Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Chow Chow

Chow Chow

Chow Chow


ORIGIN

:
FCI
China.

PATRONAGE

:
FCI
Great Britain.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.10.2010.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Guard dog, companion

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 5Spitz and primitive types
Section 5Asian Spitz and related breeds
Without working trial

KC
Utility
UKC
Northern Breed

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The ancestry of the Chow is attributed to China where he was kept as a guard dog, and also used for hunting. The Chow has been known in China for upwards of 2,000 years and is related to Spitz dogs of the Nordic type, also containing something of the mastiff. Because of China’s ‘closed door’ policy to the rest of the world Chows did not begin to appear in other countries until around 1800. He made his way to England sometime during the late eighteenth century and was not really noticed in Britain until the 1920s, with a number being shown at Crufts in 1925.
UKC
The Chow Chow originated in Asia thousands of years ago. While the ancestors of this breed are unknown, the breed can be traced back at least 2,000 years to the Han dynasty of China. The Chow Chow originated as a sporting dog, used by Chinese aristocrats to hunt pheasant and partridge. The name “Chow Chow” is derived from pidgin-English slang used by sea captains to describe the contents of cargo crates full of miscellaneous Chinese goods. These oriental dogs became popular during the Victorian era in England and first appeared in the United States in 1890. Today, the Chow Chow is primarily a family companion and guard dog. The Chow Chow was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1934.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Active, compact, short-coupled and essentially well balanced, leonine in appearance, proud, dignified bearing; well knit frame; tail carried well over back. Should always be able to move freely and must not have so much coat as to impede activity or cause distress in hot weather. A bluish-black tongue is characteristic.
KC
Active, compact, short-coupled and essentially well balanced, leonine in appearance, proud, dignified bearing; well knit frame; tail carried well over back. Should always be able to move freely and must not have so much coat as to impede activity or cause distress in hot weather.
UKC
The Chow Chow is a medium-sized, sturdily built, Spitz-type dog of leonine appearance, with a square body; large, broad head with a short, broad and deep muzzle; prick ears with rounded tips; and a short-coupled body. The squareness of his body is emphasized by his high-set tail, which is carried on the back, and by the lack of angulation in his hindquarters. The hock joint and metatarsals lie in a straight line below the hip joint. The stilted gait resulting from these unique rear quarters is essential to correct type in this breed. The Chow Chow’s face has a characteristic scowl. His tongue is blue-black, and his coat may be smooth or rough.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
The distance from withers to elbow is equal to the distance from elbow to ground.
KC
Quiet dog, good guard, bluish-black tongue; its distinctive short-striding gait allows it to move freely, never lumbering and with excellent endurance.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Quiet dog, good guard. Independent, loyal, yet aloof.
KC
Independent, loyal, yet aloof.
UKC
The Chow Chow is a dignified, aloof dog, with a keen intelligence. It is natural for the Chow to be reserved with strangers, but never timid or aggressive. Part of the Chow Chow’s reserve with strangers is due to the dog’s limited peripheral vision. Strangers approaching a Chow Chow should take this into consideration.

HEAD

:
KC
Skull flat, broad; stop not pronounced, well filled out under eyes. Muzzle moderate in length, broad from eyes to end (not pointed at end like a fox). Nose, large and wide in all cases, black with exception of cream and near white in which case a lighter coloured nose permissible, and in blues and fawns a self-coloured nose (but black preferable in all cases).
UKC
The head is large in proportion to the size of the body, but not so much as to make the dog appear top-heavy. Viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are approximately parallel, joined by a moderate stop, which appears steeper than it is because of the padding over the brows. The muzzle is shorter than the skull but never less than one-third the length of the skull. Viewed from the front, the Chow Chow’s characteristic scowl is achieved by a marked brow with a padded button of skin just above the inner corner of the eye; by sufficient loose 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 correct eye shape and placement; and by correct ear shape, carriage, placement.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Flat, broad.
UKC
The skull is broad and flat, viewed from side or front.

Stop

:
FCI
Not pronounced.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Large and wide in all cases, black (with exception of cream and near white, in which case a lighter coloured nose is permissible, and in blues and fawns a self-coloured nose (but black preferable in all cases).
UKC
The nose is large and broad with well-opened nostrils. The nose is black in color except in blue-colored Chows who may have solid blue or slate noses.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Moderate in length, broad from eyes to end (not pointed at end like a fox). Well filled out under the eyes.
KC
Teeth strong and level, jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. A solid black mouth including the roof and flews, with a bluish black tongue is ideal. However, some dilution may be evident in the gums of blues and fawns and this dilution may be more pronounced in creams and whites.
UKC
The muzzle is broad and deep, with plenty of fill under the eyes and no taper from the stop to the nose. The length from stop to nose is equal to the depth. The square appearance of the muzzle is caused by a combination of correct bone structure and padding of the muzzle and lips. When the mouth is closed, the upper lips completely cover the lower. Lips, inner mouth tissue, and gums are black. The top surface and edges of the tongue are solid blue-black, the darker the better.

