Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
Chow Chow Club
Native Country
China Sponsored by Great Britain
Other Names
Chow Chow, Puffy-Lion Dog
Life Expectancy
Approximately 15 Years
Litter Size
Average 3-6 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Non-Sporting
Breed Appearance
The Chow Chow is a large, stocky dog. The two most distinctive features of the Chow Chow are its blue-black tongue and its almost straight hind legs, which makes it walk rather stilted. The head is large and broad with a flat skull. The muzzle is broad and deep. There is a huge ruff behind the head, which gives it a lion-like appearance. The black nose is large with well open nostrils. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The small, erect ears are triangular in shape and round at the tip. The almond-shaped eyes are deep-set and dark in color. The chest is broad and deep. The tail is set high, carried very close to the back. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The profuse, dense, furry coat comes in two varieties, smooth and rough. The most common colors are solid red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream, but it can also come in tan, gray, or a rare white.

Breed Description
Head: Large. Flat, broad skull. Stop not pronounced. Broad muzzle. Large nose matches coat color. Tongue, palate, and lips are blue-black. Black gums.
Ears: Small, thick, wide set. Held rigidly erect and forward, giving the face its characteristic scowl.
Eyes: Almond shape, fairly small. Dark color. Blue and fawns may have eyes the color of their coat.
Body: Balanced proportions. Strong, full neck. Broad chest. Powerful loin. Short, horizontal, strong back.
Tail: Set high and carried well over the back.
Hair: Rough-coated variety: very abundant, dense, straight, harsh, and stand-off; particularly thick around the neck (mane or collarette) and on the back of the thighs (culottes). Soft, wooly undercoat.Smooth-coated variety: abundant, dense, straight, and smooth.
Coat: Solid black, red, blue, fawn, cream, or white, often nuanced but never spotted or parti-color. Underside of the tail and rump are often lighter in color.
Size: Dog: 48 to 56 cm (19-22 in).Bitch: 46 to 51 cm (18-20 in).
Weight: Dog: 20 to 25 kg (44-55 lb).Bitch: 18 to 20 kg (18-20 lb).

The Chow Chow (named Chou, hunting dog in its native land) has been popular in China for more than two thousand years. The Huns, Mongols, and Tartars used the breed in war, for hunting, and as a draft and guard dog. This furry dog was sometimes eaten (chow means food), and its fur was used for clothing. The breed first appeared in Europe in 1865 when Queen Victoria was given a magnificent specimen. Selective breeding began in England in 1887 in an attempt to develop a more sociable Chow. The breed was recognized by The Kennel Club in 1894. The first Chows arrived in France in the early 1900s. This breed is now considered a luxury pet.

Most commonly kept as pets, Chow Chows tend to display discernment of strangers and can become fiercely protective of their owners and property. The American Kennel Club standards, however, consider an all-too aggressive or all-too timid Chow Chow to be unacceptable. For that reason, some owners have attributed a cat-like personality to the Chow Chow.

Owning a Chow Chow can raise the cost of homeowners insurance because some companies consider them high-risk dogs.

Chow Chow are not excessively active, meaning that they can be housed in an apartment. However, Chow Chow living in apartments will need daily exercise to prevent restlessness and boredom. Upon realizing that exercise is a daily occurrence, Chow Chow will tend to be more assertive with owners in anticipation of such activities.

This breed of dog has many strong loyal bonds with friends and family, however the Chow Chow dog is usually overly protective of one or two main family member(s). It is in the breed’s nature to be quiet and well behaved. However, it is also resistant to training. Chow Chows become very stubborn and attach to certain individuals, as they age. This is why training them when they are puppies is so crucial; they gain respect for those who care for them. In order to avoid aggressive and over-protectiveness as an adult, continuous socialization as early as possible could allow the dog to adjust. When Chow Chows have reached adolescence they reject authority from any other owner who failed to earn its admiration. Aggression can be one distinctive behavioural characteristic in this breed, though while some are of an aggressive nature, many are known to be easy-going in nature - sometimes adopting an aloof disposition to individuals other than their owners. Aggression when it does appear is often towards other dogs of the same sex, especially Chows. Due to their strong hunting instincts, it is recommended that these dogs stay fenced, leashed, and away from cats and small dogs. This is why it is crucial that they are socialized early and consistently in order to act appropriately with strangers. At first, chow chows are very hesitant in interacting with strangers. However, this problem can be avoided if the owners train the chow chow at a young age.

A Chow Chow was featured as the look for for the first 7 years of the websites existance. He lived to be 14 years of age and was one of the best friends one could ask for. He co-existed with other dogs and cats his entire life including eating out of the same food and water dish with the other animals at the same time. While displaying aggression towards strangers he would warm up very quickly to their presence and would look to them for affection.

The Chow Chow can suffer from entropion, glaucoma, juvenile cataracts, lymphoma, hip dysplasia, diabetes mellitus, canine pemphigus, and gastric cancer. Chow Chows are a high risk breed for autoimmune disease and are at a predisposition for skin melanoma. Due to the Chow Chow's thick coat, fleas can be a problem.

he Chow Chow can adapt to life in the city provided he gets out for long, daily walks. Daily brushing and combing is required for this very clean dog. A curry brush is needed during seasonal shedding. The Chow Chow despises being tied up and does not tolerate heat well.

Hunting Dog, Draft Dog, Pet.

Horse Herd