Chow Chow, or Chow, is a breed of dog originating from China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan, which literally means “puffy-lion dog”. The breed has also been called the Tang Quan, “Dog of the Tang Empire”.
Chow Chow Appearance
The Chow Chow is a stocky dog with broad skull and small, rounded ears. The breed has a very dense coat that is either smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick around the neck, giving the distinctive ruff or mane. The coat may be one of several colors including reddish-brown (described as “red”), black, blue, cinnamon, and cream. Not all these color varieties are recognized as valid in all countries. Individuals with patchy or particolored coats are considered to be outside the breed standard. Chow Chows are unusual in having a blue-black tongue and very straight hind legs that result in a rather stilted gait.
Chow Chow Temperament
While now commonly kept as a companion dog, the Chow Chow has a reputation for being a willful and independent breed that is sometimes difficult to train. They can be very aloof and wary of strangers. They often do not get along well with other dogs.
Chow Chow Health
Like many heavy-set dogs, the Chow Chow may be prone to hip dysplasia. They may also be succeptable to entropion, an eye irritation caused by an eyelid abnormality. Their average lifespan is about 15 years.
Chow Chow History
Chow Chow is a unique type of dog, thought to be one of the oldest recognizable breeds. A bas-relief from 150 BC (during the Han Dynasty) includes a hunting dog similar in appearance to the Chow Chow. Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog. Chow Chows were originally bred as a general-purpose working dog for herding, hunting, and guarding.