Lips

:
FCI
A solid black mouth including the roof and flews, with a bluish black tongue is ideal. However, some dilution may be evident in the gums of blues and fawns and this dilution may be more pronounced in creams and whites.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Teeth strong and level, jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The Chow Chow has a complete set of good-sized, evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
Dark, oval shaped, medium sized and clean. A matching coloured eye permissible in blues and fawns. Clean eye, free from entropion, never being penalised for sake of mere size.
KC
Dark, oval shaped, medium sized and clean. A matching coloured eye permissible in blues and fawns. Clean eye, free from entropion, never being penalised for sake of mere size.
UKC
Eyes are dark brown, almond-shaped, and of moderate size. They are set deeply, obliquely, and wide apart. Eye rims are black and tight. The padded skin around the eyes and the brow must not obscure the pupils. The correct size, shape and placement of the eyes create an Oriental expression.

Ears

:
FCI
Small, thick, slightly rounded at tip, carried stiffly and wide apart but tilting well forward over eyes and slightly towards each other, giving peculiar characteristic scowling expression of the breed. Scowl never to be achieved by loose wrinkled skin of head.
KC
Small, thick, slightly rounded at tip, carried stiffly and wide apart but tilting well forward over eyes and slightly towards each other, giving peculiar characteristic scowling expression of the breed. Scowl never to be achieved by loose wrinkled skin of head.
UKC
Ears are prick with slightly rounded tips. They are small, triangular and moderately thick. The ears are set wide apart and carried stiffly erect. They are tilted forward over the eyes and slightly towards each other, contributing to the scowling expression of the breed, which should never be achieved by loose, wrinkled skin on the head.

NECK

:
FCI
Strong, full, not short, set well on shoulders and slightly arched. Of sufficient length to carry the head proudly above the topline.
KC
Strong, full, not short, set well on shoulders and slightly arched. Of sufficient length to carry the head proudly above the topline.
UKC
The neck is well muscled, slightly arched, and with sufficient length and power to carry the head proudly erect when standing at attention.

BODY

:
KC
Chest broad and deep. Ribs well sprung but not barrelled. The distance from withers to elbow is equal to the distance from elbow to ground. Back short, level and strong. Loins powerful.
UKC
The Chow Chow’s square body is an essential element of breed type. The length of body, measured from prosternum to point of buttocks, is equal in length to the height, measured from withers to ground. The body is compact, broad, deep and well muscled. The topline is short and level. The chest is broad, muscular, and deep, extending to the elbow. Viewed from the side, the prosternum extends slightly in front of the point of shoulder. The ribs are well sprung at the top but narrow at the lower end to allow the shoulder, upper arm, and elbow to fit smoothly against the chest wall. The loin is short, well-muscled, broad, and deep. The croup is short, broad, and level.

Back

:
FCI
Short, level and strong.

Loin

:
FCI
Powerful.

Chest

:
FCI
Broad and deep. Ribs well sprung, but not barrelled.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set high, carried well over back.
KC
Set high, carried well over back.
UKC
The tail is set high and carried close to the back at all times.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
KC
Shoulders muscular and sloping. Elbows equidistant between withers and ground. Forelegs perfectly straight with good bone.
UKC
The Chow Chow’s shoulders are well muscled and moderately angulated. The shoulder blade and upper arm are of approximately equal length. The shoulder blade is laid back at an approximate angle of 55 degrees and forms an angle of about 110 degrees with the upper arm. The tips of the shoulder blades are moderately close together.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Muscular and sloping.

Elbow

:
FCI
Equidistant between withers and ground.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are straight, muscular, and have heavy bone that must be in proportion to the body. The elbows are well back and close to the body. The distance from the elbow to the ground equals one-half the dog’s height at the withers. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are parallel and set wide apart. Viewed from the side, the pasterns are short and upright.

Forearm

:
FCI
Perfectly straight, with good bone.

FEET

:
KC
Small, round, cat-like, standing well up on toes.
UKC
Feet are round and compact, with thick pads. Dewclaws may be removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Small, round, cat-like, standing well up on toes.

Hind feet

:
FCI
As Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
In profile the foot is directly under the hip joint.
KC
In profile the foot is directly under the hip joint. Well developed first and second thigh with only slight bend of stifle. Hocks well let down. From hocks downwards to appear straight, never flexing forward.
UKC
The hindquarters are broad, powerful, and well muscled, the same width as the forequarters.

Thigh

:
FCI
Well developed.

