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Judging The Chow Chow

Photo Courtesy of The Chow Chow Club

By Love Banghart

The Chow Chow is an ancient multi-purpose working breed, used for hunting, herding, pulling and protection of the home.

While primarily a companion today, his working origin must always be remembered when assessing true Chow type.  A powerful, sturdy, squarely built, upstanding dog of Arctic type, medium in size with strong muscular development and heavy bone.

The AKC allows the Chow Chows to be examined standing on the ground or on a ramp.  The decision to use a ramp is made by the judge. In either situation, it is always important to approach the chow chow within the range of his vision which is limited peripherally by the dog’s deep set eyes.

There are two coat types defined in the AKC breed standard, rough coat and smooth coat, either which can be one of the five allowed colors: red, black, cinnamon, blue or cream. There should be no preference for color or coat type when judging the breed.

As with other breeds, these are the primary elements of evaluation in addition to the overall condition and performance of the exhibit:

Evaluation of physical soundness (movement, vision, hearing, breathing) and mental soundness (temperament) and Evaluation of breed specific features essential to breed type (4 S’s – Square profile, Stilted gait, Scowling expression and solid blue-black pigment).

All breed-specific disqualifications are on the head!


  • Drop ear or ears. A drop ear is one which breaks at any point from its base to its tip or which is not carried stiffly erect but lies parallel to the top of the skull.
  • Nose spotted or distinctly other color than black, except in blue Chows which may have solid blue or slate noses.
  • The top surface or edges of the tongue red or pink or with one or more spots of red or pink.

Chow  Chow Temperament

Keen intelligence, an independent spirit and innate dignity give the Chow an aura of aloofness.  It is a Chows nature to be reserved and discerning with strangers.  Displays of aggression or timidity are unacceptable.  Because of its deep set eyes the Chow has limited peripheral vision and is best approached from the front.

Resources for learning more about the Chow Chow:

Chow Chow Club, Inc.

Chow Chow Illustrated Standard Online

CCCI Approved Chow Chow Mentors – sorted by state

Authors credentials:

Linda Love Banghart (Rebelrun Chow Chows, USA)

Bob and Love have been actively involved with Chow Chows since 1976.  They are proud of the Rebelrun Chows and have worked to educate the public regarding the wonderful qualities of the Chow and improve the health of the Chow Chow. They enjoy owning and showing their dogs in conformation events, having bred more than 70 champions, including BIS, BISS and ROM winners and 80+ chows receiving OFA health certifications. They owned and Bob handled the #1 Chow in 1994 and 1995 and received the esteemed Pedigree Award in 1995 and have received the CCCI Gold Breeder’s Circle of Honor award. Bob and Love co-authored the book “The Proper Care of Chow Chows” .  Love has had the pleasure of writing the Chow Chow column for the AKC GAZETTE for many years.

As a specialist judge since 1985, Love has chosen to restrict judging activities to breeds they  have owned and loved.  She has judged Chow Chow Specialties in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Italy and several large American Chow Chow specialties, including the Chow Chow Club Inc. National Specialty in 1998 and again in 2010.

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=34898

Posted by on Sep 30 2013. Filed under Featured, The Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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