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Chow Chow Breed Information and Photos

Category Chow Chow
The Chow, originally bred in China, is an intelligent and loyal dog breed. This page contains Chow Chow breed information and photos.


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By 2 found this helpful
March 28, 2006
Breed Description: The Chow Chow has a broad, flat skull, small triangular ears and a thick double coat suitable for harsh weather. This dog breed has a strong personality and is usually loyal to only a select few people. Two of the breed's most distinctive features are its nearly straight hind legs and its bluish-black tongue.

Group: Non-Sporting group.

Purpose of Breed: Guard dog and pulling carts.

Country of Origin: China

Average Size: Chow Chows average 18 - 22 inches tall and weigh 45-75 pounds.

Color(s): The Chow Chow comes in five different colors: red (light golden to deep mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon (light fawn to deep cinnamon) and cream.

Coat Type: Chow Chows have either a rough or smooth coat. The rough coat is most common and has a longer and coarser outer coat. The smooth coat has a shorter and sleeker outer coat. Both types are double-coated and have a dense, woolly undercoat..


Grooming: This breed is susceptible to eczema, so the coat requires regular grooming-especially the mane around the collar. Extra brushing is needed during shedding season and standard care should be exercised for ears, pads and nails. The eye should be monitored closely for signs of trouble.

Exercise Needs: Chow Chows need lots of daily exercise and attention to maintain a healthy mental and physical state. This dog has a highly independent nature and should live in a house with a fenced yard.

Temperament: This breed is intelligent, independent and tends to be extremely loyal to only a few people. This breed is not easily dominated and if not properly trained, the Chow Chow can be unfriendly toward people and very aggressive toward other dogs. The owner of a Chow Chow needs to be a consistently calm and assertive leader. Chows are best acquired as puppies and need to be raised with a loving and patient, but firm, hand.


Common Ailments: Highly susceptible to eye disorders, skin disorders and also prone to hip dysplasia.

Life Expectancy: Averages 8-12 years.

Trivia: Martha Stewart owns Chow Chows and often featured them on her show.

More Information: Chow Chow Club, Inc.

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September 1, 20120 found this helpful

Here is a great informational video from Animal Planet about the Chow Chow breed. It includes general information, history about the breed, and tips for raising a Chow Chow.

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

December 25, 20096 found this helpful

This is Honey, we adopted her as a puppy in March 2008, she's about 2 years old now. We believe she is a full Chow Chow. We found her through Petfinder and the NW Chow Chow Rescue, located in Oregon. There were several other puppies and adult dogs that were rescued at the same time. Rocco, ThriftyFun's "lion dog" was taken from the same home and was in pretty poor shape. Honey was rescued when she was young enough that she has no ill effects from her original home.


We were originally looking at an older dog, maybe just out of puppyhood, because we know it can be harder to find them homes. But we were "talked" into Honey because we were a good, stable family and a good fit for her. We promised to get her fixed as soon as she was old enough. She also needed to have entropian eye surgery, which is very common with Chows.

Honey is a great dog. Whenever we take her to the vet or the pet store or the groomer, someone comments on her mellow happy disposition. They say she is a golden retriever in a Chow body. She attracts attention where ever we go. It feels like we are escorting a celebrity around. I call her my Chow Chow Princess. When someone comes over, her tail explodes like a spray of fireworks.

She is the most catlike dog I have ever met. She chases fluff and insects and eats them. She will hunker down near the heating registers and watch it blow up bits of dust. It is pretty funny. She loves when we do laundry, because stray lint or threads will fall to the ground. She also likes the vacuum for the same reason.


I was never much of a dog person before Honey. She has totally converted me.

Merry Christmas!

By Jess in Hillsboro, OR

Honey chow chow

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By 3 found this helpful
January 3, 2019

Your Pet's Age


Your Pet's Breed
Chinese Chow Chow

How and when did you get your pet?
In November of 2014 I had someone threatening to kill me. My sister recommended I find a Chow Chow breeder. They are loyal and protective of their families. I found Striker online and he was flown from Lindale, Texas at 9 weeks old! He has been my faithful, loving, sweet companion!

