Chow Chow


A medium to large sized Chow Chow
Chow Chow Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)18-22in (46-56cm)
Weight45-70lbs (20-31kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan10-14 years
Energy LevelLow
Litter size3-6
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Chow Chow is a solid and sturdy dog with a deep body and almost nearly straight back legs that gives it a rather crooked gait. The head is wide with small ears and quite a dopey facial expression, and noticeably, a blue tongue. This dog comes in two varieties: the rough coat variety and the smooth coat variety. The rough coat variety has a dense, coarse and rough coat, and there is a distinctive ruff around the neck giving the appearance of a small lion. The smooth coat variety has a soft undercoat with a thicker outercoat, without any ruff. The colouring ranges from cream to red, black and blue.


Chow Chows are faithful, dignified and often serious dogs. Although generally well-mannered, they are intelligent and can be bossy and very strong-willed, and although this can make training difficult, housebreaking is normally quite easy. These dogs normally pick out a single master and can be reserved around other family members. And as they have territorial instincts, they need to be socialised early to ensure they have even temperaments and stable personalities. For these reasons they are best suited to more experienced dog owners. Chow Chows get on well with children they are raised with, and with older, more considerate children, but they need to be supervising around other animals as they can be aggressive towards dogs and cats. Around strangers they tend to be reserved and wary, which is probably due to their protective streak, which also make them effective watchdogs.

History & Skills

Chow Chows origins are a little unclear but have been known to the Chinese for at least a thousand years, and are thought to be Spitz-like. In China they were used for for guarding, herding, hunting, and even for food. In addition their coats were also used for making clothes. First introduced in the UK in the late 1700s, these days they are popular companion dogs and still retain some of their ancient guarding skills.

Breed Specific Ailments

Chow Chows tend to live between 10-14 years and have a number of health problems, which includes hip dysplasia, entropion, allergies, skin conditions, sensitivity to chemicals and medications, glaucoma, thyroid problems, and renal cortical hypoplasia. They can overheat due to their thick coats and are also susceptible to obesity.


The grooming requirements for Chow Chows depend upon which variety is being dealt with, and both are medium shedders. The coat of the rough coated variety will need brushing twice a week, and more often during heavier shedding. The coat of the smooth coated variety will need brushing at least once a week. Both can be dry shampood when required.

Exercise & Environment

Chow Chows tend to live indoors are not high energy dogs. They will need brisk, daily walks and access to a yard or garden area. These dogs are sensitive to heat.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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