Chow chow


Chow-chow is a dog with an amazing appearance, a history covered with legends and an amazing, completely unknown character.

Brief information

  • Breed Name: Chow Chow
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Birth time of the breed: 1957
  • Weight: males 25-32 kg, females 20-27 cm
  • Height (height at the withers): males 48-56 cm, females 46-51 cm
  • Life expectancy: 9-12 years old


  • The first thing that catches your eye is the unusual appearance of the animal. A luxurious lion's mane, a slightly frowning expression of the muzzle and a purple tongue make the chow chow an absolutely unique dog.
  • Behind the cute appearance of a huge plush toy lies an independent, and sometimes stubborn character. Chow chow can be safely attributed to the aristocrats of the dog world – they are proud, confident, their behavior is balanced and majestic.
  • Chow-chow will give her canine love and devotion only to the owner, and she will choose the "leader" on her own, and it will be impossible to convince her, which is why it is better to take a puppy into the house at an early age.
  • Innate stubbornness can become a serious problem in training. It is important that the owner has sufficient experience in keeping dogs.
  • Chow chows are stingy in expressing their feelings, but at the same time they are sensitive to the owner's condition and are always ready to help.
  • Dogs of this breed are clean, and therefore do not really like walking in "non-flying" weather.
  • Chow chows are very smart, they have their own opinion about everything and are extremely reluctant to do what they consider optional for themselves.
  • Aggression towards strangers is observed only in case of a real threat. The reaction to other animals is usually neutral, but the owner must be prepared for possible sudden outbursts of hostility.
  • Relations with the household are friendly, but the pet will not approve of excessive emotionality and familiarity.
  • Chow-chow are very silent and will not disturb your neighbors at the entrance.
  • Girls are usually more obedient, active and inquisitive, males are better suited for an exhibition career.

Chow chow is one of the oldest breeds in the world. A dog that licked the edge of the night sky, a bear dog, a lion dog - what kind of epithets were not awarded to representatives of this breed by human imagination. Having appeared in China more than 2 thousand years ago, chow chows were originally used as watchdogs, hunting and even fighting dogs. Now it is a companion dog that has preserved in the depths of its mysterious soul all the best features of its distant ancestors.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Activity ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Training ?
Difficult ( Rating 2/5)
Molt ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Need for care ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Health ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Attitude to loneliness ?
Moderate time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
Noise ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Security qualities ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
*The characteristics of the Chow Chow breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Chow Chow breed

White chow chow

There is no reliable information about when exactly the history of chow chow began. But there is no doubt that it dates back several thousand years. According to some sources, back in the 3rd millennium BC, there were records about this amazing breed in the palace library of the Chinese emperors, which, unfortunately, have not been preserved to this day.

One of the versions of the origin of the breed says that the first dogs of this type appeared in China as "gifts of peace", which the Mongol conquerors presented to the emperor. The Mongols got a bear dog as a war trophy during clashes with the indigenous peoples of Siberia. Archaeological finds confirm that the ancestors of the Chow Chow lived in this area.

The question of the genetic roots of the breed remains open to this day. Many experts tend to accept the version about the origin of the chow chow from polar wolves. The fashionable legend that the first dogs of this breed appeared as a result of interspecific crossing of a husky and a polar bear does not stand up to any criticism.

Once in China, chow chows were initially the property of only the courts of high-ranking nobles. But gradually the interest in animals faded, and dogs spread throughout the country, they could be found even in the homes of poor Chinese. Control over the purity of blood was lost. The situation was saved by monks of Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, Manchuria and Northern China, who carried out careful breeding work, conducted pedigrees of blue and black chow chows.

Europe met the "bear" dog as an outlandish beast from a distant Celestial Empire. The first "fuzzies" appeared here in 1780 and for almost a hundred years were perceived only as exotic animals. The situation changed in 1865, when Queen Victoria, fascinated by the plush miracle presented to her, showed interest in the breed. In 1887, the British started breeding chow chow, and eight years later the breed standard was approved and the first chow chow club appeared in the Old World.

