Looking for a dog that’s independent, fierce, and loyal? Chow Chow may be the best breed for you! 

Chow Chows have been known as an amazing all-purpose breed. They’re amazing as family dogs but are also able to work alongside their human companion as well.

Chow Chows are the cool-silent type of dog

With their aloof nature but still vigilant regarding their surroundings, their desire to protect their owners always stays a priority. Let’s take a look at what’s a Chow Chow like!

Chow Chow

Chow Chow Dog History 

Chow Chow's existence is known to be ancient, as it is, they have evidence of their existence in Buddhist temples as statues! 

This breed is one of the most ancient breeds. They originated in North China dating back to the 206 BC-AD 220 of the Han Dynasty.

Chow Chows are suspected to be part of Arctic Asia, although not entirely physically the same, and they originated in Northern Siberia.

As China’s primary dog breeds are a successfully domesticated lineage of the grey wolves, it includes the Chow Chow as well. 

Chow Chows were built as utility dogs. They have worked alongside humans in protecting crops, and homes, carrying cargo, herding and so much more.

This dog breed has a place in nobility as well. They have been companions of Chinese nobles. 

Physical Traits

Although Chow Chows are medium in size, they have a very distinct and powerful build.

They have a muscular tone along with their heavy-boned body. Chow Chow’s body is compact and broad while having straight legs.

They can stand from 17 to 20 inches tall weighing 45 to 70 pounds. 

Chow Chows have a double coat that is either smooth or rough. Both coats have the inner coat which is denser and thicker while the long coat is the dinner and coarser. 

They can come in Black, Blue, Cinnamon, Cream, and Red coats. They’re usually solid in color with no markings. 

From the face, their eyes are round and black or dark brown. They have a set of eyebrows above their eyes that is round in shape. The Chow Chow’s nose is big and roundish black.

Although their coat makes them look round, they have a boxy type of facial shape. They have a long muzzle.

Chow Chows have a distinctive tongue that is dark purple due to pigmentation (Don't worry—it is not harmful).

Also, they have a deep chest arching over their lower body smoothly with it being their lower body that sets quite high.

Because of their straight legs, they look more elegant and it helps with their utility ability as well. 

Chow Chow are one of banned dog breeds

The Temperament of a Chow Chow

Chow Chows are good with their owner or family but may still need time to adjust around children.

They’re not as welcoming when it comes to new people, as they can become possible threats to them.

They are one of the best watchdogs as their instinct to guard their territory is strong. They’re very vocal when they’re alarmed. 

They aren’t as affectionate as they look. These dogs may look cuddly and attention-seeking to you but they don’t mind being on their own sometimes. They appreciate the space between them and their owner/ family. 

They’re the type to watch their owners from afar but are still close enough. Their owner or family can do everything and they’ll be next to them with distance. 

No worries, they do love the scratch and hugs too!

Chow Chows should be introduced to early socialization and basic training to avoid the timid and indifferent temperament as it is much more difficult to manage when they’re older. 

They need a lot of time when it comes to other dogs and animals.

Due to their temperament of being vigilant and protective, they can not easily let their guard down as the safety of their family is a priority.

After some time, they’ll eventually give in if the dog does not display harmful behavior.

Living with a Chow Chow

Chow Chows are quite flexible with their owner’s lifestyles. They can live in apartments as long as there is ample space for them to move around.

It’s also important to meet their training and exercise requirements to avoid behavioral issues. 

They must also be exposed ti crate training. It’s easier for the owner and the Chow Chow when new people come in. 

Chow Chows are best not left alone for a long period. They can have a short period after being worn out from playtime and exercise but if they get bored do expect some chewing in the house.

Chow Chow

Training & Exercise

Chow Chows are an exemplary intelligent breed. They were bred as utility dogs hunt dogs, watchdogs, herding, and so much more. Chow Chows will require extensive and continuous training. 

Owners can introduce basic training and switch to a variety of other mentally stimulating activities.

