The Chow Chow or Chow (from Chinese: 獢) is a dog breed originally from northern China, where it is now known as the “Fluffy Lion-dog” (sōng shī quǎn 松狮犬).
The breed has also been called the Tang Quan, “Dog of the Tang Empire”. It is believed that the Chow Chow is one of the native dogs used as the model for the Foo dog, the traditional stone guardians found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces. It is one of the few so-called ancient dog breeds still in existence in the world today.
Research indicates it is one of the first primitive breeds to evolve from the wolf.DNA analysis suggests that Chow is one of the ancient dog breeds that probably originated in the high steppe regions of Siberia or Mongolia, and much later used as temple guards in China, Mongolia and Tibet.
The Chow Chow is a sturdily built dog, square in profile, with a broad skull and small, triangular, erect ears with rounded tips. The breed is known for a very dense double coat that is either smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick in the neck area, giving it a distinctive ruff or mane appearance.