The Russian history of the breed dates back about eighty years, when the animals appeared in the Soviet Far East. Later, after 1945, some of the dogs were brought to the USSR from the eastern regions of Germany. A more or less stable population was formed only by the 60s of the last century. It became possible to get closer to the world quality standards of the breed only after 1976, when purebred chow-chows from recognized and titled producers were brought to the Leningrad kennel club.

Bitch and male chow-chow
Chow chow puppies

Why "chow chow"?

As well as versions of origin, there are several variants of interpretation of the breed name.

  • So, the word "chow" in Chinese means "an animal that can be eaten." And although the gastronomic predilections for dog meat are inherent, rather, to Koreans, in China, too, they have never disdained this dish.
  • However, the same Chinese have the word "kau" – "dog", which is very close in sound to "chau". The version is less bloodthirsty, therefore more popular.
  • Rich Chinese gives us another explanation. The word "chaou" means a dog distinguished by great strength and courage – these are the features characteristic of real chow chows.
  • The European version refers us to the English "chow-chow" – the so-called special rooms on merchant ships that transported dogs of this breed across the ocean.

Video: Chow chow

Appearance of chow chow

Fluffy handsome

Chow-chow is one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world. Amazing fur and dark tongue have become the reasons for the enduring popularity of animals.


The height at the withers of the male is from 48 to 56 cm, females – 46-51 cm.


Adult male weighs 25-32 kg, female – 20-27 kg.


The skull of the chow chow is flat, wide, with a good filling under the eyes. The stop is not pronounced sharply.


Wide, medium length without "fox" pointiness. The nose lobe is wide and large, usually black. In fawn and almost white dogs, a light color is allowed, and for tsimtov (cinnamon color) and blue chow-chow – a natural shade of the lobe. The palate, lips (preferably, and gums) are black. The tongue is blue-black.


Oval, medium-sized. The pupil is clearly visible. The chow-chow of blue or tsimtovy color may have eyes matching the color of the suit.


Thick, small in size, rounded at the ends. Wide-set, erect, but slightly tilted to the eyes, which gives the muzzle a frowning expression.


Harmoniously curved and well set on the shoulders. Powerful, not short.

Muzzle chow-chow


Straight, short, strong with a powerful loin.


Deep, well developed with pronounced but not barrel-shaped ribs.


The tail of the chow chow is set high, lying on its back.

Front legs

Absolutely straight, medium length. The backbone is powerful.

Hind legs

Black Chow Chow

Powerful, medium length. The angles of the hock joints are minimal, which gives rise to a "stilted" gait characteristic only for this breed.


The paws of the chow chow are small, rounded, raised on the fingers.


Long – very thick, straight and erect with a rather coarse covering hair and a soft undercoat. It forms a characteristic "lion's" mane around the neck, long "pants" on the back of the hips are well pronounced. Intentional shortening of the hair that changes the appearance of the dog is not allowed in any case.

Short (smuf) – very thick, has a plush structure. The hair is located perpendicular to the body.


Necessarily uniform pure colors – black, fawn, tsimt, red, especially valuable – blue and white. Shades of the main color are allowed, but never spots.

Any deviation from the standard is a disadvantage or a disqualifying sign, depending on the degree of its manifestation.

Adult chow chow photo

Character of chow chow

As much as the appearance of the chow chow is original, its character is also non-standard (in relation to dogs). People who know about the chaushka by hearsay claim that this is an arrogant and heartless animal, and the owners of these unusual dogs speak with one voice about the kindness, devotion and responsiveness of their pets.

Chow-chow with a child

The main character traits are independence, poise and dignity. Even the love for the owner, this dog will show with special restraint, hiding endless devotion inside. Like all large dogs, the chow Chow independently chooses the leader of the pack. And it's not at all a fact that they will be the one who brought the puppy into the house. Other household members will also receive their share of favor and kind attitude, but the heart of the animal will belong only to the "leader" for his whole life.

The outward manifestations of love are very restrained. The dog whines almost inaudibly, gently pokes his nose at the owner. The delight of communication can also give out a barely noticeable trembling of the tail.

