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Chow Chow

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Chow Chow
Alternative names
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 5 Section 5 #205  
AKC: Non-sporting  
ANKC: Group 7 (Non-Sporting)  
CKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs  
KC (UK): Utility  
NZKC: Non-sporting  
UKC: Northern Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

Chow Chow, or Chow is a breed of dog originating from China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan (鬆獅犬 Pinyin: sōngshī quǎn), which literally means "puffy-lion dog". The breed has also been called the Tang Quan, "Dog of the Tang Empire".


The Chow Chow is a stocky dog with broad skull and small, rounded ears. The breed has a very dense coat that is either smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick around the neck, giving the distinctive ruff or mane. The coat may be one of several colours including reddish-brown (described as "red"), black, blue, cinnamon, cream, or white. Not all these colour varieties are recognised as valid in all countries. Individuals with patchy or particoloured coats are considered to be outside the breed standard. Chow Chows are unusual in having a blue-black tongue and very straight hind legs that result in a rather stilted gait.


While now commonly kept as a companion dog, the Chow Chow has a reputation for being a willful and independent breed that is sometimes difficult to train. They can be very aloof and wary of strangers. They often don't get along well with other dogs, as well.


Chow Chows have an unusual blue-black tongue. Chow Chows have an unusual blue-black tongue.

Like many heavy-set dogs, the Chow Chow may be prone to hip dysplasia. They may also be succeptable to entropion, an eye irritation caused by an eyelid abnormality.


It is a unique type of dog, thought to be one of the oldest recognizable breeds. A bas-relief from 150 BC (during the Han Dynasty) includes a hunting dog similar in appearance to the Chow Chow. Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog.[1] Chow Chows were originally bred as a general-purpose working dog for herding, hunting, and guarding. The breed has also been used to pull sleds and for meat and fur.

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