The combination of the German Shepherd and the Chow Chow make the Chow Shepherd mix. Both the Chow Chow and German Shepherd are widely loved dogs for their independence, loyalty, and protective nature. The Chow Shepherd mix is intelligent thanks to their parents.
Since both dogs are so similar natured, this pairing is a match made in heaven for the right owner. Usually, with mixed breeds, it’s challenging to determine what the personality is going to be for their puppies, but with this mix, you’re likely to hit the jackpot every time.
The Chow Shepherd won’t be the right dog for you if you’re a first-time dog owner. These pups will be too smart for their own good and will need a steady, patient trainer.
Chow Shepherds will thrive in large spaces because this cross requires a lot of exercise! Don’t keep this breed cooped up for too long without adequate stimulation, or they’ll develop behavioral problems.
Are you here to determine whether the Chow Shepherd is the right dog for you? Our detailed look at the breed will help you on your mission to find the perfect dog!
Parent Breed History
A “designer dog” is any mix between two purebred parents. For any mixed breed to be classified as a designer, the parents would have to be bred pure for generations up until the point of being bred with another breed. A true purebred dog will have puppies that have the same characteristics and temperament as their parents.
The benefits of owning a purebred with proper papers are you’ll have a good estimate on how your puppy will act. With a designer dog, you don’t have that luxury, as the puppies could take characteristics from either parent. However, this is the only true negative to owning a designer dog (unless you care about coat color).
Designer dogs are less likely to inherit diseases than their purebred parents, and this can be a lifesaver for specific breeds. Specifically, the German Shepherd breed, because they’re prone to many health problems. Keep in mind that not all designer dogs have to completely purebred, as some crosses require a less even split.
These large breeds compliment each other! Even though the term “designer breed” may throw some people off – they’re not just purse dogs! Designer dogs can also be large breeds, like the Chow Shepherd mix.
German Shepherd Overview
German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds on the planet due to their intelligence. These dogs have been used in many different movies, TV shows, and in many other ways including as guide dogs or military personnel. They got a bad rap during WWI because they were used primarily by the German army as attack dogs. The stance on them has softened over time, and now they are as likely to own your couch as they are to be seen working in the field.
The GSD requires quite a bit of exercise to ensure that they are well behaved. Because this working breed is always looking for their next task, if you don’t keep their energy in check through daily walks and playing, they are likely to take out their energy in other ways.
Shepherds are very protective and love children. They’re highly intelligent and love being put to work. They are also heavy shedders, which means you’ll need to keep up on removing dog hair daily. They come in many colors, including a full black coat, and even to some disagreement, they come in white.
If you want a loyal friend for life, the Shepherd has become known as one of the most popular breeds in the US due to their loyalty. They’re a large breed and can weigh upwards to 80 pounds for a male. The average lifespan of a GSD is around 10 years.
Chow Chow Overview
Chow Chows are the breed that makes you want to go “Aww” just from looking at them! They’re large, square dogs with straight legs with a thick double coat. This breed would fair well in the winter, but they’ll be incredibly hot in the summer. They are notorious for their thick coats and require regular de-shedding using the appropriate grooming tools to do so.
They are well known for their hunting abilities, but they also make excellent guard dogs and cart pullers. Chow Chows aren’t typically social or outgoing and require minimal exercise despite their size. As with the Shepherd, you’ll need to socialize them early around strangers, or they might bark or bite them. Their barking needs to be controlled; it’s one of their favorite pastimes!
Chow Chows are very intelligent, but they can be stubborn when training. You’ll need to be really patient to train them properly. They have a history of guarding livestock so they’ll likely want to guard you as well. Training will also need to be done to control their guarding behavior.
If you have a lot of room for them and aren’t avid travelers, they will be great for your family if you have no small children. They don’t live long, unfortunately; and an average of 10-12 years. Chow Chows also drool a lot and have a tendency to snore.
German Shepherd Chow Mix
Similar to most designer dogs, the origins of the Chow Shepherd are unknown. Although it is rumored this breed was bred because someone wanted the work hardy German Shepherd mixed with the fluffy coated Chow Chow for winter herding. Or, another possibility is to make the German Shepherd and expert hunter, as the Chow Chow is one of the oldest breeds on earth and a fantastic hunter companion.
