The mixed breed of a Corgi and a Chow Chow – or a ‘Chorgi’ – is an adorable looking dog, but it can be a very challenging pet to deal with. Both the corgi and chow chow parent breeds were historically bred as herding and working dogs, and so chorgis can be very territorial by nature, and can have a strong alpha-type personality that can bring aggression and frequent barking, especially toward strangers.
So what is life like with the corgi chow mix breed? There’s no sugar-coating it, chorgis can certainly be a handful and will require a lot of patience and time from their owners to make sure they don’t fly off the rails. At their best, chorgis can be very affectionate and family-loving dogs as long as they are well socialized and trained from an early age to iron out their more alpha traits. Despite their size, chorgis are the type of dog that will end up owning you and everyone you live with if you let them!
If you’re almost won over by cute images of this adorable-looking mix breed (who can blame you?) but you need a bit more info to go on before deciding to adopt one, take a look through our brief guide to chorgi dogs below. From managing their challenging behavior to their food and exercise needs, we’ll give you the low-down on what it takes to care for the corgi chow mix.
Physical Characteristics (Size and Physical Look)
One of the first things that make owners fall in love with the corgi chow mix is the incredibly fluffy and huggable appearance that almost makes them look like teddy bears. Their fuzzy bear-like coats are very thick and often come in dark shades of brown, sable, reddish-brown and black.
They have the signature short corgi legs and curled pom-pom tail of their parent breeds and can stand between 10 to 18 inches at shoulder height and weigh between 30 and 70 lbs, depending on which genes dominate.
Based on the average life expectancy of their parent breeds, chorgis are expected to live between 10 to 13 years, but could live up to 15 years in good health.
Combining the corgi coat with the chow chow fur ball, chorgis have inherited some pretty heavy shedding genes! For this reason, only a thorough and consistent grooming routine will do to keep their coat in the best condition and keep the fluff under control and (mostly) off your carpet.
You should set aside time to be able to brush your chorgi’s coat at least 2 to 3 times a week, and they can require daily brushing during their bi-annual shedding seasons.
Also, make sure to bathe them around once a month, but not more often than this as you can dry out their skin and cause them discomfort. One major plus about chorgis thick double coats is that it helps to repel moisture and dirt, so fewer bath times are needed compared with other dog breeds.
Forget to brush and detangle your chorgi regularly and you’ll find their coat covered in tangles, unsightly matting and fur absolutely everywhere from your couch to your clothing!
Aside from their coat grooming needs, make sure to brush their teeth at least once a week and keep their nails trimmed once every 1 to 2 weeks (or as soon as you can hear a ‘clicking’ sound on your floors).
It’s often hard to predict the personality of any mix breed, but in the case of chorgis, it’s a good bet this will be a fairly challenging dog no matter what!
Chorgis inherit the lively, vocal nature of their herding corgi parent with the fierce independence and protective traits of the chow chow breed, so this can make for a loud and often playful dog with a tendency to be quite defensive.
Their less desirable traits can be improved somewhat with early training, but if you want to know how much work they’ll require, it’s wise to consult a reputable chorgi breeder who can provide as much background info as possible on your individual chorgi puppy’s personality.
While the chow chow parent has a fairly low desire for exercise, the corgi parent gene loves nothing more than to get moving whether this is going for runs in the park or playing in the yard, so your chorgi is likely to have quite an energetic spirit about them too.
There is also the concern that a lack of exercise will make your chorgi cranky and contribute to extra barking or destructive pillow-chewing behavior etc, so make sure to get them at least 40 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. This should be a mix of yard play, fetch in the park and plenty of indoor games that get them moving for rainy days or owners in apartment living.
Because of their short legs and low set bodies, it is common for chorgis to suffer from joint and hip issues such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, as these are common in both their parent breeds. The following are other possible health conditions that your chorgi may inherit from their corgi and chow chow parents:
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Intervertebral Disk Disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
All mix breeds can be susceptible to certain genetic health conditions, but thankfully the risk of developing these issues can be lowered if you buy your chorgi puppy from a reputable breeder. An established, well-respected breeder will be able to inform you of your individual dog’s health history and provide insight as to when certain health issues might occur.
What’s more, they can put your mind at ease as to whether a specific health condition has already been tested for and/or cleared in your chorgi puppy – leaving you to focus on taking the best care of them that you can.
