Chow Chow: Size, Characteristics & Personality

chow chow dog breed

The Chow Chow is a large Arctic type dog with a strong body, heavy bones and well developed musculature. It is seen that they are trained for a certain task and their bodily structures are suitable for performing these tasks. They have abilities such as hunting, guarding and leading the herd, protecting them. They are known for their two types of fur structure, namely coarse and flat. The common feature of the two furs is that they keep the body warm of Chows. Chow Chows, which are sensitive to temperature, can live comfortably in cold climates and home environments. However, they are adversely affected by extremely hot and humid weather. It is an eye-catching breed with fluffy or smooth fur in red, black, cinnamon and beige colors and shades. They are known by more than one name in society. It is also known as the “Chinese Lion” among the people because it resembles a lion with its feathers concentrated in the head area. They also represent their race as Chow Chow, Chowden, Chow Chow and just Chow.

Personality & Character Traits

The Chow Chow breed has a distinctive appearance with fluffy and shiny hairs concentrated around the head, in other words “lion’s mane”. The colorful language between black and blue, which we are not accustomed to seeing in other dog breeds, has attracted the attention of people. The unique tongue, which is blue-black in color, is pink at birth. It is seen that it changes color from the 10th week. The Chow Chow, which has many differences from other dogs with its appearance, personality and character structure, has increased its popularity day by day.

The Chow Chow is an intelligent dog that displays measured behavior. We can say that it is a race with various characteristics such as calm, sometimes apathetic, introverted, self-conscious, independent, stubborn and proud. However, not all of these features coexist simultaneously or dominantly. Just because we say he can be independent and stubborn doesn’t mean he doesn’t always do or don’t do what he’s told. If you think that every living thing has an emotional structure, some situations can happen momentarily and then can be resolved in a short time according to the strength of the bond between you and your dog. They like to hang out on their own, snuggle in their bed and prefer to live without getting in trouble. Due to the frowning facial structure, they may be thought to be aggressive or shy from time to time. However, they are frowning, with their brown eyes caught in the dense hairs, and they walk around with cute looks.

The Chow Chow gets along well with family members, but chooses the one they can get along with and trust the best. His bond with the person he chooses becomes stronger than anyone else. He is loyal and devoted to his family members. His protective nature towards his family comes to the fore in dangerous situations. They are generally distant towards strangers. If they recognize them and decide that they are not dangerous, they will reduce the distance by one click. It can be difficult for a direct stranger to come and love him, but the owner seems to allow himself to be touched if he has people he introduces and interacts with. It is generally said that Chow Chows do not get along very well with people, but keep in mind that this also depends on the training they received. The Chow Chow’s upbringing directly affects their character traits, their approach to people and animals. In other words, there may be a deficiency in the education process of a Chow who does not get along well with people. They are also socialized by interacting with pets and dogs. They sometimes try to dominate other dogs. Apart from that, he is better with other pets.

They do not have a very mobile structure. It is a dog that can live in an apartment. The fact that the house is big or small does not affect them, they are not happy with it even with their family and loved ones in the home environment. Staying outside in the cabin is not for them. They can adapt to any conditions as long as they are indoors. They are known to be sensitive to heat. Hot weather affects them negatively, so it is better for them to stay indoors in such weather. Short walks and short-term exercises during the day are sufficient for Chows.

The Chow Chow breed can be an even more good-natured dog with the training you start at an early age due to their good natured, intelligent and intelligent nature. Your dog’s habits are shaped by the environment and training, as well as genetically inherited from his ancestors and parents. With these in mind, you can take steps to positively influence your dog’s personality and character.

chow chow dog

Chow Chow History

Some evidence emerging about the Chow Chow suggests that their ancestry is based on sptise-type breeds. Even the Chow has some spitz traits. Therefore, it is believed that the Chow Chow is either an ancestor of some spitz breeds or a descendant of spitz ancestors. It is thought that the Chow Chow, which has been confirmed by research to be one of the oldest breeds, originated in Mongolia and North China and moved south with the nomadic movement of Mongolia.

Chow dogs were first depicted on pottery and paintings in the artifacts of the Han Dynasty (206 BC) of China. It is seen that the Chows, whose hunting and smelling abilities are at the forefront of their original characteristics, are gradually decreasing as the Imperial hunts decrease. The remaining Chows are known to be kept in monasteries and wealthy households.

Chows have been involved in people’s lives in different locations throughout history. He made friends with the Chinese nobility, the wealthy. According to information about the Chow, around the eighth century, the Tang Dynasty emperor was said to have built a kennel facility that housed 5,000 Chows and employed some 10,000 staff to take care of them. Apart from the noble life of the Chow Chows in the next century; It is observed that they continue their lives with their own abilities as guards, pulling, carrying and hunting.

