Merle Chow Chow – Everything You Need To Know

Merle Chow Chows are Chow Chow dogs with a merle coat pattern. They are no different from other Chow Chows except for the coat color and are rare. Chow Chows originated from China and are considered all-purpose dogs. They are powerful, aristocratic, friendly, adaptable, loyal, delightful, and protective. They are independent and can adapt to apartments and individual homes with yards. 

Merle Chow Chows get their coat pattern due to the merle gene. The merle coat results from the gene pool, giving them a unique yet lovable appearance. Merle coat is the result of the recessive gene and is the rarest color variation of the breed. Unfortunately, Merle Chow Chow is not recognized by AKC. However, you enjoy cuddling and playing with this little Oreo, who makes a perfect furry partner.  

Source: Dogsnow

Merle Chow Chow Pros and Cons

Friendly and calmHigh Grooming needs
Excellent watchdogsNot hypoallergenic
Confident and mannerlyAggressive towards strangers

Merle Chow Chow Basic Information

  • Name: Merle Chow Chow
  • Height: 17-20 inches
  • Weight: 45-85 pounds
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat: Double coat
  • Color: Tricolor (black, blue, and white or red, fawn, and white), Merle pattern
  • Group: Working dogs
  • Activities: Guard dogs, Family dogs, Working dogs
  • Barking Level: Low
  • Shedding Level: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Energy: Low to medium
  • Litter Size: 4 – 6 puppies
  • Life Span: 8 – 12 years

Standard Chow vs. Merle Chow Chow: A Comparison

FeaturesStandard Chow ChowMerle Chow Chow
Height17 – 20 inches17 – 20 inches
Weight40 – 70 pounds40 – 70 pounds
GroupWorking DogsWorking Dogs
Children CompatibilityLowLow
Family CompatibilityLowLow
Pet CompatibilityMediumMedium
Barking LevelLow Low 
Shedding LevelHighHigh
Overall HealthLow to mediumLow to medium
Energy LevelLow to mediumLow to medium
Exercise NeedsLow to mediumLow to medium
TrainabilityMedium to highMedium to high
ActivitiesFamily Dogs, Guard Dogs, Working DogsFamily Dogs, Guard Dogs, Working Dogs
Complication in BreedingNoNo
Litter Size4 – 7 puppies4 – 7 puppies
Life Span12 – 15 years12 – 15 years
Other NamesChow 

Merle Chow Chow Personality

Merle Chow Chows are medium-sized dogs that grow up to 17-20 inches and weigh about 40-70 pounds. Merle Chow Chows are double coated and come with a merle patterned coat due to the merle gene. In addition, they are color-modified Chow Chows with the merle gene called M-gene. For example, a standard  Chow Chow will have the gene pair “mm,” while a merle Chow Chow with patches and irregular patterns will carry an “Mm” gene pair. The M gene is the cause of the lighter shade due to the partial dilution of the dark pigment. In this case, “m” produces the standard color and “M” is the dominant gene. In simple words, the black coat color comes with irregular dark to light-colored patches with one or both eyes, often in blue. Merle Chow Chows  are often both with different colored eyes, a condition known as heterochromia.

The Chow Chow coats are of two types – smooth and rough. The rough coat is thick and dense, while the smooth coat is soft, dense, and wooly. Merle Chow Chows have compact bodies with high-set tails, are muscular, deep-chested, and make excellent working dogs. 

Merle Chow Chow’s head is large and broad with a flat skull. The eyes are dark brown and almond-shaped, with a dignified expression. The ears are small and triangular, slightly rounded at the tip. Their tongues are blue like the normal Chow Chows. Hence, merle Chow Chows are little clouds of dignified beauty combined with elegance and lordliness.

Friendliness Overview

Affection levelMedium to high
Family-friendlyMedium to high
Kid-friendlyLow to medium

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment livingMedium to high
Good for new ownersLow to medium
Sensitivity levelMedium to high
Tolerates being aloneLow to medium
Cold toleranceMedium to high
Heat toleranceLow to medium

Merle Chow Chow Temperament

Merle Chow Chows are dignified and royal in their personality yet reserved, independent, intelligent, and stubborn. They are neither aggressive nor shy and tend to mind their business. They are playful with their owners but wary of strangers. They are friendly and affectionate with their family and pretty good with children. Merle Chow Chows pick their person and bond with them closely.  The overall temperament includes:

  • Bright
  • Serious-minded
  • Dignified
  • Independent
  • Aloof
  • Playful
  • Sociable
  • Loyal
  • Protective

Merle Chow Chow Training

Merle Chow Chows are stubborn, and training requires patience. They are naturally friendly and social and make a good candidate for obedience training. Like any other canine, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. Exercise requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training. They are active and look forward to the training sessions, especially playing fetch helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. 

