Chow Chow 6

Chow 3Chow Chows are among the oldest known breed of canines.  Research shows that they were one of the first dog breeds to evolve from the grey wolf. They are believed to have originated in the regions of Siberia and Mongolia. Historical records indicate that they may have been the dog described that accompanied the Mongolian armies as they invaded China, Europe, and the Middle East. Chow Chows were bred to have multiple purposes, such as hunting, pulling, and guarding. They were once used to guard the great temples in China. In certain provinces of China they were used as a food source in times of famine.

Chows Chows are generally a quiet breed of dog and are often described as having a “cat like” personality.  It is in their nature to calm and well behaved.  Chow Chows can be stubborn and need firm and consistent handling. Training helps Chows become better family pets by introducing and maintaining socialization with other dogs and pets while teaching the canine respect for their handlers.  Chows appear to respond quickly to training and perform effectively with an owner who is willing and able to spend a lot of time in with their dog.

They are not overly active and require minimal exercise. Participating in regular daily activities does help reduce boredom and they will enjoy the interaction with their owner or handler.

Chow 2They form strong bonds with their family and typically bond more with one particular person in a family. For this reason, they are often referred to as a “one person” dog. Chow Chows are known to be highly protective of their territory and families. They are not alarm barkers but this does not mean they will not meet a perceived threat such as an intruder, with aggression. Chow Chows are hesitant to accept strangers and can have aggressive reactions to the presence of an unfamiliar person or animal.

Chow Chows can have an aggressive nature that can extend towards humans and other animals.  Due to strong hunting instincts and prey drive, it is not recommended they live with small animals, including small dogs. Caution and supervision should always be taken when they interact with any animal. They do not belong at dog parks.

They are highly intelligent and independent dogs. They are often described as “aloof”. They are not as willing to please as other breeds because of their highly independent nature. They are loyal and devoted to their owners but we do not recommend them for families with young children.

Chow 1Chows are sturdily built canines and as a breed their frame is compact. They are a medium sized and heavy boned dog. They stand about 17 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 45-60 lbs. They have a dense coat that requires regular grooming and brushing. This breed is well suited to moderate and cold climates but they do not do well in the heat. Their back legs are very straight which gives a stiff legged appearance. Their mouths are highly pigmented giving their tongues a blue-black appearance. Their average life span is between 9-15 years.

In North America from 1982-2015, Chow Chows has been responsible for 66 attacks on humans that has resulted in 8 fatalities.



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6 thoughts on “Chow Chow

  • Diane M Nyberg

    I had 3 chows, 2 red and one black. All were raised in a loving home. Both red chows were vicious by age 2, even toward family members. However, the black Chow was never aggressive always loving and didn’t have a mean bone units body. Our Vet was quite surprised how passive Moki was regardless of what medical procedure needed to be done, our Moki would just let them do whatever. My take away is red chows are more aggressive than the black ones!

  • Ala

    I own two chow chows. I raised both from puppies, and put tremendous amount of time into their training. I am a dog trainer myself, and have seen some aggressive chows, mostly due to the lack of training, the others were simply out of their mind, which is a bad breeding based on crossing of close relatives.
    I also have three kids. And even though I trust my chows endlessly, I would never ever ever leave my dogs and my young kids in the same room. No, I don’t think they will attack, but I won’t take any chances of even a small bite – I don’t feel it is necessary.
    My male chow has been trained in personal protection – I have seen what chows can do, I know how they attack. Couple of times my dogs were attaked by other dogs – once by Doberman, once by Rottweiler, and twice by pit bulls. Chows look like the most peaceful and harmless puffs in the world, BUT Doberman ended up with crushed leg, Rottweiler had severe wounds, and pit bulls simply couldn’t really do any harm because chows are so hairy.
    I have seen how serious these dogs are. Even though mine where never aggressive toward anyone – in fact, they are pretty friendly, I never let strangers pet them, always keep them leashed and would never let any child (even mine) to play with this dog. In fact, I will not let my children to play with any dog – kids are very young, and it takes only a second between “right now” and “changed forever”. This peaceful ideal picture of a young kid being nursed by a large dog – it is the most dangerous misconception in the world! Yes, some dogs will tolerate anything. But if you don’t watch you simply can’t tell when the tolerance ends. And even if you watch, almost always you will be late. It is not necessary that’s a dog will bite – the dog can push, scratch, jump, step, bump into a child. Do you know how dogs treat their puppies when the latter get too annoying. They grab them by their necks and shake gently. It is natural for a dog to do the same for a human child, the only difference is that human babies do not tolerate neck shaking at all.
    I believe that any breed can be dangerous, but yes, some dogs are much more dangerous than the others.
    I train dogs, I love dogs, I see all kinds of dogs. Not all dogs are the same. As the owner of chow chows, I beg people to never get these dogs unless they know exactly what this breed is – not because they are bad (for me they are the best breed in the world), but simply because people tend to be fooled by their lion-like cute looks and never recognize what is inside, and this is when a tragedy might happen.
    I am truly sorry for all those people that were attaked by chows. It is a serious breed that must be well trained and socialized. And please, don’t leave any dog with a child unsupervised – it is better to be safe than sorry.

  • Tarra

    I was attacked by a chow but luckily don’t remember the pain but I Have anxiety from it. Those things are nasty when they attack.

    • Toni P.

      I am sorry to hear about your attack. Chows can be very protective and aggressive. They are not a very common breed and that keeps attacks and fatalities low.

    • Misty pelhank

      I was raised with chows all my life and I raised 6 chows and pups with my children. I know alot about then I’ve owned high bred chows where thier bloodline is AKC quality to the point that they are high quality show dogs. I’ve owned back yard bred where they are bred to much from a owner I bought from that they have health issues or to long legs or long nose or hard headed to much or very restless no matter what. I live this breed with all my heart and even with my kids I made sure they were socialized with them as a pup. And you never come up and scare them from behind. They don’t like sudden movements but are good dogs if raised right and socialized and taken care of. Certain colors to me have better temperaments love the creams and the fawns. Many people have said chows are mean etc. Heck all animals can be mean big or small. I have they ate on the bite list to me pits are the scariest and worst for bites and harm . I have been around and had many breeds but I’d only hsve a chow .