Chow chows may be compact, ferociously fluffy, and seem to have a permanent scowl, but they are very chill pets and loyal to their families. The chow chow dog breed has two distinctive characteristics: lion-like manes and bluish-purple tongues. Do they make good pets? Do they bark a lot? How do you care for that lion’s mane of hair on a chow chow? Read on.
Do Chow Chows Bark a Lot?
Chows aren’t considered to be big barkers, but the chow chow temperament is highly protective, territorial, and likely to bark at strangers. Early and regular socialization with new people and other animals throughout puppyhood can offset their instinct to bark at strangers.
Barking is the main form of communication for all dogs. So even if you have a low-barking breed like the chow chow, there are a host of factors that can trigger a dog to bark. Your job is to learn to “speak dog” and figure out what they’re trying to tell you. Is it alarm barking? Separation anxiety? Attention or demand barking?
As you get to know your chow, you’ll learn to understand what they’re trying to tell you; and, in turn, you’ll be able to teach them your language.
How to stop chow chows from barking?
First and foremost, you never want to silence a dog 100% of the time. Their bark is their way of communicating. As you learn what your dog is trying to tell you, you can use your own language to let them know, “Got it. You can be quiet now.”
Dogs have simple minds. Even the most intelligent breeds and mixes have basic trigger-response ways of seeing the world. Delivery man arrives? Bark. Toy stuck under the couch? Bark. Hungry? Bark.
Simple minds respond to simple training techniques, which is why we encourage the “Train, Treat, Repeat” method of dog training. We recommend using an ultrasonic training tool to interrupt the dog’s barking, and then reward your dog when it’s understood your command. It works like this:
- Your dog starts barking, nonstop, to let you know there’s “stranger danger.”
- Press and release the ultrasonic trainer. The sound gets their attention and they look to you for validation.
- You give the “quiet” command and address the “stranger.”
- When your dog is quiet, reward it with a treat and a “good dog” message.
Facts About Chow Chows
Known for their bluish tongues, chow pups are born with pink tongues that change to blue by the time they reach about six months.
Chow chows are dignified, serious-minded, and intelligent. The behavior of a chow is often compared to that of cats — aloof and independent. Chow chows are not goofy, nor are they eager to please. This breed is finicky and extremely clean. That’s right, no need to worry about doggie odor with this guy! Chows are adaptable and require only about 20 minutes of daily exercise, making them great house dogs, even in an apartment.
Size: Chow chows range 17-20 inches in height and 45-70 pounds in weight.
Life expectancy: Chows chows typically live 8-12 years.
Coat: Chow can have a rough or smooth double coat.
AKC group: Chow chows belong to the AKC non-sporting group.
Are Chows Easy to Train?
While the high intelligence of chows should make them easy to train, this breed can be stubborn. Avoid harsh training methods with this breed (and all breeds, please). Instead, use positive reinforcement (praise and rewards), which can help you build a trusting relationship with your pet.
Offer healthy snacks and don’t give too many, as obesity and diabetes can be concerns with the chow chow dog breed. Consistency, patience, and time are a must when training chow chows. Early socialization and puppy training can ensure your chow grows into a well-behaved and well-adjusted companion.
Does the Chow Chow Dog Breed Need Grooming?
As seasonal shedders, chow chows require regular grooming to keep their copious coats clean, shiny and to prevent matting. Brushing your dog thoroughly (including the undercoat) a minimum of twice a week and bathing once a month will prevent matting (especially around the head) and keep their skin and coat healthy.
Routinely check for fleas and ticks, which can be difficult to notice in a dog that has a thick double coat. Clean their eyes and ears during each grooming session and keep nails trimmed. If you opt to use a hairdryer to dry your chow’s coat, as a safety precaution, use only the cool air setting. Some chow owners report their dog’s skin becomes excessively dry when using a hairdryer, so air drying may take longer but ultimately is the best for your dog.
What If My Breed Is a Chow Mix?
Although chow chows tend to be a bit standoffish compared to other breeds, a chow mix might produce the perfect pet. Because genetics can be a crapshoot and chows are prone to many health issues such as allergies, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eyelid entropion, and thyroid problems, you should research their parents’ histories.
Here are some popular chow chow mixes:
- Akita Chow — chow chow + Akita
- Berner Chow — chow chow + Bernese mountain dog
- Boxer Chow — chow chow + boxer
- Chow pei — chow chow + shar pei
- Chowpit — chow chow + American pit bull terrier
- Chusky — chow chow + Siberian husky
- Golden Chow retriever — Chow Chow + golden retriever
- Lab-Chow (Chabrador) — Chow Chow + Labrador retriever
- Peke-A-Chow — Chow Chow + Pekingese
- RottieChow — Chow Chow + rottweiler