The Chow Shepherd is high-energy and incredibly intelligent. The combination of the Shepherds ability to perform well in police work and the Chow Chow’s love for human interaction makes a large, hard-working love-bug. They’ll let you know when you aren’t giving them enough attention; they’ll woof the house down!
You’ll have to be okay with a lot of activity because the Chow Shepherd loves to play. Just know that this mix can be very protective of their family, so socialization is needed if you don’t want them to bark or potentially snap at strangers. They are also not fond of neglect or their owners taking long trips.
Excellent guard dogs, the Chow Shepherd will be able to protect your home not just with their size, but with their booming voice. They have a high exercise requirement due to their German Shepherd parent, but they’ll love to relax with you once their energy is spent.
Appearance & Grooming
Similar to most designer breeds, this breed will take after their parents. However, it’s more common for your Chow Shepherd to take after the Chow Chow as opposed to the German Shepherd and it’s unclear why. They will often inherit the long muzzle of their Shepherd parent though but will keep the wrinkly face from the Chow making them look like a lion.
Their body type will vary between medium to large and will have ears similar to the German Shepherd. They will be anywhere between 60 to 95 pounds and will top at 26 inches tall. Red, dark brown, tan, black, blue, white or light brown are the most common coat colors you’ll see.
The Chow Shepherd will require a lot of grooming because they’ll inherit a double coat. Brushing them three times a day is recommended, and shampooing their fur once a week is optimal, so their hair doesn’t get dirty or matted.
Make sure to trim their nails frequently, as their large nails could easily scratch up the furniture. It’s also uncomfortable for large dogs to have their nails scrape across the ground. Brushing their teeth isn’t necessary, but likely appreciated once your dog gets used to it.
Training should be done as early as possible with this mix, as improper training could leave you with a disobedient dog with too much energy. If your Chow Shepherd takes after the Chow Chow side, training can be especially tricky due to their stubbornness; they sometimes won’t do what you say even after being well trained.
Positive reinforcement will go a long way with your Chow Shepherd. Being kind to your pup will foster a better relationship than with negative reinforcement or hitting. We would never recommend this for any dog, but with a breed as stubborn as the Chow Shepherd you won’t get good results – at all. Best for you to stick to giving treats or a toy when they do proper commands. If you plan to crate train, make sure you buy a crate that’s got a big enough to fit a shepherd sized dog to accommodate the growth.
Puppy training is excellent for forming a bind with them because this bond will enforce your spot as Alpha. This doesn’t mean you have to be mean to them, but them looking to you as their leader will help them listen better. Dogs are pack animals and like to have someone to look up to, and that someone needs to be you.
Proper socialization needs to be taught young, so they feel comfortable around strangers. Your Chow Shepherd will want to protect you; it’s in their nature. Expose them to children as early as possible so they can be comfortable around them.
Exercise & Living Conditions
Although the Chow Chow isn’t a high energy dog, you’ll likely get one anyway with this mix. German Shepherds require a lot of exercise and will easily become bored if not given enough stimulation. It’s essential to take your Chow Shepherd mix jogging, swimming or hiking. If you’re training for a marathon, they’ll love to outrun you in a way to impress you.
If you’re okay with your dogs’ coat getting wet, you could take them swimming. Since Chow Shepherds are at risk of joint issues, this will take the stress off of them while still exercising their entire body. Once socialized, they love people, so take them to the dog park to hang out with other dogs and their owners. This will also help maintain their social skills.
The Chow Shepherd are sturdy enough to be outdoor dogs but don’t leave them outside overnight. They still want to be near you and be loved by you, so keep them company as much as possible. Chow Shepherds can also suffer from separation anxiety, so if you keep them inside, they’d appreciate it.
Even though designer dogs are less likely to get sick, they still have a likelihood of getting big dog problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. This is a genetic illness and can be taken out of the line through proper breeding. However, if this does run in their dog family, do your best to keep your dogs weight at a healthy number. For exercise, take them to the swimming pool if possible.
