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Chow Chow Dog Breed: Ultimate Guide for Lovers (2024)

Last updated on March 12th, 2024 at 06:28 pm

The Chow Chow (also called Chao Chao dog) is a breed from China famous for their unique appearance and blue-black tongue. With two coat types to choose from—rough or smooth—these medium- to large-sized pups can be a good choice for anyone looking for a non-sporting companion. While some may think that the Chow dog breed is aggressive, in reality, they are calm, loyal, and make excellent companions.

If you’re interested in learning about the characteristics of a Chow dog, you’ve come to the right place! This post will give you the lowdown on this adorable pup. So sit tight and get ready to discover everything you need to know!


Asian origin:China
Height:17-20 inches
Weight:45-70 pounds
Lifespan:8-12 years
Coat type:Double, medium-length, smooth or rough
Colors:Cream, red, cinnamon, black, blue
Temperament:Dignified, bright, serious-minded
Suitable for:An owner who’s a match for their strong will, families without young children, apartment living



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The Chow Chow dog is possibly one of the oldest breeds in the world, depicted in artifacts from China’s Han Dynasty. They were companions to Chinese nobles and worked as guarders, haulers, and hunters. These canines were even a food source in the past of their densely populated homeland. The Chow dog breed was first exhibited in America in the 1890s and admitted to the AKC in 1903.


chow dog breed

A standard Chow Chow canine has a sturdy, muscular build and a compact body. They have a unique gait that looks a bit stilted. Their head is large, with a broad, flat skull and a short, deep muzzle. In addition, their ruff accentuates the proud carriage of the head. The breed’s elegance and substance must be balanced so that it is not too heavy to be active, alert, and agile. Overall, their unique blue-black tongue, scowling expression, and stilted gait are essential to their standards.


The Chow canine is known for their strong sense of independence and inherent nobility. These qualities give them an air of aloofness. Chows are naturally reserved and cautious around strangers, and they don’t appreciate displays of aggression or timidity. Due to their physical characteristics with deep-set eyes and limited peripheral vision, it’s best to approach them from the front.


Chow Chows, whether they have a rough or smooth coat, need regular grooming to keep their skin and fur healthy. To do this, you should brush them thoroughly at least twice a week and address parasite issues, such as fleas or ticks, as soon as possible. Ensure to also take care of their eyes and ears during grooming and trim their nails regularly. Also, remember that after bathing your Chow, you need to dry them totally; maybe a cool air dryer can help.


The Chow Chow canine requires moderate exercise. It is recommended to take your Chow for a walk every day to keep them healthy. These times can also strengthen the bond between you and your beloved pet. However, avoid playing roughly or engaging in high-impact exercises. Additionally, this breed does not tolerate high heat or humidity well, so it’s best to avoid hot periods of the day.


chow dog breed

Every owner should socialize and train the Chow Chow dog early to help them become well-behaved and pleasant companions. The Chow is an intelligent breed, but they can be stubborn, so avoid harsh training methods in order to build trust. Positive reinforcement may be the best choice if you want to train your dog successfully. 

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs


Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.


Chow Chows are generally healthy dogs. However, like all breeds, they may have health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia and eye disease. Thankfully, health screening, plus regular care, may minimize these problems. Your vet can diagnose and manage these health challenges if they occur.


If you’re looking for good commercial dog food, many high-quality dry and wet options are available. But remember to check your Chow’s skin regularly for any signs of irritation or allergies, even if you haven’t changed their food recently. Dog food companies often adjust their formulas without warning.

When feeding your dog, avoid giving them table scraps as much as possible, especially cooked bones and foods high in fat. Also, you have to learn which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Check with your vet if you have concerns about their weight or diet.

Living Condition

chow dog breed

The Chow Chow is a big dog, but they can do just fine in an apartment. They’re not much of an exercise buff, so they won’t mind lounging around. Also, these canines are one of the cleanest dog breeds around. That’s why you won’t have to worry about stinky odors.

Most Chows are alright with being alone for a while but will be happiest when by your side. They don’t like being outdoors, especially if the weather is hot and humid; be careful because they can overheat easily.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Chow Dog Breed

1. Chows Have Blue-Black Tongues

Did you know there are only two AKC-registered dog breeds with blue-black tongues? They are the Chow Chow and the Chinese Shar-Pei. Interestingly, Chow puppies are born with pink tongues but will develop into a unique blue-black color as they grow older. 

