Dog Breeds

Chow Chow Advantage and Challenges


  • Dignified and beautiful
  • A loyal guard dog
  • Good for apartment living
  • Good with older kids if properly socialized from early puppyhood


  • Can be highly aggressive towards other animals
  • Needs a confident and experienced owner
  • Can be obstinate and aloof
  • Requires daily grooming; also a heavy seasonal shedder
  • Stubborn and difficult to train
  • Early socialization is a must
  • Doesn’t do well in warm climates

Chow Chow Physical Characteristics


  • Medium, with stocky build


  • 45-70 lbs.


  • Either a smooth, short coat or a rougher, longer coat


  • red, black, cream, blue and cinnamon

Life Expectancy

  • 15 years
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Chow Chow Personality

Most famous for its highly unusual blue-black tongue, this very furry yet regal dog looks either like a small lion or a great big teddy bear. A dignified yet often misunderstood breed, this beautiful and brave protector is now the 61st most popular dog registered with the AKC in the United States.

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Chow Chow History and General Information

History and Origin

First kept more than 2,000 years ago by Mongolian tribes as a hunting dog, sled dog and guard dog, the Chow was also valued for its meat and fur. The Chow made its first appearance outside of Chinain 19th century England, when sailors returning from the Far Eastbrought this exotic dog home aboard ship. The name probably came from the pidgin English word "chow-chow," a term used to describe all sorts of miscellaneous souvenirs brought back from the Orient.

General Information

By nature, the Chow is a quiet and well-behaved dog; it’s not interested in digging or barking and is known to be one of the easiest breeds to housebreak. The Chow does, however, have a very different attitude than most dogs - downright cat-like, this breed is aloof, reserved with its affection, independent and strong willed. Although very intelligent, the stubborn and bossy Chow isn’t especially worried about pleasing you, so it often is resistant to training. Your Chow can't be forced into anything it doesn’t want to do; harsh training methods will never bring the desired result. Taking its responsibility to home and family very seriously, the Chow will fiercely protect its turf; suspicious of strangers and territorial by nature, the Chow is often misunderstood and mistakenly thought to be a vicious dog.

Very loyal and friendly with family, this dog often will bond with and become overly protective of one particular family member. Early and persistent socialization is necessary to prevent aggressive over-protectiveness as an adult. Due to its hunting instincts, the Chow should not be trusted with cats or small dogs. The strong-willed Chow needs an equally strong-willed owner. Obedience training from early puppyhood is a must - when an untrained Chow reaches adolescence it will likely refuse to accept the authority of any owner who has failed to train it and earn its respect.

Although irresistibly soft to the touch, this is not a pet that enjoys cuddling. The Chow is a powerful, regal and very serious dog that expects to be treated with dignity and respect. This dog’s ultra-thick coat requires daily care; regular brushing of the long coat is important to maintain its health and beauty. This breed is a seasonal heavy shedder and extra grooming is needed when the dog sheds its dense undercoat.

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Chow Chow Health

Health Ailments

Hip dysplasia is common, as is entropion, an eye condition that can be corrected with surgery. Skin and hormone problems are also seen in some Chow Chows.

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Chow Chow Community

Your Chow Chow

Send us pictures and stories about your pet.

Chow Chow Discussion Group

Get tips from other Chow Chow lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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