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Chow Chow Breed Information

This ancient breed is said to have a build that closely resembles the oldest known fossilized dog remains, and emperors in China had Chow Chows in the palace more than 2,000 years ago. This impressive history attracts owners to the breed, as do the blue/black tongue that is shared with only one other breed and the nearly straight back legs, thus the unique gait.

The name reportedly comes from the slang term “chow chow” that was given to various items carried by ships returning from the east, having stuck with the dogs brought back.

With a Chow, you can expect a generally well-mannered dog, one that is highly loyal to one person, or certainly to one family. The breed seems to do well with children, but this depends on how the dog was socialized when young and how it is treated by the children. The Chow Chow is a long-living dog, with a lifespan of about 15 years.

Often used as working dogs for pulling carts and guarding the home, the breed does need adequate exercise and outdoor time. Overall, the Chow Chow is a great choice for the right owner.


Chow Chow Temperament

Usually considered a well-behaved dog, the Chow Chow can be very independent and even obstinate when it comes to getting it to do things you want. For this breed, a dominant owner is best since the dog can be hardheaded. Keep in mind that if pushed beyond a certain point, the breed can also become aggressive, although this usually occurs as a reaction of being approached by a stranger.

However, those with experience as owners of the Chow Chow say if they are fair and calm with their pet, the relationship can be very good. It is probably best not to expect great things from this breed, such as tricks and obeying every command. Some owners report success in getting the pet to do simple tricks, but this probably should not be expected.

Chow Chows are thought of as natural watchdogs, based on their natural tendencies as a breed. In addition, the breed can be suspicious of people and other animals. Therefore, you want to be careful with socialization, incorporating this at a very young age. In fact, this is one key reason to work with a reputable and experienced breeder who has taken the time to socialize the puppy, establishing the owner/pet relationship from the beginning.

Chow Chow Temperament


Chow Chow Size and Color

Considered one of the truly impressive dog breeds, the Chow Chow has a somewhat regal appearance that is lion-like and is sure to get attention. Some believe the Chow to be a descendant of mastiff type dogs and the Spitz, but whatever their true origin the Chow is large enough and bold enough to have been a hunting dog and a guard dog.

Expect your Chow Chow to have the characteristic blue/black tongue and to be somewhat large, generally standing between 17 to 21 inches tall and weighing up to 85 pounds.

You will notice that this breed has a scowling look on its wrinkled face that fits with its sometimes aloof and indifferent personality. The coat is dense, almost furry and the breed has both a smooth coat and a rough coat type. Solid colors vary from red and cinnamon to blue and black. Additionally, some tan and gray Chow Chows exist. However, all colors may have some shading but you will not see “parti-colored” Chow Chows. The tail is hair-covered and is carried proudly above the back.

Chow Chow Size and Color


Chow Chow Feeding and Grooming Requirements

Grooming a purebred dog is an important task, not only for appearance but also for the dog’s health and wellbeing. The Chow Chow does not require a lot of trimming but owners will probably spend a good deal of time brushing and bathing their pet to maintain the appearance of the beautiful coat.

We suggest you use proper tools such as a solid grooming table, a steel comb, and top-quality grooming shears. In fact, blow-drying the coat is also recommended. For bathing, this is suggested monthly but make sure you get all the shampoo rinsed out of the heavy coat to avoid skin irritation.

You should also be sure to trim the toenails of the Chow Chow on a regular basis because the breed has compact feet. Therefore, if the nails become too long, it makes it uncomfortable for the dog to walk. With the Chow Chow and many other dogs, it may be necessary to use a limited number of treats and praise the dog for cooperating in this procedure. If you have trouble, you can have your veterinarian or groomer handle it for you.

Chow Chows should be kept on a high quality diet, with foods that are similar to what is available in their native environment. In this case, a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins is essential. If possible, excellent results have been reported when owners cook fresh foods for the pet rather than buying store bought products. In its native country of China, the Chow was fed a vegetarian diet. While this is not a concern today, a good diet is strongly recommended.

Chow Chow Feeding and Grooming Requirements


Chow Chow Exercise Needs

The Chow Chow can be an obstinate, bossy dog so exercising this pet can be a challenge. However, early socialization usually means fewer problems when the Chow Chow is out in public. Now, some Chow Chows do not accept a leash or a collar very easily, while others seem to have no problem with this so you may need to be patient in this department. This breed will do reasonably well in an apartment or smaller home if sufficient exercise is part of the routine.

Due to the heavy coat, the Chow can be sensitive to heat so you want to be careful when it comes to playtime and exercise during the summer. You will also discover that some Chows lean toward the lazy side.

However, if you make exercise a normal part of the dog’s existence, it will learn to enjoy outside time. This breed was originally used as a hunting and guard dog so it is used to outside activity.

Chow Chow Exercise Needs


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