history of the Chow Chow breed

The Chow Chow is an ancient Chinese breed. It was kept as a guarding, pulling and hunting dog, his meat and fur were used too.
black smooth Chow Chow Besides this he was sometimes a guard dog in temples. There he was not only to guard people with bad intentions, he also keept bad spirits away. For this the scowl and the blue tongue were of great importance.

In old books, 11th century BC, writings about the the foreign Tartar Dog described a dog very similar to the Chow Chow. A sculpture from the Han-period (150 BC) shows also a Chow-like dog. This dog has the compact and square body, the short muzzle, small upright ears, the tail over his back and the straight hindlegs.

According to recent research the Chow Chow is one of the 14 ancient dog breeds. DNA identifies dog breed with 99 percent accuracy.

Chow Chow

blue smooth Chow Chow The name "Chow Chow" is not that old. At the time the first Chow Chow dogs came to Europe, at the end of the 18th century, allmost everything that came from China was called "Chow" so the special dog with the blue tongue was called Chow too. In China they were called "Wonk" according to Mr. Toepoel, who wrote many books about dogs in the Netherlands and was well known because of his wide knowledge about dogs.


There is a nice legend how the Chow Chow got his blue tongue.
One day the God was painting the sky blue. While doing so one drop of the blue paint fell down. The Chow Chow saw it happening and licked the blue drop away.
Ever since Chow Chows have a blue tongue.

breed info

this page was updated at
October 6th, 2009
© Anita Meulstee

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