The Chow Chow dog comes from a breed as distinct and noble as any in the canine kingdom. Originating from the vast landscapes of China, these majestic dogs have captured the hearts of dog enthusiasts with their regal bearing and unique features. 

Known for their black tongue and fluffy double coat, Chow Chows are a statement of sophistication and history. This guide from A Pup Above will take you through raising a healthy Chow Chow puppy, ensuring your pup grows up to be a vibrant and loving companion. 

Dive in as we explore the heritage of the Chow Chow and the essential care practices that will help your puppy thrive.

What Is the History and Origin of the Chow Chow Breed? 

Tracing its ancestry back to the Han Dynasty, the Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds. With deep roots in Chinese culture, these dogs were originally bred as hunting dogs, tasked with guarding their owners' possessions. 

This breed's journey from the East to Western hearts included admirers such as English Queen Victoria and, even today, celebrity owners like Martha Stewart, who have helped the breed gain prominence. Their long history and esteemed status are a testament to the timeless appeal of the Chow Chow.

What Are Chow Chow Characteristics?

The Chow Chow has a mane like a lion and a blue-black tongue — one of their most distinctive trademarks. They come in several coat colors, including the sought-after red Chow, and two coat types: the rough coat and the smooth coat — both requiring regular care to maintain. 

Temperamentally, they are known for their watchful and aloof nature, often described as cat-like in their independence. However, beneath that aloofness lies a loyal companion. Early socialization is critical for ensuring they grow up to be well-adjusted family members, ready to protect and cherish their human counterparts.

How Do I Care for Chow Chow Health and Nutrition? 

Maintaining the health of your Chow Chow starts with understanding their unique needs. This large-breed dog is susceptible to certain health problems, such as hip and elbow dysplasia and the eye condition known as entropion

To mitigate these risks, start with proper nutrition. Feeding your Chow Chow high-quality dog food, rich in nutrients, supports their bone health and lush double coat. 

At A Pup Above, we are committed to creating meals that cater to your Chow's needs, helping to prevent the matting of their magnificent coats, and supporting overall well-being. 

How Do I Groom My Chow Chow?

Grooming is an essential part of a Chow Chow’s well-being and care. They are the proud owners of a voluminous double coat, which comes in rough and smooth varieties, each with its grooming requirements. 

The thick undercoat is a haven for mats and tangles, requiring regular brushing to maintain its splendor. Seasonal shedding can require a lot of management for Chow Chows, but with the right tools and techniques, you can keep their majestic coat in regal condition so your pup continues to turn heads for all the right reasons. 

You don’t need to bathe your Chow Chow often, but having a regular, if infrequent, bath is important. Use products that maintain the natural oils in their skin and coat. 

A thorough grooming regime keeps your Chow looking their best and helps you check in on their health. It’s a chance to spot any skin issues or parasites early on. 

How Much Training and Exercise Do Chows Need? 

Early obedience training sets the stage for a well-behaved dog that is as courteous as they are stately. Patience and consistency are the key players in training this noble breed, as their independent nature can often be mistaken for stubbornness. You also want to integrate mental stimulation into their physical training. 

Despite their serene and sometimes aloof exterior, Chows require balanced activity to maintain their health and prevent obesity. However, chows don’t need the same type of exercise regime as high-energy dogs. A tailored routine of walks and play is enough to allow your Chow Chow to strut with vitality and grace.

How Much Socialization Does My Chow Need? 

Early socialization is essential when raising a Chow from puppyhood to a noble and well-rounded adult. Introducing your Chow Chow to a cast of characters, new people, pets, and environments from a young age can accustom them to engagement and connection before they become too aloof. 

With a history in defense and hunting, without socialization, Chow Chows can become defensive of their owners and homes. You’ll want to consider puppy classes, dog parks, and family gatherings, where your Chow Chow can learn social cues and behaviors from people and dogs. 

How Do I Select a Chow Chow Puppy?

Selecting a Chow Chow puppy requires a discerning eye. In seeking a reputable breeder, look for a guardian of the breed's legacy. Associations like the American Kennel Club (AKC) will help you find those who uphold the highest standards of purebred lineage and ethical breeding practices. 

When the day arrives to choose your Chow Chow, select a puppy that exudes health, vigor, and temperament fitting for life as a cherished family member. Gather your puppy essentials, a suitable harness for their sturdy build, toys, and, of course, nutritious food. 

How Do Chow Chows Act as Family Members?

Chow Chows are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature toward their human counterparts, making them an integral part of the family. Their impressive lifespan brings a commitment to long-term care, however, so you want to be sure your family is ready for the journey. 

Like any revered family member, they require understanding, patience, and a nurturing environment where they can flourish into dignified and well-mannered companions. Bringing a Chow into your home can be a commitment, but it’s more than worth it. 

What Are the Legal and Breed-Specific Considerations for Chows? 

As an owner, you must be aware of breed-specific legislation in your area, ranging from restrictions to outright bans on certain dog breeds. These laws often misinterpret the Chow Chow's guardian nature as aggression, unfairly casting a shadow over their true character. 

It's an important reminder to stay informed and advocate for your pet, so they're judged by their personal story, not their breed's history. Adequate documentation and compliance with American Kennel Club (AKC) standards will help protect you against such biases, underscoring the importance of responsible ownership and community education. 

Crafting a Legacy of Companionship: The Enduring Journey with Your Chow Chow

When raising a Chow Chow, every day is a new chapter rich with shared adventures. The story of you and your Chow Chow is ongoing, filled with potential for deep companionship and joyous moments. 

Ensuring their health, happiness, and well-being is a rewarding journey, and A Pup Above is here to help with high-quality fresh food your Chow will love. When you take home a Chow, you are nurturing a legacy that requires dedication, love, and the understanding that every day is an opportunity to write a beautiful story together.


Han dynasty | Definition, Map, Time Period, Achievements, & Facts | Britannica

Lower lid entropion in dogs | National Library of Medicine

Cytopathology of parasitic dermatitis in dogs - National Library of Medicine

Why breed-specific legislation is not the answer | American Veterinary Medical Association