Chow Shepherds are at a higher risk of developing flea allergies, but this can easily be treated by getting them their proper shots and medications before summer begins. Bloating is another risk for large dogs because they tend to eat too fast. Feed your pup smaller portions throughout the day, so this doesn’t occur. Bloating can cause breathing and heart problems also, so this should be taken seriously.
Eye problems and heart problems are something else to look out for. Chronic superficial keratitis is commonly found in a German Shepherd parent. Both of these issues are found in older dogs, so pay more attention to their health as they age.
Chow Shepherds need a proper diet of mostly protein and fat with low carbs. A Chow Shepherd mixed puppy should have a diet of 22% protein, while the adult should have 18% according to the American Feed Control Officials. It’s also recommended to feat your Shepherd whole meats like fish, beef, and chicken.
There isn’t a recommended calorie plan for your pup, so it’s best to go see a vet. They’ll determine how much your Chow Shepherd needs at eat development cycle. A holistic dietary plan is usually the best for all dogs; just make sure to watch their weight, so they don’t develop chronic problems.
As Family Pets
Chow Shepherds like to be groomed, trained, and well taken care of, but will this big loveable ball of fur be the right fit for you?
- The Chow Shepherd is reliable, loyal, and smart dog that needs a lot of care.
- Socialize earlyto make sure they will get along with other pets, people, and children.
- If socialization is done young, you’ll have a very kind, well-behaved watchdog.
- They are big and require a lot of room.
- A large house with a backyard will be essential to their happiness.
- You shouldn’t get this breed if you live in an apartment.
- Grooming requirements are very high.
- You’ll have to brush them twice to three times a day and bathe once a week to keep them clean.
- Chow Shepherds shed a lot, so prepare to bring out the vacuum a few times a week..
- They need a lot of exercise; about an hour a day.
- You won’t be able to skip this step or else they’ll develop behavioral problems.
- Energetic is the best way to describe your Chow Shepherd.
- They’ll want to play with you constantly and move with you throughout the house.
- Make sure to give them enough exercise.
- Full of personality, the Chow Shepherd will be loyal, fun-loving, loyal, and reliable.
- They can be the perfect companion if appropriately trained.
- Health problems are more common with large breeds, but mixes are less likely to develop them.
- Watch their hips and elbows as they age and keep their weight lower to keep them healthy.
- Find a breeder that can show you the parent’s health issues.
- This is important for large breeds as hip dysplasia runs in the family.
- You need to be confident you’ll be able to help your pup with this disease should it occur.
Has this big guy found their way into your heart? Keep reading to find out where to find one!
Breeders & Puppy Prices
Make sure to do a background check on all breeders you start to research and ask them for their papers. As mentioned, you’ll want to know if hip dysplasia runs in the family so you can be better prepared if it occurs.
Find a breeder that specialized in crossbreeding because there’s a different science to this than breeding two purebred dogs together.
You’re going to be paying a lot more due to the size of the breed. Although they aren’t rare to find, they require a lot of upkeep and are therefore expensive to buy. The average price of a Chow Shepherd is $800 – $1000.
If you can’t afford to buy a puppy, rescue is another alternative. Talk to your local German Shepherd or Chow Chow club for more information.
Chow Shepherd Rescues
Both the Chow Chow and German Shepherd are popular breeds and are likely to be found at shelters. This is because their owners weren’t prepared to take care of them. This is why we don’t recommend big dogs for first-time owners, as they require a lot of care and patience.
Although you won’t know the parents of the dogs, you’ll be giving them a much-needed home. Make sure to train them up as soon as possible, so they respond well to you. Check out the All Shepherd Rescue or the Chow Chow Rescue Society if you are looking to rescue, as mixed breed pups do come in.
Chow Shepherds will be an incredibly affectionate, loyal, and protective companion to the right person. I must stress that you’ll need to train them out of their stubborn streak, but once this is done, they’ll be great listeners and friends to your family – even small children.
Keep in mind they need plenty of exercise and will get bored if they don’t get enough of it. If you’re a busy professional, I would advise not getting this dog as they will develop behavioral issues. If you can afford to take the time to love this pup, they’ll be your friend for life.