Chow Chow Puppies-at-a-Glance:
Size: 43 - 51 cm, 25 - 32 kg
Lifespan: 11-13 years
Grooming: Moderately Difficult
Exercise needs: Low
Feeding needs: Moderate
Temperament: Independent, Intelligent, Devoted, Stubborn at times
Best for: Experienced Owners
Chow Chow puppies are distinctive in appearance and adorable. While most Chow Chow puppies are known for their dense reddish-brown, fluffy coats and black muzzles, some are more cream-colored, brown or black. There are some fancy variations of the Chow Chow that include silver, chocolate, and blue coloring.
The most recognizable feature of a Chow Chow is its blue-black tongue. But Chow Chow puppies begin life with pink tongues, which eventually darkens to bluish black around 8 to 10 weeks of age. Some Chow Chows' tongues do not turn completely bluish black, they can have pink spots or pink regions of color.
Chow Chow puppies are often compared to teddy bears because of their thick fur and unique facial structure. They have short, wide muzzles, wide-set dark eyes, and triangular ears that stick up but are often lost in their abundant fur. They have round black noses.
Chow puppies grow up to be stocky and muscular with a fluffy tail that curls toward their bodies.
Most people recognize rough coat Chows as the standard. Their fur stands up and away from their skin, giving them a fluffier appearance. They have puffy tails that look like a plume.
Smooth coat Chow Chows have less feathering on their legs and their tails are not as puffy. Their top coat is shorter, giving them more of an Akita-like appearance.
From just days old, a rough coat Chow Chow puppy can be distinguished from a smooth coat puppy. Rough coat Chow Chows are born with shiny coats that lie closer to their bodies. Smooth coat puppies actually appear downy and less silky.
The Chow Chow has established a reputation for being stubborn and difficult, but most Chow owners agree that these characteristics have been exaggerated. Owners that describe their Chows as "headstrong" find this one of the most admirable characteristics of their beloved puppy. In fact, the independent nature of Chows is a sign of their intelligence and their temperament can be described as "cat-like."
Chow puppies have a remarkable knack for being easily house-broken, and they will form a strong bond with their owner.
As adults, Chows are loyal, independent, aloof, and clever. As puppies, they begin to exhibit these characteristics early on. Because Chows can become stubborn and tenacious, you want to begin training them by the time there are 10 weeks old.
Training should begin as early as 2 months of age and should include basic obedience and socialization with other people and dogs. It's important to remember that Chow puppies are very capable of learning, but they are intelligent enough to lose interest and motivation as they get older. Experienced dog owners have better luck training these aloof teddy bears because they are smart enough to take advantage of a lenient dog parent.
This breed was developed as guard dogs, so they must be socialized from puppy-hood to meet and interact with strangers and other dogs. This will lessen their natural instinct to distrust strangers.
Daily training is essential for Chow puppies and positive reinforcement works well. You should also gradually add more behaviors into your puppy's routine to keep them engaged.
House training can begin from an early age of just a few months. They learn quickly to use the bathroom outside and rarely have accidents indoors. Leash training and recall training from an early age are also recommended.
Unlike other similarly sized breeds, Chow Chows are not as active. Part of their cat-like personalities is that they enjoy being snuggled on the sofa all day rather than running through the field. They won't constantly beg to go out. And they rarely let their size keep them from trying to be lapdogs.
Because of their aloof ways, Chow puppies grow up to be excellent dogs for apartments. They also adjust well to being at home all day while their owners work.
Chow puppies require just a couple of walks each day, and they prefer staying active in the winter since their coats are so thick.
Many Chow Chow puppy parents aren't aware of what kind of work goes into keeping their Chow's glorious coat in great condition. While it will require some work, it's not as laborious as some other breeds.
While Chows have beautiful fluffy coats, they don't shed very much day-to-day. Both rough coat and smooth coat Chows do go through a shedding cycle about twice per year. During this time, you will want to brush your Chow often to reduce loose fur and possible matting.
Rough Coat Grooming
Grooming a rough coat Chow Chow takes a little more work. They should be brushed daily and bathed occasionally. They will need to be blow dried after their baths.
Smooth Coat Grooming
Smooth coat Chow Chows don't need as much maintenance. They need to be brushed two or three times per week and bathed a couple of times per year.
Like all breeds, Chow puppies need to have their nails trimmed and ears cleaned about once per month. As your Chow Chow puppy grows up, you will want to brush its teeth every few days.
Chow Chow puppies may be known for their puffy coats and blue-black tongues. This modern deviation from the traditional Chow Chow breed may be more petite than their larger counterpart, but they can bring just as much love into your life!
As a Chow Chow owner, you’ll want to be aware of any health concerns or unique physical characteristics of the breed.
If you notice a pink spot on your Chow Chow’s tongue, don’t worry, this is normal. A pink spot on the tongue doesn’t indicate a health concern or that your puppy is not purebred. Chow Chow’s tongues are often pink when they’re born! It takes about two months for them to take on their bluish black pigmentation.
If your Chow Chow’s tongue is not all black or remains pink after she is 3 months old, it may mean your puppy is not purebred. This can point to a breeding method where a standard Chow Chow mates with a smaller breed. This method could result in better health.
Chow Chows can be prone to Hyperthyroidism. If you notice your Chow Chow puppy drinking, eating, and urinating excessively along with sudden weight loss, hair loss, and increased heart rate, you will want to take her into the vet. These are sign of hyperthyroidism.
The full-size Chow Chow often experiences kneecap dislocation, and the miniature version of this breed suffers from the same malady. Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap detaches from the groove where it normally sits in the thigh bone.
If you notice you Mini Chow Chow holding up her hind leg, you may want to check with her vet. Patellar luxation sometimes requires surgery to repair and return the kneecap in severe cases.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
If your puppy is the result of runt breeding or Chow Chow dwarfism, you will want to get them tested for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia since these are common in full-size Chow Chows.
These genetic disorders are abnormal formations of the hip and elbow sockets. This can lead to limping, lameness, and arthritis as your puppy ages. While they’re more common in large breeds, you will still want to get your puppy checked so you can begin to limit exercise, control weight gain, and provide appropriate medication or supplements.
Chow Chows bred from runts or the result of dwarfism may be at risk for heart conditions. These include heart murmurs and irregular heart vessels. Whenever you bring your Chow Chow to the vet, request to give her heart a check just to be sure everything is in order.
It's vital you ask your breeder for information on your puppy’s parents to be sure of what to expect as your puppy grows up. You’ll want to see health tests for the parents’ heart, eye, joint, thyroid, and patella health results.
Being Part of the Family
Chow Chows make great family pets because they are sturdy, intelligent, and don't require as much exercise as other breeds. Chow Chows tend to connect most with one member of the family but still adore other family members. They can be protective of their families and territory.
If you have children, it is best to get your Chow Chow as a puppy. This allows your Chow puppy to grow up with the family and learn from an early age to develop family-friendly habits. Try to introduce your children to your Chow as early as 3 weeks of age to about four months. Let your child partake in training your Chow Chow puppy to bond and help them establish respect for the child.
Children should not be allowed to play with Chow puppies or adult Chows alone. This is true of every dog breed since kids can tend to poke their eyes and pull tails. Chows are known for playing rough and got startled easily. So, always encourage children to be gentle and move slowly.
Chows don't have a wide range of peripheral vision, so try to approach them from the front. Having guests over frequently as your pup grows can lead to a more friendly dog.