Dog Breeds: Chow Chow temperament and personality

Chow Chow dog

Chow Chow, the Lion Dog

This is a fluffy dog breed sometimes described as cat-like. The Chow Chow is an originally Chinese dog, fluffy, and a loyal companion for the right owner.


Genetic testing has proven what experts had been speculating about regarding this dog:  it is one of the most ancient dog breeds.  The ancestors of the Chow Chow dog are thought to have originated in Mongolia and Northern China.  The dogs did not go by that name back then but they went through several, including wolf dog, bear dog, Canton dog, and black-tongue dog.

When British merchants included these dogs in their cargos, they started calling them “chow chows” and the name stuck.

Physical Characteristics

The Chow Chow dog is a sturdy one, pretty square in shape, a wide head, and small pointy ears.  One of their distinctive characteristics is their double coat.   The hair is very thick at the neck, giving them the appearance of a lion.

This breed can weigh from 40 to 70 pounds and are about 15 to 20 inches tall. Another important characteristic is their blue-black-purple tongue.

Temperament and Personality

The Chow Chow dog is generally friendly.  He will not care about strangers unless these come in uninvited by the owner.  This dog is dignified, intelligent, independent, reserved, and stubborn.

Caring for a Chow Chow dog

Chows are home pets.  They should be kept indoors and not outside in the yard unattended.  They do not do well in heat so you might want to keep him indoors.

These dogs do not require many exercise-15 minutes every day should be enough.  House training and crate training are important as you probably do not want to leave this pet in the backyard while you are gone.  If you are going to keep him in your backyard, provide a place for him to shadow and make sure your fence is strong enough.


You should start training a Chow Chow dog from an early age.  They have no problem with learning any command.  Be consistent but firm in your training.  As many dogs, this breed particularly does not respond well to physical punishment so make sure you moderate it.

You must be able to earn his respect since he was a puppy.  Otherwise, you will be facing serious issues with this pet.

Fun facts 

  • Even though they don´t usually interact with strangers, they are very suspicious of them.
  • They lack some peripheral vision due to his deep-set eyes.

Follow us here in Dogalize to learn more about this and other breeds.  You will also find great tips and ideas to show your love to your furry best friend.