Everything You Need To Know About the Chow Chow Dog Breed

Chow Chow dogs are some of the most exciting pets around. The thick fur coat, combined with a "lion-esque" look, makes this dog an attractive option. There isn't another dog type quite like the ancient Chow Chow dog breed in the world.

However, this dog's personality and care profile are as unique as its appearance. If you're interested in the Chow Chow dog breed and want to know more about it, read on for everything you need to know about this fascinating pup.

A Brief History of the Chow Chow Dog Breed

Nobody knows with 100% certainty where this breed originated. There is some speculation that this dog originated 8,300 years ago from Chinese indigenous dogs around the Yangtze River. Others speculate that their emergence was much more recent at 2,000-3,000 years ago. Most people hypothesize that this breed has not evolved too much beyond then, so the Chow Chow you have today is the same type that people had many thousands of years ago.

This fun fact means that the Chow Chow is not only an excellent dog to have but also a fun artifact of history!

Chow Chow Appearance

The Chow Chow is a remarkably striking dog. Some people even refer to it as the "blue tongue dog," due to its characteristic blue-black tongue (only the Shar-Pei has this type of tongue). It is a very sturdy dog with a square profile. Its giant skull, pointy ears, and dense double orange and white Chow Chow fur coat make it look a little like a lion, making them great guard dogs

According to the American Kennel Club, "the Chow is a masterpiece of beauty, dignity, and naturalness." This sentiment is true. Photos don't quite capture the magnificence of this dog. Seeing it in person is a fantastic sight!

Chow Chow Temperament

If you're looking at getting a Chow Chow dog, the first thing you'll probably encounter is a bunch of articles telling you that the Chow Chow has a problematic temperament. Although this sentiment is technically correct, it doesn't tell the whole story. People keep Chow Chows most commonly as pets. If they were genuinely this aggressive, nobody would want them!

The key to having these dogs is to train them when they're young. Chow Chows are fiercely protective of their family and their owners' property. Instead of the word "aggressive," think of this dog as being "assertive." It tends to assert its will relatively often.

They will have strong loyalty bonds to family members, although they may prefer one or two people as they age. They're quiet, well-behaved dogs by nature. You just need to train them well to overcome their naturally stubborn side.

Given the Chow Chow temperament, they are not the best dogs for homes with children. However, you should also not be scared of having one of these dogs either. With the right training, this dog will be a delightful companion.

Chow Chow Dog Breed: What Do These Dogs Eat?

Chow Chows do not have any specific dietary requirements. You can feed your dog any standard, medium-sized breed dog food that you find at your local pet store, or you can feed them natural dog food that are homemade. Usually, Taste of the Wild or Blue Buffalo makes quality foods that you can buy for a reasonable price.

As for treats, avoid sugary substances and giving them leftovers from your meals. Doing so will quickly raise their cholesterol and glucose levels, leading to obesity and diabetes, just as it would in humans.

Instead, you can give them fruits like this DIY Berry Ice Treats for Dogs. Don't give your Chow Chow chocolate. It contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to Chow Chows in large enough quantities.

Give treats that are specifically for dogs. You can find these at the pet store. If you want to give your dog treats from your diet, consider leaner meats and proteins to avoid your Chow Chow gaining unnecessary weight and having potential health problems later on in life. 

How Long Do These Dogs Live?

When it comes to their life expectancy, Chow Chows tend to live 9-15 years, although certain illnesses could take a Chow Chow sooner. Conversely, Chow Chows can live longer through a mix of good genes, a healthy diet, and lots of exercises. 

The oldest Chow Chow to ever live was at least 21 years old. This record was quite a while ago. However, there have been no reports of any Chow Chows living longer since then.

Where Can I Get a Chow Chow?

If you're interested in the Chow Chow dog breed, you should first check your local pet shelters to see if you can get one for adoption. Adopting a Chow Chow is a fantastic way to give the dog a second chance at a beautiful home and an enjoyable life.

However, Chow Chows are somewhat obscure dogs, so don't be surprised if your local shelter doesn't have them (or they only have mixed-breeds). If you can't find one for adoption, you can get them from a breeder at a cost between $800 and $1,200. If the puppy came from a strong bloodline that has won competitions, the puppy might even go for $3,000 or more. 

Chow Chows Make Wonderful Pets

The Chow Chow dog breed has been a companion to humans for thousands of years, and that won't stop any time soon. If the Chow Chow interests you, go ahead and take the plunge. With the right training, grooming, and lots of love and affection, these furry canines will make perfect companions for your family!

Do Chow Chows shed?

Chow Chows are a very heavy shedding dog breed. They shed significant quantities of fur seasonally. As such, you can expect some months when they'll be shedding more than others.

Are Chow Chows mean?

Chow Chow dogs are not mean in the sense that they are not aggressive. They are "reserved around strangers and tend to be very protective of family members." With enough training, though, they can become delightful pets.

How big do Chow Chows get?

The Chow Chow dog breed is a medium size. They'll grow between 17 and 20 inches tall and weigh somewhere between 50 and 75 pounds. Chow Chows aren't small dogs, but they're not big - they're the perfect size for many pet owners.

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Written by Leo Roux


we have had chows in our home since 1995. our longest living was a 14 year old male. we are hooked on chows! they are beautiful, bright and well behaved. they require dedicated training early on. we LOVE our chows

brenda on Mar 14, 2021

we have had chows in our home since 1995. our longest living was a 14 year old male. we are hooked on chows! they are beautiful, bright and well behaved. they require dedicated training early on. we LOVE our chows

brenda on Mar 14, 2021

I’ve had 3 Chow Chows through the years. They are very good and loyal dogs. I raised them all from pups but the Male seem to be less aggressive than the Females, but please be sure to get your Male dog neutered because he will run and try everything to escape when females come into heat.

Donnie T FLUELLEN on Mar 07, 2021

They are great dogs I have had them for 25 years totally one of the best.

Darwin Daniel on Mar 04, 2021

I grew up with chows & have been a pet mom to 3. They were all wonderful friends to me. They are very protective of the family as a whole & usually more so of one person in the family. They are good with children as long as the child was there when the chow was a puppy. My parents had one that would not let anyone mess with any of the 4 kids.

Janice on Mar 01, 2021

How to get one?

Frantz Gabriel on Feb 22, 2021

I’ve owned Chow Chows for years they are beautiful dogs but should be owned by people that have experience with the breed or training. Chow Chows definitely are not for a first dog owner . They are NOT good with children. And should be in a home with one or two people. They don’t like commotion and do well in quiet calm homes .

Denise on Feb 15, 2021

I going get me a chow chow

Janice mosier on Feb 15, 2021

I had a Chow Chow and he was wonderful and Super smart. A great comparison and protector. He lived 14 1/2 years.

Jerie on Feb 07, 2021

I never had a dog in my life. when i saw the chow i want to have one. I will ditched my boyfriend for chow.

Nena on Jan 17, 2021

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