character of the Chow Chow breed

The Chow Chow is aloof, proud, dignified and devoted to his owners.

red smooth Chow Chow Sometimes it is said he is a one person dog. That is not true. Most Chow Chows have a number of people they feel connected with. For our Chow Chows are, beside myself and my husband, a few good friends of ours a part of our pack as well.


Towards strangers most Chow Chows are aloof. Some are more outgoing, but generaly the don't like to be petted by strangers. They can learn to tolerate it, but don't expect them to greet everyone with a wagging tail. Our Chows especially dislike people who try to force them in any way. But if people take the time to let them come by themselves, they usually reward them by allowing to be petted.
Usually the males are a bit more outgoing as the females.

quiet and guarding

They guard their home, most Chow Chows bark rarely, although there are exemptions. Our bitch Pandora had to bark at least once every day. If there had been no reason to bark all day, she started to search for a reason at the end of the day and was really happy to find anything to bark about, like someone walking by in the far distance.
Inside they are quiet, laying somewhere near their owners. They are, despite their looks, not very cuddly. Once in a while a pet or a cuddle is allright, but that is it. Our Chows like to lay next to us on the couch.
In general Chow Chows are very pleased with themselves and think it is very important that everything goes as it "should be", wich means like they are used to.
When they are older it can take a long time before they get used to new things. Therefore it is very important that they are well socialised as a pup: everything they hear, smell, see and does occur to them at young age (until 4 months) they will see as normal for the rest of their life.


The Chow Chow needs some exercise. A firm walk a few times a week, is very much appreciated.
Because of the short muzzle, some Chows don't cool down properly when the weather is warm. In that case don't walk much during the day. Better walk in the early morning, or in the evening, when it is cooler.

prey drive

Chow Chows can have a high prey drive, for some people a reason to keep them always on leash. In our experience they can walk off leash, but they have to learn it at a very young age. All our Chow Chows could walk off leash (except Gladdich) in a park or other areas away from traffic.
The Chow Chow used to be a hunter, so he likes to chase rabbits, cats, rats etc. If our Chow Chows see a rabbit in the park and chase it, they return always within 5 minutes.
If the Chow Chow gets used to cats at a young age, he will live peacefully together with them, but strange cats will be chased.

breed info

this page was updated at
October 6th, 2009
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