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                             Chow Chow

Chow Profile

Other Names : Chow  Chow

Country of origin: China

Dog Group Kennel Club:  Utility

General appearance:

In Mongolia and Northern China where the Chow Chow originates from, it is referred to as Songshi Quan which translates to puffy lion dog. This is a very accurate description of the dog's appearance.  It's compact and well balanced with its tail carried high over its back. It also has a very dense coat with thick fur around the neck giving it a mane like appearance. Chow Chows also have a blue-black tongue. The Chow Chow has an abundant and profuse double coat that comes in two different varieties: smooth or rough. The most common coat colors are red, black, blue, tan, and grey. They are never parti-colored. The Chow is a heavy seasonal shedder.


Whole colours like red, cream, white, black, blue and fawn.  Chow Chows come in smooth and rough coated varieties.


Bitch             46cm - 51cm  
Dog                48cm - 56cm


                             Min                      Max

Bitch             20kg (44lbs)     25kg (55lbs) 
Dog               26kg (57lbs)     32kg (71lbs)


Chow Chows are independent and loyal but can also be difficult to train. They can be wary of strangers and don't always get on with other dogs. They can become attached to one person and do have a tendency to snap or bite if they feel they or their owner is threatened.  Breeders have improved the temperaments over recent years and many bad tempered Chows are thought to be that way due to lack of proper training and socialisation when young. As long as they are introduced to cats and other household pets when young, problems can be prevented.


Stilted and short.

Care and Training:

The Chow Chow requires daily brushing. Proper grooming is essential to keeping their coat in peak condition. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. The Chow does not do well in warm climates. Grooming should be started at an early age as, when it is an adult, it may be done on a daily basis.

The Chow Chow requires intense, extensive, and ongoing training in both socialization and obedience. They need to be taught at an early age as to who the master is or they will take over. They require firmness, fairness, and consistency. The Chow is highly talented as a watchdog or guard dog. They are very clean dogs and are therefore very easy to housetrain. They must be socialised from a very early age as they can become willful and unmanageable.

Overall Exercise  40 - 60 minutes per day.
The Chow Chow does not require a lot of exercise but they do like the outdoors, and are quite happy doing their own thing in the back garden. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint related health problems in later life therefore during adolescence exercise must be monitored closely.

Feeding Requirements:

The Chow is prone to bloat so should be fed twice daily, instead of one large meal once a day.

Exercise: Med

Grooming: High

Noise: Low

Personal Protection: High

Suitability As Guard Dog: High

Level of Aggression: Medium

Compatibility With Other Animals: Medium

Suitablity for Children: Medium

Often docked? No

Average Litter Size: 5

Life Expectancy (yrs): 14

History:  The name Chow Chow has two different theories behind it: one theory being that it came from the Chinese word "chou", meaning "edible". The other, more common theory of the name was the pidgin-English word that sailors used for various miscellaneous knick-knacks on ships, "chow-chow". Chows were commonly used as food and were probably imported elsewhere in the world through ships, thus earning them their name. Developed by either the Siberians or Mongolians, they probably began when primitive spitz-type dogs were crossed with eastern Mastiff-type dogs. Regardless, Chows have been known throughout Asia for as long as 2000 years. During the Han dynasty 150 B.C., bas relief and pottery art showed images of dogs that much resembled Chows. The dog was also referred to as the Tartar dog, or Dog of the Barbarians, because of the 11th century Tartar hordes that invaded China, although information on this theory was not easily attainable, considering how art and literature was often destroyed during emperor successions. But in 700 AD the T'ang emperor advertised a kennel of 5000 Chow Chows. Chows were originally used as temple guard dogs. They later became favored as a hunting dog of the Chinese emperors, and then as the delicacy all across Mongolia and Manchuria. The blue-black tongue Chows appeared in Great Britain by the late 18th century in 1760,and the first was exhibited in the London Zoo as the "Wild Dog of China".


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