Chow chow - Origins, characteristics, character and photos!

Chow chow: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The chow chow dog is probably one of the most Asian dog breeds...

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The chow chow dog is probably one of the most popular Asian dog breeds around the world. It should be noted that the most distinctive feature of the chow chow is the color of its tongue, which is blue. But why does the chow chow have a blue tongue? This peculiarity is mainly due to the genetics of the dog, even if it is true that there are some myths and legends about this difference Do not hesitate to consult this PlanèteAnimal sheet until the end to discover them!

We are going to show you everything you need to know about the chow chow dog breed, reviewing its history and origin, its most notable physical characteristics, its possible he alth problems, details about its education and we will also talk about the most common character traits of the breed. Thinking of adopting a chow chow? Already have one? Continue reading, in this complete file on the chow chow breed you will solve all your doubts and you will find useful information prepared by specialists in the sector!


  • Asia
  • China
  • Mongolia

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group V

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic
  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Long ears


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 10-12

Recommended physical activity

  • Low


  • Balanced
  • Very loyal
  • Quiet

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • The hunt
  • Shepherd
  • The guard


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Medium
  • Long
  • Smooth

Origins of chow chow

" The history of chow chow began in northern China and is estimated to have appeared around 2000-3000 years ago. Although no study actually proves such longevity, we can confirm that this is one of the oldest dog breeds according to a recent study. The origin of the chow chow&39;s name literally means soft and fluffy lion, probably due to its physical characteristics. An ancient Chinese legend even refers to a powerful animal of war, described as a black-tongued lion, morphological details that suggest the direct ancestor of today&39;s chow chow."

The evolution of the breed is unknown, although it is suspected that after the origin of chow chow dogs in the arctic region of Asia, over time they would have migrated to Siberia, Mongolia and finally in China.His physical attributes are actually reminiscent of a Nordic-type spitz, possibly crossed with some sort of mastiff dog.

The history of the chow chow dog represents him as an excellent watchdog of sacred temples and certain houses, but this blue-tongued dog is also attributed with other tasks, such as hunting or guarding of herds. Other sources even claim that these dogs were used as food and that their skin served as a coat. Additionally, an article by Marco Polo reveals that they also worked towing sleds. There is no doubt that we are faced with a very versatile breed. The origin of the chow chow dog is therefore somewhat uncertain.

" During the first years of the 19th century, the chow chow began to be shown in other countries, such as England, where it did not particularly stand out; in fact, it was unfortunately exhibited at London Zoo in the 1820s as a Chinese wild dog.As specimens continued to travel around the world, Queen Victoria decided to acquire one and it was then that the breed became very popular in the UK."

The breed was officially exhibited in 1890 and admitted to the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1903. Currently, the chow chow is one of the best-known dog breeds.

Characteristics of chow chow

The chow chow is considered a medium-sized dog and has a compact, well-proportioned body. Obviously, the physical characteristics of the chow chow dog remind us of a small lion, especially because of its fur, which forms a kind of mane around the face. Its head is large with a flattened skull. The naso-frontal depression (stop) is not pronounced. The nose is black in almost all dogs, but it can be lighter in light-colored dogs. The bluish black tongue is characteristic of the breed.The eyes are dark, oval and of medium size. The ears are small, thick, erect and slightly rounded at the tips.

The body is compact and the back is short. The chest is wide and deep. The tail is high and carried folded over the back. The straight angulation of the hind legs causes the chow chow to have a short stride and hardly lift the hind legs. The coat can consist of long or short hairs. In long-haired dogs, the outer coat is profuse, dense, rough, straight and not excessively long, while the undercoat is soft. In short-haired dogs, the coat is short, dense, straight and fluffy. The color of the dog should be unique, although there can be different shades, and can be black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white.

The characteristics of the chow chow dog indicate a height at the withers in the male between 48 and 56 cm, while in the female it is between 46 and 51 centimeters.The approximate weight of the males is around 25 and 32 kilograms and that of the females 20 and 25 kilograms.

" To know the characteristics of a purebred chow chow, do not forget to compare the official standard of a canine association with that of your dog or go directly to a canine club of chow chow dogs in order to that a judge or an experienced owner can guide you."

Character of chow chow

In general, the chow chow has a calm, reserved, independent and quiet character. This breed is not particularly renowned for being an exercise lover, on the contrary, they prefer to take short walks to watch their territory and rest making sure that no unknown humans or dogs approach. These characteristics have probably made him an excellent guard dog in the past.

In addition to being calm, the character of the chow chow is distinguished by its special loy alty and fidelity to its guardian(s), with whom it forges a unique and distinct bond.Likewise, he tends to be reserved with strangers. In this sense, it is important to point out that the chow chow can show an overprotective attitude with its guardian, for this reason it is advisable never to reinforce the protective or possessive behaviors of this dog, since this can trigger the emergence of behaviors aggressive. Given its reserved nature, its hunting instinct and its tendency to overprotect, we must pay particular attention to the socialization of the dog, a subject that we will discuss in more detail in the section dedicated to the education of the chow. chow.