Discontent usually manifests itself in a dull growl, which, depending on the degree of concern of the dog, has different shades.

Newborn chow chow

All chow chow owners note an amazing, almost telepathic, ability to sense the mood of the owner if he is upset or unwell about something. But this dog will not understand and will not approve of excessive emotionality and short temper.

If you have a child in your house, explain to him that this stuffed animal is not a toy at all and will not tolerate pain and excessive pranks even from members of his pack. If a kid offends an animal, he will never be able to find a common language with him.

Chow chow's attitude towards strangers is always wary and distrustful. The dog usually does not show aggression, but he will not accept unsolicited caresses from a stranger.

Relationships with other animals cannot be called simple. The chow will love the cat she grew up with, while the tailed one, seen on the street, will be chased by her at every opportunity. There is usually no interest in oncoming dogs. If the first acquaintance still took place, then the decision made by chau will never change – either it is an enemy, or a friend, or just an acquaintance who just needs to "politely nod in response." Of the other dogs that are kept in your house, the chow chow will tolerate only a representative of its breed of the opposite sex.

Coward chow chow does not celebrate. In the case of aggression towards himself, the dog will enter the fight without hesitation to the bitter end. Powerful jaws, large size and the thickest wool that protects from bites are good arguments in any fight.

Chau will rush to protect the owner without hesitation, even if he was not trained in security work. He just loves you and is ready to give his life for it.

Education and training

Outwardly resembling a huge plush toy, chow chows are distinguished by a very firm and even somewhat wayward character.

Chow chow on a leash

Raising an obedient dog turns out to be a matter that requires great patience, dedication and consistency.

The upbringing of a chow chow puppy should begin from an early age. Nature has laid in this cute fluffy lump such willpower and integrity of character that only a real leader will obey the chaushka. Moreover, your leadership should be calm, confident and not subject to the slightest doubt. A hysterical aggressive person will never cope with this dog. Flirting and lisping, you will not achieve results either. The pet, sensing the weakness of the owner, will take the place of the leader himself and it will be almost impossible to make changes to such a hierarchy.

For successful upbringing, it is necessary to socialize the animal as early as possible. Walk with him more often in crowded places so that the puppy gets used to the idea that there are many other strangers besides you. This will gradually neutralize the innate dislike of strangers. The Chow Chow are very jealous of the inviolability of their home. The situation when guests come to the house, who (according to the puppy) allow themselves to move around its territory uncontrollably, can cause stress in the dog and an aggressive reaction following it, so we must try to teach the baby to calmly treat new faces, smells and voices as quickly as possible.

Wet chow chow

A big plus in the education of chow chow is their innate cleanliness. The puppy very quickly understands where to go to the toilet, learns to endure from walk to walk. But do not abuse this ability – after sleeping and every feeding, the dog needs to be taken outside.

Training chow chow at home seems to be a very problematic enterprise. A representative of this breed simply will not follow orders that he considers incomprehensible or stupid. If you don't have enough time or you have at least the slightest doubt in your abilities, it's better not to get down to business. Immediately give your pet into the hands of an experienced instructor, otherwise it will be extremely problematic to correct the consequences of training.

Experts note that the execution of even a simple command takes place at chaushka in several stages. First, the dog will assess the expediency of the command in this situation, then decide how much you are set up to fulfill it, and only after realizing that your willpower cannot be broken, will perform the required actions. If you give up the slack, the chaushka will continue to go about his business. The situation is even more complicated with the execution of service commands, especially for endurance. Well, the animal does not understand why it should stay in the same position for a long time. And if he doesn't understand, then he won't do it.

The main difficulties in training chow chow are encountered when working with males. Girls are more docile, obedient and sociable, not so eager for leadership in the pack as representatives of the stronger sex.

Care and maintenance

chow-chow at the puppy show

The conditions of a city apartment are quite suitable for the maintenance of a chow-chow. This dog is distinguished by a balanced and calm character and, being alone, will never howl loudly, irritating neighbors, or spoil furniture. And the chaushka is strikingly clean, which is noted with special pride by all the owners.

