There are many theories – quite contradictory to each other – about the origins of dog breeds with blue tongue. From secular legends to scientific hypotheses: the explanation for this peculiar gene is more complex than it seems.
The structure of the language has tiny endings of blood vessels that form a single layer. The blood circulating in the tongue is charged with oxygen. Therefore, in most dogs and other animals, the tongue has a pink tongue.
Experts claim that dog breeds with blue tongue they originate from a natural genetic mutation. This would explain why this rare gene is present in very few species and does not interfere with the animal's health.
What It has not yet been proven if the genetic mutation of some species was an adaptive evolution. Or if your genetic structure was accidentally altered at some point in your family tree.
A first theory states that some dog breeds, as well as certain animal species, would produce a greater amount of melanin. This famous substance is responsible for the pigmentation of the skin and hair of mammals; their excessive production would generate a more intense pigmentation in their language.
However, another theory says that dog breeds with blue tongue have a tyrosine deficiency. As a result, your body would not produce enough melanin to properly pigment your body.
If we go into the more mythological aspect, there is a Chinese legend that talks about the birth of chow chow. According to this, the chow chow would be a dragon dog that loved the days, but hated the nights. One night, tired of the darkness, he resolved to lick the whole sky to wear it out and make the day eternal.
His attitude had angered the gods, who decided to punish him with a blue or black tongue forever. In this way, chow chow would remember his shame every time he looked at his own physiognomy. And everyone could identify the dog that tried to contradict the gods.
The shar pei and the chow chow are the two dog breeds with the blue tongue; in both the blue tongue gene is dominant. The 'blue gene' is so marked among the chow chows that some specimens show a tongue of purple or almost black tones.
The chow chow: an ancient guardian of the sacred temples
'Chow chow' literally means 'bloated lion'. Although they may look like big teddy bears, the chow chows are the true heirs of the Asian wolves. However, it is true that their beautiful and abundant fur, big head and blue tongue give them a really charming look.
In its original China, they were historically used to protect homes, fertile fields and sacred temples from this country. They also used to accompany men during hunting days. And nowadays they can be found all over the world as pets.
Its body is perfectly adapted to resist the cold and the climatic variations of the Chinese territory. Compact, robust, with a thick layer of fat that wraps around your body and supplemented by an abundant reddish coat.
The shar pei and its famous wrinkles
Shar pei and chow chow share so many similarities that some genetic theories claim that they could be relatives. In addition to the blue tongue, they reveal very similar bodies with the evident difference in their coats. They also resemble in some features and facial expressions and also in their hunting and guarding skills.
The shar pei has a short coat and exhibits abundant wrinkles on his body. In puppies, wrinkles are more noticeable because their skin must be prepared to stretch while the dog grows and fattens.
Nowadays, it is known that shar pei already accompanied humans in the third century BC. This calculation was possible thanks to the discovery of ceramic objects that portrayed the ancestors of the star pei. This allows us to presume the importance that these dogs possessed and how they were present in the ancient Chinese culture.
From their origins, shar pei were employed in grazing, guarding and hunting. The Chinese farmers found in these blue-tongued dog breeds their best allies to defend their lands from possible predators.