Pet insurance policies are underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company.
Follow Us
Chow Chow pup looking up

Getting to know the Chow Chow dog

“Pet parent seeking dignified, loving companion who has pep in their step but isn’t overly concerned with long walks on the beach, loves to be clean and who won’t spend a lot of time socializing with others…”

If the above quote describes you, then you just might want to be the pet parent to a Chow Chow.

The Chow Chow is ranked as the 74th most popular dog breed. Its name translates to “puffy lion dog,” and it is one of the most ancient dog breeds (hailing from the Chinese provinces) believed to still be in existence. In addition to their unique tongues—purple-black in color—standard Chow Chow fur colors include black, blue, cinnamon, cream and red.

Along with their unique history and features, here are a few reasons why the Chow Chow may be the right dog breed for you:

Fiercely independent, the Chow Chow is considered by many to be aloof. Given a choice, a Chow Chow prefers spending time with select family members over meeting strangers. In fact, the Chow Chow rarely accepts new friendships, so it is up to you to slowly introduce him to others and manage the introduction until your dog is comfortable with this new person.

To love a Chow Chow is to know you will be the center of the universe for your dog and that is a responsibility not to be taken lightly as your Chow Chow is intensely loyal.

Because your Chow Chow will develop a strong bond with one or two family members it is important he receives continued and frequent socialization. Being diligent in this avoids over-protectiveness and aggression toward others, especially as the dog ages. Chow Chows make the owner earn their respect and if the dog reaches adolescence without that happening, he may reject your authority. Many of these dogs are extremely easy-going, but to assure this, socialization that is necessary.

Intelligence shines from the eyes of the Chow Chow. They are easy to housebreak. They are highly trainable, but because they are known for their stubborn nature, are more likely to train their owners! The owner of a Chow Chow must be willing to be persistent and loving with training in order to succeed.

Refined and dignified. Its gait and manner are what lead to its look of refinement and dignity when they’re standing next to you or when you’re out on a walk around the neighborhood.

Chow Chows are considered the cleanest of dogs. When you live with a Chow Chow you have the best of both worlds—a loving dog and a clean house! They have very little “dog smell” and are as dedicated to cleanliness as a cat.

They will require brushing of their double coat—so schedule regular grooming and bathing and set aside at least two hours a week to attend to your pet’s coat. Tooth brushing and attention to their ears and to preventing wax build up is also crucial to the health of your dog. 

If you live in an apartment or aren’t too keen on hiking or jogging, a Chow Chow makes an ideal companion. They don’t require much in terms of exercise and are just as happy taking a short daily jaunt around the neighborhood as they are hanging out with his family the couch. Be aware in some instances, your homeowners or renter’s insurance rates may go up as Chow Chows are sometimes labeled “aggressive” by insurance companies.

This breed is generally healthy, but is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and eye disease. While some dogs in this breed may be faced with these health issues, the majority are healthy. In adulthood, they tend to weight between 40-70 lbs. and their lifespan range is 12 to 25 years.

Bottom line: A Chow Chow is a dog for the pet parent who has the strength of personality and conviction to train and socialize this independent, yet loyal breed. If it sounds like a Chow Chow is the dog of your dreams, here is additional information on Chow Chow rescues in your area.


Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex kittens, three adult rescue cats, a mini poodle, a Goldendoodle, three lizards and two ferrets. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.

Confident. Courageous. Smart. Those are...

Portland is pretty famous for its...

Pets bring joy to our lives, but they...

Allowing dogs to venture off leash while...

More From Figo Blog
Max Fox: A Pet Insurance Emergency Story | Figo Pet Insurance

When California resident Sunshine Fox took her...

Anxious cat sits on a bookshelf

Cats have earned a reputation for being...

Cozy Cats: Too Comfortable For Words | Figo Pet Insurance

Mornings are the worst. You spend all night...

Scarf'd Pet Recipes: Crunchy Munchy Popcorn Treats | Figo Pet Insurance

This simple-to-make treat is everything we...

Animal shelter volunteer pets a dog adoptee

Are you passionate about pets? So are we! I...

Halloween pet safety: Dog in costume

Halloween is a favorite family holiday:...

Man sitting on beach with dog in sun

Dogs make a good vacation even better, and...

Westie eyeing macaroons on the kitchen counter

Q: Our dogs, Stiller and...

HELP