A German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix, also known as a Chow Shepherd, is a big, fluffy dog full of fun for everyone he or she encounters.
As with any crossbreed, this type of dog exhibits traits from both breeds, with some characteristics being more dominant than others.
German Shepherd and Chows have different personalities that you wouldn’t expect to blend that easily into one dog. These dogs usually exhibit the intelligence of German Shepherds, while also having the stubbornness that is more common in Chow Chows.
What are the most important things to know about the German Shepherd Chow Chow mix? You will have a unique-looking dog with a high intelligence level and a major sense of independence, making a dog that is very adventurous and even mischievous.
German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix: Physical Traits
German Shepherd and Chow mixes are a “designer” breed that is a combination of German Shepherd and Chow Chow, with a mixture of both breeds’ good and bad traits.
This breed mixture is usually large, weighing 45 to 90 pounds and standing over two feet tall. Some of the common physical traits include pointy, erect ears, a medium to long muzzle, a full tail, and a coat with a fluffy appearance.
Coat colors can include shades of brown, tan, and red, as well as black and white, depending on the parents’ coat colors.
Most of these dogs have fluffy, thick coats. Some of these dogs might have smooth coats, although a double coat is more usual.
What Makes the Chow Shepherd So Different?
One unique trait that stands out in many of these dogs is black spots on the tongue. Because this is primarily a Chow Chow trait, the tongue provides a contrast in dogs with an otherwise Shepherd-like appearance.
The overall appearance for most of these mixed-breed dogs is of a dog that is big and fluffy, yet graceful. Both breeds can have a regal appearance, and this is obvious in mixtures of the two. The dog is a natural athlete ready for almost anything.
What’s the Shepherd Chow Mix’s Health and Lifespan Like?
The German Shepherd and Chow mix has a lifespan that is about average for dogs of their size. Most of these dogs will live anywhere from 10 to 14 years. Health will play a substantial role in your dog’s lifespan, as well as genetics and breeding.
Many of the health conditions that these dogs have are typical of large dogs. They may include allergies, eye problems, and joint issues, especially in their older ages. Even though these issues can be problematic, they are manageable with proper attention.
How Do Flea Bite Allergies Affect Shepherd Chow Mixes?
German Shepherd Chow Chow mixes are vulnerable to allergies from flea bites. Many consider the dog’s double coat to provide a perfect breeding ground for fleas. Even when your dog’s coat is clean, it might be difficult to spots fleas and eggs.
Signs of a flea allergy include a rash, scratching, and bleeding or pus in the affected area. Your dog might have hairless spots that seem red and inflamed. In addition to scratching, your dog may also bite or lap at the area in question.
According to Linda Cole, the actual allergy is to the flea’s saliva, rather than the bite itself. Chemicals in the flea’s saliva trigger an immune response.
Infection is a real risk from the biting and scratching. You might need to use medicated creams or sprays to eliminate these issues. E-collars can also reduce the amount of biting and scratching by blocking access to the irritated areas.
How Do You Get Rid of Fleas?
In addition to having a regular grooming routine, your dog will benefit from the use of a quality anti-flea product.
Preventing fleas in the first place is always a lot easier than treating the itchy and often-painful areas where bites occur.
Anti-flea products come in the form of shampoos, drops applied to the back of the neck, and sprays.
Besides treating the fleas, it’s important to treat your home and yard to prevent further recurrence. Products designed for use in your home will usually also destroy larvae and eggs.
Make sure you empty your vacuum bag or canister into a covered outdoor trash container right away to avoid further infestations.
Use a yard spray safe for pets to help eliminate further trouble. Many of these products are concentrated, designed to be sprayed while attached to a hose. The ingredients used are often safer for pet use.
What Eye Problems Can Shepherd Chow Mixes Have?
Eye issues have often been diagnosed in this breed mix, especially in diabetic dogs. Progressive retinal atrophy, pannus, and cataracts are the most common conditions. All of these are conditions that can get progressively worse if not detected.
