The Chow Chow’s true ancestry is unknown, but they have been spotted in pottery and sculptures as far back as 206 B.C. in the Chinese Han Dynasty. Chow Chows were used as all-purpose dogs, guarding the home and master, herding, hunting and even pulling heavy loads. There’s no mistaking the lion-like Chow Chow for any other breed. Their full, puffy coats come in black, red and cream, but their tongues can only be one color -- black. The fully black tongue is characteristic of Chow Chows, but not unique to the breed.
The Chow Chow is a devoted four-legged family member and can be very gentle with children if socialized early. Chows are notoriously standoffish with strangers, however, which is what makes them such good protectors of the home. Their full double coats need frequent bathing and grooming to keep them looking their best.
While it may be hard to imagine these little lions as anything but hardy, Chows are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health - and your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Chow Chows are prone to include eye conditions such as entropion; hip problems such as hip dysplasia; thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism; skin conditions such as sebaceous adenitis; chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus; as well as elbow issues such as elbow dysplasia.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Chow inherits anything more than a passion for guarding her two-legged family (and food bowl), you’re protected.