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Chow Chow Dog Breed Information

General Information:

Height: 17-20 inches from shoulder
Weight: 40-70 lbs.
Life Span: 12-15 years
Coloring: Black, Blue, Cinnamon, Cream, Red
Area of Origin: China
Similar Breeds: American Eskimo Dog, Finnish Spitz, Keeshound, Schipperke, Shiba Inu


History and Origin:

The Chow Chow is an ancient dog breed that has existed for over 2,000 years. Originally, the dogs were used for sport, but are now mostly kept as companions or watchdogs. Chows were first introduced to England in the late 19th century, and their popularity quickly increased after Queen Victoria became interested in the breed. The dogs were first shown in the U.S. in 1890, and the first club dedicated to the breed was established in 1895. The AKC accepted the breed in 1903, and officially recognized The Chow Chow Club of America three years later.

Personality and Temperament:

The Chow Chow’s personality can be described as; independent, headstrong, intelligent, and loyal. They love spending quality time with their family, and are usually accepting of strangers once they’re welcomed into the home by the owners. However, they are often times aloof with unfamiliar people, especially when proper training has not been provided. As far as children go, they don’’t tolerate rough play very well, but may do okay with older children that they’ve been brought up with. When socialized at a young age, they may also get along well with other pets, although there is an increased risk of fights if there are other dogs in the household that are the same gender.

Exercise & Training:

Just like with every other dog, Chows also need exercise in order to remain fit and healthy. The good news is that they do just fine with 15 minutes of exercise daily such as walking or jogging. Owners must keep in mind that these dogs are “heat intolerant” due to their thick fur, and have a higher risk of heat stroke. For this reason, it is best to exercise early in the morning or late in evening, when it’s not as hot outside. Chows are smart dogs, and are usually easy to train with the help of positive reinforcement and verbal corrections if necessary. Hitting is never okay, especially when training these dogs, as they are a proud breed that isn’t typically submissive. In fact, using physical force will only lead to aggressiveness, anxiety, destructiveness, and other unwanted behavior in the dog. As long as the owner establishes a pack leader role and is consistent early on, there shouldn’t be an issue with training.


Both of the coat varieties (smooth and rough) in the Chow have an undercoat as well as a top coat. They both also shed quite a bit twice a year; to the extent that the hair may fall out in clumps. Those with a smooth coat require weekly brushing, while the rough variety needs to be brushed every three days. Baths don’t have to be given frequently; however, as long as mild dog shampoo is used, they can be given more often to get rid of the dead hair.

Similar Breeds:

Dog breeds similar to the Chow Chow include; American Eskimo Dog, Finnish Spitz, Keeshound, Schipperke, Shiba Inu, American Akita, Eurasier, Icelandic Sheepdog, Karelian Bear Dog, Norwegian Elkhound, Siberian Husky, and West Siberian Laika.

Interesting Facts about the Chow Chow:

1. In Chinese, Chow Chows are called “Songshi Quan,” which translates to “puffy lion dog.”

2. Chows are born with a pink tongue, but it turns into a black/bluish color by the time they reach two months of age.

3. Some famous Chow owners include; Sigmund Freud, Martha Stewart, Calvin Coolidge, Vanna Bonta, Janet Jackson, Lillian Disney (Walt Disney’s wife), Konrad Lorenz, and Mario Balotelli.

Organizations dedicated to the Chow Chow:

The Chow Chow Club, Inc. – Chow Welfare and Rescue
Chow Chow Welfare
Chow Dog Rescue

Breeds Similar to Chow Chow Dogs:

Breed Information Chow Chow