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Chow Chow Breed Standards

Compare Chow Chow breed standards around the world:

Illustrated AKC (USA) Chow Chow Breed Standard

AKC (USA) Chow Chow Breed Standard

The Kennel Club (UK) Chow Chow Breed STandard

FCI Chow Chow Breed Standard

Australian NKC Chow Chow Breed Standard

CKC (Canada) Chow Chow Breed Standard

New Zealand KC Chow Chow Breed Standard

UKC (USA) Chow Chow Breed Standard

Acclaimed series - Judging Chow Chows
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THE CHOW CHOW BREED STANDARD (Kennel Union of Southern Africa)

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

(Effective 01.01.2016)


Active, compact, short coupled and essentially well balanced, leonine in appearance, proud, dignified bearing; well-knit frame; tail carried over back. Should always be able to move freely and must not have so much coat as to impede activity or cause distress in hot weather.


Quiet dog; good guard; bluish black tongue; unique in its stilted gait. Its distinctive short-striding gait allows it to move freely, never lumbering and with excellent endurance.


Independent, loyal, yet aloof.


Skull flat, broad; stop not pronounced, well filled out under eyes. Muzzle moderate in length, broad from eyes to end (not pointed at end like a fox). Nose, large and wide in all cases, black (with exception of cream and near white in which case a light coloured nose permissible, and in blues and fawns a self-coloured nose).(but black preferable in all cases).


Dark, oval shaped, medium sized and clean. A matching coloured eye permissible in blues and fawns.  Clean eye, free from entropion, never being penalised for sake of mere size.


Small, thick, slightly rounded at tip, carried stiffly and wide apart but tilting well forward over eyes and slightly towards each other, giving peculiar characteristic scowling expression of the breed. Scowl never to be achieved by loose wrinkled skin of head.


Teeth strong and level, jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. A solid black mouth including the roof and flews with a bluish black tongue is ideal. However some dilution may be evident in the gums of blues and flews and this dilution may be more pronounced in creams and whites.


Strong, full, not short, set well on shoulders and slightly arched. Of sufficient length to carry the head proudly above the topline.


Shoulders muscular and sloping. Elbows equidistant between withers and ground. Forelegs perfectly straight, of moderate length, with good bone. 


Chest broad and deep. Ribs well sprung but not barrelled. The distance from withers to elbow is equal to the distance from elbow to ground. Back short, level and strong. Loins powerful.


In profile the foot is directly under the hip joint. Well-developed first and second thigh with only slight bend of stifle. Hocks well let down. From hocks downwards to appear straight, hocks never flexing forward.


Small, round, cat like, standing well on toes.


Set high, carried well over back.


Relatively short striding, hind feet not lifting high, appearing to skim the ground in pendulum like action when seen in profile. Forelegs and hindlegs moving parallel to each other and straight forward. Dogs should always be able to move freely and soundly without any sign of distress.


Either rough or smooth. Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the natural outline or expression should be penalised with the exception of feet which may be tidied.

Rough: profuse, abundant, dense, straight and stand-off, but not excessive in length. Outer coat rather coarse in texture, with soft woolly undercoat.  Especially thick round neck forming mane or ruff and with good culottes or breechings on back of thighs.

Smooth: coat short, double coat, dense, straight, upstanding, not flat, plush like in texture.


Whole coloured black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white, frequently shaded but not in patches or parti coloured (underpart of tail and back of thighs frequently of a lighter colour).


Dogs:  48   56 cm (19   22 in) at shoulder
Bitches:  46   51 cm (18   20 in) at shoulder


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect on health & welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.


Before submitting any application the following requirements must have been fulfilled:

1. Must be on the Kennel Union Breed Register
2. Be positively identified by tattoo, microchip or DNA
3. Be over twenty four (24) months of age
4. Be a Kennel Union Breed (conformation) Champion
5. The registered name of the dog must contain an Affix (Kennel name)
6. The dog has been x-rayed for Hip Dysplasia aged twelve (12) months or older and been issued with an acceptable Certificate, incorporating its KUSA Registered name and number together with positive identification details, confirming it has hips graded A1 and A2
7. A certificate issued by a registered Veterinarian incorporating the KUSA Registered Name and number together with positive identification details confirming there is no luxation of the patella’s or clinical signs thereof
8. A certificate issued by a registered Veterinarian, incorporating the KUSA Registered Name and number, together with positive identification details confirming that yes show no signs of entropion or that any surgical procedure has been carried out on them.

1. In the case of male dogs a Certificate is issued by a registered Veterinarian, incorporating the KUSA Registered Name and number together with positive identification details confirming that it has both testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


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