Chow Chow Puppies
Info, History, Temperament and More

Young Chow Chow puppies have the endearing appeal of small teddy bears. Yet, as they grow up, these cuddly-looking beings don't look forward to being hugged or fussed over and are far from being lap dogs they appear to be at a young age.

Independent, dignified and aloof, the Chow Chow dog breed personality is often compared to the personality of a cat but with the added bonus of being a loyal and devoted companion.

It's a wise decision to dedicate some time to learning more about this breed before you decide if it's a perfect match for you and your family.

Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.

Breed History

Also known as Chow, Chowdren, Lang Gou (wolf dog) and Xiong Gou (bear dog), the Chow Chow is an ancient dog breed believed to originate from Mongolia and Northern China. You can see this breed depicted on pottery and paintings dating back as far as the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 CE).

Recent findings indicate that it's one of the first breeds that evolved from wolf. In fact, Chow is one of the oldest known dog breeds!

The Chow Chow has a history of moving along with the many nomadic tribes of Mongolia, helping them hunt and guarding their possessions. In ancient times this breed's fur was used for trimming coats and its meat was often considered a delicacy.

Some experts believe that this breed may be the ancestor of the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian, and Keeshond.

Queen Victoria was so enamored with this breed that the public's interest was boosted enough to create a breed club in 1890.

Chow Chows became very popular in the Unites States in the roaring 20's, 30's and the 80's. President Calvin Coolidge and his wife have owned two Chow Chows named Timmy and Blackberry.

The breed, which nowadays is mostly used as a pet, first appeared in the United States at the end of the 19th century and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1903. It was categorized under the non-sporting group.

Chow Chow with a Purple Tongue

Physical Characteristics

This Northern Chinese breed is quite powerful, boasting a nice array of strong muscles. Its distinguishing traits include the tail that is carried high, scowling expression and typical blue tongue.

The body of the Chow Chow is square, compact and medium in size. Its neck is beautifully arched, allowing the head to be carried with pride. The muscular chest is broad, with well-sprung ribs. The tail is carried high and close to the back.

The straight forequarters boast heavy bones and short pasterns. The round feet are cat-like with thick pads. The hindquarters are well-muscled, with posterior feet quite similar to the front feet. The dewclaws are often removed.

The Chow Chow has dark brown eyes that are almond in shape, giving the breed a distinct Oriental look. The small, triangular ears are carried erect. The Chow's nose is black, large and with distinctively opened nostrils. The surface of the tongue must be a solid blue-black or purple, the darker the better.

The Chow Chow is equipped with a double coat that comes in two types: the rough and the smooth. The hair around the head forms a distinct ruff. Acceptable coat colors in this breed include red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream.

    Height Weight
  Male 17 to 20 inches 55 to 70 pounds
  Female 17 to 20 inches 45 to 55 pounds

If you happen to find breeders asking a premium for Chow Chow puppies in rare or exotic colors, be careful. Breeders claiming to have "rare" champagne, silver, lilac, chocolate, or white Chow Chow puppies are just trying to make some extra money either by giving fancy names to regular colors or colors not recognized by the AKC.

Sometimes the Chow Chow breed is crossed with other breeds. The Akita Chow mix is an example obtained from breeding an Akita dog with a Chow Chow. When considering a mixed breed, a lot of research must be done since mixes can get the best or the worst traits of both breeds, with the end result of potentially obtaining a "mixed bag" of problems.


This breed's aloof personality, along with its stubborn and independent spirit, requires the consistency and guidance of an experienced dog owner.

White Chow Chow Puppy

The inclination to protect territory and perceive strangers as suspicious is strong in this breed. Yet, according to the American Kennel Club standard, any aggressive displays are unacceptable in this breed. When raising Chow Chow puppies, early socialization is crucial so they can learn to distinguish between friend and foe.

Training a Chow Chow can be challenging. When a Chow refuses to do something, resorting to harsh methods or punishment will cause him to either shut down or retaliate. Positive reinforcement training using a dog clicker and training treats should help make him more eager to work and learn.

On a more positive side, housebreaking Chow Chow puppies is a fairly easy task since this breed is fastidiously clean by nature.

This breed generally does best with older children. It must be remembered that a Chow doesn't have the patience of a Golden Retriever; therefore, this breed may be unwilling to tolerate a small child's clumsiness, erratic movements and high-pitched voices.

Chow Chow dogs can be party poopers when it comes to congregating with other dogs. While most mind their own business and are a bit reserved, some specimens have difficulty getting along with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. Small animals, including small dogs, may trigger this breed's predatory drive and become a tasty delicacy.

Best Owner and Living Conditions

As mentioned, this is a breed that does best with an experienced, confident owner willing to put his time in socializing and training Chow Chow puppies from an early age. While generally aloof to strangers, a Chow Chow tends to develop a particularly strong bond with just that one special person in his family.

Chow Chows can make good apartment and condo dwellers as long as they are exercised daily. However, due to breed specific legislation, in some areas this breed may be restricted.

Chow Chow on Grass

Activity and Exercise

If you favorite hobby is to watch television shows and read books, you may be happy to learn that a Chow Chow will allow you to do all that, as long as you give him a daily walk. If on the other hand, you are an outdoorsy person who loves biking and jogging, keep in mind that while a Chow may be willing to accompany you, his heavy build is not made for strenuous exercise.


Because of its dense coat, regular brushing is needed. You may want to brush daily during the heavy shedding season. Because shedding of the undercoat removes most of the dirt, frequent washing is not required. Dry shampoo when necessary.

Two Chow Chow Puppies

Health Concerns

When it comes to health, Chow Chow puppies are not the healthiest specimens. From orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia to ocular diseases such as entropion, this breed seems to rank low in the health department.

Visit dog health problems to learn more about dog diseases and health care.

You can considerably lessen the chances for many hereditary diseases by purchasing Chow Chow puppies from reputable Chow Chow breeders. Ask your breeder for health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for healthy Chow Chow puppies is 11 to 13 years.

Final Thoughts...

There is no doubt about the fact that Chow Chow pups are irresistible creatures capable of melting even the hardest hearts. But prospective dog owners need to do their homework before embracing this breed.

The Chow's independent spirit makes this breed a bad choice for those looking for a cuddly lap dog. On the other hand, for the right person, Chow Chow puppies make loyal companions that will be treasured for many years to come.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Chow Chow rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

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Chow Chow Puppies » Dog Breeds

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