How to Groom a Chow Chow

by J. Lang Wood
Chow chows need regular grooming to maintain their thick coats.

Chow chows need regular grooming to maintain their thick coats.

chow chow breed dog image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com

The chow chow is a large dog breed that can grow up to 1 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder with a solid, compact body and curled tail. The thick, full coat consists of both a rough undercoat and a rough or smooth topcoat. The chow chow’s coat needs frequent grooming to keep the distinctive lion-like shape of this breed and to prevent matting of the dense undercoat. Trimming in the summer months will help to keep your pet comfortable during hot weather and prevent skin infections that can frequently occur.

Step 1

Brush the dog to remove large mats and loose hair before bathing.

Step 2

Wet the dog down thoroughly in a tub, allowing the water to soak down to the skin.

Step 3

Apply shampoo to the chow using a shampoo formulated for dogs. Chow chows should be bathed regularly to keep the coat in good condition. Bathing as frequently as weekly will not cause the coat or skin to dry out, according to the Chow Chow Club Welfare Committee website.

Step 4

Rinse the suds from the dog carefully. Avoid leaving any shampoo residue behind, which can cause hotspots and fungus growth on the chow’s skin. Towel the animal dry.

Step 5

Lay the chow on his side on the grooming table and brush his fur with the pin brush as you blow the hair dry. Use the comb to remove all loose and dead hair from the undercoat and topcoat. Then turn the dog onto his other side and repeat the process.

Step 6

Stand the dog on his feet on the table and brush and blow dry the ruff and chest.

Step 7

Cut excess hair from the bottoms of the feet.

Step 8

Trim the hair around the ears into a neat, bear-like shape with scissors. Remove excess feathering from the legs and tail and other long wisps of hair that distort the neat shape of the coat. Trim the ruff into a fluffy, rounded shape.

Step 9

Trim the hair around the anus to keep the animal clean.

Step 10

Hold the ear flaps open and apply a few drops of ear wash solution into the ear canal. Do not squeeze air into the dog’s ear; this can damage the eardrum. Allow the solution to sit for a minute, then gently remove loosened dirt and wax from the ear canal with cotton balls.

Step 11

Brush the chow’s teeth gently with canine toothpaste and a soft brush.

Items You Will Need

  • Large tub or bathtub
  • Dog shampoo
  • Towel
  • Blow dryer
  • Grooming table
  • Greyhound style comb
  • 7-inch grooming scissors
  • Pin brush
  • Slicker type brush
  • Canine ear wash solution
  • Cotton balls

Tip

  • Between baths, brush your chow weekly, working the brush down to the skin to remove mats. Use the slicker brush on the shorter hair and the pin brush on longer hair. Adding a bit of coat dressing will prevent breakage of hair and static electricity as you brush.

Warnings

  • When trimming the feet of your chow, ensure that you remove burrs and foreign objects from between the toes. Trim the fur between the toes carefully to prevent matting and pain when walking.
  • One style of chow coat style shaves the skin below the head to enhance the “lion” appearance of the dog. Though this keeps the dog cooler in summer, it also leaves him vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Place a small size T-shirt on the dog to prevent exposure to UV rays from intense sunlight.

Photo Credits

  • chow chow breed dog image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com