Chow Chow ancestors have also been consumed as a food source by protein-hungry people in densely populated areas in the past. It is rumored that this is how the naming of “Edible Dog”, one of his old nicknames, came about. There are several names used for the Chow Chow breed in China: hei shi-tou (black-tongued dog), lang gou (wolf dog), xiang gou (bear dog), guangdong gou (guangdong dog).

The most well-known name is Chow Chow (Cov Chow). The fact that it took this name is told with a different story. Towards the end of the 18th century, on the merchant ships of the British Empire, there were various items they bought from China and these bear-like dogs. British merchants recorded the items they bought from China and these dogs in the ship’s cargo manifest. For dogs while keeping records; various similar items, they wrote “Chow chow”, which means “and so on”. Later, this breed, which came to England with Chinese imports, was accepted as “Chow Chow”.

It is envisaged that this first import was in line with curiosity. Because until the late 1800s, there was no ongoing importation process to England and America. In 1820, the Chow Chow was seen on display at the London Zoo as the “Wild Dogs of China”. However, in addition to all these, Queen Victoria’s interest in dogs and the fact that she had a Chow Chow attracted attention to this breed. The AKC recognized the Chow Chow in 1903. With its unique and noble appearance, the Chow Chow breed has always had an attractive beauty. In 1980, the Chow was exhibited in America and increased its popularity by taking its place at the top as the sixth most popular breed in America.

Physical Qualities


They have a medium sized body with muscular, large bones and deep chest. They have short and broad bodies. Due to its double-layered fluffy hair, its body appears larger and larger than it is. Chow Chow ideal length varies between 43-51 cm, ideal weight varies between 20-32. They are strong, muscular and compact dogs from the shoulders to the feet.


It has a head structure resembling a lion. Its head with fluffy feathers is smaller than it looks, just like its body. The frowning expression on her face and her blue and black tongue add a special charm to her. It has a wide head and deep mouth. The face is straight. It also has lion mane frills around its head and shoulders. With this head and body structure, it carries all expressions such as dignified, serious-minded, sullen, rude, cute and sweet. Now it depends on the person who sees it with which face he sees it.


We can say that the ears of the Chow breed, which is of average size, are small compared to their body. In addition, the ears of Chow Chows, whose face is flat and wide, are also small compared to their faces. If we approach from a general point of view, the Chow breed has a unique air and sweetness with its round and small ears. Chows, who have high guard and protection features, have a sharp hearing ability.


They have narrow brown eyes that are caught between dense hairs on the head area. You can witness that they look around with a sullen, careless and snobby expression from time to time with their deep almond eyes. It has a unique place among dog breeds with its narrow eyes, small black nose and protruding tongue.

Legs and Feet

When viewed from the front of the Chow Chow, which has a medium-sized body, it is seen that the front legs are parallel to the chest and widely spaced. When you look from the back, the hind legs are barely visible. Straight angulation from the hind legs in the characteristic structure; It provides a short, upright and stiff-legged gait unique to this breed. His short legs also got their share from the dense hairs that merged with his body. Covered with long hairs, leg and foot structure is seen.


It has a hairy tail curled over its back on its short and broad body. The back is straight and densely hairy. In the same way, it is sometimes difficult to see its curved and hairy tail in the back area. It is important for Chows that the tail is curled to the back and slightly raised. Its tail feathers are thicker than some parts of its body.


There are two types of fur structures, straight and coarse. The structure of the two types of fur is like wool and is long. The Chow fur we are most used to seeing is the coarser one. It is thick and abundantly hairy. Underneath the outer layer are underlayer hairs, which are soft, thick and woolly. The hair on the head and neck area is thicker. This is where the thickness that gives the appearance of a lion’s mane comes from. Its tail on its back also has thick feathers. Chow Chow features with smooth fur; hard, dense and flat outer layer hairs. They do not have the appearance of a mane. It is this cool fur coat that makes this breed look bigger than it is.


