Chow Chow Dog 101| Everything You Need To Know

With unique and distinctive features, Chow Chow dog is not like your typical affectionate dog. It doesn’t like to do that cuddling and stays aloof like a cat. But it has a very cuddly appeal. Chow Chow dog looks like a cross between a lion and a bear and has the appeal of a teddy bear. Another distinctive feature is it is born with 44 teeth, whereas other dogs are born with 42. Even if it has a cute appearance, chow chow has a reputation for being an aggressive dog and is notified as a high-risk pet. It is ranked as America’s one of most dangerous dog breeds.

Chow Chow tends to be more aggressive to children and strangers. And there are several news of chow chow being fatal to children. So, many insurance companies refuse homeowner policies for people who own chow chow. Some states also consider these breeds unacceptable and require the owners to carry special insurance to cover any damage their dogs can cause. 

However, despite its negative reputation, it is said and believed that with proper training, environment, love, and affection, this dog breed can be one of the best breeds to have. Moreover, with your love, training, and lots of physical activity, you’ll have a faithful, protective, furry family member with you. So let’s check out some facts about Chow Chow dogs. 


The exact history of the Chow Chow dog is quite confusing. But it is believed to be the oldest dog breed. Many believe this ancient breed originated in Mongolia and northern China and has slowly moved to the south with the Mongolian people. 

There are early paintings and pottery of dogs resembling Chow Chow from the Han dynasty. And it is said that in ancient times chow chow was classified as a working dog.   


The ancient Chinese emperor would use these breeds for hunting, pulling sleds, and most notably, for guarding. Now, there’s an interesting story behind how to chow chow got its name. Around the 18th century, British merchants, along with some miscellaneous items, carried bear-like dogs and named the items together Chow Chow. The name stayed with the dogs, which is how this breed got its name.

Distinctive Feature

The breed’s most distinctive feature is its blue-black tongue. According to Chinese legend, the tongue got its blue hue when it was being created. It’s said that a Chow licked up the drops of color as the sky was being painted. That’s just an old Chinese myth. However, a chow is born with a pink tongue, and as it ages, it gets that blue-black hue. Another unique feature is its straight rear legs, which give this breed a stiff, choppy, and stilted gait.


A standard Chow Chow breed stands from 17 to 20 inches and weighs around 40 to 70 pounds. And the typical lifespan of this dog is around 8 to 12 years. 

Coat Color 

Chows are generally double-coated dogs and are known to have two types of coats. One is the rough coat, and the other is smooth. The rough coat is one that we are mostly used to seeing. It is thick and abundant and stands off the body exactly like a parka.

However, beneath that rough outer coat, there’s a smooth, thick, and wooly undercoat, and the hairs are generally thicker around the head and neck, which forms like a ruff or lion’s mane. The tail is also thickly furred. The smooth-coated Chow Chow has a hard, dense, and smooth outer coat. It also doesn’t have any obvious ruff or feathering.

Chow Chow Dog Coat Color 

Both coat types come in five colors which are Red, Black, Blue, Cinnamon, and Cream. These colors may be solid or might have light shadings. But if you are considering buying a puppy, don’t pay more because of some exotic or so-called rare color. Because there are breeders who describe or name these as chocolate, lilac, or champagne, which are just fancy names for the regular colors. 


To maintain a rough coat mane, you need to brush your chow daily. But a smooth mane needs to be brushed two to three times a week. Chow chows are heavy shedders, so you need to properly take care of their coats. And you will not get any doggie odor if you regularly take care of the coats. It’s ok to give them a bath per month.

But if your dog plays outside frequently, give them a wash after they get dirty. Brush your chow’s teeth at least two to three times a week for dental and nail care. However, we recommend doing it daily. And trim the nails as it is required. Maintain hygiene and keep grooming while your dog is still a puppy. This allows your chow to get used to it. 


A chow generally needs 2 to 3 or 4 cups of high-quality food divided into two meals daily. But it actually varies from dog to dog, depending on their age and work. It’s just like a human: the more work you do, the more food you will need. So, obviously, an active dog will need more food than a lazy or slouchy dog. 

Chow Chow Dog food


Chows can adapt to all types of homes, from places to condos and apartments. However, it’s suggested that you always keep it indoors among people and not in the backyard. This is because they need daily exercise; at least a good 15-minute walk will do. But do not make your chow exercise in hot and humid weather. They do not do so well in such weather, and it can also be deadly for them. Being Familiar with Children & Guests

Apart from the speculations, make your chow familiar with kids from the very first because a sudden change can make them aggressive. It is said that chow chow dogs are the best companion for a single, old, and retired person. Or any house with kids a bit older also works well. And for strangers, you need to make your chow friendly with guests and let them attach to many people. In this way, they won’t show aggression toward new faces.

Final Thoughts

This is the 101 on Chow Chow Dogs. As you can see, they make very interesting pets if you understand their nature and train them properly. Hope you have enjoyed the article if you have come so far. Feel free to comment below on what else you want to know in detail about the chows. 

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier is a New-York based freelance writer, professional blogger and certified dog trainer. She networks shelter pets to help them find homes and volunteers for rescue groups as she is passionate about dog rescue and adoption. From a very early age, she developed extensive animal handling skills from her dad, and that’s where her love for animals started.

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