Awkward movements, excessively teary eyes, and cloudy eyes are symptoms to watch for that may indicate that your dog is having visual issues. In many cases, visual loss can be stopped with prompt, effective veterinary treatment.
What is Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Dogs?
According to Wag!, progressive retinal atrophy is inherited and leads to gradual, total blindness in both eyes. Management, rather than a cure, is possible.
Keep your dog leashed when out of the house to avoid any difficulties with getting around or the threat of injury. Avoid rearranging furniture in your house if possible. A dog will usually adjust if changes aren’t made very often.
What is Pannus in Dogs?
According to PetCareRX, a pannus is a form of inflammation in the cornea that is capable of causing blindness.
There are medications available that can halt the condition’s progression. A cure or reversal of symptoms is not possible. However, being able to stop the progression of this disease will help enhance your dog’s quality of life.
What Are Dog Cataracts?
Wendy Brooks defines cataracts as opaque fibers in the lens of a dog’s eye. One common cause of cataracts in a dog is diabetes. Cataracts can also be age-related.
If your dog’s health allows for it, your vet can perform surgery to remove cataracts. A thorough examination of the affected eye or both eyes will help the vet determine the best course of action, including treating other conditions present.
What Are Orthopedic Issues Your German Shepherd Chow Mix Can Have?
Arthritis and elbow, knee, or hip dysplasia are the most common orthopedic complaints with this breed mix. Older dogs are most likely to have these types of problems. However, these problems can be present in a younger dog if the condition is inherited.
Joint and other orthopedic issues are often costly to treat. In many cases, helping to keep your dog as comfortable as possible will bring the best relief. Elevated or warming beds will help ease up a lot of the stiffness and pain.
What is Dog Arthritis?
The Pet Health Network defines arthritis as joint inflammation. Many do not realize how debilitating this condition can be for dogs.
Arthritis can take the form of osteoarthritis, as well as elbow, knee, or hip dysplasia. Osteoarthritis is the form that pet owners think of when they hear about arthritis. With this type of arthritis, the cartilage around the joints wears away.
Dysplasias differ from osteoarthritis because they involve improperly-formed joints, which might be inherited from one of the dog’s parents. In all forms, including hip, knee, and elbow, surgery might be necessary to keep the dog mobile.
What Are the Origins of the Parent Breeds?
According to Dog Star Kennels, German Shepherds are natural home and property guardians. In the 19th century, there were efforts to further develop the dog for police and military work.
These dogs first demonstrated their superiority in military work during World War I when they delivered supplies to soldiers. Today, they are widely recognized as police dogs.
Dog Star Kennels states that Chow Chows date back to ancient China. This breed, thought to be over 2,000 years old, has been used for both guarding and hunting in the past.
In modern times, this breed has become most popular as a companion animal. The protectiveness that the dog has inherited from its ancestors makes the breed particularly hardy.
The blend of both these breeds results in a hardy dog that is ready for any adventure. This video demonstrates the dog’s love for outdoor fun.
What is the Best Exercise for Your German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix?
A Shepherd Cow mix will do best with daily exercise. You should either ideally have a large yard or access to an open area where you can bring your dog to play. These dogs love to run and frolic as freely as possible, ideally with other dogs.
Regular daily walks will be beneficial to your dog, as well as play lasting an hour or more daily. A brisk walk around the block and chance to interact with people is good. Consider teaching your dog to play fetch or similar types of games.
In addition to walks, hiking, jogging, and running will help fulfill your pet’s exercise needs. A regular visit to a dog park is also good if your dog plays well with others. Always use proper supervision during any of these types of activities.
How Are German Shepherd Chow Chow Mixes with Kids?
According to Dogable, this breed mix is often very good with children. They have an energy level perfect for keeping up with the play needs of young kids.
As with any dog breed, parents should always supervise their children’s’ play. These big dogs might get somewhat rambunctious during play, especially if they are younger. Puppies and young dogs might not know their own strength very well.