2. Martha Stewart Loves the Breed

If you’re a fan of Martha Stewart, you might already know about her furry friends! She owns several adorable Chow dogs and often features them on her TV show and website. One of her precious pets, Genghis Khan, even became a champion at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 

3. They Didn’t Get Their Name From China

The Chow dog breed came from China but did not actually get the name “Chow Chow” from there. This name is believed to have originated in the 1700s when it was a mangled English term for “knick-knacks.”

Chow Chow for Sale

chow dog breed

If you are considering getting a Chow Chow dog, it may cost you between $1200 and $2000. While this breed is not very rare, the price can be higher if your Chow comes from a champion bloodline.

Before deciding if a Chow canine is right for you, it’s important to do your research. Contact other owners, reputable breeders, and rescue groups for more information. If you’re ready to buy, the national breed organization is a good resource for finding reputable breeders and rescue organizations.

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most memorable moments of life. But before bringing your new best friend home, it’s vital to have all the right things to make sure the adoption is really smooth and makes them feel right. You may feel overwhelmed by tons of puppy products on sale and not sure what items your puppy actually needs. That’s why I’ve compiled this minimalist puppy checklist to help you get started.


The Chow Chow is a dignified, serious-minded, and aloof breed with a lion’s mane ruff, blue-black tongue, and deep-set almond eyes. They are compactly built dogs standing as high as 20 inches and come in rough or smooth coats of red, black, blue, cinnamon, or cream. They are loyal to loved ones and alert to strangers, making for an excellent watchdog. Serene and adaptable, with no special exercise needs, almost Chows happily take to city life.


Are Chow Chows a Good Family Dog?

Chow Chows can be good family dogs with proper socialization and training. They are known for being loyal and protective but can be reserved and independent. Early socialization and positive reinforcement are essential for a well-behaved Chow in a family setting.

Why Are Chow Chows So Special?

Chow Chows are special for their unique appearance, including a lion-like mane, blue-black tongue, and a dignified demeanor. 

Are Chow Dogs Expensive?

The Chow Chow dog can be relatively expensive to purchase, and the cost may vary based on factors such as the dog’s pedigree, lineage, and breeder reputation.

Is Chow Chow a Wolf Dog?

No, Chow Chows are not wolf dogs.

How Close Is a Chow Chow to a Wolf?

The Chow canine, like all domesticated dogs, share a common ancestry with wolves but have been selectively bred for specific traits over thousands of years. However, they are far removed from wolves in terms of behavior and genetics.

Is a Chow Chow an Alpha Dog?

Chows need proper training to understand their place in the family. If not, they can become dominant and even try to dominate other canines. So, training your Chow Chow dog and establishing your position as the pack leader is vital!

Why Do Chows Have Blue Tongues?

The blue-black tongue of a Chow Chow dog is a distinctive trait of the breed, and the exact reason for it is not fully understood. It is a genetic trait and does not affect the dog’s health.

Why Do Chow Chows Have Black Tongues?

The black tongue of the Chow Chow dog is a genetic trait. The reason for this unique feature is not fully understood, but it is considered a defining characteristic of the breed.

Is a Chow Chow a Pure Breed?

Yes, the Chow Chow dog is considered a pure breed with a unique set of characteristics and traits.

What Were Chow Chows Used For?

The Chow Chow dog was historically used for herding, hunting, guarding, and sled-pulling.

Can Chow Chows Jump?

Like many dogs, Chow Chows can jump. However, their build may not make them as agile or prone to jumping as some other breeds.

Are Chow Chows Aggressive With Humans?

The Chow Chow dog can be aloof and reserved, so early socialization is crucial to prevent aggressive tendencies. 

How Do You Bond With a Chow Chow?

Bonding with a Chow Chow requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Spending quality time, providing training, and establishing trust are essential for building a strong bond.

Why Do Chow Chows Look Like Bears?

The mane and appearance of the Chow Chow can give them a bear-like resemblance, particularly when they have a full coat.

Why Do Chow Chows Tilt Their Heads?

Like many dogs, Chow Chows may tilt their heads when hearing sounds or trying to understand something. It’s a behavior that can show curiosity or attentiveness.

Why Do Chow Chows Lick the Floor?

Dogs may lick the floor for various reasons, including investigating scents, cleaning up spilled food, or displaying anxious behavior. If it becomes excessive, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian.

Why Does My Chow Chow Lick Me So Much?

Licking is a common way for dogs to show affection, seek attention, or communicate. It can also be a sign of submission or a learned behavior. If the licking is excessive, it’s essential to ensure the dog is not experiencing any health issues.


  • https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chow-chow/
  • https://chowclub.org/ccci/
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/chow-chow-facts/
  • https://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/ChowChow.pdf
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