Also Know as:

Chowdren, Chow



Origin: China

Type: Pure Breed

Height: 18 to 22 inches

Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years


Known for their willfulness and independent nature, they are often known to be apprehensive of strangers and other dogs. But in all, they make very good dog companions and can be loyal to a fault.



The Chow Chow is a medium to large-sized dog having a very dense coat. This coat may be rough or smooth depending on the dog. They look stout and bulky, with a broad skull and ears that are small and rounded. Their coat can come in different colors from red, black, blue to white cream and cinnamon.

Another feature of the Chow Chow that makes them distinct is their straight legs and their blue-black tongue. Their straight legs make their movement look stiff when they are walking and the blue-black tongue is just unique.



Chow chows can eat up to two to three cups of dry food a day. You can split this into the number of times you want them to eat. This would be dependent on your dog's size, age, and activity level. Also, make sure to have fresh water readily available. Be observant of your dog and watch out for any small change especially in regards to stomach bloats and obesity. Obesity is a big problem with chow chows as their hair makes it hard to observe the true state of their weight. To be on the safe side, always measure them and discuss your feeding plans with your vet doctor.
Chow chows are known to shed their hair heavily both in and off-season, so taking care of their coat is of high importance. Learning to use the correct tools for grooming properly here is something essential, something all Chow chow owners should endeavor to learn properly. If not, you will likely end up with a badly groomed dog, worse your dog can get wounded, just like one having a bad haircut. Usually, grooming a chow chow should be left to professional dog groomers especially for one new to them. You get to learn the basics and gradually apply them with time reducing the dependency on professional groomers.
Chow chows are known to be willful and independent. Qualities that make training them hard for anybody. Even at that, they are quick learners. Training a chow chow would require one to be consistent and firm with instructions. Chow chows are also known to be resistant to any form of restraint, like leashes and collars so training them early to get used to these is also important. Also, socialization is important for the chow chow to learn how to behave around strangers
Chow Chows are known to be naturally lazy, but because of their joint structure, daily walks are recommended for them. Usually, when they don't get some form of daily exercise or play, they tend to start exhibiting erratic behaviors.
Even though the Chow Chow is known to be a relatively healthy dog, there are few health issues which they are prone to especially taking into consideration that they are heavy-set dogs. Some of these health issues are Hip dysplasia, Gastric dilatation-volvulus, Entropion, and Brachycephalic syndrome.


A very distinctive dog breed, the chow chow is regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds to still be in existence. Evidence of their existence can be traced back to China’s Han Dynasty where you will find these dogs depicted in various artifacts. In fact, evidence of their existence even goes further back than this as the probable origin of the burly Norwegian Elkhound.

These dogs were known to be revered companions to Chinese nobles. A Chinese emperor in the Tang Dynasty was known to have a kennel with up to five thousand Chow chows and ten thousand plus staff to manage the same kennel. This was as far back as the eighth century.

As time went on, the roles of these dogs changed from hunters to haulers and then guards. There are even mentions of some areas in the Cantonese region during starvation times depending on this dog as a source of food. The name Edible dog was used to identify them in these places.

The name chow chow came to be widely used from the seventeenth century from British Empire trading ships doing business around the Asian region. Chow chow was a concocted name, a pidgin-English expression used to describe small, miscellaneous items that were not properly documented. It was just another way of identifying items that could not be tagged properly. The British traders put these dogs in this category hence the name chow chow stuck.

Queen Victoria took interest in this breed which led to it becoming popular in Britain, by 1895 a club was formed for these breeds in England.

The eighteenth century saw an influx of the chow chow into America, they saw their first exhibition in 1890 and by 1903 they were fully registered in the American Kennel Club.

Martha Stewart a home guru expert and White house Resident Calvin Coolidge all helped to popularize the Chow Chow by making public appearances with this breed.