Obedience training and socialization help behavioral modification and bring out the best in any dog. Their activity can include the following:

Some toy and treat suggestions for your merle Chow Chow

Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
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Full Moon All Natural Human Grade Dog Treats
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Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
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KIPRITII Dog Chew Toys
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Trainability Overview

Easy to trainLow to medium
Prey driveLow to medium
Mouthiness tendenciesHigh
Barking and Howling tendenciesMedium
Wanderlust tendenciesMedium to high

Merle Chow Chow Exercise

Merle Chow Chows are low in energy levels and require moderate exercise. They can be kept indoors, but need to sweat off their energy. A daily walk of 15-30 minutes will be ideal. Yet, merleChow Chows live a healthy and long life with the right amount of exercise and activity. Above all this, they are happiest when around their human friends. A brief stroll with indoor games keeps the dog happy and healthy. They do not tolerate exercising in hot and humid climates. 

Merle Chows Chows are the most nutritious, with 3-4 times of daily walks, enhancing the canine-human bond. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits:

  • Social interaction
  • Weight control
  • Stress relief
  • Behavioral corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
  • Brain stimulation
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Routine toileting
  • Mental health and happiness

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy levelLow to medium
Exercise needsMedium
IntensityLow to medium

Merle Chow Chow Grooming

Merle Chow Chow are heavy shedders with rough and smooth coats demanding high grooming needs. They need regular brushing, 3-4 times per week. The hair at his paws has to be trimmed to avoid the floor getting dirty. They are not easy to groom, and you can brush the coat more than once a week to prevent shedding. Wipe the wrinkles and folds on the skin with a clean cloth to remove dirt. They may need extra brushing during their shedding season. Brushing helps remove matted hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Bath your dog using pH-balanced shampoos; pet wipes keep his coat fresh, clean, and shiny. You can also bathe them once a week. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles. 

WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
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Earth Rated Dog Wipes, Plant-Based and Compostable Wipes for Dogs
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Merle Chow Chows are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush their teeth with a stiff brush, as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste. 

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Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit for Dogs
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Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Check their toenails weekly, as long nails may harm and injure the dog. You can cut the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.

Dudi Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmers
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Pet Union Professional Dog Grooming Kit
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Grooming Overview

Easy to groomLow
Drooling tendenciesLow
Amount of sheddingHigh

Merle Chow Chow Health

Merle Chow Chows are generally healthy dogs. Still, like any other dog breed, they are also prone to specific health conditions.

Health Overview

General healthLow to medium
Weight gain tendenciesMedium to high

Fading Puppy Syndrome 

This condition affects a few Merle Chow Chow puppies within the first two weeks of their lives. Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and high-pitched crying are the first indicators. 

Hookworms and Roundworms 

Hookworms and roundworms frequently target Merle Chows because they cannot handle a parasite load. When larvae enter a Chow Chow’s skin, they are affected by hookworms. Roundworms gain entry into pets when they swallow polluted soil, plants, etc. 

Heart Issues 

Merle Chows are frequently created from the litter’s runt. This indicates they didn’t obtain enough nutrition from their mother’s womb, resulting in cardiac problems after birth. Patent ductus arteriosus, pulmonic stenosis, and aortic stenosis are Merle Chows’ most frequent cardiac problems. 

Cleft Palates 

This congenital condition makes swallowing, eating, and even breathing difficult. In addition, a prominent “cleft” at the roof of the mouth is apparent in Chows with this issue, which is caused by improper embryological development. 

Intervertebral Disc Disease 

IVDD affects Merle Chow Chows by causing a damaged and bulging disc in their back or neck. This makes it difficult for them to walk correctly and cause excruciating discomfort that renders them motionless.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

As this condition is prevalent in dogs with short muzzles, dogs with short muzzles are prone to brachycephalic Syndrome. In dogs with brachycephalic Syndrome, nostrils are narrowed, and the respiratory tract is blocked. The blockage can range from difficulty breathing to total obstruction.

Recommended Tests for Merle Chow Chow

  • X-Rays 
  • CT Scan 
  • Eye Examination 
  • Physical Examination 
  • Blood Work

Merle Chow Chow Diet and Nutrition

Merle Chow Chows are high-bred dogs and need a large quantity of high-quality food. They should eat 2 to 2 3/4 cups of food every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. You can split the meals into two 2 cups daily. Merle Chow Chow pups can be given both dry and wet food. High protein dog food helps the dog stay fit and healthy, improves digestion, and maintains coat shine. The dog lives a long, healthy, and happy life by adding nutrients, supplements, and vitamins. However, they are prone to obesity, so overfeeding must be avoided. Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine. They can also be given fruits and vegetables that provide carbohydrate energy.

Consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy—some commercial dog food suggestions for your merle Chow Chows:

Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds
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Wet Dog Food for Small Breeds
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Merle Chow Chow Living Condition

Merle Chow Chows love to bond with their humans. However, they are adaptable and can live in apartments or homes with bigger yards. They are prone to wander, and the yard must be secured and fenced. They love to play but do not prefer strangers and tend to be overprotective. They are independent and suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. They are moderately friendly with kids and need socialization with pets. Merle Chow Chow cannot tolerate heat and is suitable for cold temperatures.

Adding Merle Chow Chow to Your Family

Things to remember before adding a Merle Chow Chow to your family

Getting a merle Chow Chow puppy from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. Always remember the following red flags to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.

  • Puppies are available around the year.
  • We recommend you visit the puppy and his parents and get health clearance and vaccination certificates, to avoid purchasing a weaker puppy.

Cost of a Merle Chow Chow Puppy

A merle Chow Chow puppy costs from $1400 to $4000.

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