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AKC Meet the Breeds: Chow Chow

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

A powerful, sturdy dog of Arctic type, medium in size and muscular with heavy bone, the Chow Chow is an ancient breed of northern Chinese origin. While the breed was originally a working dog, he primarily serves as a companion today and is seen in show rings across the country. This lionlike, regal breed comes in five colors -- red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream -- and is known for its blue/black tongue and stilted gait. Their coats can also be either rough or smooth.

A Look Back
The true origin of the Chow is unknown, but the breed as it is known today is easily recognizable in pottery and sculptures of the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 22 A.D.). An all-purpose dog used for hunting, herding, pulling and protection of the home, the Chow is claimed by some scholars to be the original ancestor of the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian, and Keeshond breeds.

Right Breed for You?
Affectionate and devoted to family, the Chow is reserved and discerning with strangers. Their catlike personalities make them independent, stubborn, and less eager to please than other breeds. They require early socialization and training and some kind of exercise daily. Regular grooming and bathing is a must to maintain their double coats.

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1903.
  • Ranging in size from 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Hunter; guard dog.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

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