Did you know?
It is believed that the Chow Chow is one of the native dogs used as the model for the Foo dog, the traditional stone guardians found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces.
The dog’s most important job is still around. Like the legendary Cerberus, the dog still keeps many of us from the Hell of Loneliness. – Tara and Kathy Darling
Another member of the Spitz family of dogs, the Chow Chow has been raised in China for over two thousand years. He has been used as a temple guard dog and as a hunting companion for Chinese emperors. ‘Chou’ is Cantonese for ‘food’, and this dog was once raised as food.
The Chow’s most unusual characteristic, his blue-black tongue, is shared by only two other dogs, the Chinese Shar-Pei, and the Thai Ridgeback.
The Chow stands up to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. He has a long, thick, dense, double coat that comes in two types. The rough coat has a lion-like ruff that stands out all around his head and neck. The smooth coat has no ruff. The Chow’s coat may be solid black, blue, tawny, red, white, or cream. Regular grooming is necessary to keep the coat tangle-free. Like other Spitz dogs, the Chow carries his plumed tail curled up over his back.
Photos displayed courtesy of Margit Lassen
The Chow Chow is friendly and faithful to his family. He tends to be a one-person dog and bonds closely to that individual. Although he has the appearance of a cuddly stuffed animal, he is proud, reserved, independent, and goes his own way! He is also alert and naturally wary of strangers. The Chow makes an excellent guard dog and is a tenacious fighter if provoked. He may be aggressive towards other dogs and cats and is best with older children.
The Chow is intelligent but strong-willed. He should be put in obedience training and socialized from a young age. Training may be a challenge! The Chow needs a strong, confident owner otherwise he may try to dominate. A tendency towards laziness should be curbed with regular, daily walks. The Chow does best in a house with a fenced yard. Due to his heavy coat, he is really unsuited to hotter climates.