Chow Chow Dog Breed | Information, Temperament and Images

If you love independent fur buddies at home, then a Chow Chow is perfect for you. These dogs may be aggressive with other dogs or aloof with strangers; they are protective and devoted to their families.

Chow Chow Dog Breed | Information, Temperament and Images 3

Chow Chow dog breed requires plenty of socialization at an early age, like exposure to children. They do best with training to clarify that you are the pack leader. If not, they are more likely to become dominant. While training them can be challenging, most do well in agility and obedience.

Do you find these dogs interesting? Are you planning to adopt a Chow Chow? If yes, keep reading these FAQs about Chow Chow dog breed to get more familiar with them.

What’s a Chow Chow Dog?

Adapts Well To Apartment Living:

Good For Novice Owners:

Affectionate With Family:

Dog Friendly:

Amount Of Shedding:

General Health:

Easy To Train:

Intelligence:

Tendency To Bark Or Howl:

Exercise Needs:

Potential For Playfulness:

Chow Chows are considered the most ancient of the Chinese dog breeds. They can be traced back for thousands of years. These mid-sized dogs were bred for hunting, cart pulling, and guarding livestock.

The name “Chow Chow” may come from the Chinese work “Chou,” which means “Edible.” However, many historians believe that the dog’s name comes from the slang for “Curios.” That is because these dogs most definitely being an Oriental curio. 

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In the late 1800s, this dog breed has reached Western countries. Since then, their popularity rose, and they are currently part of the American Kennel Club’s top 10 breeds. They are sturdy, powerful, and muscular with heavy bones. 

These lion-like dogs come in five colors: cream, cinnamon, blue, black, and red. They are famous for their smooth or rough coats, stilted gait, and black/blue tongue. These dogs have cat-like personalities, making them stubborn, independent, and less eager to please than other breeds.

This dog breed requires early training and socialization. They also need some regular exercise. Plus, maintaining their double coats requires regular grooming and bathing.

What does Chow Chow look like?

Chow chows come with a large head and deep-set eyes, accentuated by a hair mane. In short, they are impressive-looking dogs. Their looks may make people think they are ill-tempered or mean, but well-raised Chow Chows are not aggressive.

These dogs have a squashed face (brachycephalic), wrinkles (body folds), and naturally uptight ears. Their tails are curled up over the black, while their trademark characteristic is their black-blue tongue. These square dogs have post-like straight legs, contributing to their somewhat tilted gaits.

They have two types of coats: rough and smooth. The rough coat is the longer variation. It is an off-standing, straight coat, giving them a fuzzy teddy bear look. The smooth variation is the shorter coat. The two coat types have a dense undercoat. While they have five coat color variations, they are commonly seen in black or red coloration.

This dog breed combines the devotion and loyalty of a dog, independence and grace of a cat, the appeal of a teddy bear, the drollness of a panda, and the nobility of a lion. 

Chow Chow Temperament

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Chow Chows are not generally outgoing and social dogs. They tend to be aggressive with other dogs while being aloof with strangers. That is due to their history as watchdogs for homes and livestock. On the bright side, they are protective and devoted to their family.

Early socialization to children and other dogs becomes devoted and obedient companions. If their barking is uncontrollable, they tend to become nuisance barkers. While they are fairly intelligent dogs, training them can still be challenging due to their stubborn and independent personality. 

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For Chow Chows to do well in competitions, trainers should possess patience and creativity. They are fiercely protective, so they should train them well if owners want to control their guarding tendency. They do not usually start trouble and tend to mind their own business.

They love playing with their families, but they find strangers not interesting unless they approach their home without an invitation from their owners. As a result, they will challenge the trespassers. However, they will let strangers touch them if introduced by their owners. 

Are Chow Chow good family dogs?

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Yes. Chow Chows are good family dogs as they are highly protective and loyal to their human packs. On the other hand, they have a reputation for being aggressive and overprotective. The key is raising them around kids and early socialization. When properly trained, they are known to be well-behaved fur buddies.