Due to the special structure, the hair of dogs of this breed practically does not get dirty, and when polluted, it cleans itself perfectly, so experts do not advise bathing a pet more than 2-3 times a year. Of course, you can't do without this procedure before entering the exhibition ring.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to comb the dog every day when it does not shed. It is enough to perform this procedure once a week with a rare comb. Chow-chow wool is not prone to the formation of tangles. The exceptions are the armpits and places behind the ears. These areas need to be monitored more closely. During the molting period, the fallen undercoat remains on the wool and is well removed when combing, which these days requires systematic.

Experts of the breed note that a richer, longer and thicker coat is characteristic of males. A chow chow that spends a long time on the street or is kept in a specially equipped aviary looks even more luxurious. This applies to adult dogs. In puppies up to six months of age, the body is covered with down, which quickly falls off, gets wet and dries very badly. The condition of the baby's wool cover should be carefully cared for and try not to bathe until the first adult molt.

Procedures related to cleaning the ears and teeth of a dog are no different. But the haircut of the claws is usually not needed – they are well worn on the ground due to the structure of the paw. Claws on the thumbs require more attention, especially in winter. The dog's eyes need daily care – they need to be wiped with cotton wool soaked in a special solution.

Chow chow puppies at a meal

For feeding chow chow, the optimal use of premium dry food with a reduced fat and protein content will be. It can be a mixture for animals with a predisposition to allergies, or any other dietary composition. Even three-month-old babies can be transferred to the menu for adult dogs, since usually puppy food is saturated with fats, and for chow chow it is not very good.

If you prepare food for your pet yourself, then you need to make sure that there are not many fats and carbohydrates in the diet. Sea fish and meat are preferred in raw form, and cabbage, lettuce and other leafy crops will bring the greatest benefit from vegetables. Cereals are not welcome, except for buckwheat and rice in very small quantities. The tubular bones of the bird should be completely excluded. The introduction of a small amount of vegetable oil into the diet contributes to the improvement of the quality of the wool cover.

As for the diet, it should be remembered that it is better not to finish feeding the chow, and the possibility of a permanent "snack" between feedings should be excluded. In any case, the nutrition of dogs of this breed should be monitored carefully. Chow chows are prone to allergic reactions, and any imbalance in the diet, especially an overabundance of carbohydrates, can lead to undesirable consequences.

Chow chow puppies are not shown running long distances or long hikes. It is better to release the baby from the leash so that he can regulate his own physical activity.

Responsibly approach the selection of a collar for your pet. The usual one will not work – the wool is wiped off from it and the dog's appearance suffers noticeably. The best option is a narrow leather or cloth collar or a special harness.

A well–groomed and healthy dog is the best recommendation to you as an experienced and skillful owner!

Health and diseases of chow chow

Chow-chow – dogs with good health. However, there are a number of hereditary diseases that are most often found in representatives of this breed. These include atopic dermatitis, hereditary myopathy and inversion of the eyelid.

I'm not fat, I'm fluffy

Hereditary myopathy manifests itself in a decrease in muscle tone, a violation of the ability of muscles to contract, atrophy. The danger of the disease is that it affects all skeletal muscles. The disease is manifested by difficulty in activity – the animal gets up hard, movements are constrained, during walks the dog may even fall and not immediately rise, the hind legs begin to move with "hare jumps". More often, such problems begin to manifest themselves at low air temperatures. If any of these symptoms appear, it is necessary to urgently contact a veterinarian. The dog should be kept warm. The disease is dangerous, as it can lead to serious complications and even death of the animal.

Atopic dermatitis refers to allergic diseases of a hereditary nature. It is accompanied by severe itching and skin changes resembling eczema. The main symptoms are almost incessant scratching and licking of the groin, axillary and interdigital areas of the body. According to statistics, it occurs in almost 15% of dogs of the chow-chow breed (bitches are more often ill). Neglected dermatitis can cause otitis media. For more effective treatment, the allergen should be determined clinically or by exclusion.