" To end, we emphasize that the character of the chow chow with children is generally very positive, especially if the two have lived together since they were small, because the dog will tend to protect them, watch over them and to take care of them, and will also be patient during their interactions. This does not mean that the dog must accept the inappropriate behavior of children, remember that the main causes of aggression of dogs towards children are precisely due to the negative behavior of children, that is why we advise you to always monitor the interaction between the two and educate them properly so that they have positive relationships."

Caring for a chow chow

When we talk about chow chow care, one of the most important aspects is caring for their coat, especially in long-haired dogs. How should a chow chow's coat be taken care of? To begin with, we will take special care that the coat is not too long, as this can cause knots to appear. We can regularly go to the groomer to trim the tips and take a bath, but if we don't want to cut his hair, we can opt for a brushing routine, which should be about four times a week. In addition, during the moulting period, that is to say in spring and autumn, we will increase the routine to five or six days a week. It will also help us prevent the appearance of parasites and other skin problems, which are common in chow chow dogs.

It will also be advisable to bathe your dog regularly to avoid the accumulation of dirt.The frequency of baths could be between once a month and once every three months. Remember that excessive bathing harms the dog's skin and coat, in addition to causing a drop in its natural defenses, which is why it is wiser to favor regular brushing rather than regular baths. Don't forget to apply a specific shampoo for dogs, never a shampoo for human use!

Another important aspect that we must take into account when learning to take care of a chow chow will be learning physical exercise and walks. Although it is a calm dog and not very predisposed to exercise, it will be fundamental to devote some time to exercise it, even moderately, in order to prevent overweight and obesity, as well as the possible appearance of behavior problems. How to walk a chow chow? The ideal is to carry out a daily routine of 3 to 4 walks, lasting approximately 20 minutes each.During these walks we will allow him to sniff, socialize with other dogs and do a relaxing activity, exclusively for him.

On the other hand and as we have mentioned, the physical exercise of the chow chow must be moderate, so that we can do with him walks in the mountains, baths on the beach or teach him to find and bring a ball, for example. Of course, don't force your dog to exercise too much during the hot months, as this could predispose him to heatstroke, due to his thick, dense coat. These dogs can live outdoors in cool to temperate climates, but do not tolerate hot climates well. In any case, it is preferable that they can live indoors. They also adapt easily to apartment living if they get enough walks and exercise.

The chow chow diet should be nutritionally complete and balanced.You can choose to buy high-quality dry food, combining it regularly with wet food to enrich his diet, or have him follow homemade diets, either semi-cooked or raw (known as BARF). In any case, the chow chow's diet must be based on high quality products.

Chow chow education

The chow chow's optimal adoption age is between 8 and 12 weeks of life, since staying with its mother and siblings will help it learn canine language, the limits of play, controlling the force of his bite, etc. From this moment and after having received the first vaccinations, the dog must begin to socialize with all kinds of people, animals and environments, always making sure to have positive social contact with them. The socialization of the dog is particularly important, because it will determine whether, in the future, the dog will be balanced or, on the contrary, will show behaviors related to fear or aggression.When the dog is still a puppy, we must educate him on different aspects but, apart from socialization, the most important thing will be to teach him to relieve himself outside, an essential routine for any dog.

Later we can start training our chow chow, which should always be done through positive reinforcement. Clicker training can work well with this breed, but any other variation of positive training will work. It is important to train this dog from the moment it is a puppy, in order to overcome its natural independence to some extent. Discover on PlanèteAnimal what are the basic commands for dogs and how to put them into practice.

These dogs aren't barkers and usually don't cause much damage (when past their teenage years of course). However, the main behavior problem is aggression when they have not been properly socialized and educated.It is not an easy dog to train because it can sometimes be a little stubborn and because it has a fairly independent character, however, with patience and determination we can make our chow chow respond perfectly to obedience orders and live wonderfully well with us!

He alth of chow chow

As with many other dog breeds, certain chow chow he alth issues are quite common and have a high incidence in the breed. It is essential that any owner knows, at least, the diseases that are the most common, that is why, here is a list of the most common diseases of the chow chow, we speak of course of congenital diseases:

  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Ataxia
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sebaceous adenitis
  • Ulcerative dermatosis

It is important to note that the chow chow tends to suffer from autoimmune diseases, as well as skin cancer. For all these reasons, remember to visit the vet every 6 or 12 months, follow the vaccination schedule and deworm your dog regularly. With good care and preventive medicine, the life expectancy of the chow chow is between 9 and 15 years.

Chow chow pictures

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