Chow Chow: Dog Breed Facts & Information

Chow Chow is a bear dog from China with a very charismatic temperament. This is representative of one of the oldest breeds. The owners of such pets speak with one voice – the Chow Chow is a very difficult dog that requires a special approach. But if contact is established, then the dog will be a devoted and loyal friend, vigilant guard, and companion.

Origin of the Breed

Scientists conducted a series of DNA analyzes and found out an amazing thing – dogs of this breed were among the first to evolve from their wild ancestors – wolves. It happened in the Chinese and Mongolian steppes. A little later, these dogs began to be used as guards, sled dogs, for hunting, and reindeer herding. The pure blood of the breed was supported by Buddhist monks, they were also engaged in breeding them and recorded data that can be called a genealogical book.

The blood was refreshed, but breeders from other monasteries were used for this. The author of the first description of dogs of this breed, which came to the territory of Europe, was a traveler from Italy Marco Polo. Due to the fact that China was in voluntary isolation for a long time, dogs of this breed entered European countries only in the 30s of the 19th century.

Modern Chow Chows are the result of painstaking selection work of the British, they made the dogs more decorative, although the working qualities were preserved.

Breed Characteristics

Representatives of this breed have a well-balanced body, the appearance of a lion, they are stately and with all their appearance they show that they are proud of their appearance and have a sense of their own dignity. A special feature of the breed is a purple tongue and an interesting gait – the dog seems to move on stilts.

According to the standard, a thoroughbred pet should look like this:

  • The Chow-Chow’s head is large, with a flat skull. The dog’s lobe is large, wide, almost always pigmented in black. In dogs with a white or fawn shade of the coat, its light coloration is allowed, and in dogs of blue and red color, it is natural. The muzzle is wide and does not taper to the lobe, as in many breeds, the lips and palate are painted bluish-black.
  • The jaws are strong, with healthy, white teeth forming a regular, scissor bite.
  • The eyes are small in size, oval in shape, with a dark iris. The auricles are medium in size, fleshy, with rounded ends, standing upright.
  • The back is short, straight. The ribcage is broad, powerful, with well-sprung ribs, but not barrel-shaped.
  • The tail, set high, is thrown over the back.
  • The forelegs are straight, with muscular. The hind ones are characterized by well-developed muscles. Paws on the “cat type” – small, rounded, standing on the toes.

The dog has a peculiar “stilted” gait, a short, shallow step. In long-haired Chow Chows, the coat is rather long, slightly coarse, it is dense and uniform, the undercoat is abundant, soft, and fluffy. On the neck, the coat is elongated, forms a rich collar, the same is observed on the limbs, forming abundant trousers in the dog. In the short-haired breed, the coat is short, thick, plush, the guard hair is straight, not adjacent to the skin.


In total, there are 5 types of wool color:

  • Red. Varies from dark mahogany to light golden red with white markings on the tail, limbs, and neck. Red-colored puppies are born with mouse-brown coats and often with a dark mask. As the dog grows up, the mask disappears.
  • Black. Most dogs of this color are monochromatic. However, silver-colored wool is found in the tail or trousers. Dogs kept outdoors can become chocolate-colored, a phenomenon called “rust”. But experts warn that there is no separate chocolate color for this breed of dogs.
  • Cream. In most cases, this is an ivory shade, very close to milky and even white. But with age in some dogs, it can darken to a yellow-brown hue.
  • Blue. The coat is steel-gray, silvery shades are possible. Tones range from dark blue-gray to light bluish silver. Individuals with this color have a mask of the color of “salt and pepper”, as there is wool on the limbs. This is the only Chow Chow where a black nose is optional, however, brown is not allowed.
  • Cinnamon. The color of the coat, which is difficult to describe. There are several variations of it – from light beige tones, with an admixture of gray or pink, to dark shades that do not reach the intensity of red. Dogs with a similar color have masks on their muzzle.

The ability of the representatives of this breed to change the color of the coat with age, at times, misleads inexperienced dog breeders who incorrectly assess the color of pets. In this case, it is recommended to seek the advice of experienced breeders.

Nature of the Breed

If we talk briefly about the nature of the Chow Chow, then these are independent, rather arrogant dogs, possessing an innate distrust of strangers. They are so confident in themselves and love to dominate that they do not strongly favor other dogs and often show aggression towards them. To smooth out such character traits, it is worth raising a pet from an early age.

Most often, in a family, a dog chooses a master to whom it will then obey, but on condition that a person can show that he is a leader in the family. The dog will show friendliness to the rest, but nothing more. Chow-Chow is not a nanny, she is indifferent to children, but she will not allow herself to be mocked.

The pet never imposes his company, in this matter he is extremely delicate, but he can “pity” the owner if he gets upset. If the dog growls, then he is most likely dissatisfied with something, and in the opposite situation you can hear a bear grunt from him. People who do not lead an active lifestyle can raise a puppy of this breed, since the Chow Chow does not need long, too active walks. Communication of children with Chow Chow should be supervised by adults, but you can entrust the dog to adolescents from 14-15 years old, but not earlier.

Chow Chow Care

The coat of thoroughbred dogs needs compulsory care. To make the fur look well-groomed and not fall into lumps, it is enough to thoroughly comb it 2-3 times a month using a massage brush with stiff bristles. Chow Chows are not big water lovers, therefore they do not climb into puddles and reservoirs, as a result of which they are not often polluted. They are rarely bathed, always in warm water and using special detergents.

Dogs molt in a standard way – every six months – in spring and autumn, and given their rich fur coat, this process is quite intense. So that the apartment has as little wool as possible, during these periods it is better to comb your pet more often. Chow Chow’s nails are soft and require regular cutting every 3-4 weeks. The ears should be examined weekly, but cleaned with a sanitary napkin no more than once a month.

Chow Chows are suitable for both outdoor and home keeping, with the first option being preferable. Yet the dog is not small and needs a spacious room or yard. In the hot summer period, you need to take care of a place where the dog could hide from the sun, avoiding sun and heat stroke.

Even if the dog is kept outdoors, he still needs regular daily walks. In addition, it is necessary to periodically release the pet from the leash in a safe place so that it frolic, especially if it is an apartment dog.

Chow Chow is a beautiful dog with amazing appearance. But it is not recommended to acquire such a four-legged friend based only on these data. Representatives of this breed are stubborn, and even arrogant, and in order for the dog to fully trust, you will have to work hard. If you are ready for this, then you can start looking for a suitable nursery.

Read Also: What to Feed a Chow Chow?


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