||10 -14 years
||low to high
|Area of Origin:
|Date of Origin:
prevail as to whether the Chow Chow is one of the truly original
dog breeds or whether it is a descendent of the Tibetan Mastiff.
What is known, is that this breed with the unique blue-black
tongue has existed in China since 150 BC. Many of the Chows
were used as, hunting, herding and sled dogs, although the few
that were born with the smoky blue colour were often elevated
to the role of Buddhist temple dog. At one time, this breed
was also raised as a food supply for Chinese tables, hence the
name "chow" which is Cantonese for "food."
Chows found their way to Britain in the 1800's and gained popularity
once Queen Victoria herself took a liking to the breed.
Chow Chow is an intelligent, independent and protective dog
breed who tends to be loyal only to a few people. The Chow Chow
is an aloof breed, they can be unfriendly to people not knowing.
Socializing is recommended as to its aloof nature. The owner
of a Chow Chow should be confident and patient in training as
they can be resistant.
is an alert breed that needs regular, but not strenuous, outdoor
activity. It does not do well in hot humid weather. Its needs
are best met with casual morning or evening walks in warm weather
or several short play sessions throughout the day. It can live
outdoors in temperate or cool weather, but it is best allowed
to stay inside during warm weather. The smooth type needs brushing
once weekly; the rough type needs brushing every other day,
and daily when shedding.
Official Breed Standard
A well-balanced dog, leonine in appearance,
with proud dignified bearing; loyal yet aloof; unique in its stilted
gait and bluish-black tongue.
An active, compact, short-coupled and well-balanced
dog, well knit in frame, with tail carried well over back.
Head and Skull:
Skull flat and broad, with little stop, well
filled out under the eyes. Muzzle moderate in length, broad from
the eyes to the point (not pointed at the end like a fox). Nose
black, large and wide in all cases (with the exception of cream
and white in which case a light-coloured nose is permissible and
in blues and fawns a self-coloured nose); but in all colours a black
nose is preferable.
Dark and small, preferably almond-shaped
(in blue or fawn dog a light colour is permissible).
Small, thick, slightly rounded at the tip,
carried stiffly erect but placed well forward over the eyes and
wide apart, which gives the dog the peculiar characteristic expression
of the breed, viz., a scowl.
Teeth strong and level, giving scissor bite.
Tongue bluish-black. Flews and roof of mouth black. Gums preferably
Strong, full, set well on the shoulders and
Shoulders muscular and sloping. Forelegs
perfectly straight of moderate length and with good bone.
Chest broad and deep. Back short, straight
and strong. Loins powerful.
Hindlegs muscular and hocks well let down
and perfectly straight which are essential in order to produce the
Chow's characteristic stilted gait.
Small, round and catlike, standing well on
Set high and carried well over the back.
Abundant, dense, straight and stand-off.
Outer coat rather coarse in texture and with a soft woolly undercoat.
The Chow Chow is a profusely coated dog and balance should therefore
be assessed when the coat is at its natural length.
Whole coloured black, red, blue, fawn, cream
or white, frequently shaded but not in patches or parti-coloured
(the underpart of tail and back of thighs frequently of a light
Weight and Size:
Minimum height for Chows to be 45.7 cm (18")
but in every case balance should be the outstanding feature and
height left to the discretion of the judge.
Tongue splashed or patchy.
Off black noses except in the colours specified, viz., creams, whites, blues or fawns.
Tail not carried over the back.
Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the natural outline or expression of the dog should be penalised.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
The Standard of the smooth variety is identical with the above except that the coat is smooth.