The inversion of the eyelid is manifested in the pathological location of the latter, which is why the eyelashes are turned to the eyeball. The constant friction of the eyelash hairs on the cornea of the eye not only constantly irritates the eye, which causes copious lacrimation, purulent discharge, but can lead to ulcerative keratitis, corneal perforation and even blindness. Treatment is usually surgical, although for puppies it is enough to perform the eversion of the edge of the eyelid with its reliable fixation with several stitches.

Like most large dogs, chow chows are not immune to hip dysplasia. Such a defect can be laid down at the gene level and manifests itself in a predisposition to subluxation in this joint. If your chick has started to limp on her hind legs and stagger when walking, it is urgently necessary to do an X-ray, since clinical tests do not reveal the disease. A sick animal should be restricted in movement and protected from stress. Depending on the stage of the disease, various medicinal and physiotherapeutic methods are used or surgical intervention is resorted to.

Timely vaccination, control over the balance of nutrition, and the use of vitamin preparations can be a guarantee against the occurrence of other canine diseases.

How to choose a puppy

Solving the problem of choosing a puppy, you have to find the answer to a number of questions.

Puppy chow chow with mom
  • Who do you want to see next to you – a champion dog, winner of numerous exhibitions, or just a pet? A chow-chow puppy that you take "for the soul" may have deviations from the breed standard (spotted tongue, hanging ears) and even more serious disqualifying signs (narrow chest, undershot or overshot, incorrect tail placement). Most often, all of the above is not related to the state of health in any way, but is simply deviations in the exterior and is quite acceptable for exclusively "home" pets. Choosing an exhibition puppy is more complicated. It is better in this case to resort to the help of a specialist or to take into account the recommendations of the breeder. It is important to know that it is better to choose a show-class dog at the age of about 12 weeks, when its "pedigreed" features are more clearly manifested.
  • Girl or boy? Males are better suited to participate in exhibitions – they have fewer deviations from the breed standard, look more impressive and solid. The chow chow girl is a wonderful choice as a companion dog. She is more affectionate, gentle and sensitive than the male. Attachment to the owner and members of his family in the bitch is much more pronounced. The downside of the content is the problems associated with the physiology of the animal.
  • At what age is it better to take the baby? For a show career, it is better to take a puppy grown up to about six months old. At this age, the risks of making mistakes in estimates and forecasts for the success of an exhibition career are minimized. You can buy chow chow for home at an earlier age. If there are small children in your home who, no doubt, will see an incredibly interesting toy in the dog, then wait until the puppy is 4-5 months old – it will be easier for him to adapt to the not always deliberate behavior of young household members.
  • Long-haired chow or smoof? Both of them are absolutely equal in the sense of pedigree qualification and enter the ring on absolutely equal rights. It is easier to take care of smoofs – they have much less wool and they do not need daily combing. Many also note the more sociable nature of smooth-haired chow chows.
  • Where to get a puppy? The answer is obvious – only in a specialized nursery or with a breeder with a good, time-tested reputation.

What should I pay attention to when choosing a baby?

  • The color of the fur on the muzzle, paws and under the eyes. This is exactly the color your chow chow will have when it grows up.
  • A six-week-old puppy has baby teeth. The mouth, including the palate and tongue, should be blue-black, the tail raised high, the ears fully or partially raised.
  • Observe the animal, determine its temperament. Cowardly aggressive puppies should be rejected by you immediately.
  • Evaluate the condition of the baby's eyes: whether there are purulent secretions or traces of active lacrimation. Examine the eyelids – one of the typical chow chow diseases, entropy (inversion of the eyelid), can manifest itself already in puppy age.

Photos of chow chow puppies

How much does a chow cost

Chow chow has been gaining popularity in recent years. This dictates high prices for puppies on the one hand, and on the other – increases the likelihood of selling you a dog of low quality by unscrupulous breeders.

If you are not interested in the pedigree of the dog and you are ready to accept the presence of defects and even disqualifying signs in your chosen one, then buying a small chow can cost you about $50-$70. A puppy without a passport, but fully conforming to the breed standards, will already cost noticeably more – $200-$250. For a representative of the show class, purchased in a specialized nursery or from well-known breeders, you will have to pay at least $400. A bitch, especially of elite blood, will cost more than a male.

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