Chow Shepherd vs. Chow Chow: Key Differences to Know

Chow Shepherd vs. Chow Chow: Key Differences to Know

Are you considering adding a Chow breed to your family but unsure whether to choose a Chow Shepherd or a Chow Chow? Both breeds are popular choices for dog owners, but they have distinct differences that are important to consider. In this article, we will explore the key differences between a Chow Shepherd and a Chow Chow to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re looking for a loyal companion, a protective guard dog, or a family pet, understanding these differences will help you choose the right breed for your lifestyle.

Physical Appearance

Size and Weight

When comparing the Chow Shepherd and Chow Chow breeds, one of the key differences to note is their size and weight. The Chow Shepherd is typically larger and heavier than the Chow Chow. The Chow Shepherd can weigh anywhere from 60 to 95 pounds, while the Chow Chow usually ranges from 45 to 70 pounds. In terms of height, the Chow Shepherd stands taller, with an average height of 22 to 26 inches, compared to the Chow Chow’s 17 to 20 inches.

Coat and Color

Another distinguishing factor between the Chow Shepherd and Chow Chow is their coat and color. The Chow Shepherd has a dense double coat that is usually medium to long in length. Their coat can come in a variety of colors such as black, tan, red, and cream. On the other hand, the Chow Chow is known for its distinct lion-like mane and fluffy coat that can be rough or smooth. Chow Chows come in shades of red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream.

Facial Features

When it comes to facial features, the Chow Shepherd and Chow Chow also have noticeable differences. The Chow Shepherd has a more elongated muzzle and almond-shaped eyes that give them a friendly and intelligent expression. In contrast, the Chow Chow has a distinctive wrinkled face with a lion-like mane around their neck. They have a broad skull and small, deep-set eyes that give them a unique and regal appearance.

Temperament and Behavior

Chow Shepherd

The Chow Shepherd is known for being loyal, protective, and intelligent. They are often wary of strangers and can be aloof with people they do not know. However, they are very loving and affectionate with their family members. Chow Shepherds are also known for their strong guarding instincts and will do whatever it takes to protect their loved ones.

Chow Chow

On the other hand, Chow Chows are known for being independent, dignified, and aloof. They are not as outgoing as Chow Shepherds and can be quite reserved with strangers. Chow Chows are also known for their strong-willed nature and can be stubborn at times. However, they are very loyal and devoted to their family members.

Exercise and Training Needs

Chow Shepherd

Chow Shepherds are a highly energetic and intelligent breed that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They thrive on activities that challenge their minds and bodies, such as agility courses, obedience training, and long walks or runs. Daily exercise is essential for this breed to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Training is also crucial for Chow Shepherds, as they can be strong-willed and independent. Consistent and positive reinforcement methods work best with this breed, as they respond well to praise and rewards. Early socialization is important to prevent any potential aggression or standoffish behavior towards strangers or other animals.

Chow Chow

Chow Chows have a more laid-back nature compared to Chow Shepherds, but they still require regular exercise to maintain their physical health. Daily walks and playtime in a fenced-in yard are recommended for this breed, as they can be prone to obesity if not given enough opportunities to burn off energy.

Training a Chow Chow can be a bit more challenging, as they are known for their stubborn and aloof personalities. Patience and consistency are key when working with this breed, as they may not always be eager to please. Early socialization is also important for Chow Chows to prevent any potential aggression or territorial behavior.

In conclusion, both Chow Shepherds and Chow Chows require regular exercise and training to thrive. However, the specific needs and approaches may vary between the two breeds due to their different temperaments and energy levels.


In conclusion, while both the Chow Shepherd and Chow Chow breeds share some similarities in appearance and temperament, there are key differences that set them apart. Understanding these differences, such as their size, coat type, and exercise needs, can help potential dog owners make an informed decision when choosing between the two breeds. Whether you prefer the loyal and protective nature of the Chow Shepherd or the independent and aloof personality of the Chow Chow, both breeds have their own unique qualities that make them wonderful companions for the right owner. Ultimately, the best breed for you will depend on your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet the needs of these magnificent dogs.