Do Chow Chows Make Good Family Dogs?

Are you considering bringing a new furry friend into your family? If so, you've likely come across the Chow Chow breed in your search. Known for their unique appearance and dignified demeanor, Chow Chows can make wonderful companions. But do they make good family dogs? Let's explore this question and find out if a Chow Chow is the right fit for your family.

a family introducing their new chow chow puppies to their children
A family introducing their new chow chow puppies to their children

According to the Chow Chow breed profile on the American Kennel Club's website, Chow Chows have a 4 out of 5 stars rating for their affectionate nature. They are known to form strong bonds with their owners and can be very loyal companions.

When it comes to their tolerance of children, Chow Chows have a rating of 3 out of 5 stars on the AKC's website. This rating suggests that while Chow Chows can coexist with children, they may not be the most patient and tolerant breed, especially with young children.

a chow chow and a baby

The AKC's website rates Chow Chows with 2 out of 5 stars for their tolerance of other dogs. Chow Chows have a strong sense of independence and are often described as aloof or reserved. They tend to have a dominant nature, which can sometimes lead to aggressive behavior towards other dogs, especially dogs of the same gender. Early socialization and training can help mitigate these tendencies, but their interactions with other dogs closely need to be monitored.

chow chow rating on AKC

The Temperament of Chow Chows

When it comes to temperament, Chow Chows are known for being independent and slightly aloof. They are not known for their overly affectionate nature, like some other breeds. However, this doesn't mean that they don't love their family, but their affection may be shown in a more reserved manner.

Chow Chows are also known to be quite protective of their family members. They have a natural instinct to guard and can become wary of strangers. This can be a positive trait when it comes to protecting your loved ones, but it also requires proper socialization from an early age to prevent aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people or animals.

Considerations for Families with Young Children

a kid playing with a Chow Chow

If you have young children, you need to carefully consider whether a Chow Chow is the right fit for your family. While Chow Chows can coexist well with older children who understand the importance of respecting a dog's boundaries, they may not be the best choice for families with young, energetic kids.

Chow Chows have a low tolerance for rough handling or overly enthusiastic play. They prefer a calm and peaceful environment, which may not always align with the energy levels of young children. In such cases, constant monitoring and education are necessary to ensure both the safety of your child and the well-being of your Chow Chow.

Exercise and Training Needs

a woman and her chow chow dogs
Source: YouTube

Chow Chows are not high-energy dogs, but they still require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks and play sessions are important for maintaining their overall health and well-being. It's worth noting that Chow Chows are not the best candidates for off-leash activities, as their independent nature may lead them to wander off or ignore commands.

Training a Chow Chow requires patience and consistency. They can be quite stubborn at times and may not always be eager to please. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and treats, work best when teaching them new commands or behaviors.

To ensure your Chow Chow becomes a well-rounded family dog, early socialization is key. Expose them to various environments, people, and other animals from a young age. This will help them become more comfortable in different situations and reduce the likelihood of developing any unwanted behaviors. Plus, it's a great excuse to take your pup on exciting adventures!

Grooming and Health Care

Ah, the glamorous side of owning a Chow Chow. Get ready for some serious grooming responsibilities! But don't worry, it's all part of the package, and with a little effort, you'll keep your Chow Chow looking like a canine royalty.

Chow Chows have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and keep it in top condition. Trust me when I say that regular grooming sessions will become a bonding experience you'll cherish. Oh, and those adorable wrinkles around their face? Be prepared to clean and maintain them regularly to prevent any skin issues.

While Chow Chows are generally healthy dogs, like any breed, they have their fair share of potential health concerns. Hip dysplasia, entropion, and allergies are just a few examples. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and a good exercise routine will all contribute to keeping your Chow Chow healthy and happy.


In conclusion, Chow Chows can indeed make wonderful family dogs, but they come with unique considerations. Their independent nature, loyalty, and protective instincts make them excellent companions. However, families with young children should be mindful of supervision and establishing boundaries. Proper training and socialization are crucial for their well-being. Meeting their exercise and mental stimulation needs, as well as maintaining their grooming and health care requirements, are essential for their overall happiness.

By creating a safe and welcoming environment, you can provide a loving home for your Chow Chow. Assessing if a Chow Chow is the right fit for your family involves understanding their characteristics and dedicating the time and effort to meet their needs. With the right approach, Chow Chows can become beloved members of your family for years to come.


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