General Information on Chows

Today, Chow-Chow dogs are bred primarily as pet and companion and they are happy in any loving home environment. When the Chow is utilized as a watchdog, it performs this task with vigilance and courage. Its dominant temperament and a suspicion of strangers are two of the breed’s definitive characteristics. Its imposing build has a very dissuasive effect on intruders and, while it generally does not bark without reason, it will loudly warn of intruders.


Chow-chows are extremely loyal, patient and devoted to its family. The chow loves to know that its human family is at home, even though they may be in different rooms. These dogs will not usually tolerate other dogs of the same sex and if it is unavoidable to have two same sex dogs in the same house, a big age gap between them is preferable. The Chow is prone to snoring and sometimes drools after drinking water or when it is excessively hot. It has a very keen sense of smell and hearing. The female is usually the dominant character, possibly because of its maternal instincts. If the male is older, it is not uncommon for the female to be subservient at first. As both male and female reach sexual maturity, they may tussle a little, where after the female becomes the ‘top dog’. She will then remain the dominant dog in that dog family, until possibly another dog is brought home.

Chows are known to be stubborn and arrogant, but they are very intelligent and once they learn commands, they rarely forgets them. The chow is probably not suitable for an inexperienced dog owner. Undoubtedly chow dogs are best maintained as indoor dogs in a home with a well-fenced back yard. However, they will still flourish as outdoor dogs as long as they are still part of the family unit. The chow benefits from regular exercise and enjoys daily walks with its owner. Be aware, they are susceptible to heat stress. Socialising this dog is very important from an early age, as they can otherwise be aggressive with other dogs. The chow has a life expectancy of about ten years, although I have had a chow living to fourteen years old. Perhaps, the most important reason to purchase a purebred dog is that his temperament could be more predictable as the dog’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are known. Also, the purchaser of a pup would have a good idea of what the adult dog’s appearance could be.