Chow Chows and Pomeranians are stunning, fluffy dogs that look quite alike while they are puppies. Many people think that they also look similar as adults, and some even believe that they have similar personalities, which is not always the case.
One of the biggest differences between these two breeds is their size. Adult Pomeranians are significantly smaller than adult Chow Chows. Their temperaments are also quite different.
Read on to learn more about these breeds, their appearance, personality, temperament, health, and grooming needs, and determine which one might suit you and your family better.
At a Glance
Chow Chow Overview
Chow Chow is a dog breed native to ancient China and is on the AKC’s list of 14 most ancient recognized dog breeds1. These dogs have been popular throughout history. They came to England around the 1700s and started spreading worldwide during the 1800s2. By the 1900s, Chow Chows were so popular that the AKC recognized them in 1903.
Nowadays, many people keep Chow Chows because they are loving, caring, and protective. These dogs can be great companions for the right owners, but you should know more about them before determining if this breed fits you and your lifestyle.
Chow Chows are large dogs, typically between 18 and 22 inches high, and weigh between 44 and 71 pounds during adulthood. They have medium-long double coats and resemble little lions due to their facial features and the fur around their heads.
There are various color combinations of Chow Chows, with common ones being cream, cinnamon, black, red, and blue.
Personality & Temperament
Chow Chows are extremely loyal to their owners, as they were mainly guard dogs throughout history. Due to their protective nature, these dogs can be particularly wary of strangers, which is why they need socialization from a young age.
Most of the time, Chow Chows are not that playful, but they do need daily exercise and activity to stay in good shape. These canines often show off their stubborn, independent nature and may rebel against fearful owners.
If you familiarize Chow Chows with other animals from a young age, they could be good around smaller pets. Since these dogs have loyal personalities and are devoted to their owners, they may develop separation anxiety. Therefore, they need a family with someone always at home to care for them.
Chow Chows are generally healthy dogs with long lifespans, between 9 and 15 years. However, like most purebred dogs, Chow Chows are prone to several health conditions common for their breed3:
Before getting a Chow Chow, be sure to familiarize yourself with these conditions.
When it comes to exercise, Chow Chows aren’t overly energetic, but they do need to spend plenty of time outside. To ensure that your Chow Chow grows healthy and strong, it’s best to provide them with at least 1 hour of exercise per day. You can divide the time into one or two walks and include play time to bond with your canine.
Since Chow Chows are large dogs, they need a significant amount of space, which is why homes with gardens and backyards are ideal for them to train and explore. These canines can get bored quickly, so provide them with various outside games and puzzles to keep them active and entertained.
Chow Chows have a guarding nature, so they’re wary of strangers, which is why they need socialization from a young age to learn how to act among people, kids, and other pets. These dogs require owners that know how to be strong leaders, as Chow Chows tend to be stubborn and independent.
It’s best to start training Chow Chows when they’re around 8 weeks old and practice positive reinforcement during training sessions. These dogs will also need behavioral and obedience training.
People unfamiliar with dog training should consider hiring a professional. The things that they learn in their younger years will influence how they act for the rest of their life, which is why it’s vital to teach them “good manners.”
Chow Chows have high grooming needs because they have medium-length, double coats that require daily brushing. They can have two types of coats, rough and smooth.
These dogs shed throughout the year, and their shedding peak is during fall and spring, so they’re not the best option for people looking for a breed that doesn’t shed too much.
Another thing to keep in mind about Chow Chow grooming is cleaning their folds; these are located beneath their fur, and you should regularly check them and keep them clean to prevent possible infections.
Chow Chows are loving, caring, and protective. They tend to develop a strong connection with their owners and can be wary of strangers, which is something to keep in mind before getting one as a pet.
Most of the time, Chow Chows are somewhat active but not that playful, so they may not be the best choice for families with kids. However, these canines can suffer from separation anxiety and need someone to be with them constantly. That’s why they make great pets for couples and small households.
Due to their size, these dogs are mostly unsuitable for apartments and need homes with gardens or yards where they will have enough space.
The Pomeranian is a purebred toy breed that originates from Pomerania, a part of Europe between Poland and Germany. These canines come from ancient spitz-type dogs and are the smallest out of all spitz breeds.
