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Chow Chow breed information, life expectancy, etc.

Updated on April 25, 2013


The Chow Chow breed was originally developed in China. In in's native homeland, the Chow is called Songshi Quan (puffy lion-dog). It is known for it's poofy hair and black tongue. DNA has confirmed that the Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds on the planet. These general purpose dogs were bred for hunting, herding, and protection. Their thick coats helped them survive the tough winters in Asia. In recent history the Chow became a popular dog among the rich and famous during the roaring 20's. President Coolidge owned a Chow named Timmy.

notice the blue tongue on the Chow Chow
notice the blue tongue on the Chow Chow


The Chow is typically a stout dog. they have a very broad skull and square profile (length and height are proportionate). Their double coat is quite thick and tends to be very course. The main thickens near the neck, giving it the Lion look. Recognized colors include: red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream.

A very noticeable trait among Chow Chow's is their black/blue tongue. The Chow Chow is the only breed of dog with a tongue of this shade. Their tail is also distinctive. It curls tightly back onto their lower back.


The Chow is a very common pet in modern society. It tends to be extremely protective of it's owners and property. Many insurance companies consider the Chow Chow to be a high risk dog. For this reason, owning one can increase your insurance rates. The Chow isn't known for energy or activity, which makes apartment living possible. If the Chow realizes exercise is a daily activity, it will become assertive with it's owners about when it's time to play.

life expectancy

The chow's life expectancy is rather low for a medium-sized (55-70 pounds) dog. On average Chow's live 9-12 years. They are at high risk for autoimmune disease. Due to the thickness of their coat, they also suffer from fleas regularly. This can be difficult to remedy. their thick coat also amplifies shedding. For a list of dogs that don't shed, check out these breeds that don't shed. The breed is very old, dating back to the BC era. As a result, many weak traits have been magnified over the centuries of breeding. Consider one of the 100 reasons to own a dog for more information.


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    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

      I love Chow Chow's their so adorable :). Great hub, Voted up and shared!

      -Chris Achilleos-