Chow chows are not usually social, outgoing dogs. They tend to be aloof with strangers and can be aggressive with other dogs, but are devoted and protective of their family.
Chows are famous for their purple tongues. It's a gene carried within the breed (also found in Shar-Peis) and it turns the Chow puppies tongue purple (or black as some refer to it) when the puppy is about nine weeks old.
Chow chows are fairly intelligent but they have both an independent and a stubborn streak, so training them can be a challenge. To do well in competitions, they require a firm, patient trainer who has plenty of creativity. Chow chows are fiercely protective and need training to control this guarding tendency.
Chow chows are devoted to and protective of their families. To make them good family pets, they need plenty of early socialization including exposure to children. Chow chows do best with training to clarify their position in the family or they can become dominant. Despite the challenges of training, some chow chows compete and do well in obedience and agility.
Chow Chows originated from Northern China and Mongolia.
Chow Chows have been beloved pets of Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, Sigmund Freud, and Martha Stewart.
A rough-coated chow chow does best with a daily grooming to keep him free of tangles. Smooth-coated dogs can be groomed briefly once or twice a week. Special attention should be paid to keeping the eyes and the facial folds clean because the profuse coat can retain dirt and debris.
Some home owners insurance companies refuse to insure Chow Chows as they are seen by some as aggressive.
The chow chow reached the Western world in the late 1800s and began a rise to popularity, which has landed it in the top-10 American Kennel Club breeds. The breed has not fared so well in its native land where many chow chows were eliminated during the cultural revolution.