With its unique bearlike appearance and bluish black tongue, the Chow Chow is a large dog that is hard to miss. Weighing 45 to 70 pounds and standing 43 to 51 centimetres, it is a muscular and powerful breed with a stocky body. It has a large head, moderately long muzzle, strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite, oval-shaped dark eyes, and slightly small ears that are set wide apart. Its wide and large nose is usually black but it can be lighter or self-coloured, depending on its coat colour.
There are two types of Chow Chows according to their coats. The first is the rough-coated, which has a thick, dense and abundant straight hair that stands off from the body. The hair is thicker around the head and neck, which forms a ruff and mane. It also has a soft, thick and woolly undercoat. The second is the smooth-coated, which has a shorter double coat with a hard, dense and smooth outer coat with no ruff or feathering. It has longer hairs on the ears, body, legs, tail, and body. According to KC standards, both types come in black, blue, red, fawn, white, and cream. With its thick coat, the Chow has high grooming requirements. It needs to be brushed at least three times a week, and more frequently during the spring and autumn when they shed heavily. Brushing also lessens the chances of having that doggy smell. It is important to use the right tools such as a medium-coarse brush for the body, a pin brush for the longer sections and a slick brush for the legs. Always use a conditioner when brushing to avoid breakage.
Other basic grooming elements are regular tooth brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and skin inspection for bumps and fleas. When these aspects are neglected, your dog may be prone to preventable infections.