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  • Post last modified:August 21, 2023
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Are Chow Chows Aggressive? (Why Are They Aggressive?)

Chow chows are cute, chow chows are fluffy, and chows-chows can be very cuddly, but if you are a first-time owner that wants to adopt a cute and cuddly dog and is yet at the same time scared of their bite and bark, there is an important question you want to ask.

Are chow chows aggressive? This article aims to tell you that, so read on for answers to all the questions you were about to ask.

Are Chow Chows Aggressive?

Are Chow Chows Aggressive? A white chow chow out for a walk with its owner.

Due to their history as guard dogs, Chow Chows can tend to be aggressive toward other dogs and strangers. In fact, the male chow-chow tends to be more aggressive than the female. However, a Chow Chow can learn to be well-behaved and friendly with the right socialization and training.

While their size may not be that of a cat, many chow-chow owners state that this dog has the cat’s personality; only, they bark instead of meow.

It is not without reason that the dog has another name apart from the cute-sounding chow-chow. It is also known as Songshi Quan, which means puffy lion dog in English.

This is one dog with a temperament, so if you are adopting one, don’t be fooled by the chow-chows pudgy face, cute walk, and teddy bear-like appearance. 

He can be a teddy bear but also a hot-tempered dog that can bite you if you don’t behave.

Why Are Chow Chows Aggressive?

One reading so far may wonder how something as cute as a chow-chow can get so aggressive. Well, the chow-chow has its reasons, and here they are. 

  • Poor socialization: Chow Chows that are not well-socialized with other dogs and humans from a young age may become fearful and reactive, leading to aggression as a form of self-defense.
  • Independent: Chow-chows don’t like help, no matter how cute and helpless they look. On the contrary, they are smart and independent and don’t need too much interference from you. 
  • Protecting their territory: Chow Chows are known for their territorial nature and may become aggressive towards strangers or other animals they perceive as threatening.
  • Mistreatment: Chow Chows that are mistreated or abused can become significantly more aggressive and potentially become dangerous dogs.
  • Anxiety and stress: High levels of anxiety and stress in Chow Chows can lead to aggressive behavior and can be caused by various factors, such as separation anxiety or changes in their environment.

Must Read: Are Cocker Spaniels Aggressive?

Chow Chow Characteristics: Temperament, Personality, Size, and More.

Temperament Independent, loyal, reserved
PersonalityEnergetic, playful, and curious.
SizeMedium-sized / 45-70 lbs / 17-20in tall.
Life Span8 to 12 years
CoatThick, rough/smooth
ColorRed, cream, blue, black, white
Exercise NeedsModerate, short walks ideal
Energy LevelLow to moderate, prefers indoor
IntelligenceHigh, stubborn, independent
Health IssuesProne to hip dysplasia, allergies
TrainingDifficult, independent nature

How To Tame An Aggressive Chow Chow?

A chow-chow is not easy, and you are really up for one; you must be ready for the things you may see. However, this does not mean that the dog is impossible to tame. 

Looking to adopt one? The following are some of how you can make it tame.

  • Positive reinforcement – Remember that the dog is smarter than you think, with a stubborn side. So avoid punishment and practice positive reinforcement. Reward-based training works better with them. 
  • Mental Stimulation – Dogs need exercise, and dogs love to play, and the chow-chow is a dog too. Take him out on walks where he can get the social stimulation he needs to be less suspicious of strangers and not lunge at them. 
  • Consistency – With a chow-chow, there is likely a chance of you falling for his cute face, and he will exploit your weakness as soon as he knows it. Don’t let this happen. Be consistent, and don’t give up. Be patient and firm, and your dog will be perfect soon. 

Note: Remember to seek professional help if your Chow Chow’s aggression is severe. With the right training and socialization, your Chow Chow can become a well-behaved and friendly companion.

Why Are Chow Chows Banned?

Are Chow Chows Aggressive? The owner of a brown chow chow pets him on the head.

A native of China, this is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, but sadly there are places today where it is banned, and not without reason. 

With his record of over 40 fatal attacks in the past, not to forget several non-fatal ones, this dog has earned himself quite a notorious reputation, making the world believe him to be a dangerous dog breed. 

Adopting a chow-chow as a pet is known to be of high risk, and an owner should be ready for some hard times with it.

You could have neighbors complaining about his behavior, and this is why some countries think it is wiser not to put up with it. 

Recommended Reading: Are Australian Cattle Dogs Aggressive?

