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Also Known As
The Aloof Lion, The Loyal Lion, The Blue-Tongued Lion
Area of Origin
Northern China
Breed Birthday
1100 B.C.
Breed Type
Non-Sporting, Working
Personality Traits
Serious, Dignified, Bright, Devoted
Related Breeds
Chinese Shar Pei, Tibetan Terrier, Keeshond, Norwegian Elkhound
Best Breeds For
A loyal owner who likes a good long walk. They can handle kids, but aren’t very rough and tumble, so older, gentler kids and adults are a better match.
Chow Chows don’t have a strong desire to please so they’re not as easy to train as other pups. They’ll be most responsive to training as puppies.
They don’t have any special exercise needs and since their owner is the center of their world, they’re happy living in an apartment as long as they’re near their owner.

Breed Popularity

Cane Corso
Chow Chow
Based on DogVacay data

Top Chow Chow Name

Based on DogVacay data
History of Chow Chow


The breed is one of the oldest there is—the breed is at least 2,000 years old. It was once thought that the Chow Chow breed began as a cross between the Mastiff of Tibet and the Samoyed from Siberia, but the Chow Chow’s blue tongue indicates that the breed is actually older than the Samoyed, not the other way around. It’s possible that Chow Chows are even related to the small bears of Tibet, who have blue tongues and 44 teeth just like Chow Chows do. (Dogs typically have only 42 teeth!)
Carvings of Chows have been found in China that date back as far as the Han Dynasty in 200 B.C. Chows made their way to England in the late 1800s when Queen Victoria had a Chow Chow exhibit at the London Zoo.
Facts about Chow Chow

Good To Know

Chow Chows and Shar-Peis are the only two dogs with blue tongues. But giraffes and polar bears have blue black tongues, too. There’s a myth that the first Chow Chow got it’s blue black tongue during creation when he licked the freshly painted sky. Chow Chow puppies are born with pink tongues that turn blue when the pup is about 8–10 weeks old.
Chow Chow health and care

Health & Care

Height: 17” to 20” at the shoulder
Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
Lifespan: 11 to 13 years
They’re generally healthy pups, but like all breeds, some Chow Chows may have health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia or eye disease. Chow Chows don’t have very good peripheral vision. Their almond eyes are so deep set their vision is best when they look straight ahead.
Chow owners say they’re as clean as cats: they’re low-odor, completely dignified, and easily housebroken. Their abundant coat does need some pretty intense grooming—it should be brushed out fully every week, which will take about an hour or two.
Chow Chow personality


As noble as a lion, as amusing as a panda, as huggable as a teddy bear—the Chow Chow is a dignified dog with an amazing lion-like coat and royal history. Their coats are impressive and their demeanors are as courtly as can be, which makes sense because the Chow Chow was the imperial dog of China. It’s been said that one emperor had as many as 2,500 Chow Chows who stood outside his palace as a show of impressive dignity and protection. More recently, the Chow Chow has been the dog of a different kind of royalty—the king of pop, Elvis Presley, and the queen of all things home, Martha Stewart, both loved their pet Chow Chows.

Top Chow Chow DogVacay Hosts

Jay V.
2 miles from you
6 Reviews
Why Jay is a great sitter:
Kaitlin W.
2.9 miles from you
Why Kaitlin is a great sitter:
Joan M.
3.9 miles from you
171 Reviews
Why Joan is a great sitter:
Remember, adopting is always an option, even if you’re looking for a particular breed (or a classic mutt). If you can rescue a pup and give him a loving home, why not? There are breed-specific rescues all around the country. Search for rescues near you here.
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