The Chow Chow is popular for its distinctive, lion-like appearance. An ancient dog breed, the Chow Chow sort of looks like a cross between a lion and a bear.
It may look cute and cuddly but the Chow Chow actually has strong abilities as a guard dog and may have gone with the Mongolians as they invaded different regions in Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages. With this kind of history, it is pretty obvious the Chow Chow is not the average snuggle buddy. Find out more about the breed in this Dog Breed Journal post.
Chow Chow Dogs and Puppies
What is a Chow Chow?
Proud and territorial, raising a Chow Chow can pose a challenge to some. But you might just be up for it. See if the Chow Chow is the right breed for you.
Where does the Chow Chow come from?
The Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Although it is popular in Ancient China, as depicted in paintings, potteries, and stone statues, the breed’s place of origin is not definite. It may have come from Mongolia or Siberia.
The breed has several names in Chinese. They include Xiang Gou or “beard dog”, Tang Quan or “dog of the Tang empire”, Songshi Quan or “lion dog”, Lang Gou or “wolf dog”.
The breed was an all-around working dog, used for hunting, guarding, pulling sleds, and herding. It may have been a war dog as well.
The Chow Chow was popularized and began to be imported in the Western World when Queen Victoria decided to have one. Many famous people owned Chow Chows as well, including Sigmund Freud and President Calvin Coolidge.
What does a Chow Chow look like?
The Chow Chow has these trademark traits:
- fur in the neck area, which looks like a mane, and
- the blue-black or purple tongue.
- upright ears that are curved at the tips,
- a bushy tail curved over its back, and
- a large and broad head.
- deep-set eyes that are almond-shaped.
A Chow Chow has a double coat; the outer coat is long and rough while the inner coat is dense and soft. Both its head and tail have thicker and longer fur. Because the Chow Chow has long and thick hair around the neck area, it looks like it has a mane. Hence, the lion-like appearance. The color of the breed’s coat comes in black, blue, cinnamon, cream, and red (in different shades).
The breed is generally mid-sized, weighing around 20 to 32 kg, and standing at 17 to 20 inches at the withers.
What is a Chow Chow like?
Chow Chows can be very protective and loyal to their owners. They also tend to develop a strong attachment to one or two people in a family. Moreover, they can be very territorial to their home, especially when a stranger comes uninvited. When all these are expressed, it can come out as being aggressive. To counter this, owners need to socialize them to people, starting at a young age.
Overall, Chow Chows are reserved and often mind their own business. They can also be aloof and stubborn, too. With all these traits, added with their intelligence and independence, some would say Chow Chows are quite similar to cats.
These dogs can do well in apartments as they are not very active. Still, they need to be exercised regularly. A 15-minute walk will do, perhaps a bit longer.
Why do Chow Chows have a blue tongue?
The Chow Chow’s black-blue tongue, which makes it distinctive from other breeds, is like freckles to humans. As puppies, they are born with pink tongues but it darkens when they’re about two months old.
According to a Chinese legend, the Chow Chow has a blue tongue because it licked the sky as the sky was being painted during the time of creation.
Why are Chow Chows aggressive?
People might ask, “Is a Chow Chow mean?” “Is the breed aggressive?”
If the owners don’t treat their pets well, Chow Chow or not, they become overprotective and aggressive.
But a Chow Chow does have tendencies to be aggressive. Why? Looking at the breed’s history, it has been around for a very long time as guard dogs and hunting dogs. This breed is practically hardwired to be tough. The aggression, however, can be countered when Chow Chows are properly trained and socialized as puppies.
How can you bathe a Chow Chow?
The Chow Chows can be bathed once a week. Owners just have to ensure the products they’re using do not strip off the oil from the coat. Mats and dead hair should be removed first before the bath.
Before owners bring a Chow Chow pup home or any other breed for that matter, they must also make sure they have prepared the essential dog supplies.
How much do Chow Chow Puppies cost?
Chow Chow puppies cost around USD $800 to $2,500, depending on the quality of the puppies. Show quality puppies from reputable breeders tend to cost more than $1,000.
Adoption fees, meanwhile, cost around $300 to $600. But some shelters may charge fees much lower than this range.
Are Chow Chows good pets?
Chow Chows can be good pets. People need to remember it’s not just about the breed; it has to be two-way. The owners need to be kind and loving, moreover, firm when needed.
Taking care of this breed does have some challenges. New owners of Chow Chows need to do extensive research before they take their puppies home.