Chow Chow - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Chow is a unique breed with several distinctive physical features. One of its most notable characteristics is its tongue, which is different from other dogs. Additionally, Chows have a distinct stilted walk and a lion-like “mane” around their necks. Belonging to the Spitz family, these dogs are believed to have originated in the cold northern region of China. They were used for various purposes including guarding homes, hunting, herding, and even pulling carts.

The Chow is a medium-sized dog with a deep mouth, broad head, and small triangular ears that sit atop their double coat on the neck. They come in a variety of colors such as cream, cinnamon, black, blue, or red. With their unique physical traits and rich history, Chows are truly a lovely and fascinating breed.

Below, we look at Chow Chow dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Chow Chow, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and much more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Chow Chows!

Dog Breed Chow Chow
Size Medium
Weight 45-70 lbs (average)
Height 17-20″ (average)
Location China
Ancestry Tibetan Mastiff
Date of Origin Ancient Times
Group Guardian, Cart Puller, Food Source
Life Expectancy 13-15 years
Price $600 – $800
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The Chow Chow is believed to be a descendant of Tibetan Mastiffs and is considered an ancient breed. Evidence of its existence can be traced back to fossilized bones, and a study conducted in 2004 identified the Chow Chow as part of an ancient group of 14 breeds. The breed’s history can be seen in a bas-relief from the Han Dynasty, showcasing its hunting abilities and use as a working dog. Unfortunately, Chow Chows were also used as a food source in the past. The name “Chow Chow” likely originated from Chinese words referring to miscellaneous items, as well as the Chinese word for edible, “chou. ”

In the late 19th century, the Chow Chow caught the attention of Queen Victoria, who encountered them in a zoo exhibit called “Wild Dogs of China. ” The breed was introduced to the United States in 1890 and gained recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1903.

🐕 Chow Chow Appearance

The straight, post-like legs of this peculiar dog give him the appearance of seeming “square,” adding to the stiff movement that is unique to the breed. Their most distinctive characteristic is their blue-black tongue (the tongue will be pink at birth but will change at six months of age). Other features include their upright, small ears, large cranium, and blue-black tongue. The rougher, lengthier of the two coat types on the Chow Chow is the one that most people are accustomed to. A dog with this coat type frequently resembles a soft teddy bear. The slick coat is additionally shorter. Regardless of the sort of coat they have, your animal friend will also have a thick undercoat. Although Chows may be any solid color, most of them are red or black. There are no “rare” colors for Chow Chows. If a breeder tries to charge extra for a color other than red (on the grounds that the color is rare), they are not being honest, and this should make you suspicious of any other information they may be withholding. These hues include cream, black, blue, light fawn to deep cinnamon, and hues ranging from light golden red to deep mahogany. The tail and feathering may have brighter colouring, as well as the ruff (the thick hair on the neck). This cute dog has a heavily furred tail that frequently folds up over its back. The dog frequently has a scowling face due to the deep facial creases.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Black, Red, Fawn, Cream, Blue

Fun Fact: Chow Chow dogs are kinda antisocial. This breed doesn’t like being around people all the time, they tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Chow Chow

Contrary to popular assumption, a Chow Chow can get along well with kids and other animals. To achieve the optimum results, kids must be socialized from a young age. The Chow should be trained from an early age since they require their handlers to be tough and constant in their control. The owner should be kind but tough with the dog from an early age because the breed has a tendency to be domineering. This dog frequently holds the position of alpha and will make an effort to rule over their human pack as well. The Chow Chow may be temperamental and overly protective at times. They are extremely devoted yet frequently act as “one-person” dogs. They tend to be cautious around strangers and might be violent with unfamiliar canines; they are not particularly gregarious dogs.

🤝 Are Chow Chows Friendly or Aggressive?

Chow Chow dogs tend to have difficulty getting along with other pets, including dogs, cats, and strangers. They are not known for being friendly or tolerant towards unfamiliar people or animals. This makes them less suitable for households with other pets or for families with children, as they may not be able to adapt well to these situations. Additionally, Chow Chows may not be the best choice for elderly individuals who may require a more sociable and easygoing companion.