Children should always be taught to treat dogs with respect. Pulling their ears or tail, trying to ride them, or otherwise annoy them should be discouraged.
One of these dogs will likely be one of your child’s most loyal companions. Because these dogs are descended from two protective breeds, they will have a strong desire to protect the children in their lives from real or perceived threats.
Are German Shepherd Chow Chow Mixes Good with Other Pets?
As energetic dogs, Shepherd Chow mixes do well in settings with dogs of a similar size. Their energy level and rough play might be too much for smaller dogs. These dogs might also be more inclined to see cats as prey, due to the Chow’s hunting background.
Any introductions to other pets should always be handled carefully. Aggression could be a problem in dogs that have been abused or poorly socialized. Caution might be required for dogs in these situations.
A dog trainer may prove helpful in these circumstances to ensure everything goes smoothly. The trainer will know how to work with the dog to ensure that encounters with other pets are as problem-free as possible.
If you’re in a multi-dog household, it’s important to provide a good balance in the attention your pets get. Shepherd Chow mixes are often devoted to their owners to the extent that they have jealousy issues towards other dogs.
What Are German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix’s Grooming Needs?
German Shepherd Chow mix are heavy shedders due to their double coats. A combination of a metal comb, an undercoat rake, and a slicker brush will help you keep the dog’s coat looking great. Dead or loose fur on your rug is best vacuumed.
Grooming will be most effective if performed two or three times a week. Regular dog shampoo is best for bathing these dogs on a weekly basis. Your dog’s coat will resist fleas, matting, and tangling, and be stronger with weekly baths.
What is the Best Way to Take Care of a German Shepherd Chow Chow’s Teeth?
Good oral hygiene will help keep your Shepherd Chow healthier, as well as prevent cavities and plaque that can lead to tooth loss. If you brush your dog’s teeth four times a week with a soft brush, you will help maintain their health.
The use of dental snacks and chew toys will also help your dog’s oral health. If you start giving these items to your dog as a puppy, you will be providing a good foundation for oral health.
Is There a Diet Recommended for German Shepherd Chow Chow Mixes?
Much of a dog’s dietary needs will be based on his or her needs as an individual. However, any food given should be high-quality, regardless of the diet.
According to Dana Scott, a raw food diet is a good option to consider. This type of diet has a lot of benefits for dogs at all stages in life.
Because these dogs are susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia, supplements for joint health like glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as fish oil, are helpful. Fish oil also helps your dog maintain healthy skin and a healthy coat.
How is the German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix’s Personality?
German Shepherd Chow mixes usually make good dogs for a family setting. These dogs personify the idea of a pack animal, wanting to be around their family as much as possible. If these dogs ever feel they aren’t getting enough attention, they’ll let you know.
Both of the breeds that make up this mix have a high intelligence level. They learn commands very easily in most cases. Consistent training makes a difference.
Dogs of this mixture can also get bored easily without proper stimulation because of their intelligence. Shepherd Chows do best with some variation in games and other activities.
Because German Shepherd Chow Chow mixes get some of their traits from the more reserved Chow Chow, these dogs have an independent streak that can become stubbornness. A dog with better socialization will be less likely to be difficult about commands.
A Shepherd Chow mix will do best when they accept their owners as “alphas.” The more respect these dogs have for their owners, the better they will respond to training. Responsive dogs are less likely to have problems with their human families.
This mixed breed makes an excellent watchdog. Their combination of breeds gives them a protective nature towards their family members. When there is some sort of threat to their family, these dogs are ready to act with courage.
What Should I Consider Before Getting a German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix?
Shop for Your Cause recommends acquiring your GDS Chow mix through a rescue whenever possible, since you may be helping a formerly abandoned dog that needs help.
This breed mixture is very physically powerful, with regular grooming needs, and many people don’t adequately prepare for their demands before adding one to their family. As a result, many ends up in shelters or rescues and desperate for a new home.
The more time you take to familiarize yourself with this dog’s needs, the happier everyone will be in the long run, especially your dog.