50.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 50 to 60 lb (22.7-27.2 kg). Its abundant double coat consists of a soft, woolly underlayer and a dense, straight topcoat that stands out from the body. It may be any solid color. The ancestors of the chow chow are believed by some to have been the mastiff of Tibet and the Samoyed. However, because it is the only breed possessing a black tongue, other authorities contend that it is a basic breed and the progenitor of the Samoyed, the Keeshond, the Norwegian elkhound, and the Pomeranian. Whatever the truth of its origins, it was used as an all-purpose hunting dog in China 2,000 years ago. Its name derives from the pidgin-English term for miscellaneous cargo, of which the dog formed a part, brought from China to England in the late 18th cent. It is raised as a companion and house pet. See dog.
Lüchow-Dannenberg is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany which is usually referred to as Hannoversches Wendland or Wendland. It is bounded by (from the west and clockwise) the districts of Uelzen and Lüneburg and the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (district of Ludwigslust), Brandenburg (district of Prignitz) and Saxony-Anhalt (districts of Stendal and Altmarkkreis Salzwedel).


In medieval times the counties of Lüchow and Dannenberg occupied the area (from the early 12th century on). These counties were originally Slavic states that lost their independence to the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the beginning of the 14th century.

The area was ruled by Lüneburg until 1705 and became then a part of the Electorate of Hanover. When the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia (1866), the districts of Lüchow and Dannenberg were established within the new Province of Hanover.

In 1932 the two districts of Lüchow and Dannenberg were merged into the current district with Dannenberg as capital. In 1951 the seat of the administration was moved to Lüchow.

Current issues

Since the end of the 1990s the financial problems of the municipalities in the district grew more and more severe. To save money spent for administration a major municipal reform is currently discussed. The two most likely outcomes of the reform will be either a conversion of the district to an urban district, in which the 27 municipalities will then become boroughs of one town. The other discussed solution is the merger into two Samtgemeinden. The dissolution of the district and inclusion of the two remaining Samtgemeinden into the districts of Lüneburg and Uelzen are also discussed.


The district is named for the two main towns. It is better known as the Wendland, a designation referring to the Slavic people of the Wends from Slavic tribe Drevani, who lived there till the 18th century — the last known user of the local dialect of Polabian language died in 1752. The landscape is characterised by riverside woodlands along the Elbe river and a hilly countryside.

In addition the Wendland is known for the tiny village of Gorleben (part of the Samtgemeinde Gartow), where a disposal place for radioactive waste was established. Gorleben has been a site of clashes between the police and protesters since the 1980s.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms displays:

  • a fir, which was the heraldic symbol of the counts of Dannenberg
  • three yellow rhombs from the arms of the counts of Lüchow

Towns and municipalities

Samtgemeinden (collective municipalities) with member municipalities

1seat of the Samtgemeinde; 2town

External links

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