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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Chow Chow

Group: Non Sporting (Group 7)
Club: Chow Chow Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Ms Judith-Ann Robertson
Phone: 03 5427 3300

Brief History

The Chow Chow is an ancient Chinese breed whose hunting, herding, pulling and of course temple guarding history can be traced back to at least 150 BC through Chinese scripture and sculptures. Historians also believe the Chow Chow was the fierce dog described as accompanying the Mongolian Army Warriors as they invaded southward into China, providing support for the theory that they probably originated in the high steppe regions of Siberia or Mongolia.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The average life span is 12 to 15 years. 


Intelligent, loyal, arrogant, stubborn, stoic, standoffish and aloof with strangers. 

A Chow Chow will bond for life and will not rehome easily, and therefore should only be considered by those able to give a lifetime of devotion to their pet.

General Breed Description

Known for their Blue/Black tongue, scowling expression, leonine appearance and stilted gait, the Chow Chow attaches strongly to his family, whom he will loyally protect, guard and love unconditionally. However, this stubborn breed will be standoffish and aloof with strangers. They require vast amounts of time socializing as youngsters and should not be left to roam off leash as they will not come back on recall. Highly intelligent, but with no desire to please, obedience training is usually not successful. Chows are extremely clean dogs who are not destructive and who will not bark unless it is necessary. Chows are very easy going to live with and able to adapt to a variety of lifestyles and therefore suit housing situations from apartment living to larger, country properties. Chow Chow exercise requirements are also flexible and they are happy to be couch potatoes or enjoy a 5km walk everyday. Chow Chows come in two coat types, smooth or rough, and in the coat colours of red, blue, black, cream and fawn.

Coat and Care requirement

The Chow Chow is a double coated spitz breed coming in both smooth and rough varieties. They are considerably clean dogs and do not have a strong doggy odour. Brushing regularly for an hour a week will keep the coat in top condition with extra work needed on a de-sexed, shedding or puppy coat. Shedding generally occurs over a 2 to 4 week period twice a year. Bathing is recommended every 3 months to maintain skin health and keep the coat separated.  


Height: 46cms (18ins).


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health and what health testing the breeder does. The Chow Chow is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Entropion (curling in of the eyelid) which is probably the most common health issue found in Chows. Hotspots can also be a regular problem if there is an incorrect diet, or allergies present, or grooming isn’t maintained. It is recommended to inquire with the breeder as to the health testing carried out on breeding stock, of which a minimum of Hip and Elbow scoring for dysplasia should be carried out. Eye testing is also becoming more common. Soft pallets (although not seen as commonly in this country as overseas) is something prospective owners should also be aware of when looking for their prospective puppy.


Whilst Chows have an affinity with families and there is no issue with recommending them to a family home, they are not a breed of dog who will fetch a ball or play games with children. They will however be loyal to and protective of any person in their household. Due to their strength, it may be harder for an older person to walk a Chow on the lead easily, however around the home they are quiet and easy to live with. Chows really can adapt to a variety of situations as long as they are loved, not intimidated/threatened and taught boundaries at an early age. They can co-exist with other pets as long as socialising has happened at an early age. Chows do have a strong prey drive and co existing with rabbits, poultry or other birds is not usually successful. Introducing a cat into the household may not be ideal if the Chow has not previously been raised with cats.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders