Life span: 9-15 Years
Height: 48-56cm (Male); 46-51cm (Female)
Weight: 25-32kg (Male); 20-27kg (Female)
Chow Chow is the dog breed originated from China and is known as Songshi Quan in the area. Chow Chow dogs are loyal, quiet, independent, aloof breeds which can be friendly with your family members. They are “puffy-lion dogs” by its Chinese name. They shed a little, but are not hypoallergenic dogs.
This large dog has a fluffy tail that curls over its back and small ears that remain erect. Its eyes are brown with a black nose and its face has wrinkles. They can have one of two types of coats, the rough coat, which is long and gives the dog a fluffy bear appearance; or the smooth coat, which is shorter. Both are doublecoats that have a dense undercoat. Both coats can be black, blue, red, white, brown, light brown or cream colored.
This ancient breed is thought to have the Tibetan Mastiffs as ancestors. A study done in 2004 established this breed’s genetic fingerprints as one of 14 ancient breeds, and fossilized bones have also been tracked back to the Chow Chow. Their history is believed to go as far back as to 150 B.C, during the Han Dynasty. They were originally used for hunting birds due to their scent skills, and unfortunately, also as a food source. Their name is thought to be derived from the word “chou”, meaning edible in Chinese. In 1880, during an exhibition that featured “Wild Dogs from China”, Queen Elizabeth noticed the Chow Chow, making her take an interest in the breed. They were brought to the United States in 1890, and accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1903.
This breed is good with children and other household pets, as long as they are socialized early in life and introduced properly. They are loyal and overprotective with their families, although they tend to get attached most to one specific person. They are shy and wary of strangers, and might be aggressive towards strange dogs. Training should begin early in life, and owners must establish themselves as the leaders, or the Chow Chow might attempt to become the “alpha”. Owners should be firm but loving with this dog, especially when training or giving commands.
This is a generally healthy breed. However, they can suffer from:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).
Their coats need to be brushed twice a week, and it must be bathed monthly, using a cool dryer to dry the dog afterwards. Their nails must be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed an ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly active and require daily exercise, but this must be done while in cool temperature due to its large coat. Although highly intelligent, this breed is also stubborn and therefore hard to train, but with positive reinforcement it can be achieved. Early socialization is a must for this breed.