An ancient breed of northern Chinese origin, this
all-purpose dog of China was used for hunting,
herding, pulling and protection of the home.

While primarily a companion today, his working
origin must always be remembered when
assessing true Chow type.




                                                                                                                                     GENERAL APPEARANCE

                                                                                  A powerful, sturdy, squarely built, upstanding dog of Arctic                                                                                      type, medium in size with strong muscular development 

                                                                              and heavy bone. The body is compact, short coupled, broad 

                                                                                  and deep, the tail set high and carried closely to the back,

                                                                                    the whole supported by four straight, strong, sound legs.

Viewed from the side, the hind legs have little apparent angulation and the hock joint and
metatarsals are directly beneath the hip joint. It is this structure which produces the characteristic
short, stilted gait unique to the breed. The large head with broad, flat skull and short,

broad and deep muzzle is proudly carried and accentuated by a ruff. Elegance and substance must be combined into a well balanced whole, never so massive as to outweigh his ability to be active, alert and agile.

Clothed in a smooth or an off standing rough double coat, the Chow is a masterpiece of beauty, dignity and naturalness, unique in his blue-black tongue, scowling expression and stilted gait.









Distance from tip of elbow to ground is half the height at the withers. Floor of the chest level with tips of elbows. Width viewed from the front and rear is the same and must be broad. It is these proportions that are essential to true Chow type. In judging puppies, no allowance should be made for their failure to conform to these proportions.


Medium in size with strong muscular development and heavy bone. Equally objectionable are snipy, fine boned specimens and overdone, ponderous, cloddy specimens. In comparing specimens of different sex, due allowance must be made in favor of the bitches who may not have as much head or substance as do
the males. There is an impression of femininity in bitches as compared to an impression of masculinity in dogs.


The average height of adult specimens is 17 to 20 inches at the withers but in every case consideration of overall proportions and type should take precedence over size :


Square in profile and close coupled. Distance from
forechest to point of buttocks equals height at the
highest points of the withers.                                                                                Serious Fault

                                                                                                                      Profile other than square.



















The nose is large, broad and black in color with well

opened nostrils.


Disqualifying Fault

Nose spotted or distinctly other color than black, except in blue Chows which may have a solid blue or slate noses.

Mouth and Tongue

Edges of the lips black, tissues of the mouth mostly black, gums preferably black. A solid black mouth is ideal. The top surface and edges of the tongue a solid blue-black, the darker the better.


Disqualifying Fault

The top surface or edges of the tongue red or pink or with one or more spots of red or pink.


Strong and even with a scissors bite.


Skull and Stop

The head is proudly carried, large in proportion to the size of the dog but never so exaggerated as to
make the dog seem top heavy or to result in a low carriage.
The top skull is broad and flat from side to side and front to back. Coat and loose skin cannot substitute for the correct bone structure.
Viewed in profile, the top lines of the muzzle and skull are approximately parallel, joined by a moderate stop. The padding of the brows may make the stop appear steeper than it is.


The muzzle is short in comparison to the length of the top skull but never less than one-third of the head length.
The muzzle is broad and well filled out under the eyes, its width and depth are equal and both dimensions should appear to be the same from its base to its tip. This square appearance is achieved by correct bone structure plus padding of the muzzle and full cushioned lips. The muzzle should never be so padded or
cushioned as to make it appear other than square in shape. The upper lips completely cover the lower lips when the mouth is closed but should not be pendulous.






Dark brown, deep set and placed wide apart and obliquely, of moderate size, almond in shape. The correct placement and shape should create an Oriental appearance. The eye rims black with lids which neither turn in nor droop and the pupils of the eyes clearly visible.

Serious Faults

Entropion or ectropion, or pupils wholly or partially obscured by loose skin.


Essentially scowling, dignified, lordly, discerning, sober and snobbish, one of independence.

The scowl is achieved:

* by a marked brow with a padded button of skin just above the inner, upper corner of each eye;

* by sufficient play of skin to form frowning brows and a distinct furrow between the eyes beginning at the base of the muzzle and extending up the forehead;

* by the correct eye shape and placement

* by the correct ear shape, carriage and placement.

Excessive loose skin is not desirable. Wrinkles on the muzzle do not contribute to expression and are not required.








Small, moderately thick, triangular in shape with a slight rounding at the tip, carried stiffly erect but with a slight forward tilt. Placed wide apart with the inner corner on top of the skull. An ear which flops as the dog moves is very undesirable.


Disqualifying Fault

Drop ear or ears. A drop ear is one which breaks at any point from its base to its tip or which is not carried stiffly erect but lies parallel to the top of the skull.