Description: The Chow is a member of the spitz family and has been native to China for more than 2000 years. They are a masterpiece of beauty and dignity, unique in their blue-black tongue. Chows carry a reputation of been aggressive, but this is undeserved though they are a tenacious fighter if provoked. To their owners and family they are friendly and faithful but strangers beware, making them an excellent guard dog. Because of their thick coat they are unsuited for hot climates. New owners should be prepared for coat care and socialization of their new Chow puppy. Chow Chows should not be left alone in the backyard.
Type: Northern Breed
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 their legs and tail.
Temperament: Chow Chows are alert, independent, strong-willed
With Children: With mature children only.
With Pets: May be aggressive toward other dogs and cats; supervision may be required.
Special Skills: In the past, a hunting dog. Today, a family pet.
Guard-dog: Yes - excellent. They are haughty, and will guard food, bones, toys and their areas of the house.
Care and Training: Regular grooming of the Chow is necessary because of their dense coat to prevent matting. Extra care is needed during shedding. Dry shampoo when necessary. Professional grooming is suggested to give Chows 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. They can be a challenge to train because of their strong-will. Training should begin early as a puppy.
Learning Rate: High intelligence, good trainability if positive reinforcement is used, low in obedience.
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: The name Chow Chow is from the Cantonese word for food. Developed by either the Siberians or Mongolians they probably began when primitive spitz types were crossed with eastern Mastiff-type dogs. Original used as a temple guard dog, they 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.
First Registered by the AKC: 1903
AKC Group: Non-Sporting
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC (GB), UKC