As soon as people add Chow Chows to the family, they have to expose them to many positive situations, people, and places and train them consistently. If they are hesitant about training these dogs, they can ask for professional help. Those who have no abilities or time to train or are unwilling to do so should strongly reconsider getting a Chow Chow.

While these dogs may be better suitable for families with older children, they can be introduced to babies and younger children while still young. However, it is advisable not to leave Chow Chows or any dog with young kids. It is also necessary that young or older kids know how to interact with their new puppy.

In short, ensure a proper way of touching and handling these dogs, caution the kids to never go by them while eating, and allow older children to share the responsibility for training and caring for their new canine companion.

How big do Chow Chows get?

People should not get threatened by the Chow Chows’ size because their exterior makes them seem huge in size when they are smaller than average Labrador Retrievers or German Shepherds.

Adult male Chow Chows can grow up to 48 centimeters (19 inches), while the adult females can be 46 centimeters (18 inches) tall. However, their size still depends on their living environments and genetics.

In 16 months, these dogs are fully grown. The combined average height of male and female Chow Chows is 43 to 51 centimeters (17 to 20 inches). The final growth of these dogs is known once they are 16-month-old. During this final stage, their growth in size is not affected.

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Below is a comparison table of the average height of male of female Chow Chows from 6 to 18 months:

AgeMaleFemale
6 months35.5 centimeters (14 inches)35.5 centimeters (14 inches)
12 months40.5 centimeters (16 inches)40.5 centimeters (16 inches)
18 months48.5 centimeters (19 inches)45.5 centimeters (18 inches)
How big do Chow Chows get chart

How much do Chow Chows weigh?

Chow Chows are a large dog breed. Adult male Chow Chows can weigh up to 25 to 32 kilograms (55 to 71 pounds, while adult females can reach 20 to 27 kilograms (44 to 60 pounds. However, the same way with their height, their weight is also affected by their living environment and genetics.

Once Chow Chows reach their 16th month, there are considered fully grown. During this final stage, their growth in weight is not affected. Exercise, unattended diet plan, hookworms, malnourishment, and other factors can affect their weight even after they have fully developed and grown. 

Below is a comparison table of the average height of male of female Chow Chows from 3 to 16 months:

AgeMaleFemale
3 months10 to 12 kilograms (21 to 26 pounds)8 to 10.5 kilograms (18 to 23 pounds)
4 months 13 to 18 kilograms (28 to 40 pounds)10.5 to 13.5 kilograms (23 to 30 pounds)
5 months 17.5 to 19 kilograms (39 to 42.5 pounds)12 to 16.5 kilograms (27 to 37 pounds)
6 months 18 to 22.5 kilograms (40 to 49 pounds)14.5 to 19.5 kilograms (32.5 to 42.5 pounds)
7 months 20 to 24.5 kilograms (44 to 54 pounds)16.5 to 21.5 kilograms (36 to 47.5 pounds)
8 months 21 to 26.5 kilograms (47 to 59 pounds)17.5 to 23 kilograms (38 to 51 pounds)
9 months 22.5 to 28.5 kilograms (49.5 to 62.5 pounds)18.5 to 25.5 kilograms (41 to 56 pounds)
10 months 23 to 28.5 kilograms (51.5 to 63 pounds)18.5 to 25.5 kilograms (41 to 56 pounds)
11 months 24 to 30 kilograms (52.5 to 66 pounds)19 to 25 kilograms (42.5 to 55.5 pounds)
12 months 24 to 31 kilograms (53.5 to 68 pounds)19.5 to 26 kilograms (43 to 58 pounds)
13 months 24.5 to 31 kilograms (54 to 69 pounds)20 to 26 kilograms (44 to 58 pounds)
14 months 25 to 31.5 kilograms (55 to 70 pounds)20 to 27 kilograms (44 to 59 pounds)
15 months 25 to 70.5 kilograms (55 to 70 pounds)20 to 27 kilograms (44 to 59.5 pounds)
16 months 25 to 32 kilograms (55 to 70.5 pounds)20 to 21 kilograms (44 to 59.5 pounds)
Chow Chows weigh chart

Does Chow Chow shed?

