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Do chow mix dogs carry the features of purebred ones?

Updated on October 19, 2011

Lion-like, dignified appearance


Facts and Experiences on the Chow Chow

My parents’ dog is a chow mix and we are very pleased with it. The chow has unique features and our dog shows most of the traits which this breed has. The first and most important thing to tell about chows is that it has a very strong, independent and sometimes stubborn personality, so if you are not strong-willed or tend to be impatient, it’s not recommended for you to have this breed. However, if you train and socialize your dog at an early age to get along with other pets, dogs or people, you will have a very good friend and helper in your everyday life.


According to DNA analysis, the chow is one of the most ancient breeds, it's more than 2000 years old. It was first kept in China and used for many different tasks (hunting, herding, hunting). It was an all-around working dog.

Chow Chow
spitz, Northern
Country of Origin
Average Height
17-20 kg
Average Weight
45-70 cm
thick or coarse
red, cinnamon, blue, black, cream
Life Span
9-15 years
Similar Breeds
The chow is the member of a larger group of breeds called the spitz family that includes Siberian Husky, Malamute or Akita for instance. They have similar physical characteristics: over-the-back, curly tail carriege, dense coat, upright triangular ears (triangular, erect ears) and similar body structure.


Purebred chows are squarely built, sturdy dogs with straight hind legs. Chow mix dogs also tend to have these characteristics. Our dog is powerful, but it's more slender and taller than an average purebred chow.

Our Chow Mix

Blue patches on the tongue
Blue patches on the tongue

The chows are well-known for their blue-black tongues. Our mixed dog also has some blue patches on its tongue, which shows that the blue tongue gene is dominant. However, having blue spots on a dog’s tongue doesn’t mean surely that it’s a chow mix as a lot of other type of breeds carry this feature. Some other wild animals also have black tongues such as the giraffe and the polar bear.

The chows' noses are generally black (except the blue ones which have blue colored noses).

The chows have a dense double coat and so does our dog. Under the rough or smooth coat they have a woolly undercoat which works as an insulating layer and protect them from cold. Around its neck has a sort of mane, because the fur in this part of their body is particularly thick. They can have red, black, blue, cinnamon or cream colors, but dogs with red fur are the most popular ones among owners. Even mixed dogs can have double coat, so it’s important to groom them on a regular basis to avoid matting or tangles.

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Pleasures vs. Challenges

The chows and chow mix dogs are naturally well-behaved and very loyal to their owners. They are not diggers or barkers. They bark only when someone is on their territories. However, they have a very unique personality. They are very independent and sometimes stubborn. They tend to make their own decisions and sometimes they pretend not to hear the call when they are outside the fence. That’s why it is important to socialize and train them at an early age.

The chows generally don’t like being fussed around, but our dog is like a cuddly lap dog. It spends most of the days outdoor, but sometimes it finds more security in staying indoor.

It’s not particularly active, but it usually needs some job to complete so as not to get bored.


They’re one of the easiest breeds to housebreak. What’s more, chow puppies, even second generation mixed ones, housebreak themselves between 6 and 10 weeks of age.

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Chows are very intelligent. Puppies are naturally well-behaved. They can easily learn to walk on a lead that’s why some people fail to train them. This is a big mistake. Without training, an adolescent chow can become your master and refuse to accept your authority. It’s not easy to train them as standard methods don’t work. It’s no use applying physical punishment, because chows don’t respond to them. Hitting can make chows vicious or shy. Our dog usually follows the commands but sometimes it’s not in the mood to obey. In these cases I usually ask my dog very kindly to do this or that. It’s like talking to a small child. When it was a young dog, sometimes it turned over its bowl upside down to show how angy with me.

The purebred and mix chows are naturally territoral as they were bred to be a watchdog, so they are very protective. They can be hostile with strangers and show agression towards cats or other dogs. It’s suprising that our dog is not interested in poultries at all.

Striking similarities

Purebred puppies and a second generation mixed puppy
Purebred puppies and a second generation mixed puppy

Great Toy For Heavy Chewer Dogs


Purebred chows can suffer from several disorders (glaucoma, lymphoma, hip dysplasia, diabetes mellitus, gastric cancer, MHC, etc.) because of inbreeding.

Mixed breeds usually have good genetic diversity, which promotes their overall health. Our 8-year-old mixed dog hasn't had any diseases mentioned above so far.

What breed would you prefer?

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Animal Planet Videos: Chow Chow


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    • plinka profile image

      plinka 6 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

      Hi Derdriu. In fact, Zsömike is the apple of my eye. Anyway, one of the puppies on the pics is our Zsömike's baby dog. So now both of them are published. :-)

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Plinka: Thank you for the lineage and the cultural history of the chow mix. It is heartwarming the way that you situate Zsömike within the world and then within your own home life!

      Voted up, with all categories as well,


    • plinka profile image

      plinka 6 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, as you say, I feel really lucky. Zsömike is a member of our family, not just a simple watchdog

    • kirsib profile image

      kirsib 6 years ago

      I love your hub and you are lucky to have the chow mix in your life