It’s best to present their variety of activities as they may get bored with the same routine. 

They are very active dogs. Regular exercise is a must for this breed, excess energy can be destructive and changes in behavior can become a bigger problem.

A walk daily for at least more than an hour split into two is ample.

Every Chow Chow needs to have early-early socialization and exposure. They also need basic-continuous training.

This can help influence their behavior not to be stand-offish or timid. 

They also have a past reputation for being unfriendly with other dogs and children, so it’s best to shape their perspective and understanding while they’re young. 

Chow Chow Health Care

These dogs are a relatively healthy breed. This dog breed can live from 8-12 years. Sadly, some environmental aspects may affect Chows Chow’s health condition.

Additionally, improper and illegal breeding has brought inherited diseases and disorders. 

Due to their booming popularity, Chow Chows have been a victim of this ruthless activity.

Remember, before getting a Chow Chow or any other dog to adopt instead, acquire one from a reputable breeder

These dogs should be checked for:


Allergies are quite common in Chow Chows. This dog breed has sensitive skin.

Chow Chows should be checked with the veterinarian for medication or supplements needed for them.

Remember to have it checked regularly and as soon as possible. Owners should also ask their veterinarian what causes the allergy and what foods or activities to avoid.

Bloat / Gastric Intrusion

Gastric Torsion or Bloat is a gastrointestinal condition where-in a dog’s stomach expands due to it teeming with fluid, food, or gas.

This can be a fatal circumstance if left untreated. In some cases due to bloating, blood is trapped in the stomach preventing return and proper flow.

Prevention includes avoiding your dog to do activities right after a meal, eating meals too fast, having large meals and stressing them. Treatment may depend on your veterinarian's observation. 

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Dysplasia is a genetic condition wherein the socket of the joint and ball becomes distorted.

Chow Chows are prone to Elbow and Hip Dysplasia. Due to their large stature, their mass stresses their lower body areas, especially in their joints.

When diagnosed with Elbow or Hip Dysplasia, it’s important to keep their weight in the normal range and have them exercise with activities that promote joint therapy.

Veterinarians may prescribe medications for anti-inflammatory/ pain relievers and supplements.

Prevention is the same—keeping them active but not injuring them as well. A treadmill walk or swimming is perfect for prevention and recovery as well.

Eyelid Entropion

Eyelid Entropion is the condition where the eyelid rolls inward, creating friction in the sensitive part of the cornea.

Usually, this condition requires surgery when it is quite damaging and may progress quicker than expected. 

If the dogs are suspected to have Entropion, owners should bring their Chow Chows to the veterinarian for further examination.

These dogs have sensitive eyes and may develop another disease if left as is.


Heatstroke is a  condition wherein the body cannot control high temperature and cannot dissipate the heat on its own.

Remember that these dogs are large breeds with large and thick fur. They are not as tolerant of heat as they are to cool weather.

Do not leave Chow Chows in warm or hot areas. Prolonging the effect may affect the dog’s overall health. 


Hypothyroidism is the inactive function of the thyroid gland. Metabolism is slowed down if diagnosed.

It also when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland as it does not recognize it. Usually, this is an inherited disorder. 

If the dog is experiencing lethargy, slow heart rate, weight gain, excessive shedding, and high cholesterol, it’s best to have them tested with the veterinarian.

When they are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the veterinarian may provide maintenance and recommended diet. It’s best to have this condition checked and addressed immediately.

sick chow chow

Diet of a Chow Chow

Chow Chows can be given dry dog food or wet dog food. It can be given alternatively or mixed both.

This dog's sizes and metabolism may differ, providing them 2-4 cups a day split into two or three meals is good enough.

Their diet should also be carefully assessed. Hip Dysplasia is common in overweight large dogs.

If they are gaining too much weight, owners should lessen their food consumption or exercise them accordingly. 

They have long coats and may often be dry. You can give them foods or supplements that can help with their coat condition.

