Chow Chow: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


Among all the characteristics of the Chow Chow, its striking blue tongue and its spectacular hair that reminds it of a bear stand out. It has a calm, loving and faithful character. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Chow Chow dog breed .


Chow Chow character

As a general rule, the chow chow is a dog with a calm character and good manners, very affectionate with children and with an extraordinary attachment to its family.

Also, if it gets used to it from a puppy, it maintains a good relationship with other dogs and with animals of different species, including cats.

The chow chow is a dog with a not excessively territorial temperament and, in general, it is a great family dog that distributes its affection among all the members of the house.

It is important, in this sense, that all the components of the family intervene in their education and that they do so by following common patterns of behaviour, executing orders and routines in the same way and making the dog understand, clearly and precisely. what really is its place in the “herd”.


If it is not done in this way, sometimes the dog becomes dominant, territorial and jealous of its space, and lies to become the leader of the group, just below its master, to whom it will dedicate all its affection, even preventing them from other members of the “pack” interact with them.

Thus, in order to enjoy the many qualities that this exotic breed of dog has that have made it a great family dog ​​in many different parts of the world, we must proceed collectively.

Thanks to its personality, with strangers the chow chow tends to be friendly and indifferent, but in the case of very possessive individuals it is possible that they bring out their temperament and try to reject the presence of newcomers by exercising a role of protector of the herd that does not correspond to them.

This dog is usually perfectly adapted to any type of life, both in the country and in a small apartment in the big city, as long as it is guaranteed dedication and proper care and is allowed to do some daily exercise, even if it is in a moderate way.

Due to its special conformation, with its characteristic hindquarters, it cannot be considered an athlete, so a few complete daily walks and some free play sessions are enough for them to be in good shape.

It is, in short, an animal with a very special character that accompanies the family without noise or excessive activity, with a friendly presence. A calm dog, ideal to be used as a guard dog. Very independent and faithful to its master, although it always maintains a reserved attitude.

  • Energy: You need some daily exercise, but of moderate intensity. Good walks and a few moments of freedom are enough for them.
  • Temperament: it is calm and somewhat independent, but very brave, wilful and faithful. It shows reserved.
  • Adaptability: a It adapts to any environment, urban or rural.
  • Sociability: medium / High. it is sociable with almost everyone, but without being overly effusive.
  • Health: You can suffer respiratory, eye and dermatological problems
  • Longevity: very high. It can live more than 15 years.
  • Utility: very versatile. It serves as a hunting dog, guardian, companion, herding, shooting, rescue …
  • Use: guard and company.

Chow Chow characteristics

Two characteristics of the chow chow attract significant attention: a striking blue tongue and an almost non-existent rear angle, responsible for its peculiar way of moving.

The chow chow is a dog of compact constitution, with good bones and very balanced in its proportions. Its bearing is proud and dignified.

Known in China for more than 3,000 years, the chow chow is a dog with a very robust appearance and physical appearance , of medium to large size.

Regarding its body, it is a medium to large dog, with a compact and robust body, and a short and straight back. All this, together with its leonine and vigorous appearance, gives the chow chow a perfect balance.

The head is broad and flattened, with well-filled cheeks and a broad muzzle. The showy mane or collar of soft hair that stands out around the neck stands out in this breed.

Their eyes are of moderate size and oval in shape, they are dark, and in dogs with fawn or blue hair they are also the same color as their hair.

The ears are small, thick, triangular and with a rounded tip. With a perfectly erect bearing, they are inserted very far apart.

Low, straight and solid extremities, the feet are rounded and well seated on the toes. They fall within the so-called “climbing shoes”.

The tail is set high in line with the back and well covered with hair. In the lower part, the coat takes on a lighter color than in the rest of the body.

The hair of this breed can be short or long, but it is always profuse, dense and straight. It comes in black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white, often tinged.

