Chow Chow


Though its origins are unclear, the Chow Chow can be traced back to ancient China. An all-purpose working dog, the powerful and lionlike dog was used for guarding, hunting, and herding. The name Chow Chow was adopted after the breed was brought to England, and its popularity rose after Queen Victoria took an interest. Like the Shar-Pei, the Chow Chow is known for its blue/black tongue and makes an extremely protective and loyal companion.


Medium, 17 to 20 inches; females 50 to 65 pounds; males 60 to 75 pounds.


Red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream.


Serious, independent, dignified; devoted to family, not demonstrative. Suspicious of strangers and aggressive with other dogs.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Confident owner who doesn’t need a cuddly canine.


Daily exercise (casual walks), low heat and humidity, socialization, firm training, daily brushing for rough coats and weekly for smooth coats (more when shedding).

Life expectancy:

8 to 12 years.