Golden Retriever Chow Mix Guide: 27 Things to Know Before Getting One

The Golden Chow combines completely opposite breeds to produce a mix that is loyal to family and protective against strangers. This unique mix is headstrong and energetic, making it a great addition to a dog-experienced home. This isn’t a dog for everyone, but it’s well worth the investment of training.


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The Golden Chow has a unique appearance that resembles a small lion. It inherits fluffy fur from both of its parents. It also has a short snout and drop ears that resemble a Chow more than a Golden Retriever. Golden Chows have a serious expression that is alert and protective.


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Weight & Height
Golden Chows are a medium-sized dog that weighs between 50 pounds to 75 pounds (23 kg to 34 kg). Their height ranges from 20 inches to 25 inches (51 cm to 63.5 cm). The variation in height and size depends on which of the parents’ genetics is most dominant.

Coat Color
The coat color of a Golden Chow can vary. This mix commonly has a golden coat, but some variations have shades of blue, black, or red. This is because there are color variations in both Golden Retrievers and Chows. Golden Chows almost always have a black nose and brown eyes.

Coat Length & Thickness
Your Golden Chow will probably have a medium length or long coat, which depends on the parents. The fur will be dense and usually straight or wavy. Unlike their Golden Retriever parent, the coat of the Golden Chow is not resistant to water.

Chow Chows are famous for their large, blue tongues. They are one of only two breeds that share this unique characteristic. It is possible for Golden Chows to either have a pink or blue tongue. It is also likely that your mix will have a pink tongue with blue spots.


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The combination of a super friendly Golden Retriever with an independent Chow seems like a contradiction. However, the Golden Chow takes the best of both breeds, maintaining a standoffish personality with strangers and a loving relationship with family. This is a protective and intelligent breed for confident owners.


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Needs to Be Inside with the Family
If your dog has stronger Golden genetics, it will probably be more sensitive and dependent on attention. If it is more like a Chow, then it will be more independent and territorial. Either way, the Golden Chow needs to live inside with the family for regular interaction.

Is a Mouthy Dog
Both Goldens and Chows are very mouthy dogs. Your Golden Chow may have strong chewing impulses and the tendency to nip if overexcited. You will need to start early on bite inhibition, by redirecting any bites on the skin or your property to appropriate toys and treats.

Barks for a Reason
The Golden Chow usually does not bark as a response to other dogs or general noise. If it is barking, this is generally a warning of strangers approaching your home. It will likely bark once or twice to protect you and your house.

Can Be Dominant if Untrained
Your Golden Chow can be headstrong and boisterous. You will need to combine early socialization with consistent training to avoid issues with dominance. You should never use physical force against your dog, but consistency and repetition are essential. You must reward desired behaviors and discourage aggression for everyone’s safety.

Needs Early Socialization to Avoid Aggressiveness
The Golden Chow is not aggressive by nature. However, the Chow genetics mean it could be territorial against humans and other dogs. If you want your dog to be friendly with strangers, you will need to start early. Expose them to as many different people, dogs, and experiences as possible.

Preferred Climate Is Warm (Not Hot) Weather
Because of its thick, fluffy coat, the Golden Chow thrives in temperate environments. It may struggle to regulate its temperature in hot and humid conditions. You can make it more comfortable in summer by providing plenty of cool water, frozen treats, and adequate ventilation in your home.

Companion or Suitability Factor

The Golden Retriever and the Chow can seem like opposite breeds. The Golden is the typical family and service dog, while Chows are infamous for their disinterest in strangers and protectiveness. The Golden Chow can be an excellent companion if they grow up used to you and your family.

Is Kid-Friendly If Raised with Them
Golden Chows can be good with kids but should grow up with them from puppyhood. They are best suited to families with older children who can be taught how to safely and respectfully treat the Golden Chow. Chows are not tolerant of rough-handling or being treated like a teddy bear.


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Is Not Very Apartment-Friendly
The Golden Chow is a medium-sized mix with moderate exercise needs, so it isn’t well-suited for small apartments. However, if you have a larger apartment, access to nearby parks, and the time to adequately exercise your dog, this mix could live in an apartment.

May or May Not Be a Good Watchdog
The Golden Retriever parental bloodline is a terrible watchdog, and the Chow Chow parental bloodline is an excellent watchdog. It is impossible to predict that the Chow Chow bloodline is going to dominate, so if you are looking for a guard dog, another dog would be a better choice.

Is Not Suitable for Senior Citizens
A young Golden Chow is not ideal for a senior citizen because of this mix’s size, exercise needs, and necessity for training. However, an older Golden Chow with some training and an established personality could be a good fit for an older person or someone with a less active lifestyle.

Can Get Along with Some Other Pets
This mix must be raised with other pets if they will live together. If introduced while young, they will be more open to bonding with your pets. If you have another dog, it is better if they are of the opposite sex from the Golden Chow to avoid territorial fighting.

