Chow Chow Dog Characteristics and Care

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The Chow Chow dog is a large Arctic-type dog with a strong body, heavy bones and well-developed musculature. They are trained for a specific task, and their bodily structures are suitable for performing these tasks. They have abilities such as hunting, guarding and leading the herd, and 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, sensitive to temperature, can live comfortably in cold climates and home environments. However, they are adversely affected by extremely hot and humid weather. Chow Chow 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. He is also known as the "Chinese Lion" among the people because he resembles a lion with his feathers concentrated in the head area. They also represent their race as Chow Chow, Chowder, Chow Chow, and just Chow.

At A Glance To The Chow Chow






Spitz, Oriental



Origin Date

ancient times


12-15 years

History Of The Chow Chow

Some evidence emerging about the Chow Chow suggests that their ancestry is based on the spitz-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. 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 Han Dynasty (206 BC) artifacts of China. 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 watchdogs, 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 he 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 things 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".

This first import was in line with curiosity. Because until the late 1800s, there was no ongoing importation process between 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 his unique and noble appearance, the Chow Chow breed has always had an attractive beauty. In 1980, the Chow was exhibited in America and increased his popularity by taking his place at the top as the sixth most popular breed in America. 

Personality & Character Traits

The Chow Chow dog 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 people's attention. The unique tongue, which is blue-black, 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 his appearance, personality, and character, has increased his popularity day by day. 

The Chow Chow is an intelligent dog that displays measured behavior. He 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 doesn'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. He likes to hang out on their own, snuggle in his 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, he is frowning, with his brown eyes caught in the dense hairs, and he walks 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 determines 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 from 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 his character traits, and his 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. 

He does not have a very mobile structure. He is a dog that can live in an apartment. The fact that the house is big or small does not affect him, and he is not happy with it even with his 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 they should 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 and genetically inherited from his ancestors and parents. With these in mind, you can take steps to positively influence your dog's personality and character.

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Physical Attributes


They have a medium-sized body with muscular, large bones and a deep chest. They have short and broad bodies. Due to his double-layered fluffy hair, his body appears larger and larger than it is. Chow Chow's 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. His head with fluffy feathers is smaller than it looks, just like his body. The frowning expression on her face and her blue and black tongue add a special charm to her. He has a wide head and deep mouth. The face is straight. He also has lion mane frills around his head and shoulders. This head and body structure carry all expressions such as dignified, serious-minded, sullen, rude, cute and sweet. Now it depends on the person who sees him and 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 it from a general point of view, the Chow breed has a unique air and sweetness with his round and small ears. Chows, who have high guard and protection features, have a sharp hearing ability. 


They have narrow brown eyes 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. He has a unique place among dog breeds with his narrow eyes, tiny 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 his 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; He 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. 


He has a hairy tail curled on his back on his 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. His tail feathers are thicker than some parts of his 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 is 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. The 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 his legs and tail. The mouth, gums, and palate are 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. The tongue and palate color are dark blue, and the 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. The mane and leg parts can change tone up to light golden color with lighter shading.

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