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Chow Chow: Temperament, Exercise, Grooming, Health

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About Chow Chow

Country of Origin, History of Chow Chows

The Chow Chow is a breed that has lived in China for hundreds, possibly millions, of years. The Tibetan Mastiff and the Siberian Samoyed are cousins, but there are several theories as to which dogs are the background dogs to which other dogs. Throughout history this breed has done basically every job a dog has ever been asked to do. It has been used as a hunter, herder, cart puller, home protector and boat guard.

The Chow Chow’s fur has been used to trim clothing, especially coats. Chows have been (and still are) eaten as a delicacy in China.

The term ‘chow chow’ was used by the English to talk about any goods brought from China. It originally meant ‘knick knack’ or ‘bric-a-brac’. However, it came to include many items, including dogs, that were imported. Queen Victoria took an interest in Chow Chows when the “Wild Dog of China” was displayed at the London Zoo.

The Chow became popular in England in the mid- to late-1800s and gained great popularity in the United States when imported.

Chow Chow Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Chow Chow the right breed for you?

Is the Chow Chow the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Chow Chow's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Chow Chow's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Chow Chow training methods.

Is your Chow Chow dominating over you?

Does your Chow Chow bark unnecessarily? Does your Chow Chow come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Chow Chow and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Chow Chow?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Chow Chow? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Chow Chow Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Chow Chow needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Chow Chow Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

Two features make the Chow Chow unique: its blue-black tongue and its almost straight hind legs which makes it look stilted when it walks. The Chow Chow’s extremely dense coat can be smooth or rough. This breed is compactly-built with a large head and a tail that curls up over his back. The rough-coated Chow has a lion-like appearance from the front.

The Chow Chow is very muscular and heavy-boned. He has a broad, deep chest. His ‘frowning’ expression can be questioning or scowling with his dark, deeply-set eyes, dark button nose, short muzzle and well-furred face with wrinkled and furrowed forehead. Chow Chow ears are small and erect but pointing forward.

Coat Color

Coat colors for Chow Chows are red ranging from light golden to deep mahogany, black, blue, cinnamon ranging from light fawn to deep cinnamon, and cream. The coat can have lighter or darker shadings but should never be parti- or tri-. Basically all Chows have a blue-black tongue.

Coat Type

Chow Chows have two possible coat types: rough and smooth.

Rough coat: This is double-coated with the outer coat being abundant, dense, straight, and offstanding. It is fairly coarse so it does not feel as fuzzy as it looks. The undercoat is thick and wooly and soft to the touch. There is a very dense ruff which is longer around the head and neck, making the dog look more like a lion. The legs and tail are well feathered.

Smooth coat: This is also double-coated but with the outer coat being hard, dense and smooth. The undercoat is wooly and soft and should be thick. There is no ruff and no feathering on legs or tail.

Height: 17 – 22 inches

Weight: 45 – 70 lbs.

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Free Chow Chow Training Secrets

Free Course on Chow Chow Training & Obedience
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Chow Chow Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog

The Chow Chow dog is compact, active, alert, and agile. He is very intelligent but independent. A well-bred and well socialized Chow can be an excellent family dog.

Be aware of the temperament of the parents as Chows can be either quite aggressive or quite timid and should be neither. They should be reserved with strangers but friendly to those they know. Because Chows have little peripheral vision with their deeply set eyes, you should always approach it from the front.

Although Chow Chows are great protectors of their homes, they need a well-secured fenced yard because they will also run away without meaning to leave. Older children who know how to treat a Chow are okay with them. If children are born after the Chow is in the home, make sure the dog gets plenty of attention.

This is a very dominant, very stubborn breed. The Chow will never make a great obedience dog, but should be obedience trained with patience and persistence so that you can handle him.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

Chow Chows are capable of living outdoors, but probably will not be happy doing so. Be aware that they are very sensitive to heat.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

Older children who know how to treat a Chow are okay with them. If children are born after the Chow is in the home, make sure the dog gets plenty of attention.

Chow Chow Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

The Chow Chow breed has great stamina but does not commit itself to tasks that take a great deal of energy.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

Chows can be lazy. Make sure they get at least a good daily walk. The more activity they have that is directed, the less destructive behavior they will display.

They can live in an apartment because they tend to be quiet indoors. However, if not exercised, they will get bored and think of things to do.


Regular brushing of the coat is important. Chows are seasonally (spring and fall) heavy shedders. For the smooth-haired Chow Chow, weekly brushing is necessary. For the rough-haired Chow Chow, twice a week brushing is required as shedding is considerable.

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Free Chow Chow Training Secrets

Free Course on Chow Chow Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Genetic Problem

Possible problems include hip dysplasia, luxated patella, glaucoma, skin problems, and thyroid imbalance.

Life Span: Chows often live to be 15 years old.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – Chow Chow Club –, National Chow Chow Club –, US – The Chow Chow Club, Inc. -


Rescue Link:

Group: AKC Non-Sporting Group; KCGB Utility Group

AKC Popularity Ranking: 75

Also Known As: Chow

Train Your Chow Chow To Listen To You

Get Instant Access to Your Training Now - For Free

Sign up for our Free Chow Chow Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.

You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most Chow owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

  • The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.

  • How to obedience train your Chow Chow to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.

  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Chow Chows have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Chow information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Chows have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Chow Chow training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

What Other Dog Owners Say…

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