Chow Chow originated in China, where it was known as Lang Gou (wolf dog) or Xiong Gou (bear dog). The breed is known to have been in existence 2,000 years ago but might be even older. Some experts say that the breed resulted from a cross between the Tibetan Mastiff and the Samoyed, although other experts claim the Chow Chow is one of the founding breeds of dogs and is the parent breed for Samoyeds, Keeshonds, and several other similar breeds.
The Chow Chow is a sturdy dog, standing 17 to 20 inches tall and weighing between 50 and 75 pounds. The head is carried high and is large with almond-shaped eyes. The ears are small and upright. The tail is carried over the back. Both the rough and smooth coats have a thick, dense undercoat. The rough coat Chow Chow is straight and stands out from the body. There is an abundant ruff around the head and neck. The tail is well-feathered. The smooth coat Chow Chow is shorter, with no ruff, and is hard and dense. Coat colors include red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream.
Grooming the Chow Chow requires some work. The undercoat on both coat types does shed and can shed a lot! Thorough brushing is needed at least every other day, although when shedding is at its heaviest, daily brushing is better. The Chow Chow is not an active breed. A walk morning and evening will suit this breed quite well. Chow Chow puppies appreciate a couple of playtimes throughout the day.
The Chow Chow is a dignified breed, aloof and reserved. Early socialization is needed so that the dog can connect with people. During socialization, he should meet people of all ages, especially children. Early training should be firm and structured yet fun and upbeat.
The Chow Chow does better with an experienced dog owner who understands the breed’s temperament. With socialization, he can be good with kids who treat him with respect. He may not be good with other dogs or pets. Health concerns include hip and knee problems, eyelid defects, and sensitivities to anesthesia.