What does your pet like to do for fun?
He loves, loves to travel anywhere!

Do you have anything else to share about your pet?
He earned his AKC Good Citizen Award and The Chow Chow Community Award.

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By 11 found this helpful
November 8, 2011

Pebbles is an 11 year old Chow. This picture was taken on Christmas Day. Pebbles was given to my husband and I as a wedding gift. She likes to go for rides in the van, and going visiting our kids and grandkids.

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By 6 found this helpful
May 12, 2011

Honey is 3 years old and is a Chow Chow. We got Honey as a puppy a few years ago from the Northwest Chow rescue. Honey loves long morning walks, and she especially likes going to the beach.

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June 7, 2010

It has been awhile since everyone has been updated on Rocco, one of Thriftyfun's office pets. Here are some recent photos of Rocco, before and after his new haircut.

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May 15, 2017

Honey was rescued from a breeder when she was a puppy. Although many of the dogs who were rescued at the same time were poorly cared for and abused, Honey was young enough that she just needed a family to love her. She was an adorable bundle of fluff when we adopted her at 3 months old.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 29, 2008

Tootsie is a 6 year old Chow Chow. I searched the internet; she is Martha Stewart's Paw Paw's Granddaughter. I drove to Connecticut and picked her up Nov. 2002.

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By 5 found this helpful
October 24, 2011

Honey is a 4 year old Chow Chow. Honey was born on Endor and came to us as a little fur ball Ewok. Honey loves to corner fluff and pounce on it.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 12, 2007

Smurf is 10 years old and is a Chow Chow. I got her from a breeder.She likes to sleep. She love food, and hates cats and monkeys.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 27, 2006

Bubbalouie is a 6 year old Chow Chow. I bought my precious baby from a breeder in Columbus, Ohio.

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May 18, 2016

We were looking for a family dog and liked the personality of my mom's Chow mix, Maggie. She suggested we contact the NW Chow Chow Rescue for a possible adoption. Honey was part of a large rescue operation at a "puppy mill" type breeder in Oregon. She was just a puppy so was relatively unscathed by the situation.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 7, 20100 found this helpful

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)
Rocco (Chow Chow)

Rocco is nearly 5 years old. He was a rescue from a puppy mill, along with many others of all ages (38 in all), all Chow Chows in February of this year. It took a lot of time to get all of the dogs away from where they were, get them vet care and transport them where they wanted to go. So many people helped in all phases to find better lives for these dogs.

Luanne Alomair from the Northwest Chow Rescue was looking for foster homes for a lot of dogs. She knew that I wanted a male to go with Maggie (who really doesn't like girl dogs) so thought of me. I hadn't really planned on adopting a dog right then but he really needed a home and there he was. I said I'd foster him for a while but, after a very short time, knew he was a keeper.

When I picked him up, he had stitches all over the place. He was very scary looking and when nervous makes a growly sound, just breathing really, but it sounds pretty scary if you don't know it's normal for him. We called him Franken Rocco for a while.

After he was rescued, a vet had taken all of the dogs and given them needed care. He was neutered, had entropian surgery on his eyelids and had a forehead lift (2-4 inches were taken out and his forehead pulled up) plus all of his shots. He had fur and skin hanging down over his eyes and luckily he didn't go completely blind.

He had lived his life in a cage except a once a day potty break according to one of the rescuers. All of the dogs were in an apartment house of cages, one stacked on another. He was used as a stud dog and with the entropian, heavy forehead and an elongated palette, he passed on those traits to the offspring. Please choose carefully if you get a purebred dog. Most pet shops buy from puppy mills and most are caged and the bloodlines are not considered.

He didn't know what to do with all the new freedom to move. The first couple of nights he slept in his crate but after that he just wanted to be able to stretch out on the floor. He didn't have any accidents in the house nor did he chew up anything. We didn't know what to expect, especially with the cats, but other than showing interest in them, he learned quickly to leave them alone.