Intelligence and Training

When outside, your Golden Chow will be alert and surveying the surroundings for potential threats. Inside, the mix is more relaxed and could be more open to obedience exercises. If your mix has more Retriever in its genetics, it will likely be smarter and more responsive to activities like tracking.

Has a Medium Level of Intelligence
Golden Chows often have a mixture of intelligence and intuition. The Golden Retriever parent is highly intelligent, ranking #4 on Stanley Coren’s intelligence ranking of 138 breeds. The Chow parent ranks #135, in the lowest category of Coren’s intelligence survey. Thankfully, the Chow Chow has excellent awareness and street smarts.



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Can Be Stubborn and Resistant to Training
If your dog takes after their Chow parent, you may have some issues with stubbornness. These are not people-pleasing dogs, so you will need to be a confident leader. It is recommended to use a qualified trainer at first to help you establish a training routine for your Golden Chow.

Physical Needs

This mix will not be happy lounging around your apartment all day. It needs regular physical exercise to keep it engaged and happy. However, it’s important that this mix doesn’t exercise in the midday sun because it can easily overheat. The average lifespan of a Golden Chow is 10-14 years.

Eats 3 Cups of Food a Day
This energetic mix needs around 3 cups of food a day, split between 2 or more meals. You should avoid dry kibble that has a lot of preservatives and grains and opt for brands that have high protein content. A glucosamine supplement can help to prevent arthritis later in life.

Needs to Exercise 60 Minutes a Day
The Golden Chow should get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. You should mix it up with walks, games of fetch, socialization with other known dogs, and going for runs. It’s better to split the exercise into two or more sessions in a day to avoid boredom or overtiredness.


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Shedding & Grooming
Both Golden Retrievers and Chows have high shedding. This results in a mix that needs daily brushing to avoid clumping and matting of the fur. You should not shave this mix because it can damage its double coat. You can use a wire brush to remove hair from the undercoat.

A bath every 4-6 weeks is sufficient to keep this mix clean. Because of the shape of its ears, you should make sure that no water enters the ear canal. You should also trim your Golden Chow’s nails as soon as you hear them clicking on the ground.


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Background & Pricing for a Puppy

The Golden Retriever was bred in Scotland in the 1800s by a hunter called Lord Tweedmouth. He wanted a dog that could accompany men on hunts and retrieve the birds. His priorities were a strong nose, proficiency in water, and trainability. It was recognized as an official breed in 1911.

The Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds. It came from China and Mongolia and was used for hunting and guarding. It was also killed for its meat and fur. It was brought to the Western world in the 1700s and became a recognized breed in 1903.

The history of the Golden Chow, also known as the Chow Retriever, is unclear. It is suspected that the mix first emerged in the 1990s. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Golden Chow as an official breed, but it is increasingly popular across the world.

Price for a Puppy
From a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around US$500 for a puppy. You should visit the breeder first to see that the dogs are in suitable living conditions and to see the temperament of the parents. Because they are uncommon, it’s unlikely to find one in a shelter.


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Health Issues

The Golden Chow is generally healthy. However, it is vulnerable to genetic diseases, including hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and bloat. Because these diseases are not preventable with medications, you must choose a reputable breeder who tests their dogs’ health. Ask for proof of this testing before your purchase.


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Bloat is a dangerous condition where the stomach inflates with gas and twists, putting the dog into shock. Symptoms are an inflamed and hard stomach, panting, and general distress. Bloat can be caused by rapid eating, genetic predisposition in giant breeds, and exercise too soon after eating.

You can reduce the likelihood of bloat by monitoring how your Golden Chow eats. If they eat rapidly, you can use a slow feeder or give them smaller portions more frequently. You should also prevent your dog from exercising within half an hour after eating.

Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common condition in large breed dogs where the bones of the hip do not grow at equal speeds. Common symptoms are limping, lameness, and stiffness. It is usually genetic and often caused by rapid growth. Symptoms usually begin at one year of age.

It is essential that both parents of your Golden Chow have been genetically tested for hip dysplasia. You can also ask for a hip score. Puppies should be fed special food for large breeds, and you should minimize their high impact exercise until they have finished growing.

Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia is another genetic condition commonly found in Golden Chows. It happens when a dog’s elbows grow incorrectly inside of the joint. The symptoms are lameness, unwillingness to exercise, inflammation, and pain. Symptoms are usually apparent between 5 months and 1.5 years.

Because elbow dysplasia is genetic, the only way to prevent the condition is by not breeding dogs that carry the gene. Therefore, you must ask for a health check of both parents of your puppy. You should also ask the breeder if they have an elbow score available.

Cataracts are an obstruction of the eye that reduces vision and can even lead to blindness. Symptoms are cloudiness in the eyes. Cataracts can be caused by genetic predisposition, age, diabetes, or disease. Some dogs are born with cataracts, and others may start to show symptoms in early adulthood.

Cataracts are often not preventable, but you can regularly monitor your dog’s eyes for changes. You should also ask the breeder for the genetic history of the dog’s parents to see if cataracts are inherited. You can also reduce the likelihood of diabetes by feeding your dog a balanced diet.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.