Let’s now see in more detail what the chow chow dog is like and the breed standard:

Chow Chow breed standard

  • General appearance: it is a compact dog, with a short body, a proud appearance and a leonine appearance, with a very voluminous coat.
  • Size: medium / large.
  • Varieties: Chow chow shorthaired and chow chow long hair.
  • Height at the withers: between 48 and 56 cm for males and between 46 and 51 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 20 and 25 kg for males and between 18 and 20 kg for females.
  • Origin: China / UK Patronage.
  • Body: it is compact, robust and very balanced.
  • Head: it is broad and solid, with a characteristic lion-like appearance.
  • Skull: it is flat and broad, with very muscular cheekbones.
  • Muzzle: of moderate length, it is wide from the eyes to the nose.
  • Lips: they are bluish-black in color, as are the tongue and palate. The gums are usually black.
  • Nose: it is large and broad, and always black, except in cream-colored or almost white dogs, in which the nose may be light in color, and in blue or tawny chows, in which it can acquire the same color of coat.
  • Eyes: They are oval in shape, medium in size and well outlined. The iris is dark in color, but in dogs with blue and tawny hair the eyes can have the same hue as the hair.
  • Ears: they are small, thick and slightly rounded at the tip. The carriage is perfectly rigid and erect. Inserted far apart from each other, they are positioned well forward above the eyes and slightly converging with each other, which gives the dog a frowning expression that is characteristic of this breed.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): not very pronounced.
  • Jaws : They are powerful and armed with strong, well-aligned teeth. It has a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, that is, the inner surface of the upper incisors is in close contact with the outer surface of the lower teeth and they are implanted at right angles to the jaws.
  • Neck: robust and developed, without being short, it sits firmly on the shoulders and is slightly arched.
  • Chest: it is wide and deep. The ribs are well arched, but not barrel-shaped.
  • Back: short, straight and strong, with a broad and powerful back.
  • Forelimbs: the forelimbs are perfectly straight, of moderate length and have good bones. The shoulders are muscular and sloping.
  • Hind limbs: they are very muscular and with perfectly vertical metatarsals. The hocks are very low and with very little angulation, which is essential to produce the characteristic gait of this breed. They never bend forward.
  • Feet: they are small and round, the so-called “cat’s feet”, with good support on the toes.
  • Tail: set high, the animal wears it well bent on its back.
  • Color: the coat comes in a single shade, which can be black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white. Often the color is nuanced, but there are neither spots nor spots (small marks or fur spots). The lower part of the tail and the back of the thighs are often lighter in color.
  • Hair: it comes in two lengths: long or short. In animals with long hair, it is very abundant, dense, straight and parted. The outer coat is rough in texture, with a soft, woolly undercoat. Around the neck the hair is especially dense, forming a mane or collar. The presence of abundant hair also forms “pants” on the back of the thighs. In short-haired dogs, it is abundant, dense and straight. It is not smooth but it is bristly and with a plush texture. In this case, the texture is plush.
  • Movement: it is short and stilted, with the forelimbs and hind limbs moving parallel to each other and straight forward.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 205 Groups 5 – Spitz and primitive type dogs. Section 5 – Asian Spitz and related breeds.

Chow Chow puppies

If you are looking for information on the Chow Chow, it may be because you are considering adopting or purchasing a Chow Chow puppy.

Before taking the final step, we believe that there are a number of aspects that we believe you should know. The puppy learns the basic and more instinctive behaviours from its mother, but then an intense process of socialization and training must be carried out so that it becomes a stable and balanced adult.

You must be aware that from a very young age, the puppy (always under the authorization of the veterinarian), must experience other noises different from those of its home.

You should also take them to see other places and have contact with other dogs. In this way we will prevent it from being a fearful or asocial animal.

If you have decided to buy a chow chow puppy, be sure to buy it from a breeder who is serious and responsible. The cheapest price does not always have to be the best option. Ask them all the questions that you think are appropriate and look for information and opinions about them on the Internet.


Chow Chow education and training

Regarding how to train a chow chow dog, saying that at times it can be somewhat stubborn, it needs its handler to wisely combine affection and firmness, and that it always act fairly, without abusing a position of superiority.

It is important for the owner to realize that its pet, like all dogs, needs to have rules and behaviour guidelines to follow.

It is a very dominant dog and for this reason it is essential to establish in it from a puppy, naturally and early, what is the hierarchical order of the family, so that it does not try to occupy a higher place in the “pack” than it corresponds to. and obey your master in everything.

But authority and firmness should not be confused with force, as the chow chow does not work out of submission or fear, but out of admiration and respect. If an abuse of power is exercised, the most probable thing is that the animal shows rejection towards its owner and becomes an elusive and little communicative animal.

Likewise, if it perceives weakness or incoherence in its owners, it may try to impose its will and become very possessive and even aggressive with those around them.

Therefore, the objective is to win their affection, admiration, consideration and trust, which is a continuous work and, sometimes, nothing simple, which requires some experience in handling dogs and certain knowledge about dogs. springs of canine behavior.

Therefore, inexperienced owners should seek the help and advice of professionals or join a work group that provides them with the appropriate tools to educate their dog well.

