Breed of the Month–Chow Chow

1April 2015

Chow Chow

Color:  Solid color, cream, fawn, blue, red, black.
Height:  Males:  18-22 inches/  Females:  17-20 inches
Weight:  45-70 pounds
Life Span:  13-15 year

Breed Health Concerns:  Hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, elbow dysplasia, ectropion, patellar lunation, and entropion.

Coat:  Two Types:  Rough Coat has dense, straight autocrat with a thick, wooly, soft undercoat.  Smooth Coat has dense, hard, smooth autocrat with definite undercoat.
Country of Origin:  China.

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

The Chow Chow can be traced to 11th century BCE.  Sculptures and pottery from 150 BCE depict Chow-like dogs hunting.  In China, the Chow Chow was considered a delicacy.  Eating the flesh of the dog was (and still is) common.  For many centuries the Chow Chow was not seen outside of China.  Around 1780, sailors smuggled the breed out of the country.  Their popularity quickly increased due to the dog’s unique look and distinguishing features including its blue-black tongue, gums, and lips.  

The Chow Chow is generally aloof with strangers but will typically bong strongly to one person.  It is said that the Chow will not obey his master, but would be ready and willing to die for him.  

Although the Chow Chow does not need a ton of exercise, daily regular walks are important to keep the breed in good shape.

Extra care must be taken to keep the flaps around the dog’s face clean, dry, and free from dirt and debris.  Both coat types of the Chow Chow need regular brushing with a steel comb.  The fur around the Chow Chow’s ears is thick and may trap dirt and also must be kept clean.


The Chow Chow is naturally protective and aloof and must be properly socialized from puppyhood.  The Chow Chow does not like to be pushed, and requires a trainer who is both firm and fair.  Using positive reinforcement training methods for this breed is a must.