Chow coats

smooth (short hair), rough (long hair)

The only difference between rough and smooth Chow Chows is the coat lenght.
Rough Chow Chows seem larger because of their longer coat.
rough (long hair
young red rough male
smooth (short hair)
young red smooth female

The rough Chow Chow is the best known variety, but the smooth gets better known these days. In show they are judged together. Lately some Dutch smooths have been very succesfull in the showring, wich made the variety more known. It is more difficult to do well with a smooth in show, as they have no coat to hide any faults. But on the other hand the smooth Chow Chow needs far less grooming.

In breeding both coats are mixed, so in one litter there can be both rough and smooth.

recognise smooth and rough right after birth

It is possible to recognise smooth and rough the first few days after the pups are born, smooths have more upright standing, plushy, not shiny hairs on their head and roughs have more flat, silky and shiny hairs on their head.
I want to thank Carrie Voorhees from Bear Creek Chows for sharing this information.

black smooth
black smooth pup, 2 days
black rough
black rough pup, 2 days
red smooth
red smooth pup, 2 days
red rough
red rough pup, 2 days

It is hard to see the difference at first, but after some practice you will see that it is not that difficult.

smooth After these first few days you have to wait until the pups are 4 to 5 weeks old to see the difference again. At that age the coat of the roughs gets significant longer as the smooth coat.

I have noticed one more difference between smooth and rough pups: when the pups are drying right after birth, the smooths have a specific pattern in their coat. On the photo on the right you can see the pattern very clear in the red pup, but the black pup on the left has the pattern in his coat too.

color and coat

this page was updated at
March 4th, 2012
© Anita Meulstee

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