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Chow Chow

Guard dog of the ancient Han Dynasty of China

The breed can be traced back to the Han Dynasty of 2000 years ago as the Han Dog, a guard dog, but Chow Chows have played many roles during their long history. At times, they were the lordly companions to Chinese nobles, much prized because of their blue-black tongue. Over the centuries they also earned their keep as guarders, haulers, and hunters. Two Chows were brought to Britain in 1780 by traders from the East India Company. In the 1820’s Chow Chows were exhibited at the London Zoo as the “Wild Dogs of China,” but they didn’t really catch on in the West until Queen Victoria, an inveterate dog lover, acquired one later in the century.

The Chow Chow is a dignified, aloof dog, with a keen intelligence. It is natural for the Chow to be reserved with strangers, part of the Chow Chows reserve with strangers is due to the dogs limited peripheral vision; strangers approaching a Chow Chow should take this into consideration. Chow Chows are not known for being big barkers. As they have a natural watching instinct, they might bark to let you know of the comings and goings at home, but many owners say that otherwise they’re fairly quiet dogs. Chow Chows can be excellent with other animals and children, however, they must be socialised from a young age to ensure best results. Training should begin when the Chow is a puppy; they need firm, consistent authority from their handlers. The breed tends to be dominant, so their owner should be gentle, but firm with the dog from a young age. This dog often maintains an alpha position and will attempt to be the alpha even among their human pack. The Chow Chow can be overprotective and may be stubborn at times. They are often a “one-person” dog, but they are immensely loyal and can be a great pet to an experienced owner and their family.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKUtility
Bred ForGuarding, Hunting
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginChina
TemperamentIndependent, Loyal, Aloof
Exercise NeededUp to 1 hour a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females46 – 51 cm / 18 – 20 in
Height at Withers – Males48 – 56 cm / 19 – 22 in
CoatMedium length, Rough or Smooth
ColourVarious – see photos
Life Span8 – 10 years
  • The Chow Chow has a blue-black tongue.
  • The Chow Chow originated as a sporting dog, used by Chinese aristocrats to hunt pheasant and partridge.
  • Chow Chow ancestors were a food source in the distant past of their densely populated, protein-starved homeland.
  • The breed’s name did not come from the Chinese but rather from pidgin English when ship captains used the term “chow chow” to describe various bits of bric-a-brac instead of listing each cargo item separating.
  • The Chow walk is referred to as “stilted,” meaning a stiff-legged way of moving, which can appear unusual.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Chow Chows.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Chow Chows, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Chow Chow breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site.

Thanks for reading!

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