A Look at the German Shepherd Chow Mix: Chow Shepherd

A Chow Chow German Shepherd mix is a hybrid that combines personalities of two dog breeds that are seemingly the opposite of one another. The Chow Shepherd cross has the discipline, diligence and loyalty of a GSD as well as the independence, stubbornness and power of the Chow Chow. Read on to educate yourself on how to handle and take care of Chow Shepherds.

What is a Chow Shepherd?

A “Chow Shepherd” or the “German Chow” refers to a hybrid designer dog breed that is the offspring of a GSD and Chow Chow.

The German Shepherd Chow mix size is classified as large, as this breed can stand as tall as 2.2 ft (0.7 m), weigh between 45 – 95 lbs (20 – 43 kg) and exhibit the following distinct physical characteristics; thick and fluffy coat, bushy tails, medium-long muzzle and sharp, pointed ears.

Coat colors can vary from shades of red, tan and brown to black and white. A Chow Shepherd cross eye color is usually brown.

What are some basic facts about Chow Shepherds?

The following section details a Chow Shepherd’s lifespan, price and known health issues.

Life span

The average Chow German Shepherd mix lifespan lies between 10 – 13 years.

Price

You can expect a German Shepherd Chow mix price to run from US$250 – $750. Black German Shepherd Chow mix puppies are the cheaper option (averaging about $400 per puppy), with rare GSD breed mixes like White German Shepherd Chow cross puppies on the expensive side (averaging $650 per puppy).

Commonly-occurring known health issues

Chow Chow German Shepherd cross breeds are large dogs that are known to suffer from the following health ailments.

Joint problems

Hip and elbow dysplasia and arthritis complications are the most common German Shepherd Chow hybrid health problems you can encounter. Typically older dogs are affected by joint diseases, but because these problems are genetically-inherited, it is not uncommon for a vet to diagnose a German Shepherd Chow cross puppy with joint problems.

Symptoms include weakness in the hind or front leg areas, your Chow Shepherd avoiding exercise or play and aggressive behavior when touching the affected joints.

Eye problems

Cataracts, pannus and progressive retinal atrophy are all common eye health problems for the Chow Shepherd. These German Shepherd Chow hybrid health problems are usually made worse if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes.

Symptoms include cloudiness in the pupils, a tendency for your Chow Shepherd to paw at its eyes, excessive tearing and clumsy movement.

Allergies

Flea allergies are the most commonly-reported allergies associated with Chow Shepherds. The dog breed’s double coat may also worsen the allergy, as its thickness and density can provide the ideal atmosphere for fleas to propagate.

Symptoms for flea allergies include excessive scratching, bleeding sores or pus discharge in the affected areas and rashes.

How can I take care of my Chow Shepherd?

The large German Shepherd Chow mix size requires a specific set of care and grooming routines to be followed. This next section will describe some of them.

Coat

Chow Shepherds are known to shed constantly and heavily because of their double coats. Because of this, it is highly recommended to use a slicker brush, undercoat rake and metal comb to groom your dog. Use a vacuum cleaner afterwards to sweep up any loose or dead fur.

It is recommended to groom your Chow Shepherd 2 – 3 times a week. In addition, it is also ideal to bathe your dog once a week using standard dog shampoo. This will help strengthen your dog’s coat, resulting in less loose, dead fur and an increased resistance to tangling and fleas.

Exercise

A Chow German Shepherd mix lifespan can be greatly increased through regular, daily exercise. Because of its great size and energy, it is ideal to have a large backyard or easy access to large open spaces to properly train, exercise and play with your Chow Shepherd.

Walking is fine, it is highly recommended to supplement walking with running, jogging or hiking to maximize the time spent outdoors with your Chow Shepherd. On average, your Chow Shepherd cross will need to spend at least 1 hour everyday outside running and playing to fulfill their daily exercise requirements.

Teeth

Caring for your German Shepherd mix’s teeth means brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush 4 times a week. This prevents the development of plaque and cavities, tooth loss and helps promote good oral hygiene. 

Providing your Chow Shepherd with chew toys and dental snacks at a young age can be very beneficial for their oral health. When their teeth fully develop at about 4 – 5 months old, it is safe to offer chew toys and dental snacks to your German Shepherd Chow cross puppy.

What is a Chow Shepherd’s personality like?

It is recommended for experienced dog handlers to train and control a German Shepherd Chow mix temperament. Two primary personality traits explain why.

Intelligence

Both GSDs and Chow Chows are known for their innate, natural intelligence. They are quick learners and can learn commands and perform them easily. Also, both breeds are known to be very confident and self-assured so rewards may be kept to a minimum during training.

However, this also means that Chow Shepherds can become bored just as quickly, and will require a variety of games, exercises and activities to keep them sufficiently occupied.

Independence

While GSDs are known to be social when trained properly and require regular contact with humans or other dogs, Chow Chows are a dog breed associated with a more reserved disposition. This means that being around other people or dogs constantly is not a strict requirement for Chow Shepherds. These dogs will come to you when they need your attention.

This also means that a German Shepherd Chow mix temperament can lead to stubbornness. This negative aspect can be treated by gentle discipline and proper socialization.

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