Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Chow Chow puppy or adult dog.


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Chow Chow!

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Chow Chow dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Chow Chow

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Chow Chow the right breed for you?

Chow Chow Review: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Chow Chow Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Chow Chow?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No other dogs in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Chow Chow stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • Brushing – moderate to a lot, depending on the length of coat
  • Trimming/clipping – every few months (depending on the length of coat)
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Chow Chows are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with heavy shedding
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Chow Chow to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Chow Chow, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Chow Chow?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Chow Chow be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Chow Chow?

Chow Chows are moderately common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Chow Chows rank 74th. Unfortunately, too many people acquire a Chow based on their adorableness as puppies, without realizing what that puppy will grow into.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Chow Chows are often available from Dog Rescue groups. Chows may be turned over to Rescue because they shed too much or have health problems. Owners often give up their Chow Chow when it becomes apparent that the breed's distinctive temperament (aloof, dominant, independent) is too much for them to handle. There might be aggression issues toward other animals. You would need to provide these dogs with the training and socialization that they are lacking.

Other Chow Chows are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Chow Chows (or more typically, Chow crosses or mixes) can be found here, although Chow Rescue groups do try to move Chow Chows out of shelters and into their rescue network.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Chow Chow from a show breeder, who breeds Chows to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Chow Chow from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Chow Chow puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal knees
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have a normal thyroid

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Chow Chow ends up blind and crippled.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Chow Chows are found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Chow Chow Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Chow Chow puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Chow Chow puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.