You’ve seen the Chow Chow, often simply referred to as the Chow. It’s a very stocky and well-put-together dog underneath all of that fur. It’s the fur that makes it majestic and lion-like in appearance. Then there’s the Husky, whose full name is the Siberian Husky. He’s highly intelligent with thick beautiful fur as well.
He may even sometimes have striking blue eyes, but he could also have brown eyes, depending on his coloring and genetic make-up.
These two breeds are completely at opposite ends of the personality spectrum and might be opposites in that respect. Their instincts differ nearly as much as their breed history, but when they come together they make some of the most adorable puppies that you’d ever want to see on the planet. Can you handle the needs of a Chow/Husky, also known as a Chusky?
It’s a designer dog and they are all the rage these days. Take two purebreds and combine them to create a designer dog and people will pay a lot of money for them.
Some people will even pay more for the designer breeds than for a purebred dog these days. The problem with this is that the designer breed may have temperaments that are not what you expect because they differ from the pure lines they are were bred from.
They could have traits of either parent and sometimes be a combination of both. Your puppy can have coloring from either parent and inherit personality traits from either one as well. We’ll explore what the foundation breeds are like and give you an idea of what you might expect from a puppy born of this particular pairing.
Chusky Overview & Characteristics
|Height / Weight||18-23in / 40-65lbs|
|Coat Colors||White, Red, Blonde, Stable, Grey, Brown, and Bi-color|
|Life Expectancy||10-13 years|
|Trainability||Highly trainable but often stubborn|
|Grooming Demands||Extremely High|
|Kid-Friendly||Yes, but early socialization is recommended|
|Pet-Friendly||When socialized early on, the Chusky is friendly with dogs. Small animals can be tricky due to the Siberian Husky and the Chow Chow’s high prey drive..|
The Chow Chow
The first thing that is interesting about the Chow is that he’s a very old breed. In fact, no one really knows exactly how old this breed is because they go so far back in history. Here’s what we do know: they are at least two to three thousand years old as a breed. In fact, Marco Polo made mention of them in his worldly travels.
The exact way in which they came to be is also unknown for certain. There is speculation as to their origins. Some say the Tibetan Mastiff and the Samoyed are the beginning of the breed while others claim that it originated the Samoyed (pronounced Sammy-Ed).
The Chow is sometimes credited with being the beginnings of breeds such as the Keeshond and the Norwegian Elkhound, but this is, once again, not proven as fact. The start of the Chow Chow is purely based on speculation and therefore his beginnings are as fuzzy as the fur on his face.
The Chow Chow was predominantly found in the Southern region of China, where it was trained and used as a working dog, capable of learning incredibly diverse skillsets. Indeed, he was a herding dog a guard dog, a sled-pulling dog, and even a hunter.
It’s even been written that an emperor who ruled during the Tang dynasty had over 5,000 Chow Chows for hunting and he maintained an army of 10,000 men to hunt with the dogs. The Chow was the benefactor of much adoration from the Chinese people and still is a beloved dog in their home country.
Their Chinese name is Songshi Quan. The name Chow Chow was given to them as a slang term that was used in place of the name that most English-speaking marketers were unable to say or spell. Chow Chow was like saying tchotchkes to them. It was an all-encompassing term that simply meant ‘something we sell’ and so the dog became known world-wide as the Chow Chow.
Most dogs have 42 teeth in their mouths. Not the Chow! He has 44 teeth and no one really knows where those extra two teeth come from, but when he smiles at you, he’s got a few more teeth for a broader grin.
As puppies, all Chow Chows have a pink tongue but as this breed ages, their tongue gets darker and darker. It will turn to a dark purplish-blue color that almost looks black. The only other dog breed that does this is the Shar-Pei. Given that they come from the same region of the world, they likely share a similar lineage.
They come in the colors of black, blue, cinnamon, cream, and red and they walk a little funny. Why? The Chow Chow has perfectly straight back legs which other dogs do not. This causes them to walk a bit strangely in comparison with breeds you are likely more familiar with.
They are generally most strongly bonded to one person. If they are a family dog, they’ll pick one they like the best and that’s just the way it is with the Chow Chow. They can completely ignore everyone else. They are stand-offish with strangers and make great watchdogs and guard dogs.
Facts About The Chow Chow
Their straight hind legs and purple tongue aren’t the only things that are interesting about the Chow Chow.
1. Swimming Isn’t A Great Idea
While the Chow’s gorgeous fluffy coat is one of the highlights of this breed, it’s not without its faults and not the usual ones like constant shedding.
The Chow’s thick and majestic double coat is heavy, putting it lightly, and it can considerably hinder them when swimming. That’s why it’s never recommended to let your Chow Chow go out into open water or water deeper than a foot or two.
