- Group – Non Sporting
- Height – 17-20 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 20-32 KG
- Life Span – 8-12 years
The Chow Chow is a powerful and strong dog, probably best suited for an experienced and patient dog owner. He can be proud and strong-willed, but a loyal companion when given the chance.
The Chow Chow is thought to be well over 2000 years old. The breed theoretically originated from a cross of the old Tibetan Mastiff and the Samoyed in the northern parts of Siberia, and it resembles both of those breeds. However, others note the unique blue-black tongue and speculate that this is one of the “basic” canine breeds, ancestors of the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Keeshond and Pomeranian, which are of similar type. Regardless of ancestry, the Chow Chow was for centuries a sporting dog in China much favored by emperors and wealthy sportsmen. Chows have been used as both scenting dogs and pointers, with great speed and stamina that is particularly useful in hunting birds. They also historically were used for herding, pulling and protection. In early China, the Chow was an important source of food and fur for what is described as a protein-starved culture. They were considered a dietary delicacy, and their skin was used for clothing.
Chows reportedly were first imported into England in about 1780, when a member of the East India Company brought a pair back from China as “curiosities.” In 1828, the breed developed popularity when the London Zoo recorded the arrival of some “Wild Dogs of China,” called the “Black-Mouthed Chinese Dogs.” The status of the Chow grew due to the interest of Queen Victoria, who fancied them as pets. The first English breed club was founded in 1895, and the Chow was first exhibited in the United States in 1890, taking a third place in the Miscellaneous class at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Chow Chow breed in 1903. The Chow Chow Club of America was admitted as the AKC parent club in 1906. While primarily a companion dog today, the working origin of this breed must be considered at all time.
Personality and Temperament
Chow Chows are independent dogs, known for their calm and vigilant nature. They often try to dominate other dogs.
This breed is very domineering around other dogs, but they are usually good with children. They need to be well socialized with other household pets early in life and are cautious with strangers.
Hair, Care and Grooming
It can have either a rough coat, which is straight and off-standing, or a smooth coat, which is hard and smooth; both coat types have wooly undercoat. The Chow Chow requires regular and very thorough brushing. The smooth type needs brushing once weekly.
This breed may have hip dysplasia and is prone to suffer eye irritation (entropion), caused by eyelid abnormalities.
Training and Activity
This breed requires very firm and consistent training as they tend to be quite stubborn.
The Chow Chow does not require a large amount of exercise, but does prefer to be outdoors.
Considering the medium stature of Chow Chows, they still don’t have to eat a whole lot, even if they appear to want to. Remember that a dog of this size will require a comparatively small diet – in other words, don’t always try to feed it human meals. Nutritious, whole foods are a must-have for just about any dog, including healthy and lean meats.