Chow Chow - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Chow Chow

General Information - Chow Chow

Non sporting


10 -14 years


low to high

very low

Watchdog ability:
very high

Protection ability:

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
ancient times

Other Names:

Original Function:
hunting, guardian, food source


Arguments 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.


The 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.


This 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.

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