Stifle

:
FCI
Only slight bend.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The rear legs are approximately as heavy in bone as the forelegs. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight, parallel, and set wide apart. The rear pasterns are short and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the side, the stifle joint shows little angulation and the hock joint is well let down and nearly straight. The hock joint and rear pastern lie in a straight line below the hip joint.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Well developed.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Hocks well let down. From hocks downwards to appear straight, never flexing forward.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Relatively short striding, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim the ground, resulting in pendulum like action when seen in profile. Its distinctive short-striding gait allows it to move freely, never lumbering and with excellent endurance. Forelegs and hindlegs moving parallel to each other and straight forward. Dogs should always be able to move freely and soundly without any sign of distress.
KC
Relatively short striding, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim the ground, resulting in pendulum like action when seen in profile. Forelegs and hindlegs moving parallel to each other and straight forward. Dogs should always be able to move freely and soundly without any sign of distress.
UKC
Correct Chow Chow gait is an essential element of breed type. Viewed from the side, the rear gait is short and stilted. The rear leg moves up and forward like a pendulum, causing a slight bounce in the rump. There is little extension either forward or to the rear. There is no roll through the midsection. Viewed from the front or rear, the legs move straight forward. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance. The Chow Chow is somewhat lacking in speed but has excellent endurance.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI

Either rough or smooth.
Rough: Profuse, abundant, dense, straight and stand-off but not excessive in length. Outer coat coarse, with soft woolly undercoat.
Especially thick round neck forming mane or ruff and with good culottes or breechings on back of thighs.
Smooth: Coat short, dense, straight, upstanding, not flat, plush-like in texture.
Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the natural outline or expression should be penalised, with the exception of feet which may be tidied.
KC
Either rough or smooth. Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the natural outline or expression should be penalised, with the exception of feet which may be tidied. Rough: profuse, dense, straight and stand-off, but not excessive in length. Outer coat coarse, with soft woolly undercoat. Especially thick round neck forming mane or ruff and with good culottes or breechings on back of thighs. Smooth: short, double coat, dense, straight, upstanding, not flat, plush-like in texture.
UKC
There are two equally acceptable coat types. Both are double-coated. No preference is given to either type. Rough Coat: The outer coat is abundant, thick, straight, and rather coarse in texture. The undercoat is soft, fine, and dense. The coat stands away from the body and forms a profuse ruff around the head and neck, framing the face. The hindquarters and tail are well feathered. Coat length varies widely, and males may have a longer coat and ruff than females. Judges should emphasize density and texture more than length when evaluating this breed. Trimming should be discouraged except the face and legs may be neatened by trimming the whiskers, feet, and pasterns. Smooth Coat: The outer coat is hard, dense, and smooth with no obvious ruff or feathering on the legs or tail. Puppy coats are soft, thick, and woolly.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Whole coloured black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white, frequently shaded but not in patches or parti-coloured (underpart of tail and back of thighs frequently of a lighter colour).
KC
Whole coloured black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white, frequently shaded but not in patches or parti-coloured (underpart of tail and back of thighs frequently of a lighter colour).
UKC
The Chow Chow comes in five equally acceptable colors: Red (light golden to deep mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon (light fawn to deep cinnamon), and cream. Colors are solid but may have lighter shadings in the ruff, tail, and feathering.

SIZE

:
KC
Dogs: 48-56 cms (19-22 ins) at shoulder. Bitches: 46-51 cms (18-20 ins) at shoulder.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males 48 - 56 cms.
Females 46 - 51 cms.
UKC
A mature Chow Chow ranges in height from 17 to 20 inches, measured at the withers. Correct proportions (square body, width of forequarters equal to width of hindquarters, distance from elbow to ground equal to one-half the height at the withers, lowest point of chest level with elbows) are to be given more emphasis when judging this breed than size.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Head: Excessive loose skin.
Muzzle: Lips, inner mouth tissue, or gums any other color than black, or spotted; pendulous lips; excessive padding of the muzzle causing it to appear other than square.
Forelegs: Wrists knuckling over.
Body: Slab sided; narrow chest.
Gait: Front legs swinging out in semi-circles; mincing front gait; hackney gait; extension in the rear.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Eyes: Entropion or ectropion; pupils wholly or partly obscured by loose skin.
Hind Legs: Unsound stifle or hock joints.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness, marked shyness, or cowardliness. Top surface or edges of the tongue red, pink, or spotted with red or pink. Nose spotted or any other color than those allowed. Ear breaking at any point from the base to the tip. Ear not carried stiffly erect. Albinism.
Muzzle: Top surface or edges of the tongue red, pink, or spotted with red or pink.
Nose: Nose spotted or any other color than those allowed.
Ears: Ear breaking at any point from the base to the tip; ear not carried stiffly erect.
Color: Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.