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Chow Chow

Chowchow

A Big Fluffy Protector

Devoted, dignified, independent

Chow Chows are headstrong, intelligent, and clean large dogs. This independent breed is typically wary of strangers and other dogs. Chows do not do well in the heat, so life in cool climates is ideal for these dogs. Chows are easily housebroken and make great companions for singles and experienced dog handlers. These devoted family dogs need regular, but not strenuous, outdoor exercise.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:17-20 in. Weight:45-70 lb Lifespan:11-12 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
4

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
1

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
2

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
1

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Chow Chows are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and short play sessions. They can be sensitive to warm temperatures; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.

Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

Dental: Chow Chows generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

The Chow Chow has a cat-like nature. She is dignified, clean, and reserved with affection. They like to take it easy when not engaged in activity.

Positive Traits:

  • Confident and self-reliant

  • Even-tempered; adapts to a wide variety of environments

  • Quiet—not much of a barker

  • Formidable guard dog; highly territorial

  • Docile and devoted

  • Requires minimal exercise

Negative Traits:
  • Independent and headstrong

  • Doesn’t respond to training quickly

  • Can have an unstable temperament if not bred properly, including excessive barking, hyperactivity, or aggression

  • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly

  • Doesn’t do well in the heat

  • May need supervision around children


Whether you are considering adding a new Chow Chow to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Chow Chow will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Coated Chow Chow you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Chow Chow could encounter:

The Chow Chow is an ancient breed that originated in China as an all-purpose dog used in hunting, herding, pulling, and protection. The Chow is known for their characteristic blue-black tongue, stilted gait, and extra-thick fur around the neck. In China they are known as Songshi Quan or "Puffy Lion Dog."

Chows are an intelligent breed that is also stubborn and a challenge to train. They are very clean, so it very easy to housebreak a Chow. The Chow Chow is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-12 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Chow Chow shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Greasy poops, weight loss, dry flaking coat

  • Care

    Routine Care: Chow Chows are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and short play sessions. They can be sensitive to warm temperatures; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.

    Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

    Dental: Chow Chows generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    The Chow Chow has a cat-like nature. She is dignified, clean, and reserved with affection. They like to take it easy when not engaged in activity.

    Positive Traits:

    • Confident and self-reliant

    • Even-tempered; adapts to a wide variety of environments

    • Quiet—not much of a barker

    • Formidable guard dog; highly territorial

    • Docile and devoted

    • Requires minimal exercise

    Negative Traits:
    • Independent and headstrong

    • Doesn’t respond to training quickly

    • Can have an unstable temperament if not bred properly, including excessive barking, hyperactivity, or aggression

    • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly

    • Doesn’t do well in the heat

    • May need supervision around children


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Chow Chow to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Chow Chow will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Coated Chow Chow you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Chow Chow could encounter:

  • History

    The Chow Chow is an ancient breed that originated in China as an all-purpose dog used in hunting, herding, pulling, and protection. The Chow is known for their characteristic blue-black tongue, stilted gait, and extra-thick fur around the neck. In China they are known as Songshi Quan or "Puffy Lion Dog."

    Chows are an intelligent breed that is also stubborn and a challenge to train. They are very clean, so it very easy to housebreak a Chow. The Chow Chow is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-12 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Chow Chow shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Greasy poops, weight loss, dry flaking coat

Chow Chow Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Chow Chow breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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