12 Interesting Facts About Chow Chows

The Chow Chow is a unique dog breed with an appearance and personality unlike any other. Their teddy bear-like looks coupled with their aloof and independent nature have intrigued dog lovers for centuries. Discover 12 cool things about Chow Chows, from their fluffy look to their loyal nature. Perfect for all dog lovers!

Chow Chows originate from ancient China and are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Their distinctive features include a lion’s mane ruff, blue-black tongue, and straight hind legs. While they may seem aloof, Chow Chows are fiercely loyal to their families.

Read on to uncover 12 fascinating facts about this ancient breed. You’ll gain insight into their origins, physical traits, temperament, and more. From their purple tongues to their cat-like personalities, Chow Chows are full of delightful surprises.

Close-up shot of a brown Chow Chow with a blurred background of a forest
Close-up shot of a brown Chow Chow with a blurred background of a forest

Interesting Facts About Chow Chows

  1. Chow Chow puppies are born with pink tongues. As they mature, their tongues turn blue-black, a unique trait among dog breeds 1. Only Shar-Peis share this trademark blue-hued tongue. The color comes from extra pigment in the tongue and helps protect it from sun damage.
  2. Queen Victoria helped popularize Chow Chows. After seeing them at the London Zoo in the 1800s, the Queen purchased several Chow Chows. Their popularity grew across Europe and America thanks to her fondness for the breed.
  3. They have very straight back legs. Unlike other dogs, Chow Chows have almost perfectly straight hind legs. This gives them their distinctive stilted gait when walking. Their front legs are slightly bent.
  4. Chows have a cat-like personality. Like felines, Chow Chows are independent, dignified, and aloof. They will be loyal companions but on their terms. Chows bond strongly with their families but are wary of strangers.
  5. The Chow Chow name has English origins. Despite originating in China, their name comes from 18th-century English merchants. Chow Chow was pidgin English for random knick-knacks and curiosities imported from the East.
  6. Chows come in five different colors. The most common color is red, but Chow Chows also come in black, blue, cinnamon, and cream. Their thick coats can be either rough or smooth.
  7. They have extra teeth. While most dogs have 42 teeth, Chow Chows have 44 2. They have an extra pair of molars in the upper jaw located behind the normal molars.
  8. Chows were used as hunting dogs in China. Their thick coat made them well-suited for cold-weather hunting. Chows also guarded property, herded livestock, and pulled carts and sleds.
  9. They don’t enjoy swimming. A Chow Chow’s heavy coat absorbs water and weighs it down, making it a poor swimmer. It’s best to limit their exposure to water.
  10. Chows shed heavily twice a year. During seasonal coat blowing, Chow Chows shed massive amounts of fur. Daily brushing helps control loose hair during the shedding season.
  11. Sigmund Freud had a Chow Chow. His Chow Chow Jofi attended psychotherapy sessions. Jofi helped analyze patients and provided a calming presence during treatment.
  12. Chows were first depicted in Chinese pottery. Pottery from the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago shows dogs resembling modern Chow Chows. This makes them one of the oldest dog breeds.

Chow Chow Personality and Care

The Chow Chow is a one-of-a-kind breed. Their aloofness and independence can be challenging, but proper socialization and training ensure a well-rounded companion. Their thick coat also requires extra grooming. But for the right owner, a Chow Chow’s loyalty and companionship is unparalleled.

With their bear-like appeal and blue tongue, Chow Chows will certainly attract attention during walks. Their dignified nature gives them an air of royalty. While they keep to themselves, Chows become devoted and protective of their families.

Thanks to their deep history, Chow Chows are a breed steeped in mystique and allure. Their many unique traits make them fascinating dogs to own. With the proper care and training, a Chow Chow will be a loyal friend for life.


  1. Can Chow Chow Tongues Be Other Colors? akc.org[]
  2. https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2017/03/10/ancient-origins-chow-chow/[]