Written by Vet Tech

Shepherd Chow: Chow Chow & German Shepherd Crossbreed

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
The fantastic German Shepherd Chow mix is a crossbreed, from disciplined German Shepherd and devoted Chow Chow. This medium-sized dog has the traits of both parents. But, is this mix more German Shepherd or more Chow Chow? Let's discover.

The Shepherd Chow Chow mix is a combination of two of the most well-known guard dogs in breed history. Though they may be rough around the edges at times, this adorable mix can be a wonderful family dog when given the proper attention and training.

In this article, we’ll discuss the details of the Shepherd Chow Mix, and how to make sure they become a wonderful companion to add to your family.

History Of The Shepherd Chow Mix

The exact history or reason why the German Shepherd and Chow Chow came to be is unknown, but we do know the history behind the individual breeds.

The Chow Chow

The Chow Chow has been present in history for over 2,000 years, leading some to believe that they are the oldest breed of dogs. Chows were originally bred as working dogs in the Tang Dynasty and were used in hunting, guarding, and herding.

The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd was originally bred for working in german, where they guarded livestock and worked on their family’s farm. Their dignified demeanor and fierce work ethic led them to their career in war, in which they made their way to America during the civil war time.

Since making their way to America they have worked as service dogs, military dogs, police dogs, and loyal family members.

Shepherd Chow Mix: Physical Appearance

The Shepherd Chow Mix is an adorable combination of two extremely treasured breeds. Since they are mixed breeds, their appearance can vary greatly with each dog.

Generally speaking, they weigh anywhere from 40-80 pounds and stand at about 25 inches in height.

Shepherd Chow mixes often take the nose shape of their german Shepherd parent, and the floppy ears of the Chow Chow. Their coat can vary from long and fluffy to shorter and plush, and their coat colors can vary greatly. Some common coat colors of the Shepherd Chow Mix include red, brown, black, tan, blue, and white.

One feature that is quite common in this mix, however, is the black and blue spotted tongue of the Chow Chow.

Shepherd Chow Mix: Personality

Since both the German Shepherd and the Chow Chow were originally bred for work, this breed is always on the go. They usually have an energetic personality that is happy to play at all times.

The Shepherd Chow Mix is also confident, fearless, and incredibly smart. They love a challenge and they are eager to learn. This trait usually makes them easy to train, but can also make them quite stubborn.

Since each breed has a long history of watchdog careers, they do become extremely protective of their people and their home. While it’s lovely to have a dog that is so devoted to you, it’s important to socialize them at a young age to prevent any possibility of aggression towards other people and animals.

Since they are known to be so protective of their owners, you will often find them following you around the house and sitting by your side every chance they get.

Potential For Aggression

With their Chow Chow traits ingrained in their DNA, it’s extremely important to properly socialize your Shepherd Chow mix to avoid potential aggression.

The Chow is known to be a fierce guard dog, so it’s essential to expose them to as many humans, animals, and new places as often as possible.

Any time you have a protective breed, you will have the possibility of unfavorable behavior if you do not follow proper socialization efforts. By socializing them at a young age, you can reduce the chance of them being aggressive to new people and animals that come into your life.

Since this breed is so high strung, you will need to implement daily exercise into your routine. When the Shepherd Chow Mix does not expel their energy properly, they can begin to display destructive behavioral habits, and can also lead to aggressive play.

Overall Health Of The Shepherd Chow Mix

While the German Shepherd Chow Mix can live a generally healthy life of up to 13 years, they are prone to a few medical conditions. These conditions include:

1. Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia is the abnormal arrangement of the hip or elbow joint that can lead to grinding of the joints. Since these conditions are often hereditary, these conditions can begin at any point during their life and can result in troubling symptoms. Some of the symptoms are:

  • pain
  • limping
  • lameness
  • difficulty getting up and down
  • slowing down
  • crying out

Other evidence of pain can be seen. But, since these conditions are hereditary, it’s crucial to have on hand medical and 100% clear history. In addition, having an x-ray report of both parents if possible would be the best.

2. Allergies

German Shepherd Chow mixes are among the breeds of dogs that are prone to allergies. Allergies in dogs can be from their food, an allergen in the environment, or a contact allergy.

Symptoms of allergies in a dog include red or irritated skin, itchy skin, ear infections, sores or hot spots on the skin, and hair loss.

3. Luxating Patella

Luxating patella is a condition in which the kneecap becomes dislocated permanently or temporarily which will lead to discomfort and pain when walking or running. This condition can also exacerbate arthritic changes in the knee if left untreated.

4. Gastric bloat (GDV)

Bloat (GDV) is often seen in large breeds of dogs. This condition is one of the most unwanted conditions in dogs. After all, bloat or otherwise GDV is one of the most common life-threatening conditions in dogs.

If your Shepherd Chow Mix inherits the deep chest feature, then this is a condition to be aware of. If your Shepherd Chow Mix has deep chest features, then this is a condition that you should be aware of.

Moreover, during gastric bloat, the stomach will flip on itself. When this happens, stomach content gets trapped and cuts off blood circulation. Most common symptoms of gastric bloat are:

When not treated immediately, this condition will be fatal.

5. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is not functioning at an adequate level, leading to troubling symptoms. Hypothyroidism can lead to weight gain, dull hair coat, lack of energy, and hair loss.

Training Your Shepherd Chow Mix

Since the Shepherd Chow Mix is known to be quite stubborn, this is not a breed that’s recommended for first-time dog owners. If this mix takes after their Chow Chow parent, they can be even more challenging.

Since this is a high energy breed that loves to be mentally stimulated, you will often find success in an enriching training environment that’s awarded play. They are also eager to please, so they take quickly to new commands and training.

Since Chow Chows can be aggressive, it’s important to never use negative reinforcement during your training process. Yelling, leash pulling, and hitting can result in unfavorable behaviors, and will not benefit your efforts. Reward-based training is best for Shepherd Chow Mixes.

Exercise And Your Shepherd Chow Mix

German Shepherd and Chow Chow mixes are a ball of energy and will thrive in an active family. Since they are so energetic, they will require a minimum of 30-15 minutes of daily exercise each day.

This breed is known for loving outdoor playtime, so make sure to set aside some time for daily walks or an outdoor game of catch. This breed can even accompany you on any outdoor endeavors.

Daily exercise is especially important for this breed, as pent up energy can result in unfavorable behaviors and aggressive play. If you live a sedentary life that does not involve a lot of activity, this is not an ideal breed for you.

Important Tips For Your Shepherd Chow Mix

If you decide to welcome a German Shepherd and Chow Chow Mix into your life, there are a few important tips that you should be aware of. These tips include:

  • Socialization is extremely important for this breed, especially since the Chow Chow is known for being aggressive. Make sure to start socializing your dog from the second you welcome them into your life.
  • This breed is extremely energetic, so make sure you set aside daily playtime and exercise.
  • If you have small children, you should always monitor their time spent with your Shepherd Chow Mix. While this breed can be just fine with children, it’s important to take this introduction slowly to avoid any dangers.
  • Since this breed is so energetic and bonds with their owners, they will not do well in a home where they are left alone for long hours.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia are common in this breed, so it’s best to get a health certificate clearing them of this condition from both of the parents if possible.
  • This breed is intelligent and loves to work, so it’s important to implement playtime that is mentally stimulating.
    This breed loves the outdoors, so they would make a great companion on your outdoor adventures.

Shepherd Chow Mix – Summary

This is a playful, intelligent, and loyal breed that would make a wonderful addition to an active family. If you live an active life that would suit a high energy pup, then the Shepherd Chow Mix would be the perfect dog for you!