The fur of the Chow Chow breed comes in 5 main colors: red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream. It is seen that these colors vary in tone in the hairs of different regions such as the head, back, body, tail, legs and ears. Apart from the color of the fur, there may also be differences in the color of the lips, eyes, tongue and nose. For example: While the Black Chow Chow fur is completely black, there may be gray shading on its legs and tail. Mouth, gums and palate blue-black; the tongue is dark blue. His nose and lips may be black, and his eyes may be dark brown. Cream Chow Chow fur can range from white to light red. Tongue and palate color is dark blue and lips are black. Eye color is also dark brown. The Red-Red Chow Chow, on the other hand, has a dark red-like fur and tail. Mane and leg parts can change tone up to light golden color with lighter shading.

chow chow dog breeds

Chow Chow Care

Chow Chow, with their noble stance and affectionate gaze, has two types of fur as coarse and straight. Their soft and eye-catching hairs, which have a double layer structure, require regular care. Generally, you can brush three times a week. However, if you want to care according to the fur structure, our recommendation is as follows. Chow with smooth fur needs brushing once or twice a week. Chow, which has coarse fur, can be brushed every other day due to its dense hair. Both furs need to be brushed daily during the shedding season. With regular combing and brushing, you can notice that the fur is matted and your dog’s odor is also reduced.

You should take a bath at least once a month. You can adjust the frequency of the bath yourself according to the time your dog spends outside and how dirty it is. Regular bathing will keep your dog’s course and coat healthy. You can use a dryer to dry it well after a bath. It is generally recommended to use a cold air dryer.

Eye, mouth and ear care should be done regularly. Nails should be cut at least once a month according to the frequency of growth. It is recommended to regularly comb the hairs that are dense in the head area and fall over the eyes so that your dog can feel comfortable, otherwise it may become matted. Taking care of your dog by establishing a weekly general maintenance schedule is also important for your dog’s health.

Chow Chow Nutrition

For the daily feeding of the Chow Chow breed, it is recommended to give 3 scoops of high quality dry or wet dog food in 2 meals. The scale may increase or decrease depending on your dog’s height, weight, age and activity. However, for Chows who gain weight very quickly, it is important not to overdo it on nutrition. It is seen that many people create a nutrition plan with a low-grain diet in addition to dry and wet food.

When choosing between different brands of food, pay attention to whether Chow shows signs of allergens. It is seen that the foods whose contents change from time to time cause allergies and digestive problems in dogs. If you’re considering a home-cooking meal, cut back on leftovers, avoiding cooked bones and high-fat foods. Try not to give your dog household food that will touch it.

Weight changes may not be easily noticed due to their dense and thick hairs, so it is not recommended to follow the weight visually. Their ideal size varies between 43-53 cm. It should be between 18-40 kg for males and 16-39 for females. You should calculate the ideal weight, height and gender of Chow Chows in their diet, which has a wide ideal weight range. Weight control by the veterinarian is also important due to its structure suitable for weight gain. For this reason, we recommend regular veterinary checks.

Chow Chow Exercise

The Chow Chow is an active and alert breed. The need for moderate exercise during the day is sufficient for him. Chow enjoys moderate-paced walks and playing with toys. Exercise and activity should be encouraged. Chow Chow cannot tolerate high heat and humidity. That’s why you should avoid exercising in hot or humid weather. In hot weather, morning or evening times can be preferred for walks, and the exercise period can be completed with short playtimes. With Chow Chow, who likes outdoor activities and short walks, you can do 45-minute game sessions a day or moderate-paced walks of 1.5-2 kilometers. Spending time with his owner makes him happy and is important for his health.

Chow Chow Training

While talking about Chow Chow’s character, we mentioned that he has a smart, proud and independent spirit. We are reminding this here now because your communication with the proud and independent Chow Chow during the training process can greatly affect whether he learns something or not.

It is an intelligent breed that can learn anything you can teach it. With a patient, consistent and programmed education, you can easily give the education you want to give. However, as with every pet, the most important thing not to do is; It is a punishment method in education. Physically, no living thing should be hit hard. In particular, the Chow Chow may react adversely to a harsh physical intervention during training or at any other time. You don’t need to be harsh against Chow Chows who are smart enough to understand you even with a verbal warning. In your training, the method of reward, praise and love will lead you to success more easily. You should start training from 8 weeks and enable him to communicate and socialize with different pets when he is 10-12 weeks old. If you start training as a puppy and gain your dog’s trust and respect, your training process will be completed more easily.

Chow Chow Health

Chow Chow is in good general health. However, all breeds are prone to health problems that can be passed on genetically from their parents. Getting one or all of the diseases listed here is only a possibility. Knowing what these diseases are is very important for early diagnosis in a possible situation.

Possible health problems in the Chow Chow breed: eyelid entropy, patella dislocation, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies and thyroid function. These problems can be diagnosed and concluded with regular health care, veterinary checkup or health screening. A well cared for, healthy Chow Chow can live with you for 8 to 12 years.

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