Chow Chow Dog Breed: Size, Colors, Temperament, Lifespan and Puppies Price

There is something peculiar about this dog. Its appearance isn’t like other — depending on how you look at this dog, it looks like a lion or a bear. Anyone who sees a breed of Chow Chow dogs can not help but be attracted to their size and friendly appearance. Plain and simple, a Chow Chow dog breed looks very huggable.

But wait, another peculiar characteristic about this dog is the color of its tongue. As a puppy, it has a normal-looking pink-colored tongue, but the tongue changes color from pink to bluish/black as it grows older. Moreover, instead of 42, a Chow Chow puppy is born with 44 teeth. But as the fall-off of the milk teeth, the amount of its permanent teeth is the same as the other breeds of 42 dogs.

Why Chow Chow Dog Breed Has Unusual Tongue Color?

Science points to excessive pigmentation as the real cause of the blue/black tongue. But that’s still debatable up to this date. But, the ideal standard color of the tongue is that the top part and edges of the tongue should be wholly blue/black, and the darker the tongue, the better. If the tongue has shades or red/pink spots, these are regarded as a disqualifying point in dog shows.

But Legend Has It That…

When the world was made, the Creator was painting the sky with the color blue and while doing so, some paints trickled down on the ground. The Chow Chow dog breed was allowed to lick the blue paint and thus, its tongue become color blue/black.

Background of Chow Chow Dog Breed:

The Chow Chow is one of the oldest Chinese dog breeds that are still around today. Only the aristocratic Chinese families were allowed to own a Chow Chow, as this dog breed was used to accompany rulers of the Chinese Dynasties. It was used as a working dog to sled, to haul, and to guard.

There are two theories behind its distinct name. The first theory states that the dogs were called Chow Chow when the sailors took the dog to Britain. Anything from the Far East is referred to as a Chow Chow.  The second theory says that in the Cantonese language, the word Chow means edible. And during the time of food scarcity, Chow Chow ancestors were used as food!

Chow Chow Dog Breed Physical Description:

No matter how many times you have seen a Chow Chow, you cannot help but compare its physique to a lion and a bear because of its muscular built and thick coat.

What makes it more huggable are the deep-set eyes that seem to ask you for some affection. The ears are triangular and relatively small due to its size. It has an expression that looks sad due to its wrinkly facial hairs.

Their back legs are straight, which results in a somewhat awkward gait.

1) Chow Chow Size: 

Because it’s a medium-sized dog, it can grow up to 17 to 20 inches and weigh between 40 and 70 pounds. It is muscular in its physique, and there is only a very small difference in height and weight between males and females.

There is no such a thing as a mini Chow, but if in case, the puppy is smaller in size in terms of the standard size of a Chow, it just implies that the parents or at least one of them are at the smaller part of the scale.

2) The Colors and Textures of Chow Chow Dog Breed:

  • Black Chow Chow:

The color of the coat is pure black and may display some shades of gray on its tail. The nose and lips are also colored black, and the eyes are dark brown in colour. If the dog is often exposed to sunlight, it can bleach the pure black coat color (a term called rusting) and turn into a reddish coat.

The nose is color black.

  •   Red Chow Chow:

The red includes a variety of shades ranging from pure mahogany red to golden red with white shades on its tails and neck area. Red Chow Chow which shows no shades of white, is called ‘ self-reds.’ Red Chows showing white shading indications are called ‘ shaded reds. ‘

A Chow Chow with a red coat is born with a brown coat and black mask, but this will change as the dog ages. By 3 months, the coat will transform into red color.

The nose of a red Chow is brown.

  •   Blue Chow Chow:

The blue shade varies from very dark blue-gray (nearly the same color as a pair of brand new jeans) to light bluish silver shade (same color as a faded blue jeans pair). Both the muzzle and the legs have a mixture of dark and light (salt and pepper), giving the face and legs a frosted look. The blue Chow can also rust when exposed to sunlight, which provides a brownish shade in its coat.

The nose of a blue Chow is gray.

  •  Cream Chow Chow:

The shade ranges from cream to almost white to butterscotch. Cream Chows are cream in color at birth and do not show any dark masks. Cream Chows are not usually included in dog shows because their noses are color brown. A brown nose in Chow Chows is a disqualification.

  •  Cinnamon Chow Chow :

This is the misinterpreted color of Chow because in color does not appear the same in photographs. Therefore, finding an image of a Chow with a cinnamon coat is quite difficult. The shade of cinnamon varies from light beige to a darker shade of not quite red shade. The color of the coat is on the bluish side when a cinnamon chow is born but changes to cinnamon when it becomes an adult.

The color of the nose is black.