Are Chow Chows Dangerous?

That is the truth. Chow chows are loyal, protective, and cute, but on the downside, they can also be very dangerous, and this is why they are banned in some countries, like the USA. 

This dog can be very unfriendly and territorial, despite all its cute and cuddly looks. His jaws are quite strong, and so is his temperament. A bad combination, and so, without beating about the bush, yes, he is very dangerous.

With his stubborn and dominant streak, possessiveness towards his owner, and mistrust of strangers, he has earned the reputation of one of the most dangerous dog breeds. 

This is indeed sad, for studies also show that the chow-chow makes for a great city dog. He is clean and adaptable and, when trained, great for a cuddle. Isn’t that what we would like when living a hectic city life? 

Do Chow Chows Bark A Lot?

Unlike what you expected, the answer is no. A chow will bark as well as bite, but only when provoked. 

He is not a senseless dog who will get aggressive and turn on its owner (or anyone, for that matter) without reason. 

On the contrary, this can be a very quiet and well-behaved dog, unlike a spaniel and a terrier which can be all over the place. 

Sources suggest that they can even go an entire day without barking. 

So, don’t punish it when it barks. Rather find out what’s troubling and see how you can solve the issue. 

Are Chow Chows Good With Kids?

Close Up Photo of a Chow Chow

Chow Chow is good with older children who have the right amount of understanding, space, and respect, and he will be a wonderful; companion to them. 

However, it may not be a good family dog if you have young children in the house, and you can very well guess the reason. 

This is because your kids are likely to provoke him and bring out his rotten side. Chow chows are neither playful nor patient and hence may not be able to put up with a small child’s excited side. 

So, if you still want to adopt a chow-chow, ensure they are never left unsupervised with the kids. 

Are Chow Chows Good With Cats & Dogs?

No, they are not very good with cats, especially small ones, and these can bring out the hunting instincts of this aggressive breed of dogs. 

Findings show that these dogs can be more aggressive towards other dogs of the same sex, so this is one area where an owner must beware. 

Surprisingly, he won’t be much of a problem with a dog of the other sex. Quite a jealous flirt, isn’t he? 

Sometimes he may not be aggressive with the other cats and dogs around, but he will not be friendly with them either. 

A chow-chow has eyes only for his owner and is most likely to remain aloof from everyone else. 

Frequently Asked Questions on: Are Chow Chows Aggressive?

Q1. Do chow chows turn on their owners?

Ans: Chow chows love their owners, but yes, they can get very stubborn. They can turn on their owners to dominate them and show them who the boss is. So, if you are a soft-hearted person who can’t tame a chow-chow, don’t go for one. 

Q2. Are Chow Chow tongues poisonous?

Ans: Chow chows have a very oddly colored tongue, but worry not, for a while, its bite is painful, and its blue tongue is quite harmless. It only looks poisonous. However, it’s not. 

Q3. Are chow chows mean?

Ans: They are not friendly, but they are not mean either. They will bark and bite to protect themselves and their owners. 
In short, they are aggressive and stubborn, but they are not mean.

Q4. Is Chow Chow Friendly?

Ans: Chow Chows are not typically known for being friendly and outgoing with strangers or other dogs. They have a history of being guard dogs for homes and livestock, and can be aloof and aggressive toward strangers and other animals if not properly socialized from an early age.

Q5. Are chow chows smart?

Ans: Chow chows are smart. However, is that a good thing? Yes and no. It’s good because he knows how to protect you. It’s bad because his smartness can give him a manipulative streak, which he can use to get the better of you.

Q6. Is a Chow Chow a good family dog?

Ans: Again, yes and no. The answer depends. A chow-chow may not be a good option for you if you have little children in the house, so if you want one, then wait for the kids to grow up. When loved, understood, respected, and, most importantly, trained well, the chow-chow is a good family dog and an effective guard in the house.

Final Thoughts!

In the end, you can say that the chow-chow is a cute and not-so-friendly dog, a cuddly and yet dangerous dog that, to deserve a place in your home, will need the right amount of training and taming. 

Are chow chows aggressive? Why else would a cute and pudgy dog like this be chased away from countries that see him as a threat to their place? 

Yet, there is hope. Chows-chows are intelligent and will respond well to training; only an owner will have to spare the time and patience for this.


Hey there, pet lovers! I'm Pratik, a lifelong animal lover, and pet care expert. My passion for animals began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. Through my blog, I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with other pet owners and provide them with valuable information on pets.