How Big Do Chow Chows Get? (Male and Female)

How Big Do Chow Chows Get? Photo showing a big Chow chow dog

If you’ve ever seen a Chow Chow and thought that they might be too big for your household, you’ll be happy to learn that they are more fluff than anything else!

The average Chow Chow grows to be about 19 inches (48cm) tall. Female Chow Chows typically come in at around 18 inches (45cm) tall.

They reach their maximum height at about one year old. This height will depend on a variety of factors, including genetics, health, and diet.

How big is a full-grown Chow Chow?

When sourced from a reputable breeder (that is, ruling out any health concerns), you can expect your Chow Chow to be about 18-19 inches (45-48cm) tall.

They’ll typically weigh 45-70 lbs (20-21kg), with male Chow Chows being at the higher range of this and females at the lower range. 

If your Chow is below or above those measurements, it’s no reason to panic! These are averages, so it could be perfectly normal for your Chow to be outside the norms. More on that a little bit later!

When do Chow Chows stop growing?

Chow Chows tend to stop their final growth spurt at about one year. Sometimes earlier or later for those last few quarter inches (or cm). However, most will be able to tell that their Chow continues to fill out (weight-wise) for several months onward.

This is healthy and actually a sign that they are correctly taken care of — well done!

What factors impact a Chow Chow’s growth?

You want to make sure that your Chow Chow stays in excellent health. So, here are the factors that can impede their growth and what you can do about them:

  • Genetics
  • General health
  • Diet


Just like with humans, genetics will factor into the growth rates for your Chow Chow.

If both parents are larger, your Chow may be larger than the normal one, and the same goes for when your Chow puppy’s parents are smaller.

The breeder that you source your pup from is going to be a huge part of this. If they are responsible breeders, they already know to work from strong Chow Chows with genetics and milestones. The stronger the parents, the stronger the puppies will be, too.

One of the best indicators in judging your Chow puppy’s height when fully grown is measuring the parents. This will give you an idea of what you can expect for the final adult version of your puppy.

General health

The health of your Chow Chow as they grow is going to factor into their final height. Their first year will be a very busy one for growth and development, after all, so proper health throughout it is going to be very important.

One of the most significant problem areas for Chow Chows, health-wise, is parasites such as worms. Specifically hookworms. These can take the much-needed nutrition and may temporarily stunt their growth and drop their weight if left untreated.

Once your Chow Chow goes through treatment for them, after detection, however, most Chow Chows will be able to resume their milestones (a bit late) and achieve their average height and weight just like any other puppy.

This is part of why proper vaccinations and check-ups with your vet will be so crucial while your puppy grows. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be dealt with for the better of your Chow Chow!


Lastly, the diet that your Chow receives is going to be especially important in meeting all of the milestones. Puppy food is crucial for that first year because it has many nutrients to help keep their bodies strong and lean and growing right on time. 

They also need to be receiving the correct amount of that food. Underfed dogs will be underdeveloped and can even be predisposed to illnesses and infections.

Likewise, overfed dogs will gain weight, and this can impact their overall health. This, in turn, affects their height. These factors can be lifelong (i.e., permanent), so feeding is something to think about seriously. 

Don’t forget treats, too! They should be healthy and vet-approved as far as type and amount. This is something that a low of well-intentioned Chow parents forget when they are training their puppies with treats.

Since Chow Chows are so fluffy, many people don’t even realize that their Chow Chows are overweight at first. Obesity is widespread in Chows since they aren’t very active, and it can stunt their growth and leave them open to other health conditions and concerns later in life.

Can Chow chows stay small?

Despite all of that, your Chow Chow can stay small, both in height and weight. This is most often because of genetics. In fact, this is how some of the “designer breeds” are created! Breeders will take the smallest of their adults, mate them, and then use the smallest puppies from the litter and repeat the process, etc. It effectively creates a smaller version of the breed naturally. 

Always be careful when you find a breeder that sells “mini” Chow Chows, though. This kind of breeding is a precise science that is often not practiced in most professional circles.

You could either be getting a very unhealthy dog or paying a lot of money for Chow that will grow to its average size even with all of the breeder’s assurances that they aren’t!

Of course, as mentioned, a small Chow Chow could also signify that they aren’t in their best health. That’s a massive part of why proper vet visits are so important at all of the appropriate milestones — the sooner an issue is discovered, the better. Plus, you can ask your vet all sorts of questions on what to expect for weight and height.

How to measure my Chow Chow

Since most of us see our dogs as our kids, it’s normal to want to measure your Chow Chow. To do this effectively, you’ll need to practice measuring him from the ground to his withers (just above his shoulder blades).

This will help you see their progress as accurately as possible. We won’t blame you if you want to mark his height on the wall, either…

To know just where your Chow Chow sits in terms of their age and height, make sure you have a chart that shows you the typical monthly milestones for height and weight (if you wish). This will help you to keep an eye on their progress at home so that you can contact your vet on something if needed.

Speaking of your vet, ask them to take their height when they come in for their check-ups. Weight is standard at all appointments, but height isn’t quite as standard. They’ll be able to show you how to do it, too, with an expert’s hand, if you wish. 

How can I make sure my Chow Chow is the right height?

If something about your Chow Chow’s height just seems off, or you are concerned that you aren’t measuring your Chow correctly, don’t panic! Remember that height is a sliding scale.

A Chow measuring under or over the standard height is not an emergency or a sign that your Chow is unhealthy.

The best thing to do is get accurate measurements of your Chow and see how they compare with their previous measurements. The number between their various heights throughout their first year will be better to rely on rather than a generic chart.

If you have a particularly generous growth spurt or lack thereof, you can always check with the breeder that sold you your Chow. They’ll often be able to tell you right away if something is normal or not. After all, they will be professionals when dealing with Chow Chows!

Lastly, but certainly not least, your vet will be your best friend. Since they are intimately familiar with your Chow’s medical history and personal health profile, they’ll be able to help you understand when you should worry and what is unimportant. Bonus points if they are used to working with Chow Chows, too!

In brief

Chow Chows can measure between 18-19 inches (45-48cm) in most cases. A dog can be less or more than these measurements without being in poor health.

They reach their final height at about one year old. Factors impacting height include genetics, health, and diet. Your vet and your breeder will be able to give you great support in what to expect for your Chow’s final height.

Chow Chows are considered large dogs, though they often look bigger with their fluffy fur. This information will help you know what to expect when it comes to the healthy, proper height of your Chow Chow. 

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