Is that the king of the jungle? No, it’s a Chow Chow! With their lion’s mane coats and thick golden fur, Chows are truly an eye-catching breed.
Believe it or not, the Chow Chow is said to be one of the world’s oldest breeds, with records dating back to China as early as 206 BC. Between being companions to Chinese noblemen to gatekeepers of villages, these remarkable pups have a long history of being depicted in paintings of nobility and strength.
Although there isn’t a record of where the name “Chow Chow” exactly originated from, a popular explanation discusses 18th-century trading ships between the British Empire and China. In pidgin-English, “chow chow” meant small items in the ship’s cargo that were considered odd or “miscellaneous”, and these unusual dogs traded by the British in China were certainly considered out of the ordinary!
Chow Chow puppy facts
Chow Chow puppies are pure fluff balls! Whether they’re playing with their favourite toy or snuggling up to their favourite human, little Chows are put on this planet to make your heart melt. Here are some facts to consider before getting one of these lovely creatures.
|Size||Medium. Adult Chow Chows weigh between 20-32kg (45-70 pounds) and are 43-51cm (17-20 inches) tall.|
|Breed Characteristics||With a distinctive lion’s mane around the head and shoulders, this breed also has a signature blue/black tongue as well. Chow Chow’s fur, either rough or smooth, comes in a variety of colours: black, blue, cream or cinnamon. Their almond eyes are deep-set. Many owners love Chows because they’re naturally clean, and have little to no odour. Lastly, Chows have the distinctive curly tail, common in Spitz breeds.|
|Temperament||Chow Chow’s are fairly aloof unless you’re in their inner circle. Socialise them early and your Chow will learn to play well with others. They’re independent-minded and are adaptable to city life. Because of their deep-set eyes, sometimes they can get skittish when they don’t see what’s around them. Approaching a Chow Chow directly will lend to building trust and some serious playtime.|
|Grooming and Health Needs||Chow Chow’s have a double coat that needs to be brushed on at least a bi-weekly basis with regular monthly baths. Grooming is essential with this breed, as they have a lot of hair that may house unwanted insects or skin rashes. A Chow Chow puppy coat and the lion’s coat around the head can become matted if not groomed or brushed through regularly.
Common health issues that occur with the Chow Chow include hip and elbow dysplasia, eyelid entropion, general allergies, and thyroid issues. It’s recommended that this breed get a health check regularly to minimise some of these potential health problems.
|Training||Though determined, Chows can be stubborn at times during the training process. Early socialisation and puppy classes classes are a great way for this breed to learn to use their intelligence for good instead of mischief. It’s important to be consistent with your Chow, as they can get distracted. Positive reinforcement and praise are important to create a trusting and loving relationship. So make sure you stick to positive reinforcement training.|
|Energy Level||Though comfortable living in flats, Chow’s need regular exercise. Short walks 3-4 times a day are optimal, and playing with toys (without too much roughhousing) is key. If possible, avoid walking/overexertion with your Chow during particularly hot times of the day, as their thick fur can cause them to overheat.|
|Life Span||Chow Chows live between 8-12 years on average.|
Who is the best human for a Chow Chow?
Chow Chows are great for city and flat living, as they tend to keep to themselves for the most part. Though they’re trainable, Chow Chow’s may get overwhelmed with too many things happening around them, so families with older children or single people might work best for this breed. They tend to be reserved at times, but Chow Chow’s love their favourite human and will wag their signature curly tail just for you. And if you can’t be around as much as you’d like to be, you can find a local sitter on Rover.com who offers dog boarding and can give your dog all the attention they deserve while you’re gone.
Getting a Chow Chow puppy
Whether to adopt or to work with a breeder for your new Chow Chow puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or breeder who offers healthy, ethically-sourced Chow Chow puppies.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a Chow Chow puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find a responsible breeder or are planning on adopting, prepare yourself for an energetic and friendly addition to your household.
It may be surprising to know, but adopting a Chow Chow puppy is possible. Most breed rescues report that a majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender, with the most common reasons being a change in lifestyle or the breed not being right for them. This means that there may be many dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog who’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a Chow Chow mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a Chow Chow rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. The Kennel Club also has an excellent list of Chow Chow rescues on their site.
Finding a Chow Chow breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother, and follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the beagle puppy seems too good to be true, there’s likely something sketchy going on. The Kennel Club also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
Chow Chow puppy resources
After you find the right Chow Chow puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started.