Ingredients should be carefully checked for any ingredients that may cause skin problems.

These dogs are prone to allergies. Owners should consult with their veterinarians about what food they may recommend or look out for to avoid skin problems.

If owners suspect their dog is experiencing allergy; inflamed or flakey skin, hair loss, excessive scratching/biting, or licking of the skin, they should get their dog checked immediately to lift symptoms and give proper treatment.

Chow Chow Grooming

They have moderate grooming needs. It will depend on the type of coat and environmental factors.

If your dog is residing in warm areas, it’s best to keep their hair short and bathe frequently. 


This dog breed may acquire either a rough or smooth coat. Depending on their coat type, brushing needs differ.

For the smooth type of cat, Chow Chows will need at least two or three times a week of brushing, while those with rough coats will need daily brushing. 

It’s important to brush out the mattes. Owners should also check for any parasites that may house the dog’s fur.


They should be bathed at least once to twice a month and every time they do activities that may have contaminated their coat including swimming in lakes and the beach. 


Chow Chow’s ears are quite full of fur outside and inside their ear flaps. It’s important to have their ears pat dry after each bath or swim.

They can also have ear infections and moisturized ears are one of the reasons a dog can acquire ear infections. So make sure to have their ears pat dry at least. 

Nail Trimming

This dog breed requires trimming its nails frequently.  If the dog has a dark coat, they often have dark nails as well.

Owners and breeders should be careful when trimming and shaving them. If their nails do not seem sharp, filing them is enough.

It’s important to determine where and when to file their nails. If the nails are touching the floor, it more likely needs filing. 


Brushing their teeth is recommended at least thrice a week. It is to prevent buildup that may cause chronic disease when they’re older.

Chow Chow drool often. Maybe a towel or tissue would help if it bothers you. 

Some may be difficult when it comes to grooming time. Introducing grooming routines such as bathing, brushing the coat, clipping nails, and cleaning ears is better when they aren’t abrupt. 

Introducing grooming time should be done when they’re young so they can get accustomed to it when they’re older.

The best time to introduce grooming is when they’re more relaxed or worn out from playtime. Setting aside their favorite toy or treat can also help. 

Chow Chow dogs are some of the worst swimmers

Frequently Asked Questions About Chow Chow

Are Chow Chows Aggressive?

These dogs are natural watchdogs and hunting dogs, so they have aggressive tendencies. This is a part of their breed as they were bred to be vigilant.

This personality can be modified with basic-continuous training and, of course, early socialization. It just takes a bit more effort for the owner and the dog. 

Do Chow Chow bark a lot?

No, they do not bark a lot. Still, they do bark at strangers and unfamiliar animals as a warning for the subject and the owner.

They vocalize any danger and uneasiness to their owners to grab their attention. Other than that, they’re not known to be barkers.

Does Chow Chow bite their owners?

Yes, although not an active breed, can get overstimulated from play. When sensing danger and in response, they bite.

They are known to bite small children too. This behavior should be addressed while they are young, and correctional behavior training should be done immediately. 

Flat-faced dog breed Chow Chow

Chow Chow Dog Breed Summary

This dog breed may look like a teddy bear-looking fur buddy but these dogs aren’t as soft as they seem.

They are intelligent and hard workers. Chow Chows will take up challenges that are mentally and physically stimulating. 

These dog breeds are meant for owners who have experience as they can get dominant when they do not feel the leadership they need.

With that said, this dog breeds are best with experienced dog owners rather than new owners.

These dogs need a lot of exposure, training, and exercise which will take dedication from both the owner and the dog.

Chow Chow dogs are a popular breed so selecting to adopt is very critical. It’s best not to adopt from puppy mills or irresponsible breeders as they may have illegally bred the dog and not undergone tests for congenital diseases. 

You can get these adorable pups from reputable breeders and have them checked immediately for any problems.

It’s best to provide them with their daily needs for them to be happy and live a quality life. 


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.