2. They’ve Been Own By Some Very Famous People
From Martha Stewart’s famous pair of Chows to Sigmund Freud’s Jofi who would sit in during therapy sessions with kids to help them feel safe, Chows are friends of the famous.
They can even be inspiring, as in the case with Sunnee, Walt, and Lillian Disney’s Chow. If you’ve seen Lady and the Tramp, you may remember that Lady is gifted in a hatbox.
The story goes that this scene is directly inspired by Sunnee, who was just the same gifted in a hatbox to Lilly Disney by her husband, Walt.
3. The Chow’s Name Isn’t Chinese
In their native land of China, the Chow Chow goes by the name, Songshi-Quan, but this does not translate to Chow Chow. Chow chow was a term used by Englishmen to describe various cargo that came from East China, which included Songshi-Quans.
The term “chow-chow” is similar to how we use the term “knick-knacks” to describe a random assortment of things.
The term stuck, and now it’s only in China and some other parts of Asia where you can still hear the Chow Chow referred to by their original name. Speaking of which, “songshi-quann” translates most closely to the puffy-lion dog. Chow Chow is cute sounding, but I kinda wish puffy-lion dog would have stuck.
The Siberian Husky
This breed was originated in Siberia, as the name implies. They were bred as sled dogs that would have more stamina than the much larger Malamute. While the Malamute is strong as an ox, he cannot go the distances that a Husky can.
The Husky has been used in Alaska, across Canada, and the Siberian wilderness to move things via sleds across the snow-covered tundra in temperatures dropping far below zero.
Their double-coated fur keeps the warm underneath with a fine, downy-like fur that is insulation against the bitter cold. The outer layer of fur is water-shedding, carrying water out and away from the body.
This allows them to wrap into a ball and sleep in the worst of conditions. Their bushy tail is wrapped around their faces to protect their nose and eyes, and their ears are full of feathery hairs that keep snow and the elements from intruding.
Huskies saved inhabitants of Nome, Alaska when they raced across the frozen landscape with medicine for an outbreak of Diphtheria.
The medication was 1000 miles away and the weather was so bad that no helicopter could get in, vehicles can’t cross that terrain A train was able to get the medication to within 678 miles and the Siberian Husky sled dogs raced the medication to the inhabitants from that point on.
They saved the town from sure death and devastation and inspired the movie, Balto.
The Husky is incredibly athletic, with a slight build on a solid frame. He can keep going and going with what seems like endless energy. His exercise needs are very big and if you aren’t an athletic person, you may not be a good fit for this breed who will run circles around you all day long.
They look a lot like wolves but are completely unlike the Chow in that they love people – all people. They will make friends with the person who is burglarizing your home when you’re away. They don’t make great watchdogs unless the person is intimidated by their wolf-like appearance alone. A husky might invite them over for a football game and snacks if he had the ability.
Huskies can burn a ton of calories but they also have a unique ability. Scientists admit that they still don’t know how the breed does it, but they are capable of regulating their own metabolic rate. It can speed up or slow down, depending on the way the dog is working. A husky can run a hundred miles.
When they are finished, their metabolism goes back to normal, but during that time they are running, they change their metabolism to burn just the calories that they need. This seems to be why they have boundless energy, whenever they need it.
Houdini dogs, Huskies should never be left alone with a gate that isn’t padlocked shut. They learn to climb, open doors, slide gate locks open, and more. There are countless stories of Huskies who climbed the roof to escape the yard, opened their own kennel, and so forth. They are incredibly intelligent.
Aside from working as sled dogs, the US Army has used Huskies as a search and rescue dog and they also work as mobility assistance dogs, seeing-eye dogs and more. They have an incredibly keen sense of intuition with their humans and their intelligence makes them very easy to train for tasks that involve working with their humans.
They are often mistaken for a wolf due to their body shape, size, and structure but you may be shocked to find out that the Chow Chow actually shares more wolf DNA than the Husky does. They are both in the top three, rounded out by the Shiba Inu.
Huskies can often have bright, piercing blue eyes as well. There’s isn’t a genetic mutation as with some breeds who have blue eyes due to merle genes are rogue genes. Huskies don’t have eye problems if they have blue eyes and it is considered a normal color for them.
Facts About The Siberian Husky
Agile and majestic, you can probably guess there are a lot of unique and interesting facts about the Siberian Husky.
1. A Lot Of Siberian Husky Owners Say They Act Like Cats
You will hear a lot of Siberian Husky parents say their pup often acts more like a cat than a dog. The Siberian Husky often lives on their own time and schedule.