This breed is known for being:

  • Aloof
  • Independent
  • Protective
  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Quiet
  • Detached

🐩 Chow Chow Care & Maintenance

A rough-coated Chow Chow requires frequent brushing to prevent knots in the coat. The only maintenance required for their smooth-coated counterparts’ coats is a weekly brushing. As their coat (and the wrinkles) may effectively absorb dirt, it is crucial to keep the eyes and facial creases clean. It’s crucial to keep the nails trimmed once a month and to clean your teeth every day. Always keep Chow Chows indoors with their family. They may be placed in a fenced-in yard for exercise and can adapt to a variety of homes. They belong to a breed that is simpler to housebreak. Since this inquisitive dog could chew on your furniture or other unsuitable objects while you are away, crate training is advised. They dislike spending extended periods of time alone.

Chow Chow dogs have a higher than average shedding tendency due to the natural cycle of hair growth. The amount and frequency of hair loss can vary depending on their health and breed. If you prefer not to deal with excessive vacuum cleaning, you might need to rethink your decision of getting a Chow Chow puppy. Additionally, it is recommended to give them a bath every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain their cleanliness and hygiene.

🍖 Food: We recommend 3 cups daily, costing you about $1.20 – $1.40 daily, or around $34.00 – $45.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Chow Chow dogs exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 8 miles per week, which equates to about 45 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Chow Chow dogs have a lower energy level than other dogs. If you live a chilled life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

❤️‍🩹 Chow Chow Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Chow Chow Dog Breed can be:

  • Entropion
  • Hip Dysplasia

While minor concerns include:

  • Stenotic Nares
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Distichiasis
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cataract
  • Elongated Palate
  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane

🤧 Important: Is Chow Chow hypoallergenic? No.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Chow Chow.

⚡ Chow Chow Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Chow Chow a great choice for families with young children?
The Chow Chow’s loyalty and protective nature make them a great choice for families with young children. They can develop a strong bond with their family and will go to great lengths to protect them.

Is the Chow Chow breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Chow Chow breed is not considered a suitable breed for apartment living due to their size and need for exercise. They require a spacious environment to roam and are not well-suited for small living spaces.

How much exercise does a Chow Chow require compared to other breeds?
Chow Chows require a moderate amount of exercise compared to other breeds. Daily walks and playtime are essential to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, but they do not have excessive exercise needs.

Is the Chow Chow breed known for being good with other pets?
Chow Chows are not known for being particularly good with other pets. They can be territorial and may exhibit aggressive behavior towards strange dogs or animals. Proper socialization from a young age is crucial to ensure peaceful coexistence with other pets.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Chow Chow?
Other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Chow Chow include the Shih Tzu, Basset Hound, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These breeds have similar grooming needs and are generally easy to care for.

What are the common health issues that Chow Chows are prone to?
Chow Chows are prone to several common health issues, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems (such as entropion and cataracts), allergies, and thyroid issues. Regular vet check-ups are important to monitor and address any potential health concerns.

Are Chow Chows known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Chow Chows can be challenging to train compared to some other breeds. They are independent and can be stubborn, requiring a firm and consistent approach. Early socialization and obedience training are essential to establish boundaries and ensure a well-behaved Chow Chow.

Are Chow Chows more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Chow Chows can be prone to separation anxiety, especially if not properly trained and socialized. They form strong bonds with their owners and may become anxious or destructive when left alone for extended periods. Gradual training and positive reinforcement can help alleviate this issue.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Chow Chow that are suitable for people with allergies?
If someone has allergies but still wants a dog similar to the Chow Chow, they can consider hypoallergenic breeds such as the Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, or Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. These breeds have hair instead of fur and produce less dander, making them more suitable for people with allergies.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Chow Chow are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller-sized dogs similar to the Chow Chow, such as the Shiba Inu or Keeshond, can be a better fit. These breeds have similar characteristics and temperament but require less space to move around.

Is the Chow Chow breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Chow Chow breed can be good with children with special needs, but proper supervision and training are crucial. Their protective nature and loyalty can make them reliable companions for children who may need extra support or assistance.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Chow Chow?
The grooming and shedding needs of the Chow Chow are relatively high compared to some other breeds. They have a dense double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and shedding. Additionally, they are known to shed heavily twice a year during shedding seasons. Regular grooming and maintenance are necessary to keep their coat healthy and prevent excessive shedding.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Chow Chow dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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