High-quality dry dog food that does not include soy, wheat or corn in the ingredients will be a winner for your chorgi puppy. This is because grains have no real advantage for their digestive system and will only contribute to their easy weight gain, thus making the above health issues worse.
Feeding them a mix of raw food and kibble with a high meat or fish content such as chicken, salmon and sweet potato makes for a great balanced diet.
You should give them 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food each day and divide this into two meals, keeping treats to a minimum.
With their predisposition to hip and elbow issues, it’s also a good idea to regularly add fish oil and glucosamine supplements to your chorgis food to help support their joints and immune system. Look out for kibble that already includes Omega-3 fatty acids in the ingredients to help improve their bone and joint health.
Are Corgi Chow Mixes Protective?
Because of the chow chow breed’s tendency to be quite protective and territorial, yes there’s a good chance your chorgi could be a protective dog too. Their corgi parent breed’s herding instinct can also make chorgis quite protective of their owners, especially when strangers are present.
How Much Does a Corgi Chow Mix Cost?
Depending on where you purchase them from, chorgis can range between $600 and $1,500 or more. Because chow chows and corgis are seen by some as ‘designer dogs’, less honorable breeders will market them as such and charge an inflated price. If you shop with a reputable breeder, there’s no reason a chorgi puppy should cost more than $800. Better still, you could try adopting a chorgi from a local rescue shelter.
Is a Corgi Chow Mix Right for Me?
We’ve established that chorgis can be quite challenging little balls of fluff, which is why it’s probably not a good idea to take one home without thinking it through (as cute as all those Pinterest images may have convinced you otherwise!). Find out if these cuddly yet feisty dogs are what you’re looking for in a pet. A chorgi could be a match made in heaven for you if…
- You are not a first-time dog owner – their stubborn, alpha personality can be quite intimidating for newbie dog owners!
- You do not suffer from pet dander allergies – unfortunately their thick fluffy coats mean chorgis are NOT hypoallergenic dogs.
- You are active and fit – Chorgis will need a moderate amount of exercise, so invest in some good walking shoes!
- You are prepared to train them – since some chorgis have an alpha ‘leader of the pack’ mentality, they may need a firm hand to make them easier to live with.
- You don’t have very young children – their tendency to nip and bite could be dangerous/frightening to very young kids.
- You have a good vacuum cleaner – they are incredibly heavy shedders, so if you like your home just so, you must be prepared to clean up after them!
Best Climate for a Corgi Chow Mix
Chorgis will generally prefer average to cold temperatures, and thanks to their thick and fluffy double coat, these dogs can withstand colder weather for long periods. As well insulated as their coats may keep them in chilly weather, however, climates of constant extreme cold will not be appropriate.
A normal four season climate will be the best environment to raise your chorgi in. Think of their heat and cold tolerance as being similar to humans (with the addition of an all-round fluffy winter coat for added protection!).
Scorching summer temperatures can put chorgis at risk of heatstroke if they have no access to shade and plenty of water during these months. Thankfully their seasonal shedding around spring and again in fall helps their body prepare for the change in temperatures, but you should also do your best to keep them comfortable during the heat too.
The Attention Corgi Chow Mix Needs
Chorgis come from one needy parent with a predisposition for separation anxiety (corgis) and one parent with an aloof and independent nature (chow chows), so it’s quite possible that your chorgi could even out and require the same level of attention as any dog.
If they inherit more of the corgi side, a good way to make them feel needed is to schedule their walks right before playtime – that way, they feel they have had hours of your undivided attention and will be more content than if they had been given your attention in short bursts throughout the day.
Compatibility with Kids
Chorgis can get on well in family homes if they are socialized well in their early years, however, they will be more appropriate to have in families of older children since their tendency to nip and bite during play could potentially harm or frighten younger kids.
Sometimes their compatibility around kids can come down to a luck of the draw with their personality – if your chorgi puppy inherits more of its corgi parent traits then they will make for a very affectionate and playful companion for your kids. If the Chow chow genes dominate, however, then they may need a little more work!
Compatibility with Other Animals
Chorgis can be quite territorial and defensive, so the arrival of another dog or family pet may cause a bit of friction! While they are not the easiest mix breed to train, the good news is that some chorgis can learn to be more docile and friendly around other animals (even other dogs in the park) if they are exposed to them from an early age.
If you make sure to socialize them well in their puppy years among pets at home and local dogs, they will find it easier to adapt to strangers.