Another essential work to be carried out is an early socialization process, which must be intense and varied. It should actually begin when the puppy is only a few weeks old, and even before it reaches its permanent home.

The objective of both the breeder and the new family is to try to share the maximum number of hours a day with the animal, especially during the first months, and to incorporate it into all daily routines and even extraordinary activities, so that it is provide all kinds of experiences and train you to be able to react and take on any situation in the future.


Chow Chow dog feeding

Regarding how to feed a chow chow, its food must be of high quality. It must be balanced and contain a good supply of nutrients, such as proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates; as well as minerals and vitamins.

The chow chow’s diet must be balanced, especially when the pet is still a puppy. In this way we will guarantee that it will grow in a safe and healthy way.

For example, during the first three months we will divide your daily intake into four doses. Between four and seven months it will be divided into three, between 8 and 17 months to two. After 18 months of life, it can be fed once a day.

You should also pay special attention if a chow chow strand is pregnant. Since from the second month of gestation and during the lactation period, females need to eat between two and three times a day.

A problem that affects almost all dog breeds, due to their low activity, is obesity. To avoid this, we must take care and observe their diet so that they gain weight easily.

It is essential to provide quality chow chow dog food and that the animal gets daily exercise and activity. Fortunately, it is easy to buy in specialized stores or online.


Chow Chow health and diseases

The chow chow dog breed does not suffer from too many serious diseases, but sometimes it suffers from respiratory problems due to a poor opening of the nostrils, or eye diseases due to a poor opening of the eyes.

On the other hand, excess fur makes it prone to allergies of various kinds. But it is by no means a troublesome, weak, or sickly dog, and it has an above-average longevity.

It is very important to go to the vet at least twice a year. It is the specialist who should be in charge of the vaccination program and external and internal deworming. You should also monitor the pet to be able to detect possible diseases or health problems in the chow chow.

Well cared for and fed it can live without problem between 9 and 12 years. But it is known of many specimens that have reached 15 years.


Specific care of the Chow Chow breed

Regarding how to take care of a chow chow, although it does not have a specific aesthetic arrangement, that is, it does not need a characteristic cut, it can be considered that it is a dog with quite large grooming needs, since to be in perfect shape conditions its coat requires remarkable care.

Regardless of whether it is a short-haired or long-haired specimen, the chow chow is characterized by having a spectacular coat.

Thick and abundant, it requires certain care and a lot of perseverance to prevent knots from forming, which may make it necessary to resort to radical solutions such as shearing.

Chow Chow brushing

Combing and brushing the animal in depth is the fundamental routine in the grooming of this breed.

In principle, it should be brushed at least twice a week, but frequency and dedication should be increased in long-haired specimens, especially during the shedding period.

The fundamental tool is a good brush with metal bristles and long enough to reach the bottom of this very dense layer. And in certain cases you can also use a rake to work the undercoat.

The characteristic lion finish is achieved by combing it against the grain and trying to leave the hair stretched and straight in all parts of the hair.

Body and both on the head, a hallmark of the breed, and in other areas such as the legs, hands and feet, to achieve a spectacular final finish you must use a metal comb and also use it against the grain, in order to give volume and accentuate rounded shapes.

Chow Chow Bath

The chow chow only needs to receive a bath when it is really dirty, and it must be taken into account that, due to the large quantity and density of its hair, this task is not exactly easy.

A very important aspect is not to use too hot water, since this can weigh down the coat.

And it is also essential to always choose a good shampoo and specific conditioners that do not alter the natural characteristics of your hair. They must be products that do not alter the pH of the skin and do not affect the characteristic texture of its coat.

Fortunately, as the chow chow is a widely used dog for dog shows, its owners have on the market a whole series of products designed specifically for the breed and can choose the most suitable for their pet.

It is interesting to note that if you want to take the animal to a special event, or exhibition, where its beautiful coat shows, it is better to bathe it a few days in advance so that the hair recovers its texture and can be combed and shaped in a way. much more effective.

Chow Chow drying

Another important part of grooming this dog is to dry it very well after bathing, without leaving it wet, to prevent knots from forming.

It is important to use an ejector of sufficient power, capable of removing all the water that remains in the undercoat, since it allows a more effective brushing and helps to eliminate dead hair, which cannot be accessed using only the comb or The brush.

It is advisable to take advantage of the moment of the bath to check the state of the nails and, if necessary, cut them to the appropriate length, taking care not to injure the animal.


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