• Recent DNA studies indicate that the chow chow is among the 14 most ancient breeds recognized by the AKC.
  • Its origin is unclear except that it has been known in China for hundreds or even thousands of years.
  • They may have been used as hunting dogs for the Chinese nobility, and later kept in monasteries. Other accounts claim they were used for food in Mongolia and Manchuria.
  • The dogs were brought to England in the late 1700s, and were dubbed chow chows by the English. The name is probably derived from a term meaning Oriental knick knack.
  • Only in the late 1800s, with the sudden interest in exotic breeds aroused by the advent of dog shows, were chows earnestly brought to the western world.
  • Queen Victoria was a proponent of the breed.
  • The AKC recognized the chow chow in 1903.
  • In the 1980s, the breed soared in popularity in America, peaking when it was the 6th most popular breed.
  • Since then they have plummeted in popularity, their numbers falling by 91% in the last decade.
  • The black or blue tongue is a breed characteristic, as is the somewhat stilted gait.
Chow Chow Behavior Concerns
  • Makes a devoted and protective family member.
  • Generally tolerant of children, but may not be playful enough for them. As with any large dog, they should be supervised when around children.
  • Not overly demonstrative.
  • Reserved toward, and even wary of, strangers.
  • Not friendly towards strange dogs.
  • Usually good with small pets.
  • Tends to be independent and stubborn. Rebels against forceful methods.
  • Does best with a firm owner who can combine reward-based training with good control and leadership.
Chow Chow Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a calm and alert housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a leisurely walk, short jog, or quick game. It is not physically suited to overly vigorous exercise.
  • Enjoys cold weather.
  • Becomes overheated easily.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
Chow Chow Grooming
  • The chow chow comes in two coat types. The rough coat is straight and off-standing. The smooth coat is hard and smooth. Both coat types have wooly undercoats.
  • The rough coat needs brushing every other day to remove dead coat and prevent serious matting. The smooth coat needs brushing once or twice a week.
  • Shedding is above average.

Suggested Chow Chow Nutritional Needs
  • Cow chows tend to stay in good weight or to be slightly overweight. You must use your hands to feel beneath the thick coat.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow dog breed picture
8 - 12 years
17 - 20 inches
45 - 70 pounds
Chow Chow Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    1 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    1 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    1 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    1 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    5 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    4 out of 5
  • Shedding
    5 out of 5
  • Barking
    2 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    1 out of 5