Since I received him he has had another entropian surgery. He had scratched out his stitches while staying over night at the vets so had to have a few put back in and wear a "satellite dish" for two weeks while his stitches healed. We called him Spaceman Rocco during this time.

You can see how much he has improved since we got him. His eyesight is better, he can chase a ball and will bring it back. He has a lot of toys which if we put them back in the basket, he takes out one by one and lays them around him. Our other dog, Maggie just loves him. She licks his eyes and feet and tries to get him to play with her. She's a lot faster and has a lot more energy than he does. With little exercise for most of his life, he is still building endurance.

All in all, he's a lovely dog. He is sweet, forgiving and very friendly to everyone, cat, dog or human that he meets. Now he's just big fuzzy Teddy Bear Rocco.

Luanne is still working on placing dogs, she has worked tirelessly for 5 years and has rescued and placed 300 dogs in that time. If you are interested in helping, here is the link to her rescue.

Susan from ThriftyFun

We have lots of posts about Maggie:


Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

Wow, what a good thing you did. It makes me absolutely sick to know that dogs are treated like that. I am surprised he doesn't have residual problems since he was in a cage all that time. My son and DIL got a dog from the humane society and they said he had been in a puppy mill. He did not trust anyone for a long time except my DIL. Now he is pretty good with most everyone. (07/22/2008)

By Elaine

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

He is a beautiful, sweet boy and I would love to give him a big hug and kiss! It is wonderful that some of those puppy mill dogs have been rescued and given a new life, like Rocco. I know you both are blessed by his joining your family. My personal menagerie includes (in order of acquisition): Miss Kitty (a solid black female who had been neutered and declawed on the front paws before I got her) who adopted me by coming up on my patio and refusing to leave; Missy, a dachshund/beagle mix female who was 12 and 1/2 years old when I adopted her a little over a year ago (her mistress had died and the family no longer wanted her and dumped her at the humane society); Goldy, a golden retriever/? mix male who was picked up by the dog catcher and taken to the humane society; Zorro, a bird dog/? mix male who came up in my yard and, when I took him to the humane society, they asked if I would agree to foster him until he was adopted; and, last but not least, Casper (who lives up to the name of Casper the Ghost), a great pyrenees/? mix male who was also picked up by the dog catcher and whom I also agreed to foster. Because Casper truly acts like a ghost and won't let any human get near him, I doubt if he will ever be adopted, but, given the chance, Zorro will make some child a wonderful, loving pet. Our local humane society is a no-kill society, and the pets are housed at people's homes until such time as they can afford to build a proper boarding area for them. Again, I think it's wonderful that you and Rocco met and bonded. Thanks for sharing him with us and God bless you. (07/22/2008)

By Pat Giles

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

Bless you! (07/22/2008)

By Holly

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

Bless you for your love and rehabilitation of Rocco. Glad he has a good life now. (07/22/2008)

By Nance

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

Your love and caring is beaming out from that gorgeous face. A rescue is the bestest dog of all! (07/23/2008)

By Carol W.

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

My thanks for you for adopting this poor animal. I cannot believe puppy mills are still legal. We have a chow/lab mix that we adopted from a shelter. He is also a sweet guy, can be a little aloof, but there is a big heart inside. He had 3 homes in the first year of his life, so it took him a while to figure out this is his forever home. We love him dearly and he gives it back. I congratulate you on taking on this dog and all his problems. You won't be sorry! (08/06/2008)

By Marcie

Rocco (Chow Chow Rescue)

I love this story, and the little darling is priceless!
I adopted many years ago a senior dog that had been rescued from a puppy mill. She was a female black lab named Jenny. She was the sweetest little old girl. We took her home to let her live out her last days in peace. She had been bred continuously and was treated with negligence but still this dog would see children and "smile". So the shelter asked me to foster the dog. It wasn't two weeks before she crossed the rainbow bridge. I petted her and loved her and had a good time with her. She never left my side. What a memory. Thanks for reminding me how wonderful these dogs are! Robyn (04/29/2009)

By Robyn Fed

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Pets Dogs Dog Breeds Chow ChowMarch 15, 2012
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