Chow Chow Temperament: A Little Dog with a Big Personality

The Chow Chow is undoubtedly a special breed of dog, not just by looks alone. Although their puffy red fur coat does stand out above the rest. Red isn’t the only color you’ll find this adorable dog in, however. The Chow Chow can be found in a rainbow of different fur colors.

The Chow Chow has a rich Chinese history as well as a loving personality that are worth learning about before adopting a Chow Chow as a family pet. Their care needs also need to be considered before adoption. Their voluptuous fur coat will need regular attention, as well as any health issues that could pop up over their lifetime. 


Experts of canine breed origin tell us that the Chow dog breed likely originated in Mongolia and Northern China long long ago. From its lands of origin, the breed was believed to have moved south with nomadic Mongolian tribes as they traveled. Depictions of this easily recognizable breed of dog have been found painted on ancient pottery dating back to the Han Dynasty, which existed around the years 206 B.C and 22 A.D. This ancient dog breed was prized as hunting dogs at the time but unfortunately were also coveted for their soft fur that would be used to line jackets. 

The unique Chow Chow tongue gave this breed a nickname back in this time as well. They were referred to as “the black tongue dog” (hei shi-tou) as well as “wolf dog” (lang gou), names that were inspired by the strangely dark color of their tongue. 

In 1890, the American Kennel Club featured a miscellaneous category in their dog shows. This is the year that the Chow Chow made their first appearance in America, landing themselves in this category at this time. Over the years, the Chow Chow became more and more loved and recognized in the United States.

Fast forward to the United States in the 1920’s and Chow Chows have become a popular canine companion among the rich and famous crowd. Celebrities and political figures all adored this breed and kept one or more as a pet. This might explain their common personality trait of thinking they are the ruler of their home in some cases. 


Some Chow owners have compared the temperament of this breed to that of a lazy cat. The Chow Chow breed is very laid back and aloof, very rarely seen to be an aggressive dog.

They make great guard dogs and are very protective of their human family, however. If a strange person or even animal approaches their home, and their owner is not present and welcoming of this stranger, the Chow will protect its home and act defensive against the foreigner. 

Another great quality about the Chow’s personality is that they are very hygienic and easily trainable. They will love being bathed and groomed regularly. They can even be trained to use a doggy door to go out and do their business as they need to throughout the day. 

The Chow is also known to be rather stubborn at times. If they are left to their own devices, the Chow would come to believe that they run the show and are king (or queen) of the household. Make sense, after their interesting history of being a favorite of the rich and famous crowds of the early 1920’s.


The Chow can come with either a rough or smooth coat of fur, both of which are obviously different from one another. Both require regular grooming to maintain the fur’s health and minimize shedding. The colors of their fur can range from a white chow chow to one that is pitch black, with colors in between such as cinnamon, mahogany, and blue. 

Just like with most other dog breeds with thick coats of fur, the chow chow sheds quite a bit. Their shedding tends to pick up especially during the spring and fall months of the year. Regular grooming will help to decrease the amount of loose fur on their coat as well as around your home. 


The Chow Chow is a generally healthy breed of dog, but just like any other breed, they can face different health problems throughout their lifetime. Normally these problems won’t begin to show themselves until they have reached full maturity. One of the more common problems that Chows can face is Canine Hip Dysplasia. This is a condition where the thigh bone doesn’t fit as well as it should into the socket. It can cause them some discomfort and trouble with mobility. 


The Chow is a special breed of dog, with thick, fluffy fur and tiny squinty eyes. Chows make excellent family pets and will fiercely love and protect their family for their whole life. Chow Chow’s are easily manageable dogs who do need regular grooming and physical activity. However, should be monitored for issues such as Canine Hip Dysplasia which could affect the amount of physical activity, they can partake in. All in all, this dog would make a wonderful addition to most any family that is in search of a loving addition to their household. 

Do chow chows shed?

Chow Chows are in fact very heavy seasonal shedders. They can shed all year round if not kept up with properly, but typically during the spring and fall months of the year you will notice your Chow Chow shedding the most. Its good practice to brush them 3-4 times a week, especially during these times of the year to keep up with their shedding and keep your home free of loose fur.

What is a chow chow?

A Chow Chow is a small, sturdy dog whose breed originated in China. They are well known for their brown to ginger-colored fluffy fur coat. Their deep-set eyes look nearly nonexistent when their fur coat is at its fluffiest.

Are chow chows aggressive?

Chow Chows are generally anti-social when it comes to strangers and have been known to show a more aggressive side when it comes to strange dogs encroaching on their territory. Chow Chows fiercely love their family and will protect them by whatever means necessary.

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Written by Leo Roux

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