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Yes. Chow Chows badly shed. They are categorized as seasonal shedders. So, owners may notice less shedding at different times of the year, while these dogs still shed between the shedding times.

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People interested in adopting Chow Chows must realize that these dogs shed lightly since they shed prolifically. Several factors may worsen their shedding, including grooming routines, climate, and nutrition.

Anyone who dislikes excessive hair on the furniture or in the house and is allergic to dog dander must reconsider getting Chow Chows.

Generally, Chow Chows start to shed their winter coats during the early days of Spring. Owners can expect hair dropping off from March to June. Then, these dogs begin again to shed their summer coat from September to November.

On the bright side, the dogs’ coats do not have barbs at the ends. This means vacuuming up their hair is easy. The hair does not easily get caught and hooked up on the chair and other furniture pieces. Owners can simply brush off furniture.

If these dogs are kept indoors, slight variations in the shedding routine are noticeable due to artificial heating and interior lighting. During summertime, the air conditioner impacts the shedding pattern. These dogs occasionally shed the entire year consistently.

Chow Chows shed their lighter coats during the autumn season, allowing their winter coats to grow. It is also the season when owners can expect them to shed the most.

This dog breed sheds profusely due to the double coat, which is equivalent to a double amount of shed hair.

How often should you bathe a Chow Chow?

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Chow Chows require regular bathing, whether they have smooth or rough coats. Owners can bathe these dogs as frequently as weekly up to not over every six weeks.

They need proper bathing and drying techniques to maintain beautiful coats, especially since they are a double-coated breed. Choosing the right grooming products is critical to achieving optimal results. Proper coat care and maintenance set the foundation for obtaining a healthy and shiny coat.

Once the coat gets dirty, hair shafts become rough and break down, resulting in damage. Regular bathing and brushing of the coat are also essential to avoid the dogs from becoming tangled and matted.

Do Chow Chow bark a lot?

In most cases, Chow Chows bark a lot. Since they were developed for protection purposes, they tend to become protective of their home and family. They bark excessively once they feel and see anything alarming or unfamiliar to them. 

This dog breed also has poor eyesight, so they can easily mistake anything stationary as threats, making them bark. While they can be great excellent apartment dogs, the drawback of keeping them in the apartment setting is their excessive barking.

Many of them do not like strangers or even share their yard. So, once they see things and people they do not like, they chase off intruders and defend their territory by barking.

If people look for quiet dogs that do not excessively bark, this breed is not for them. Remember that Chow Chows were developed to be guard dogs, and that is where they excel. 

Is Chow Chow hypoallergenic?

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The answer is NO. Chow Chows are the opposite of remotely hypoallergenic dogs. The truth is no dog breed is truly hypoallergic; all dogs shed to some degree. If someone is an allergic sufferer and easily gets affected by pet dander, it is best not to bring them home.

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Is Chow Chow easy to train?

Training Chow Chows require a lot of patience and dedication. Remember that they are independent dogs, so they want to make their own choices. Owners need to give them a good reason for the right choice – to obey them. 

Younger Chow Chows require short training sessions alongside high rewards, while older Chow Chows who already have independence may require more training sessions. Owners also need to display mote patience and reward them for listening and obeying them.

Since training this dog breed is repetitive, it will require commitment from the owners. In some instances, Chow Chows may show they are getting the commands and suddenly revert to not listening to the trainers. So, they should not give up. They should also keep training them and strong. These dogs will push their boundaries, so they need to be prepared. 

Proper socialization with people and other dogs and pets is critical to ensure Chow Chows become great family dogs. On top of that, the training has to be positive so that owners and these dogs will develop a solid, trusting relationship. 

