This distinctive-looking dog breed has a proud, independent spirit that some describe as catlike. He can be aloof — if you’re looking for a cuddle buddy, this probably isn’t the best breed for you — and downright suspicious of strangers. But for the right person, he’s a fiercely loyal companion.
Dog Breed Group: Working Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 5 inches to 1 foot, 8 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Chow Chows are very independent and aloof, and they need an owner who appreciates those traits but won’t let the dog take over.
Chows should be well socialized — introduced to new people, dogs, and situations beginning in early puppyhood — to ensure that they’re safe and relaxed as adults.
Chow Chows may bond with just one person or to their immediate family. They’re suspicious of strangers.
Chows need to be brushed two or three times a week to keep their coat in good condition.
Chows can live in apartments or condos, so long as they get daily exercise.
Because of his deep-set eyes, the Chow Chow has limited peripheral vision; it’s best to approach him from the front.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn’t provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.