The Chow Chow

Here you will experience some details about the history, the standard and the character of the Chow Chow:

Standard (FCI Nr. 205)

Active, compact, short-coupled and essentially well balanced, leonine in appearance, proud, dignified bearing; well knit frame; tail carried well over back.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Quiet dog, good guard, bluish-black tongue; unique in its stilted gait. Independant, loyal, yet aloof.


Skull : Flat, broad; well filled out under the eyes.
Stop : Not pronounced.

Nose : Large and wide in all cases black (with exception of cream and near white in which case a light-coloured nose is permissible, and in blues and fawns a self-coloured nose).
Muzzle : Moderate in length, broad from eyes to end (not pointed at end like a fox).
Flews : Flews and roof of mouth black (blue black), gums preferably black. Tongue bluish black.
Jaws/Teeth : Teeth strong and level, jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes : Dark, oval shaped, medium sized and clean. A matching coloured eye permissible in blues and fawns. Clean eye, free from entropion, never being penalised for sake of mere size.
Ears : Small, thick, slightly rounded at tip, carried stiffly and wide apart but tilting well forward over eyes and slightly towards each other, giving peculiar characteristic scowling expression of the breed. Scowl never to be achieved by loose wrinkled skin of head.

NECK : Strong, full, not short, set well on shoulders and slightly arched.

Back : Short, level and strong.
Loins : Powerful.
Chest : Broad and deep. Ribs well sprung, but not barrelled.

TAIL : Set high, carried well over back.


FOREQUARTERS : Forelegs perfectly straight, of moderate length, woth good bone.
Shoulders : Muscular and sloping.

HINDQUARTERS : Hindlegs muscular.
Hock joint : Well let down, with minimal angulation, essential to produce the characteristic stilted gait. Never flexing forward.
Hock : From hock joints downwards to appear straight.

FEET : Small, round, cat-like, standing well on toes.

GAIT / MOVEMENT : Short and stilted. Forelegs and hindlegs moving parallel to each other and straight forward.


HAIR : Either rough or smooth.
Rough : Profuse, abundant, dense, straight and stand-off. Outer coat rather coarse in texture, with soft woolly undercoat. Especially thick round neck forming mane or ruff and with good culottes or breechings on back of thighs.
Smooth : Coat short, abundant, dense, straight, upstanding, not flat, plush-like in texture.
Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the natural outline or expression should be penalised.

COLOUR : Whole coloured black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white, frequently shaded but not in patches or parti-coloured (underpart of tail and back of thighs frequently of a lighter colour).

Height at withers :

  • Dogs 48-56 cm (19-22 ins) at shoulder.
  • Bitches 46-51 cm (18-20 ins) at shoulder.

  • FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

    N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


    Origin Country: China

    Patronage: United Kingdom

    Origin and primeval homeland

    The Chow-Chow belongs to a very old dog race. According to the most remarkably characteristic sign of the race, the blue tounge, the acceptance is obvious that chow-chow belongs to the primeval races. China is indicated as the homeland. Sculpures of terracotta and pictures from the time of the han-dynasty (206-220 b.C.) still exist and you can clearly see chow-chows on them. The Pekingese was the favourite of the empress and the chow was the preferred dog of the emperor. The doubt that the chow with his arctic coat and his typical steep hindquarters and his hunting instinct actually comes from China, where chinese people were farmers and traders, but hunting and cattle breeding were typical for nomadic races, created a need of investigations. These resulted in the possibility, that the chow was originally from Manchuria. The reason for this theory is the landscape and the population.

    In american literature talks about the "black Mandschu-Chow", but the "red Chow" is resident in South China. It is conceivable that the Chow came to China according to the trading relations and martial activities of mandchurical races. It is sure, that the master parents of our Chows breeded in Europe come from Kanton in China, their earlier designation was "Kanton-Dog".

    About 100 years ago the Chow-Chow came to the United Kingdom and to the continent. It is resident in Germany since the twenties.

    Interpretation of the name

    You can always hear the translation of the name Chow-Chow the interpretation "yammi-yammi".

    This designation belongs to the Pidgin-English of the eastern sailors and was used for all curiosities and rare pieces from Eastern Asia. The word "Chao-Chao" offers another interpretation of the name - sounds equal to "Chow-Chow" in european ears - but this translation would mean: "see everything, very watchful, very intelligent, very skillful" and would provide all preferences of an appreciated hunting dog and thats what the Chow was used for in the east asiatic area.

    The old chinese legend offers a very delightfull hint to the origin of the race. According to this legend our dog was not called Chow-Chow in China but "Ban-Go". Ban-Ku the creator of the sky sent the god dog "Ban-Hu" to earth. "Hu" actually means fox or tiger and was later replaced by the word "Go" which means dog. The legend tells that this dog had the coat of a fox.


    The Chow-Chow is with about 200 breeded puppies a year one of the rare races in the german VDH (official connection of dogs). The long haired Chows are predominantly breeded, but the short hair Chow becomes more and more popular and familiar.


    With it´s bright coat colors red, black, blue, deer-colored and cream and with it´s proud, willfull Attitude he is a remarkable feature in the world of dogs.

    He has a pronounced self-confidence, he is self-willed and liberty-loving, he is reserved or even rejecting, watchful to strangers,but he is no yelper and expressed of immaculateness. He is addicted to his man without servile devotion. He needs affectionate but consistent education. Straightening is almost not possible, but he will obey and convert "instructions" well, if living together between dog and dog owner is correct.
    Then the Chow will also do things, which he considers for unnecessary to it´s owners sake.

    Straight keeping in a cage is unsuitable for a Chow.

    The Chow is a flexible dog: lively and run-joyfully on walks and hunt-joyfully in the forest (that´s why an obligation to leash is recommended urgently). He is watchful in the own realm, but not loud. He is very watchful in the dark but calmly within the premises and contently to by nearby the man.


    The Chow-Chow is not easy-care because of his sumptuously coat. You should comb your Chow once a week very thoroughly otherwise a daily brushing is enough. Bathing is only nessecary if the coat is very dirty or to speed up the change of hair with stronger combing of hairs after a bath in case of a coat change.


    The Chow-Chow is no dog for everybody. For impatient, hectic, inconsistent people it is not the right choice.

    But if you are a man who enjoys a silent, self-confident, intelligent four-legged family member, to whom you grant rights and obligations, the Chow won´t disapoint you.

    Horst Stern:
    "The Chow is a dog that is a master looking for a master that is no dog.",


    "A man who lives in harmony with a Chow-Chow, you can trust and concern him with profit for every advice. He would rather be silent then lie for complaisance."Here you will experience some details about the history, the standard and the character of the Chow Chow: