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Chow Chow

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Chow Chow

The double-coated Chow Chows come in two varieties; the rough and smooth coated. The most popular is the rough-coated with thick, stand-out hair, a heavy mane and a thick, dense coat like miniature lions. The smooth coated Chow Chow looks like an Akita, but smaller. They have a short, dense and abundant coat. Their coat colors are red, black, fawn, grey, cream or white. The tail and back legs are usually a lighter color. The broad head should be flat and the muzzle wide at the eyes then narrowing towards the nose. The almond-shaped eyes should be dark and the nose must be black. The small, erect ears are triangular in shape. The inside of the mouth and gums should be black however the tongue is blue/black in color. The teeth should meet in a scissor-like bite. The slightly arched, muscular neck merges into strong shoulders and a short, level back. The broad chest is deep with well sprung ribs. The forelegs are straight and the hindlegs are relatively straight producing a stilted gait. The feet are small and round in shape. The thick tail curls and is carried over the back.

Temperament Chow Chows are polite, patient, well-mannered, independent and protective. However, they can also be stubborn, willful and bossy. They are loyal to their families and usually attach themselves to one specific person. Since Chow Chows are a dominate breed their owners should be calm and fair but firm and dominate. They will snap or bite if they feel that their owner is being threatened or harmed. Also, if strangers assert themselves, this breed will become aggressive. Although this breed is naturally aloof with strangers and are dog dominate, they get along well with children. They also get along with cats and other household pets if raised with them.
Height, Weight Height: 18-22" ; Weight: 45-70 lbs.
Health Problems As with larger breed dogs, Chow Chows are prone to hip dysplasia. They are also prone to entropion which can be corrected with surgery.
Living Conditions Chows can live fine in an apartment if they are exercised regularly. They are sensitive to heat but love to be outdoors.
Exercise Chow Chows can be rather lazy, but regular exercise will keep the breed healthier.
Life Expectancy About 15 years
Grooming This breed requires a lot of grooming. It needs regular brushing in order for the coat to have the lifted, stand-out look. This breed is a seasonal heavy shedder and is sensitive to heat.
Origin The Chow Chows' exact origins are not known; however, fossilized dog remains have been found with similar structures to this breed. These fossils have been dated to several million years ago. It is thought that spitz dogs are descendants of this breed. Chow Chow's are believed to be from the Mongolia and Manchuria regions. In these areas their fur was used for clothing and their meat was a delicacy. The breed was eventually introduced to their neighboring country, China. Here, evidence has been found that Chow Chows were used as early and as far back as the 11th century to guard temples against evil spirits. One Chinese emperor was known to have kept over 2500 pairs of this breed. Chow Chow's arrived in Great Britain by merchants in the 1800s. Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) and Queen Victoria were both admirers and owners of the breed. Due to this, their popularity grew and in 1895 a Chow club was formed. It is thought that the breed received their name from the pidgin English word "chow-chow", a term describing miscellaneous items brought from the Far East. The aristocracy used Chows as hunting dogs, guard dogs and watchdogs, as well as for pulling sleds and carts. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Non-Sporting, UKC Northern Breed