Chow Chow vs German Shepherd What’s The Difference 

When adopting or buying a dog, it is normal that you have doubts about which breed to choose. There are many types of dogs with unique characteristics that may be attractive to certain people.

Not all people will find it interesting to have any breed of dog. For example, a family with an active lifestyle will prefer a breed with a high level of physical activity over a sedentary one.

Therefore, we can say that the choice of a particular dog is mainly due to the preferences and needs of the person.

In this article, we will talk a little about Chow Chows and German Shepherds:

Chow Chows are ancient dogs that are characterized by their strong territorial and hunting instincts.

They are considered calm and independent canines, unlike other breeds of dogs that usually need more attention. They love to spend time alone without being disturbed. 

Chow Chows are generally shy around strangers, and because of this, they could react aggressively towards them if they have not been properly trained. Chow Chows are loyal and love their loved ones and will want to protect them at all times.

German Shepherds are primarily known for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. They love to do any activity entrusted to them by their owners, be it protecting livestock, carrying out activities as a police dog, or performing excellently as a fire dog. 

German Shepherds are very faithful to their loved ones and will love both giving and receiving love. In fact, they are excellent companions for families with children and other pets. Also, they will need plenty of daily exercise.

Chow Chow vs German Shepherd Comparison Table


Chow ChowGerman Shepherd
Origin CountryChinaGermany
SizeMediumLarge
Height46 cm – 56 cm55 cm – 65 cm
Weight20 kg –  32 kg22 kg –  40 kg
Lifespan8 – 12 years9 – 13 years
Energy LevelMediumHigh
Coat TypesDouble CoatDouble Coat
Coat TextureRough and StraightStraight
Coat ColourBlack, Blue, Red, Cream, CinnamonSilver, Red, Tan, Black
HypoallergenicNoNo
GroomingHighModerate
TemperamentLoyal, Aloof, Intelligent, Independent, Quiet, Detached, ProtectiveAlert, Watchful, Obedient, Courageous, Intelligent, Curious, Confident, Loyal
Shedding LevelHighHigh
Health ProblemsEctropion, Hip DysplasiaAllergies, Heart Disease, Cancer, Blindness, Hip Dysplasia, Bloat, Digestive Problems, Cataracts, Diabetes, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Elbow Dysplasia, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Retinal Dysplasia, etc.

Chow Chow vs. German Shepherd: History

Chow Chow History

The Chow Chow had its origin more than 2000-3000 years ago in China when dogs of this type arrived in that country accompanied by Mongols. That is, although their history begins in China, the ancestors of these canines came from Mongolia.

Today, Chow Chows are considered companion dogs, but in the past, they were used as guards to protect Tibetan temples.

In fact, according to legends, approximately 2,500 Chow Chows were used by the Emperor during the Han dynasty to accompany 10,000 soldiers to war.

It should be noted that when China suffered the great crisis at the end of the dynasty, they only continued to be raised within the monasteries. Over the years, these dogs began to be used in other activities apart from the protection of properties, such as hunting, herding, etc.

These dogs were baptized with the name “Chow Chow” when they were exported to England. As a curious fact, the term “Chow Chow” was used to describe items imported from China.

German Shepherd History

The German Shepherd was born in Germany as an exclusive working dog characterized by intelligence, energy level, loyalty, and bravery. All these characteristics were acquired thanks to the selection of different dogs used for the crossing.

All these dogs were carefully chosen according to the demands of the Cavalry Captain Max Emil Frederick von Stephanitz, who could be said to be the creator of this breed in 1890.

These dogs were used in the First World War since they had performed well within the police force of that time and in other activities. Their mission was to locate wounded soldiers after battles and alert soldiers in case of an imminent threat.

That allowed the German Shepherds to gain more popularity during the following years. This breed also participated in World War II, becoming a symbol of Germany.

After the period of wars, the German Shepherd became a dog desired by many people in the world for its ability to carry out many activities, especially as a police dog.

Chow Chow vs. German Shepherd: Physical Characteristics

Chow Chow Physical Characteristics

Chow Chow Physical Characteristics
Chow Chow Physical Characteristics

Chow Chows look like large dogs because of their coat, but they are actually considered a medium-sized breed:

  • General size: 46-56 cm
  • General weight: 20-32 kg
  • Size according to sex: 46-51 cm (females); 51-56cm (males)
  • Weight according to sex: 20-27 kg (females); 25-32kg (males)

The Chow Chow is characterized by presenting two distinctive physical characteristics. The first is its blue/black tongue, and the second is its beautiful double-layered coat whose inner layer is woolly and fine while the outer one is rough, long, and thick.

This fur gives it a teddy bear look that anyone will want to hug. This breed can come in various colours, such as:

  • Cream
  • Red
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Cinnamon

The body of a Chow Chow is compact, stocky, and well-proportioned with a large head; short and wide snout; strong and well-formed neck; small triangle-shaped ears; small, dark-coloured eyes; and a curled tail.

German Shepherd Physical Characteristics

The German Shepherd is a large dog breed whose size and weight can be:

  • General size: 55-65 cm
  • General weight: 22-40 kg
  • Size according to sex: 55-60 cm (females); 60-65 cm (males)
  • Weight according to sex: 22-32 kg (females); 30-40kg (males)

German Shepherds have a well-proportioned body which is characterized by being athletic, muscular, and strong; a cuneiform head; erect and pointed ears; powerful bite; black eyes, and a black nose.

The coat of these dogs is also double layered. Its undercoat protects it from extreme weather conditions despite having short hair. It can come in the following colours:

  • Black
  • Sable
  • Grey
  • Red & black
  • Black & silver
  • Black & tan

Chow Chow vs. German Shepherd: Personality and Behaviour

Chow Chow Personality and Behaviour

Chow Chows are dogs that prefer tranquillity and hate being bothered either by a member of the family, a stranger, or some other animal. Their strong temperament can make them act aggressively in these situations, so it is important to avoid them.

This usually happens especially in families with children since the little ones still do not have enough awareness to know what is right or wrong.

They may think that the Chow Chow is a teddy bear, and they may pull on every part of their body, causing pain. This animal will react aggressively and might even try to bite the child.

If no external agent provokes the Chow Chow, it will spend a large part of its day peacefully resting or sleeping. Also, keep in mind that this aggressive behaviour is often shown toward teasing children, strangers, and other animals.

However, they are usually very affectionate and friendly with their family members. The fact that they are independent dogs does not mean that they do not need attention during the day.

Socialisation and obedience training is something that this breed of dog must receive in order to avoid developing inappropriate behaviours.

German Shepherd Personality and Behaviour

German Shepherd Personality and Behaviour
German Shepherd Personality and Behaviour

The German Shepherd is characterized by its courage and its willingness to carry out different activities, either for its own pleasure or to please its owners. It is one of the most intelligent dog breeds capable of learning any command and skill quickly.

German Shepherds form strong bonds with their owners and will want to do any activity together with them. They love each member of their human family and will always want to protect them from all danger.

Remember that these dogs have been used since their origins as police and guard dogs, so it is normal for them to distrust strangers and animals that are not part of their family. The German Shepherd is a good choice for families with children as they will not only protect them but also love to play with them.

They love to be trained as long as they are rewarded for their good performance.

Chow Chow vs. German Shepherd: Life Expectancy

Just like humans, there are several factors that can influence how many years a dog can live. Also, keep in mind that each breed can live a certain number of years, and that is mainly due to genetics.

In the case of a Chow Chow, its life expectancy varies between 8 and 12 years, while a German Shepherd can live 9-13 years. Remember that both dogs can have a longer or shorter life depending on certain factors.

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