Arguments prevail as to whether the Chow
Chow is one of the truly original dog breeds
or whether it is a descendent of the Tibetan
Mastiff. What is known, is that this breed
with the unique blue-black tongue, has existed
in China since 150 BC. Many of Chow Chows
were used as guarding, hunting or carting
dogs, although the few that were born with
the smoky blue color were often elevated
to the role of Buddhist temple dog. At one
time, the Chow Chow was also raised as a
food supply for Chinese tables, hence the
name "chow" which is Cantonese
for "food." Chows found their
way to Britain in the 1800s and gained popularity
once Queen Victoria herself took a liking
to the breed. The Chow Chow was officially
recognized in 1901 in America and in 1912
in Canada. The Chow Chow enjoys most accommodations,
makes a good watch dog, and requires daily
The height of a Chow Chow is between 17
- 20" (43.2 - 50.8cm)
The weight for a Chow Chow is 35 - 75 lbs
(15.6 - 33.5 kg)
There are two types of coats for the Chow
Chow: rough and smooth; both have a dense,
wooly undercoat. The outer coat of the rough
variety is longer, harsher, straight and
thick. The smooth coat is shorter, straight
and thick as well, but appears to be sleeker.
solid body colors of the Chow Chow's coat
include red, black, blue, sandy, cream or
white. Regular, thorough brushing is required
to keep the full, luxurious coat of the
Chow Chow healthy and free of mats.
The Chow Chow is a dignified, independent,
assertive dog. However, he is also a very
loyal and faithful guardian to his family.
Although in past years, he was considered
an adult's dog with a sharp temperament,
breeders have been working very hard to
breed a Chow with a "family" temperament.
A well-bred and well-socialized Chow Chow
will be just that: an excellent family dog.
The Chow Chow is susceptible to hip dysplasia,
elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, thyroid
disease and eye problems. The average life
span of a Chow Chow is between 9 - 12 years.
A T'ang Emperor in China was known
to have kenneled 2500 Chow Chows.
AKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
ANKC: Group 7 - Non Sporting
CKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
FCI: Group 5 Section 5 Asian Spitz and related
KC: Non-Sporting - Utility Group
NZKC: Non Sporting