Chow Shepherd

Canis lupus

Last updated: September 28, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Steve Henderson / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License / Original

The Chow Shepherd is also known as the Sheprachow.


Chow Shepherd Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Chow Shepherd Conservation Status

Chow Shepherd Locations

Chow Shepherd Locations

Chow Shepherd Facts

Fun Fact
The Chow Shepherd is also known as the Sheprachow.
Smart, loyal, and protective

Chow Shepherd Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Black
  • Cream
Skin Type
10-12 years
105 lbs

Chow Shepherd as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$200 to $1,000
Dog group
Male weight
45-105 lbs
Female weight
45-105 lbs

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A hard-working and intelligent dog, the Chow Shepherd inherits some ability to do complicated jobs and tasks from its German Shepherd side.

The Chow Shepherd, also known as a Sheprachow, is a cross between two very different dog breeds: the Chow Chow and the German Shepherd. The Chow Chow is an intelligent and dignified all-purpose dog that originated from ancient China and became a favorite of the country’s nobility. As a member of the spitz group, it has long, thick fur and pointed muzzle and ears. The German Shepherd, by contrast, is a large and intelligent herding dog with a long history of police work and service.

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Despite being the offspring of two different breeds, the Chow Shepherd will not inherit their traits in equal proportion. Physically, it is more likely to look like the Chow Chow than the German Shepherd. The dog has upright ears, brown eyes, a medium-length muzzle, and a sleek or rounded face. The tail may be long and sweeping like the Shepherd or more curved toward the back like the Chow Chow. The long and dense coat of fur may come in some combination of black, cream, gray, brown, fawn, or red. Temperamentally, this dog may blend together a friendly, loyal, and intelligent disposition.

3 pros and cons of owning a Chow Shepherd

Loyal and Protective
The Chow Shepherd makes for an excellent guard or watchdog.
Wary of Strangers
The Chow Shepherd is very suspicious and wary of unfamiliar faces.
This dog likes to have fun with members of the family.
Its energetic and rambunctious behavior may be a nuisance for some people.
This dog has the ability to learn many complicated tasks.
This dog may sometimes ignore its owner’s commands.

Chow Shepherd Size and Weight

The Chow Shepherd has a huge range of different body sizes.

Height (Male)22 to 26 inches
Height (Female)22 to 26 inches
Weight (Male)45 to 105 pounds
Weight (Female)45 to 105 pounds

Chow Shepherd Common Health Issues

Just like its two parent breeds, the Chow Shepherd has the tendency to suffer from allergies, cataracts, ear infections, bloating, cancer, and hip dysplasia (a developmental disorder that causes the hip to become partially or completely dislocated from its socket). Another serious condition you will want to look out for is degenerative myelopathy, which can cause nerve damage and eventual paralysis.

A good breeder will try to minimize the risks of many inheritable conditions (and other conditions with a genetic component), but there is always the chance that some problem will arise. That is why you should always schedule regular physical examinations and tests at the vet to catch health problems as early as possible. It is also important to maintain the dog’s flea medication since it is particularly sensitive to flea bites. If your Chow Shepherd can avoid some of the more serious conditions, then it may have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

In summation, these are the most common health problems:

Health and Entertainment for your Chow Shepherd

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  • Allergies
  • Ear Infections
  • Cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Bloating

Chow Shepherd Temperament

The Chow Shepherd is a very loving and friendly companion toward those whom it is familiar. Once it becomes an integral member of the family, the Chow Shepherd is prone to separation anxiety. This dog should not be left alone or ignored for long periods of time, because it might develop destructive and unwanted behavior.

As friendly as it is, however, the Chow Shepherd can be equally distrustful and wary around strangers. Some of this natural suspicion can be partially dispelled with proper early training. But its protective and loyal personality makes it a good watchdog and guard dog for the family. The Chow Shepherd is also a natural leader, so it may have the tendency to become a little dominant and bossy around smaller children and pets.

How to Take Care of the Chow Shepherd

The Chow Shepherd is probably a better option for experienced owners than novice or first-time owners. It can be a little difficult to care for due to its high exercise needs, its tendency to shed a lot, and its wariness of strangers. If you need any other assistance with your dog’s care, then you should contact your local vet.

The Best Dog Food for Chow Shepherds

An adult Chow Shepherd needs approximately 3 cups of high-protein dry food per day. The exact amount may vary based on the dog’s age, size, and activity level. Since this dog is particularly prone to obesity, you should restrict the calorie intake to no more than is necessary. A healthy weight will help reduce the risk of joint problems later in life.

Allergies are common in this breed, so you may consider weighing the benefits of various allergy-friendly dog foods.

A-Z Animals believes the best dog food for Chow Shepherds is Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Probiotics, Salmon Dry Dog Food.

Great for dogs sensitive to more common proteins like chicken, this salmon-based kibble also uses alternative carbohydrates. Probiotics soothe the digestive system, cultivating a healthy immune system from the inside out with vitamin A for healthy eyes.