The coat of a Chow Chow dog breed comes in either smooth or rough. Regardless of the texture of the coat, all Chows are double-coated. The function of the undercoat is to protect from cold.

The Temperament/Character of a Chow Chow Dog Breed:

A Chow Chow dog breed’s sweet-looking and huggable appearance is the reverse of its temperament. It is independent-minded, does not like being hugged and has an aloof temperament. Because of these characters, the canine world declares a Chow Chow as the ‘ cat version. ‘

Like cats, a Chow Chow is connected to only one member of the alpha family, but once the alpha person has learned to tame his conduct, he is a faithful and dedicated companion. As its temperament is more of a reserved and home-buddy sort of a doggie partner, it does not appreciate many outdoor activities.

Train it early, so it learns how to trust people. The Chow Chow is kinda paranoid, it takes time for it to trust people and other pets. Additionally, it is not a pack dog and by this, it means that it prefers the company of trusted people.

I discourage you from selecting a Chow Chow dog breed if it’s your first time to own a dog. Professional dog owners who know how to handle stubborn and aggressive temperament care is best for this dog. In short, don’t be fooled by their looks as this dog isn’t the cuddly and sweet type. Indeed, “looks can be misleading,” as the saying goes.

Here is a summary of the temperament of a Chow:

  • Aloof: It gets close to only one person in a household. It does not care if others do not like it.
  • Independent: It thinks on its own and thus, it is an outstanding watchdog. But as a Chow owner, you have to let it understand that even if you respect its independent-minded nature, there are rules which it has to obey.
  • Quiet: It is not a destructive-type of a dog, so you do not have to worry about leaving it alone and get destructive.
  • Loyal: Some dogs show loyalty to all members of the family but not in the case of a Chow. It is loyal to one person only.

The Trainability of a Stubborn Chow Chow Dog Breed:

Training and following orders is an enormous challenge for this dog breed. It does not want to please its owners as it has its mind. That’s why taming this dog requires a strict training session. By using the clicker technique such as PetSafe Clik-R Trainer or by offering treats such as Cloud Star Tricky Trainer Chewy Cheddar, you can convert this dog to follow your guidelines.

Through persistence, consistency, patience and positive reinforcement, training a Chow Chow is possible.

How Aggressive is a Chow Chow Dog Breed?

  • Strangers: The Chow has a strong territorial temperament and tends to growl and even bite if you have visitors.
  • Children: If disturbed by rowdy kids, it tends to bite to make the annoying kids stay away.
  • Other animals: The Chow is aggressive to dogs of the same gender, more so if it is smaller in size.

How Healthy Is a Chow Chow and Chow Chow Lifespan

Though the Chow Chow dog breed is generally healthy, there are certain health problems that this dog breed is prone to suffer from and these are:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cataract and Glaucoma
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Bloat
  • Patellar Luxation

On the average, the lifespan of a Chow Chow is somewhere between 9 and 15 years.

How Active is a Chow Chow?

Not a much. It’s good to walk it but don’t overdo it. The Chow does not tolerate heat, so it is not suggested to exercise it too much. Because of its bulky built, if you choose to jog or run, it won’t be able to keep up with you.

Grooming a Chow Chow Dog Breed:

This dog breed is full of hair and is therefore advised to brush the coat three times a week. Doing this periodically will essentially keep the Chow clean and odorless. During spring and autumn it sheds heavily. Alfie Pet-8 home piece grooming set is one of the recommended grooming kits for a Chow.

Chow Chow Dog Price:

Because many dog enthusiasts are interested in owning a Chow Chow, it is not surprising that this dog breed has a high cost. Prepare about $3,200.00 on average if you’d like to own a Chow Chow. Puppies cost more than adolescents. This is because most dog enthusiasts are more likely to purchase a puppy than an adult dog. Moreover, it is not surprising that you find it hard to find a breeder because of the popularity of the breed. You would usually be on a waiting list.

The Chow Chow is an expensive dog because of its ancient lineage with the Chinese royalties, thus, there is a price to pay.

Interesting Facts About Chow Chow:

  • You might find it humorous, but this dog breed has a foot fetish. It loves to sit on its owner’s feet and lavish these feet with kisses.
  • It cannot swim because its heavy wet coat can drown it.


The dog breed of Chow Chow has gained a reputation of being a ‘jerk.’ It’s aggressive, stubborn, and like a cat’s loner. Once it feels its personal space is being invaded, it can act aggressively.  It only attaches to one person in the family and doesn’t worry much about the rest people. But through early and consistent training, this rude and threatening temperament can be changed. The Chow Chow can be a nice doggie companion with the right socialization.

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