I may look like a cuddly lion, but I’m a dignified and reserved type. Keep searching if you want a clingy pal who’ll follow at your heels—I’m cool and aloof, almost cat-like. But as one of the oldest dog breeds, I have an impressive, lordly quality. No playful clowning from me, as I’m serious and take pride in protecting my family. I’m not very friendly with strangers or other dogs.
My low-key demeanor requires little exercise: brief daily walks and short activity sessions will be fine. Looking at me it’s obvious that I’m okay in cold weather but don’t tolerate heat. Proud and independent, training can require extra time, patience, and firm consistency. Being home alone doesn’t bother me at all.
Beneath the fur I’m a hefty 45 to 70 pounds and stand 17 to 20 inches tall. Usually my coat is rough and thick, like a parka. Smooth, shorter coats are less common. All Chows have a distinctive blue-black tongue. Coloring for both coat types can be red (light to mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon, or cream. Rough coats require brushing every two days; smooth coats are fine with a weekly brushing. Seasonal shedding requires more care.
For the right family I can be a quiet and devoted companion for 8 to 10 years. Hip dysplasia and turned eyelids are common health concerns. Elbow dysplasia, gastric bloat, undersized nostrils, elongated palate, and eye problems are additional but less common areas for concern.