Pomeranian puppies became extremely popular during the rule of Queen Victoria, who fell in love with this breed during her trip to Italy. After that, they spread across the world and became a recognized breed by the Kennel Club in England in the 1870s, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1888. By the 1930s, Pomeranians were the most popular dog breed in the U.S.A.
Nowadays, many people pick Pomeranians as their pets because of their small size and affectionate personality. These dogs make great companions for people looking for an averagely active dog that can adjust to living in an apartment.
Pomeranians are small, which is why they’re considered a toy breed. Adult Pomeranians typically weigh around 4–7.7 pounds and are between 8 and 11 inches high.
These dogs have fluffy, long double coats, slightly foxy faces, and pricked-up ears. They look adorable due to their fluffy fur, which can come in various color combinations and have distinctive markings, such as:
Personality & Temperament
Pomeranians are fun-loving, energetic dogs that will bring a bubbly spirit into your home. They are generally friendly and affectionate and love being around people. They are also slightly stubborn and intelligent, learn quickly, and love to please their owner. However, they can act aggressively toward other dogs and strangers due to “small dog syndrome.” This is a behavioral issue that can occur in small dogs, in which they tend to be aggressive to others in order to prove themselves and show off. Although Pomeranians are prone to such behavior, with proper training and a loving and caring owner, these dogs can learn how to be social and behave well.
This breed has a protective nature and may bark frequently unless they get adequate training. Due to their nature, these dogs are great for families with older kids who can help with caring for the dog.
Pomeranians are mostly healthy dogs that have a long lifespan of 12–16 years. Although generally healthy, they are more prone to specific breed-related health conditions than many other dogs.
Common health conditions that can occur in Pomeranians are:
Since suffering from any of these conditions is highly possible in Pomeranians, you should familiarize yourself with them before deciding to get a Pomeranian puppy.
Although Pomeranians are small dogs, they need daily exercise, usually less than 1 hour a day (preferably 30 minutes), though the precise time will depend on your dog’s energy levels.
It’s best to incorporate exercise into your Pomeranian’s schedule through regular walks and playtime. It’s enough to take your Pom out once or twice a day and maybe do fun activities while outside.
Pomeranians are extremely intelligent and quick learners, but they will often show their stubborn, sassy side during training. Therefore, you should approach Pomeranian training through positive reinforcement, while still showing your dog that you’re the leader. The main goal of training is to help your Pomeranian learn how to behave while being confident, which will lower the chance of aggression toward other people and unfamiliar animals.
Pomeranians will typically need socialization, potty, obedience, and barking training from a young age to learn how to act during their adulthood.
Pomeranians have moderate grooming needs. Although their coat is long and fluffy, it only requires weekly brushing, which makes Pomeranians easier to care for than Chow Chows.
Their coats tend to shed more during spring and fall, which is when their maintenance needs may slightly increase to daily brushings. Besides that, these dogs need their nails regularly trimmed, and you should clean their ears as needed.
You’ll also need to check the hair around their butt to ensure that there are no hygiene problems.
Pomeranians are bubbly and fun loving, making them great for all types of people and households looking for a low-maintenance companion. They fit in well with adults and other pets and can be a good pet choice for families with older kids.
Due to their size and nature, they are perfect for people living in apartments and small homes.
Which Breed Is Right for You?
If you’re considering getting a Chow Chow or a Pomeranian, you’re probably wondering which breed is right for you.
Generally, both are great for people who want dogs that don’t require much exercise and are moderately active. Due to their size, Chow Chows are more suitable for people living in homes with plenty of outdoor space, while small Pomeranians fit better into apartment lifestyles.
As for their personalities, Pomeranians are slightly more playful and affectionate, which is why they’re a great choice for families with older kids. Conversely, Chow Chows are affectionate but fit in much better with small families or even single-member households.
Keep in mind that both breeds are loving and caring, and either could become your future best friend. Before choosing between a Chow Chow and a Pomeranian, consider all their traits, compare them with your family’s wants and needs, and determine which breed is most suitable!
Featured Image Credit: Top – Chow Chow (Luke Thornton, Unsplash) | Bottom – Pomeranian (Anna Gorina, Shutterstock)