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Chow Chow
Chow Chow

Country of Origin: China

Group: Spitz and Primitive types

Section: Asian Spitz and related breeds

Original Function: guardian, cart puller, food source

Todays Function: companion

Dimension Male: 46-56 cm

Dimension Female: 46-56 cm

Weight Male: 20-32 kg

Weight Female: 20-32 kg

Litter Size: 4-6 puppies

Life span: 8-12 years

Other Names: none

Colors: While the Chow Chow is known to come in solid red, cinnamon and cream, black or blue, it can also be

Living: The Chow is said to do well in apartment sized living spaces with sufficient exercise but will likel



The two most distinctive features of the Chow Chow are its blue-black tongue and its almost straight hind legs, which makes it walk rather stilted. Its dense furry coat is profuse and comes in two varieties, smooth coat and rough coat. The most common colors are solid red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream, but it can also come in tan, gray, or (rarely) white. The coat sometimes has lighter or darker shades, but is never parti-colored. The ears are small and rounded and there is a huge ruff behind the head, which gives it a lion like appearance. Its head is broad and its skull is flat. The muzzle is broad near the eyes and narrows toward a black nose without becoming pointed. The chest is broad and deep and the kidney area is short and strong. The tail is thickly covered with hair and is carried over its back.


Dignified, even lordly, the chow chow conducts itself with reserve. It is not very demonstrative, even with its family, and is somewhat suspicious of strangers. It is independent and stubborn. It can be aggressive toward other dogs but is generally good with other household pets. It is serious and protective, devoted to its family.


This is an alert breed that needs regular, but not strenuous, outdoor activity. It does not do well in hot humid weather. Its needs are best met with casual morning or evening walks in warm weather or several short play sessions throughout the day. It can live outdoors in temperate or cool weather, but it is best allowed to stay inside during warm weather. The smooth type needs brushing once weekly; the rough type needs brushing every other day, and daily when shedding.


Regular brushings of the long coat is important to maintain the lifted, standing-out look. This breed is a seasonal heavy shedder and extra care is needed when the dog is shedding its dense undercoat. Dry shampoo when necessary.


Major concerns: CHD, entropion

Minor concerns: elbow dysplasia, cataract, distichiasis, PPM, gastric torsion, stenotic nares, patellar luxation, elongated palate

Occasionally seen: renal cortical hypoplasia

Suggested tests: hip, elbow, eye