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 blue eyes that are striking, 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 polar 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 that 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.
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 fo 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 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.
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 an ability that is unique. 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.
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 fur.
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 in some mixes. Not all dogs can have an eye of 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.