They aren’t like a Labrador Retriever, who you can pretty much wake up any time of the day with a ball, and they are ready to play. The Husky likes time alone doesn’t always want to be the center of attention and prefers to do what they want to do.
2. They Are One Mouthy Breed
From using their mouth as their hands to talking up a storm in a strange language, Siberian Huskies are one of the “mouthiest” dogs around.
From disgruntled groans to screaming Chewbacca yodels to piercing howls, the Siberian Husky has a voice on them, and they are gonna frequently let you know it.
Fortunately, most of the time, their talkative nature is charming and often downright hilarious sounding.
3. They Are Closely Related To The Alaskan Malamute
If you’re unfamiliar with the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute or have never owned one, it may seem obvious the two are closely related, with some thinking they are the same breed.
However, once you put them next to each other, you quickly notice the difference, with the Siberian Husky being considerably leaner, smaller, and often having a more sassy and serious personality.
This gets many wondering if they are any more closely related to each other than they are to other sled dogs. Thankfully, a 2015 study confirmed that the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, along with the Chukotka sled dog, all share a close genetic relationship.
The Chusky – Chow Chow Husky Mix
Now that you know more about the parent dogs, you’ll understand some of the traits that you might see in your pup. You also can clearly determine that traits shared by both breeds are likely going to be present in your puppy – like a lot of furs.
When it comes to personality, your pup may take more after the stand-offish Chow or be the class clown that the Husky is known to be. Neither is a bad thing, just very different. The coloring will most generally be a marked pattern that the Husky is known for but the dominant color could be like that of either breed.
Typically, they’re a lovable ball of fur that might be called a Chowsky, a Chusky, or Husky Chow. They tend to do well with children but really need socialization and basic training to get along okay in the world. They can tend to be stubborn if they aren’t well-trained right from the start.
The Chusky is a sweetie when they grow into a well-socialized dog that is a cuddler, but they are also a very energetic dog.
If you’re a couch potato, stick to a Basset Hound and steer clear of the mix with Husky genetics. You’ll be getting more energy than you bargained for and they won’t do well in an apartment either. They will bounce off the walls and can become destructive with all that energy.
Since they are also born with escape artists in their genes, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got a very secure area for them to play in, where escape is difficult. They don’t leave to run away from home, it’s just that curiosity gets the best of them!
They bond with their owners as the Chow does and like the Chow, can become very protective. They’ll usually be a better watchdog than the Husky alone. That said, they can easily carry it too far without proper training.
This isn’t a great dog for seniors or folks with an inability to keep up with the dog. They get large and are incredibly powerful. Both breeds have been used for sled-pulling. Bear this in mind. If you don’t want to be towed down the street by a Chowsky, you’ll want to get early training in with a puppy who isn’t big enough to pull you on your face.
Your pup could have blue eyes, brown eyes, or one of each color is also possible. Some people like this eye of each color sometimes referred to as ‘ghost eye’ and would be considered normal in some breeds or some mixes. Not all dogs can have an eye for each color.
You can expect your Chusky to weigh between 45 and 60 pounds when fully grown and that he will live to be approximately 13 years old, which of course can be cut short due to illness as well as living longer when excessively healthy. An average is approximately 13 years of age. They’ll be in your life for a very long time, hopefully as a very loved member of your family.
Facts About The Chusky
While only a “recent” breed, there are already some fascinating facts about the Chusky.
1. They May Or May Not Be Able To Swim
While the Siberian Husky’s coat can make swimming an unpleasant experience because it takes forever to dry, they are very capable swimmers. However, above, we learned that the Chow’s coat is so dense, it can be a drowning risk.
As such, where it’s OK to take your Husky swimming, it’s not for the Chow, so what about their pups? Well, it depends on how much of the traditional Chow’s coat they inherit. Some Chunky can safely swim, while others can’t, and you should always ask your veterinarian what they think before taking your Chow-Husky mix swimming.
2. There A New Twist On Two Of the Oldest Dog Breeds
Both the Siberian Husky and Chow Chow are 2 of the 13 recognized “basal breeds that predate the emergence of the modern breeds in the 19th Century”.
In short, a basal dog breed is one whose modern genetics are very similar to an ancient breed that provided the foundation for all modern dogs. While there are over 200 different breeds, they all can mostly be traced back to one of these 13 basal breeds.
So while the Chusky is considered a relatively new designer breed, it’s likely very similar crosses have popped up here and there for hundreds, maybe thousands of years.
3. A Lot Of Work But Worth It For The Right Person
High-energy, intelligent (*read stubborn), and loaded with blankets of fur, the Chusky is not a dog for first-time owners and those who can’t commit to their training and grooming demands.
However, when you can, you will never come across another dog quite like the Chusky, whose larger-than-life personality and love will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.