Chow Chow behavior problems

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Chow Chows’ temperaments make them at least a handful. They can be very stubborn and aggressive. However, if they pick someone as their “person,” they can be a loyal companion. In the 1980s, the increasing popularity of this breed made people believe they could make money by producing and selling these dogs. As a result, there was a devastating impact on the dogs’ temperament.

Unlike responsible breeders who do not use aggressiveness in the breeding program, some breeders are less concerned about it, and the dogs became known for their antisocial dispositions. 

Chow Chows’ temperament is one of the most challenging to handle. These originated in China and were used to guard and hunt. Their nature is only suitable for competent and experienced dog owners because they can manage their stubborn and aggressive personalities. 

Owners should not get fooled by their fluffy goofball look because they can be mean when they want to be. However, proper training from an early age to respect people and other animals can show them who the pack leader is and tame them. 

Here are several behavior problems that owners may encounter with Chow Chows:

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Aloof 

Chow Chows forge a close and loyal bond with their owners. However, other people and animals can hike as far as these dogs are concerned. This dog breed is dignified, reserved, and does not need to take guff from the owners if they do not feel like it.

Independent 

Chow Chows do not need their owners’ help. They are excellent watchdogs and guard dogs who can make their own decisions about what and when to do. While independence can be an admirable trait, they are still challenging to please.

One of the best ways to get Chow Chows to listen is to show them that while owners respect their independence, there are still rules they have to follow.

Loyal 

However, many dogs are loyal to the entire family, not the Chow Chows. They pick their “person,” and that is it. It can be ironic that dogs so stubborn and independent, like Chow Chows, could be loyal to anyone else but themselves.

However, Chow Chows can be loyal – only to one human alone. So, owners should not expect their Chow Chows to be loyal to all family members, even if they are great family dogs.

Antisocial Behavior 

Most Chow Chows distrust strangers and are resistant to being told what to do. For example, they are placed onto a grooming table; they tend not to obey the groomers they do not know, like being told to stand still.

Owners need to have a great deal of socialization with these dogs and expose them to friendly people. In other words, socialization is a responsibility for Chow Chow owners.

Potential Animal Aggression 

Most Chow Chows are aggressive or dominant towards other dogs due to their hunting and fighting background. Many of them have strong instincts to chase other pets or fleeing creatures.

How much does Chow Chow cost?

Chow Chows are among the most expensive dog breeds out there, usually cost from $1,000 to $4,000 due to their large size. Interested individuals who want to minimize costs can purchase puppies from shelters or rescues.

In most cases, rescues only change between $100 to $300, depending on the required care. Beware that Chow Chow puppies are more expensive than adults because they need more basic vet care before they become adaptable. 

When it comes to the cost of owning a dog, interested individuals also need to consider other things like the puppy equipment, vet bills, food, dog beds, etc. 

Where to buy/adopt Chow Chow Dog

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Some Chow Chow breeders include breeding rights, food, registration papers, and the cost. That is why it is best to contact the breeder to know what else might be included. If they want to minimize the price, they can check out breed-specific rescues.

Here are a few reputable breeders or rescues that adopt Chow Chow puppies:

  • Camelot Chow Chow 
  • Seattle Chow Chows 
  • Chow Chow Rescue Society 
  • Chow Chow Club, Inc.
  • Chow Dog Rescue 
  • Chow Chow to the Rescue
  • Adapt-A-Chow Rescue 

Will Chow Chows Still Grow After Being Spayed or Neutered?

The height and weight of Chow Chows are purely based on the genes. These things have little to nothing to do with hormone alteration. Testosterone in male puppies is reduced once neutered, giving the dogs less muscle mass than average ones.

On the other hand, that event will not affect the dogs’ weight and height. If owners neutered their Chow Chows, their sizes would be not be affected in any form or shape.

Final Thoughts 

The Chow Chows’ distinctive look and independent spirit make them unique and intriguing. If you are searching for a cuddle buddy, this dog breed is not the best for you because they can be aloof and suspicious to strangers. However, if they find their “person,” they can be a loyal companion.

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