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Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Tasty real salmon is the #1 ingredient in this formula.
  • Fortified with glucosamine and EPA Omega-3 fatty acid for joint support.
  • Oat meal provides a gentle and easily digestible source of calories.
  • Omega-6 rich sunflower oil promotes a healthy coat and skin.
  • Natural prebiotic fiber nourishes healthy intestinal bacteria.

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Chow Shepherd Maintenance and Grooming

The Chow Shepherd is a particularly heavy shedder with a thick, non-hypoallergenic coat. It needs to be groomed almost every single day with a pin brush or a slicker brush, as well as a de-shedding tool. You should also brush the teeth at least three times a week to minimize the chances of the dog developing dental problems. Bathing is only necessary when the dog becomes particularly dirty on one of its outdoor excursions. Nail trimming should take place at least twice a month before they grow too long and become difficult to cut.

Chow Shepherd Training

The Chow Shepherd is a smart and trainable hybrid that should do well with positive reinforcement methods, but the stubborn and aloof temperament may cause its attention to wander during training. Owners can attempt to solve this by making the training process as interesting and varied as possible. The dog wants to be engaged and challenged both mentally and physically, so try to change things up and push the boundaries of its capabilities. If you are experiencing problems, then you may want to hire the services of a professional trainer.

Chow Shepherd Exercise

These dogs are not good indoor or apartment dogs. It needs around 60 to 75 minutes of exercise per day. Fortunately, for regular exercise enthusiasts, the Chow Shepherd makes a good walking, jogging, or hiking partner. It will probably need about two long walks per day to fully satisfy its considerable needs. Potential owners might also want to have a large enclosed yard and perhaps even a nearby park in which the dog can roam freely. Since these clever dogs may find a way to escape, it is a good idea to have a secure fence. You should not let them out of your sight for long.

Chow Shepherd Puppies

Because the Chow Shepherd retains some wolf-like characteristics, including suspicion and wariness toward strangers, these puppies require a lot of early obedience training and socialization to overcome their natural tendencies. The training should preferably begin within the first three to four months of its life. If you are struggling to house train your puppies, then you might want to buy a crate to help with it. Once the dog accepts the crate as a safe space, it should not want to go inside of its new home. You are then free to release it from the crate when it needs to go outside. Just don’t treat the crate as a prison or cage to punish your dog.

Chow Shepherds and Children

These dogs have the potential to be a loving and friendly companion toward family members. But as mentioned previously, this dog can be a little dominant and bossy. If you have smaller children, then you should be careful about introducing the Chow Shepherd into your household.

Dogs Similar to the Chow Shepherd

Besides the Chow Chow and the German Shepherd, the Chow Shepherd most closely resembles the following types of dogs:

  • Akita – This Japanese dog, which originated from the northern region that bears its name, is another breed of Asian spitz. It is a remarkably loyal, bold, and dignified breed with a muscular body, a curled back tail, and a thick double coat of fur.
  • Shiba Inu – A skilled hunting dog and a source of internet jokes, the Shiba Inu is an alert and attentive breed of spitz with a muscular body, round and expressive face, and white markings combined with red, black, or tan.
  • Icelandic Sheepdog – Originally brought to Iceland by the Vikings, this breed of spitz was bred for herding sheep and ponies. It is a friendly, smart, curious, and playful dog that will form a deep and lasting bond with its owner.

Famous Chow Shepherds

These dogs don’t yet have a significant following in the United States, but it does descend from a particularly famous heritage. The German Shepherd is one of the most famous breeds in the entire United States. The canine actor Rin Tin Tin, who has starred in many films and TV shows, was a German Shepherd.

If you are struggling to come up with a name for your new dog, then you might want to consider the following options:

  • Luna
  • Max
  • Bella
  • Charlie
  • Zeus
  • Roxy
  • Bear
  • Koda
  • Lucy
  • Daisy

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Chow Shepherd FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Chow Shepherd?

The Chow Shepherd (also known as a Sheprachow) is a mix between a Chow Chow and a German Shepherd. This is a loyal, protective, alert, and courageous dog with a muscular body and thick non-hypoallergenic fur.

Is a German Shepherd Chow hybrid aggressive?

A properly trained and well-treated Chow Shepherd should not exhibit any aggression at all, but it might be a little suspicious of strangers.

What is the lifespan of a Chow Shepherd?

The Chow Shepherd has an average lifespan of around 10 to 14 years.

How much does a Chow Shepherd cost?

The Chow Shepherd may cost anywhere between $200 and $1,000. Obviously, a dog with an excellent heritage will end up costing a lot more. If cost is a concern, then you might want to consider adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue (assuming you can find this mix anywhere in your area).

What does a German Shepherd Chow mix look like?

The Chow Shepherd usually has the general appearance of a Chow Chow, with dense and fluffy fur and a sturdy body. The shape of the face can be either sleek or round. Since there is no breed standard, the appearance and coat colors and markings can vary quite a bit. Black, cream, gray, brown, fawn, and red are the most common colors.

How do you groom a chow shepherd mix dog?

The Chow Shepherd can be groomed with a simple pin brush or slicker brush about once a day.

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  1. Doggie Designer / Accessed April 17, 2021
  2. Wag Walking / Accessed April 17, 2021

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