Chow Shepherd vs. German Shepherd: What’s the Difference?

Chow Shepherd vs. German Shepherd: What’s the Difference?

Are you torn between choosing a Chow Shepherd or a German Shepherd as your next furry companion? Both breeds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature, but there are key differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the distinct characteristics of Chow Shepherds and German Shepherds to help you make an informed decision on which breed is the right fit for you.

Physical Characteristics

When comparing Chow Shepherds and German Shepherds, one of the primary differences lies in their physical characteristics. From size to coat type, these two breeds have distinct features that set them apart.


Chow Shepherds are typically larger in size compared to German Shepherds. They can weigh anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds and stand between 20 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. On the other hand, German Shepherds are slightly smaller, weighing between 50 to 90 pounds and standing 22 to 26 inches tall.


One of the most noticeable differences between Chow Shepherds and German Shepherds is their coat type. Chow Shepherds have a dense double coat that can be rough or smooth, with a distinctive lion-like ruff around their neck. German Shepherds, on the other hand, have a double coat that is medium-length, straight, and dense.


In terms of color, Chow Shepherds and German Shepherds also differ. Chow Shepherds come in a variety of colors, including red, black, blue, cinnamon, and cream. German Shepherds, on the other hand, are most commonly seen in black and tan, sable, or bi-color (black and tan).

Overall, while both breeds share some similarities, their physical characteristics make them easily distinguishable from one another.


When it comes to temperament, Chow Shepherds and German Shepherds have some key differences. Chow Shepherds are known to be more aloof and independent, while German Shepherds are typically more loyal and protective. Chow Shepherds may be wary of strangers and can be more reserved, whereas German Shepherds are often more outgoing and social. Both breeds can be great family pets, but it’s important to consider these temperament differences when choosing the right dog for your lifestyle.


Both Chow Shepherds and German Shepherds are highly intelligent breeds, but they may exhibit their intelligence in different ways. German Shepherds are known for their trainability and ability to learn commands quickly, making them excellent working dogs and ideal for tasks such as search and rescue or police work. Chow Shepherds, on the other hand, may be more independent in their thinking and may require more patience and consistency in training.

Energy Level

In terms of energy level, German Shepherds are known for their high energy and need for regular exercise. They thrive in active households where they can run, play, and engage in physical activity. Chow Shepherds, on the other hand, may have a more moderate energy level and may be content with a daily walk or play session. It’s important to provide both breeds with regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.


When it comes to trainability, German Shepherds are often considered one of the most trainable breeds due to their high intelligence and eagerness to please. They excel in obedience training and can quickly pick up new commands. Chow Shepherds, while intelligent, may be more stubborn and independent, which can make training a bit more challenging. Consistent training methods and positive reinforcement are key when working with either breed to ensure success.

Exercise Needs

When comparing the Chow Shepherd and German Shepherd breeds, it is important to consider their exercise needs. Both breeds are active and require regular physical activity to stay healthy and happy. However, there are some differences in their specific exercise requirements.

Daily Exercise Requirements

The Chow Shepherd typically needs around 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. This can include activities such as brisk walks, runs, or playtime in a secure outdoor area. On the other hand, the German Shepherd is a high-energy breed that may require up to 2 hours of exercise daily. This can involve more intense activities like agility training, jogging, or hikes.

Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, both breeds also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. The Chow Shepherd may benefit from puzzle toys, obedience training, or scent work to keep their minds engaged. The German Shepherd, being a highly intelligent breed, thrives on mental challenges such as advanced obedience training, interactive games, or even learning new tricks.


Playtime is an essential aspect of exercise for both the Chow Shepherd and German Shepherd. Interactive games like fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek can provide physical exercise and strengthen the bond between the dog and their owner. It is important to incorporate playtime into the daily routine to ensure that the dog remains happy and well-balanced.

In conclusion, while both the Chow Shepherd and German Shepherd are intelligent, loyal, and protective breeds, there are some key differences to consider. The Chow Shepherd tends to be more independent and aloof, while the German Shepherd is known for its strong work ethic and trainability. Ultimately, the best breed for you will depend on your lifestyle, experience with dogs, and what qualities you are looking for in a canine companion. Whether you choose a Chow Shepherd or a German Shepherd, both breeds have a lot to offer and can make wonderful additions to a loving home.