7 Pros and Cons of Chow Chow

chow chow pros and cons

One of the most beautiful and unique dog breeds, the Chow Chow comes from ancient China over 2.000 years ago. They were bred and used as working dogs, fighting in the army, going hunting, but primarily as guard dogs. This gave them the territorial and untrusting nature, they still have today. In this article, we will be looking at the pros and cons of getting Chow Chow.

The Chow Chow didn’t get its name in China, because there it was called black-tongue-dog. The name we know and use today was used to describe anything coming from the East, by merchants. The Chow became extremely popular, and even famous Sigmund Freud had one.

They are said to be very loyal and proud looking, resembling a bear or a lion, but they are far from cuddly. Even though they can be a good family pet, their reserved nature of a guard dog can be problematic, especially to strangers, little children, and other dogs. The Chow Chow must be socialized from day one, to prevent all behavioral problems later.

Pros of Owning a Chow Chow

1. Unique look

One of the main features that make this breed so desirable and popular is for sure the unique look. A major pro of Chow Chow is that they are very sturdy and beautiful dogs, with a coat that goes on for days. They come in five colors and two coat variations, smooth and rough. Equally beautiful and resembling a lion.

They also have blue-black tongues, which may come as a surprise if you are not familiar with this trait. This blue-tongue was believed to keep the bad spirits away in ancient China, but today it is viewed as one of many unique things about this breed. Puppies are born with pink tongues that later change color.

This breed has stiff and straight hind legs, which gives it a bit more upright and dignified look. They are not especially good runners but they do love to be active.

2. Catlike

This breed is described as cat-like because of its aloof and independent nature. Unlike cats, these dogs are not ever going to be in your lap. They will show affection by sitting at your feet and protecting you. They are bred to be guard dogs, not companions so this trait led them to be cat-like.

They are very stubborn and independent, but some owners may see this like a pro of a Chow Chow. Because you won’t have to worry about your Chow being alone and anxious. They are completely fine on their own.

3. Loyal

One thing is for sure, the Chow Chow is one of the most loyal dogs you will ever meet. Once they accept a family and become a part of it, they will be loyal until the end. This breed is so protective, it can become aggressive to strangers and other dogs.

They are best suited for families that don’t have small children and for experienced dog owners. Because of their personality, they will need a dominant owner who is not afraid to take charge of the situation. They outgrow their puppy-hood and become all grown up and serious, fast.

Cons of Owning a Chow Chow

1. Aggression

The Chow Chow was made to be a sturdy and resilient guard dog, this can be a good and a bad thing. They will be loyal and protective, but if not properly trained and socialized they can become aggressive and territorial.

A major disadvantage of the Chow Chow is that it is always on the top of the list for the number of bites, and they are known to be behaving poorly to strangers, children, and other animals. This is one of the main reasons they get abandoned so much.

It’s important to remember that even though they look like bears and cuddly dogs, they are far from it. You need to respect their nature and work with it. Early socialization, introduction to many situations, people, and animals will help your four-legged friend to be more comfortable and lessen the need to protect.

2. Grooming

Even though their coat is one of the most beautiful features of this dog, it can be a handful to look after. They are heavy seasonal shedders, but honestly, they shed all year round. Daily brushing is required, and it is recommended that you start the grooming process while your Chow is still a puppy so they can get used to it and cooperate more.

They also need an occasional bath, trimming of the nails, and overall high demand for hygiene. This can be off-putting to many owners because it will take a big chunk of your time.

3. Hard to train

The Chow Chow is considered to be a highly intelligent dog, but they are very hard to train, a con of a Chow Chow. This is because for one dog to be trainable, intelligence has to be accompanied by obedience. This comes from the desire to please the owner, and this breed has no intentions to listen to you.

Their cat-like personality is very obvious here, and their stubborn and independent nature doesn’t leave much room for training and following commands. It is possible to train them, and they react fine to clicker training and positive reinforcement, but you have to be patient and persistent. This is one of the reasons they do better with experienced dog owners.

4. Health issues

Unfortunately, this breed comes with quite the list of medical and health problems that might concern you and rank up the bill at the vet.

The Chow Chow suffers from different illnesses, but let’s name a few:

  • Allergies
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Skin cancer or melanoma
  • Immune diseases


So, to recap, the Chow Chow is a beautiful and popular breed, that is one of the oldest in the world. They were made to be guard dogs and they are still displaying all the traits that come with that bloodline. They can be a good family pet, but for experienced owners, without small children.

The most important thing is to socialize and train your Chow Chow from day one and with that avoid all the aggressive behavior that can occur. They are loving and loyal and bound to turn heads wherever they are.

I hope that this article on Chow Chow pros and cons was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Dog Category!

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