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The Chow Chow

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a picture of a chow chow puppy

These wrinkly, crinkly pups are fun in appearance and sweetly loyal to their humans. Unlike some of the more energetic and hyperactive dogs, the Chow Chow is known to be more aloof and reserved, often being compared to a cat for their demeanor. Newcomers to this breed may find themselves surprised by the pup’s behavior, but those looking for a cozy homebody to snuggle up on the couch with may be pleasantly surprised.

History of the Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is actually a Chinese breed. These pups are thought to have been hunting dogs, bred to serve the Chinese nobility and their hunting parties. The country currently calls them Songshi Quan, and they still exist as a popular breed throughout the country. After their spread to England, they got popular quite quickly. Queen Victoria herself was known to be fond of these puppers.

There are a couple of theories on how the Chow Chow got its name. The first comes from the sailors’ nickname for baubles and curios brought from China, and they applied the name “chow chow” to the dogs as well. The other theory is that they were named after the Cantonese word for “edible.” Thank goodness that’s not how we treat pups!

Common Health Information

picture of an adult chow chow

Chow Chows are a medium to a large sized dog, able to get up beyond 20 inches! They can get fairly heavy as well, weighing in between 45-70 pounds. Your pup’s health is important, and taking care of them means watching out for a few common issues.

These companions are known to suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. This is more common among the larger sized dog breeds, and regular checkups with your vet can help to keep an eye on this. Dysplasia is an abnormal formation of your pup’s joints, and if left unchecked it can cause them pain and eventually cripple them.

Their eyes are prone to glaucoma and cataracts, so this is another thing to ask your veterinarian about. Your fuzzy companion will appreciate it!

Chow Chows are also known to have a few allergy problems. While you may sneeze when your allergies are acting up, your dog’s skin will grow itchy and it can become quite uncomfortable. Your vet will be able to help with this, and it’s important to ask them immediately if you see any discomfort in your pup. Coconut oil can also help with allergies as it reduces the inflammation and has soothing agents when used as a balm.


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These puppers also have quite a warm coat and can be prone to heat stroke. Their coat stays thick and comfy all year round, but if they’re left out in the heat too long it can become uncomfortable for them. There are many ways to combat the heat, and you should be sure to research with your vet to make sure your friend stays comfy.

With good care and regular checkups, your furry fuzzball can live up to twelve years and in some cases longer than that. Take care of them, and you’ll have many years with your loving friend!

Grooming Instructions

a chow chow in snow

Your pup’s coat, which comes in a variety of colors ranging from browns and reds to a deep blue or black, can be quite thick and will need regular grooming. Summer months will get quite toasty, so a good trim in the late spring will keep them happy! 

Unlike many other breeds, frequent bathing won’t damage your pup’s fur or skin. Your fuzzy buddy can be washed weekly if you like, and it will be good for their coat. Brushing their coat to remove matting should also be done on a regular basis.

Their teeth should also be brushed as often as you can. A dog’s teeth can become full of plaque quite quickly, and it’s important to check them regularly and make sure you keep everything spic n’ span!

Personality

These fuzzy pups aren’t as socially outgoing as many other breeds, preferring to be aloof with strangers and potentially aggressive with other dogs. If your companion is going to be living with others, socializing them early in life will be important.

And these pups are smart! Training can pay off with a highly devoted family companion, but a driven independent streak can make things difficult. Like socialization, starting their training as early as possible can help combat their stubbornness and create a stronger bond with your furry friend.

Because of their potential for aggressive behavior with other pups, it’s important to research these dogs thoroughly before adding one to your family. They can be challenging and many might not be up to the task. Those that are, however, will be rewarded with a loyal and loving companion!

Energy Level

A red chow chow

Chow Chows are remarkably wonderful companions for those that want a more relaxed, dignified pet that is more prone to relaxation than a burst of energy. These aren’t the cuddliest of dogs, and you’ll find that they may be more interested in lounging on their own than with anyone else. A Chow Chow can be happier relaxing in a sunbeam than running around in a backyard, but it’s important to make sure they get their exercise. It’s important to make sure they get at least an hour per day. Your Chow Chow won’t ask much more from you, and keeping them happy only takes a small part of your day!

Diet

Historically, the Chinese elite that owned these fluffy pups fed them small amounts of meat. They were later bred to have small amounts of dairy and vegetables as well, adding more diverse options for feeding. They should have around three cups of dry food per day and some may need supplements, but it’s important to adjust this for your friend’s needs. Keep an eye on their weight and how much exercise they’re getting, and adjust accordingly. Keeping a close eye on their diet can make for a happy, healthy friend and will ensure a longer, happier life!

Chow Chows aren’t the easiest puppers to add to your family, but with patience and training, they can be loving and loyal companions. Fuzzy, wrinkly, and adorable, these dogs have so much potential for dedicated and experienced people that are up to the challenge of adding them to their households.


Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.



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