Chow Chow

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Did you ever wonder what those dogs that look like a little lion are called? That’s a Chow Chow, an ancient dog dating back more than 2,000 years.

Average size and lifespan

chihuahua silouette
great dane silouette
Height: 1ft 5in - 1ft 8in
Weight: 45-70lbs
Lifespan: 8 - 12 Years


  • Affection2/5
  • Kid-Friendly1/5
  • Stranger-Friendly1/5
  • Dog-Friendly1/5
  • Barking Amount1/5


  • Grooming Difficulty3/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train1/5
  • Can Be Alone5/5
  • Exercise Need2/5


  • Cold Tolerance5/5
  • Heat Tolerance2/5
  • Apartment-Friendly3/5

Chow Chow Information

The Chow Chow’s personality is similar to a cat’s: independent, a little stubborn, and not all that interested in trying to please. His deep-set eyes and turned-up nose add to the scowling look. The breed is well-behaved and rarely destructive, however.

Serious and slightly aloof, the Chow Chow does not need as much exercise as other breeds. Be sure to groom his fur regularly to show off his glorious coat, which can be cream, red, black, blue, or cinnamon. Interestingly, they are one of two dogs (the other being the Chinese Shar-Pei) with a blue tongue.

Chow Chow History

The Chow Chow is a dignified and independent breed of dog that hails from China, a nation famed for its history of producing ornate and regal animal companions. The breed is thought to have existed since before the Han Dynasty, with archaeological evidence suggesting dogs with the same physical characteristics have been around for over 2,000 years.

In China, this breed was historically used as a guard dog and a hunter, but this remarkable breed has become a popular pet over the years. They have come a long way from their humble beginnings in China and are now a greatly beloved companion worldwide.

chow chow dog breed in the grass

Training and Temperament

The Chow Chow is a noble canine companion that has been prized for its intelligence, devotion, and majestic presence. While many people mistakenly believe this breed to be fierce and aggressive, Chow Chows are actually quite gentle and dependable if appropriately trained and nurtured.

In order to ensure that your dog develops into a well-mannered and loyal companion, it is essential to begin training them as early as possible. With consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, your puppy can be taught to obey commands and maintain a calm demeanor in social situations. The breed is highly intelligent and eager to please, so with appropriate encouragement, your pup will soon learn to behave in a respectful and desirable manner.

I had a friend with a Chow Chow that bit a guest after the guest tried to grab it around the neck like the owner did while playing. It’s important to establish expectations for your company that they shouldn’t handle a dog this way and socialize it early to prevent aggression.

It is also important to be mindful of their temperament. This breed is known for being independent, dignified, and somewhat aloof, and as such, should be handled with patience. They should never be subjected to physical punishment, as it can cause deep-seated emotional scars and a fear of people. Instead, reward-based training should be employed to bring out the best in your dog.


When it comes to grooming your Chow Chow’s thick coat, regular brushing and combing is essential to maintain its health and appearance. This breed’s thick, double-layered coat requires a great deal of attention for proper maintenance, and it should be brushed often. They also do well with occasional trips to the groomer for more intense and specialized grooming.

Not only is routine grooming important for your dog’s physical well-being, but it also serves to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Grooming allows you to assess your pup’s coat and skin condition and provides an opportunity to bond. Be sure to use a soft and gentle brush and speak encouragingly to your Chow Chow during grooming sessions.

Sources: AKC

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Chow Chows be apartment dogs?

Chow Chows aren't ideal for apartments, but might be able to live there successfully if there are enough opportunities to find larger spaces nearby to play.

Can Chow Chows be left alone?

Chow Chows are a very independent breed. They will typically do well when on their own for longer periods. Just be sure to avoid being neglectful.

Are Chow Chows good with kids?

Chow Chows aren't a good breed for people with kids. They may be able to live with children given some training, but they don't do well with rowdy behavior.

Are Chow Chows friendly with strangers?

Chow Chows tend to be very slow to warm up to strangers. They require long periods of exposure before they will trust somone.

Do Chow Chows get along with other dogs?

Expect Chow Chows to not get along well with other dogs. Socializing this breed to other dogs may be a difficult process.

Do Chow Chows bark a lot?

Chow Chows don't bark very often of may never bark. Most barking is trained or in extreme situations.

Do Chow Chows shed a lot?

Chow Chows shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Chow Chows need a lot of grooming?

Although Chow Chows require a medium amount of maintenance to keep their coats healthy. Simple tasks like brushing and bathing will suit this breed.

Do Chow Chows need a lot of exercise?

Chow Chows don't need a ton of exercise. You'll just need to provide some basic activity to keep them healthy.

Are Chow Chows easy to train?

Expect Chow Chows to be very difficult to train. If you don't have experience training dogs it's a good idea to hire some expert help when training this breed.

Can Chow Chows handle cold weather?

If you live in a cold climate, Chow Chows will do extremely well and may even enjoy being outside in the chilly weather.

Can Chow Chows handle hot weather?

Be careful with Chow Chows in the heat. They don't do well in hot climates for long periods.

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