Dog Profiles - Description of Chow Chow

Chow Chow

Description: The Chow Chow is a member of the spitz family and has been native to China for more than 2000 years. He is a masterpiece of beauty and dignity, unique in his blue-black tongue. Chows carry a reputation of being aggressive, but this is undeserved, though he is a tenacious fighter if provoked. To their owners and family they are friendly and faithful but strangers beware, making him an excellent guard dog. Because of his thick coat he is unsuited for hot climates. New owners should be prepared for coat care and socialization of their new Chow puppy. He should not be left alone in the backyard.

Height: 18-22 inches

Weight: 45-75 lbs.

Colors: Black, red, blue, fawn and cream.

Coat: Rough, abundant, dense and coarse with a pronounced ruff around head and neck. Smooth, has a hard dense outer coat with a soft undercoat with no ruff or feathering on his legs and tail.

Temperament: Alert, independent, strong-willed. Good with mature children only. May be aggressive toward other dogs and cats. Supervision may be required. In the past, a hunting dog. Today, a family pet. Good watch-dog. Excellent guard-dog. He is haughty, and will guard food, bones, toys and his areas of the house.

Care and Exercise: Regular grooming is necessary because of his dense coat to prevent matting. Extra care is needed during shedding. Dry shampoo when necessary. Professional grooming is suggested to give him the lion clip look. Chows have a tendency to be lazy but will be a healthier dog if given regular exercise like a good daily walk.

Training: He could be a challenge to train because of his strong-will. Training should begin early as a puppy. Learning Rate: High. Good trainability if positive reinforcement is used, low in obedience.

Activity: Low

Living Environment: House with a fenced yard; daily exercise and attention.

Health Issues: Entropion, hip dysplasia.

Life Span: 12-15 Years

Litter Size: 3-6

Country of Origin: China

History: His name Chow Chow is from the Cantonese word for food. Developed by either the Siberians or Mongolians he probably began when primitive spitz types were crossed with eastern Mastiff-type dogs. Original used as a temple guard dog, he later became favored as a hunting dog of the Chinese emperors. The blue-black tongue Chows appeared in Great Britain by the late 18th century.

Registration: ACA, AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC(GB), UKC