Country of Origin: China
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 75 of 196
AKC Classification: Non-sporting
UKC Classification: Northern Breeds
Exercise Requirements: <20 minutes/day
Height: Female: 17-18 inches, Male: 18-20 inches
Weight: Female: 45-70 lbs, Male: 45-70 lbs
Energy Level: Laid Back
Tendency to Drool: Moderate
Tendency to Snore: Moderate to high
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Low
Life Expectancy: 8-12 years
Physical traits: Sturdy, Powerful, Deep-chested aristocrat
Personality traits/Temperament: Dignified, Bright, Serious-Minded
Characteristics: Double coat, straight
Colors: Red, black, blue, cinnamon, cream
Overall Grooming Needs: High
The Chow Chow is a Spitz-type dog originated from China and adapted for life to survive in a cold climate. Chow Chow is capable of hunting, herding, pulling a cart or other vehicle, and guarding the home. They are a square dog with post-like straight legs that contribute to a stilted gait. The body is compact, broad, and deep, the tail bushy, and curls over the back and the legs are strong, muscular. Their head is large and broad with erect ears, small eyes that are deeply set into the face giving them a poor vision.
The Chow Chow was originally bred in China, but the exact history of the dog's origins is unknown. They have been exported to other parts of Asia, Europe and North America. The Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They are also registered as one of the 18 most ancient breeds with uninterrupted lineage from ancient times. They were most likely bred as a working dog to hunt and guard livestock. Today, the Chow Chow is still used for those same purposes in addition to being a companion.
The Chow Chow has a unique temperament. They are aloof with strangers and prefers to be independent, but it is also very loyal to its family. The Chow Chow may not be the best dog for everyone because it needs space and time alone. Some people might find their independent nature unnerving, so if you want a dog who likes to follow you around, then this breed might not be for you. Meantime, if you are looking for someone to protect your home or accompany you on adventures outside of the house, then the Chow Chow is an excellent choice because they are extremely protective and vigilant. The breed will typically bark when it senses that something is wrong and will act as a guard dog without much training, making them a great option for homeowners who can't afford or don't want to invest in security systems. The breed needs good socialization as puppies so they grow up friendly towards other dogs and people. This way, the dog will be less likely to become aggressive with other animals or humans when it becomes an adult. They may be challenging to adopt if you do not have previous experience with dogs.
The Chow Chow breed is not easy to train. In fact, they are one of the few breeds that actually cannot be trained by using traditional methods. You will need to use a lot of patience and consistent training to get them used to your commands. However, that means you can use positive reinforcement techniques like treats so they understand what you want from them. Another challenge is their exercise needs. The Chow Chow breed does not need a lot of exercise but it does require a lot more than other breeds do. They will need at least an hour of exercise daily or else they may become destructive in your home. If you are unable to provide this much exercise for your Chow Chow, keep in mind that it might become very difficult for you to live with the dog as their temperament gets worse over time if their needs are not met.
The Chow Chow is a breed that often does not bond well with strangers. They are notorious for being stubborn and refusing to listen to what the owner says. As such, they may not be the best breed for families with small children, or elderly people who need assistance from their dog. The chow chow tends to demonstrate an independent nature in terms of training. They are intelligent, but if they don’t want to do something you ask them to do, then it will be a challenge for you to persuade them otherwise.
Chow Chow is typically a healthy breed with no major problems. The breed has a characteristic blue-black tongue, which can make them prone to oral diseases so it’s important to keep their mouth clean and teeth brushed regularly. Chow Chows also have a drooping skin on their face called saggy cheeks which makes them susceptible to eye, ear, and respiratory problems. This is especially important as the breed ages as these health problems become more common as well. A responsible breeder needs to check certain issues like eyelid entropion, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies, and thyroid function. These issues may be minimized by health screening and regular health care and can be diagnosed and managed with veterinary care.
Chow Chows have a double coat. The outer coat is coarse and straighter than the undercoat which is soft and slightly longer. As with other breeds, they require grooming two to three times a week. They should be brushed while they are dry and in motion to avoid matting or tangling.
The Chow Chow is a loyal and loving breed. They are great for children and families, but require a lot of attention because of their stubbornness. If you want a loyal companion who will be your best friend and never leave your side, the Chow Chow may be the right dog for you!