The Chow Chow, often simply called the Chow, is one of the oldest breeds. Historical artifacts indicate that he may have come originally from the Arctic Circle, migrating to Mongolia, Siberia and China. Some scholars claim that the Chow was the original ancestor of the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elkhound, the Pomeranian, and the Keeshond.
Looking at the splendid Oriental Chow Chow, one sees an arrestingly beautiful animal. What catches the eye is his perfect balance, the compact body and the proud, dignified head. His striking personality and character, his aristocratic bearing, his dignified manners and his lordly scowl make him unlike any other dog. Friendly, yet somehow reserved, he asks only to be loved and socialized by his family and friends. He is indeed an Oriental
gentleman , the lord of the canines, the Emperor of Dogs. And he is unique!
The Chow Chow Club Inc. developed this illustrated standard as a valuable educational tool. Breeders, fanciers, and judges alike can use this document to enhance their understanding of the Chow Chow. Only through continuing education and open communication will we be able to preserve and improve our magnificent breed.
The emphasis of the illustrations is to assist in visualizing the ideal  Chow Chow as described in the official standard. The text of the standard is very explicit and provides a fundamental guide to the breed in every detail. None of the illustrations are used to exhibit the numerous faults  which may occur in our breed. We wish to leave the reader with a clear picture of the correct conformation of the Chow Chow .
Illustrating only the correct provides a tool whose goal is to train the eye to reward the virtues that make our breed a masterpiece of beauty, dignity and naturalness . The summary of the breed standard states:
Remember that faults shall be penalized in proportion to their deviation from the standard. In judging the Chow, the overall picture is of primary consideration.
The Chow Chow can have one of two different types of coat; either rough or smooth. The most common coat is the long-haired or rough, which has an outer coat containing long, straight, coarse guard hairs. The smooth coated Chow Chow has a short, hard, dense smooth  outer coat and a definite undercoat. The illustrations in this standard demonstrate that coat is the only specified difference between the two varieties.
This illustrated breed standard is the culmination of more than 3 years of work by the artist and other committee members.