The Truth about the Bluish Black Tongue of the Chow Chow

The Truth about the Bluish Black Tongue of the Chow Chow

There are several breeds of dog around that boast darker bluish or black tongues one of which is the Chow Chow. A lot of people think that if other breeds have a spot or more black on their tongues, they must have some degree of Chow in them, which is not the case at all. Although, nobody really knows why this ancient breed has a blue-black tongue, it is one of the dog's most recognisable and distinguishable features.

Other Breeds Are Known to Have Pigmented Tongues

However, other breeds including the Chinese Shar-pei has a blue-black tongue with other breeds quite commonly having spots on them as well as on their gums. The truth about these spots and darkly coloured tongues, is they are, in fact deposits of pigment much like a birthmark or freckles that some people have on their skin and bodies. In short, they are deposits of extra pigment found on certain areas of a dog's skin which includes on their tongues as well as their gums and they be any size whether large or very small.

Chow Puppies are Born with Pink Tongues

When a Chow Chow is first born, their tongue is pink and it only starts to turn bluish black as they start to grown. It's at around 8 to 10 weeks later that a Chow puppy's tongue starts to change colour, turning the bluish black the breed is so famous for. Older Chow Chows will sometimes loose the pigment in their tongues which turn a pinkish colour again, much as they were when the dogs were young.

Is Your Dog a Pure Bred?

However, if you own a Chow Chow and find they have a totally pink tongue, the chances are they are not pure bred dogs and the same can be said if they have any pink spots on it too. The breed is part of the Spitz family which includes the following all of which are quite similar looking dogs in several ways:

  • Samoyed
  • Siberian Husky
  • Malamute
  • Akita
  • Shiba Inu
  • Pomeranian
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Keeshound

All these dogs and a few others share the same physical traits and characteristics as the Chow Chow, which includes the way dogs hold their tails curled over their backs, their very similar body structure, a dense coat and upright triangular shaped ears. In short, if a Chow Chow has a pink tongue or one that has pink spots on it, there's a strong likelihood they are a mixture of other Spitz dogs and not pure breeds at all ,which is worth knowing if you have set your heart on owning a pedigree Chow Chow.

Any Breed of Dog Can Have a Dark Tongue

As previously mentioned any breed of dog can have a darker tongue with the colours ranging from dark blue right through to black, although some are more predisposed to this trait than others. The same extra deposit of pigment can often be found on the skin on their bodies too. The list of breeds is pretty long and oly some of them are listed below:

  • Airedale
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Belgium Malinois
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Bouvier de Flandres
  • Dalmatian
  • Eurasier
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Gordon Setter
  • Kai Ken
  • Korean Jindo
  • Mountain Cur
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Shiloh Sherpherd
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Thai Ridgeback
  • Tibetan Mastiff

The list above includes just a few of the dogs that can be seen with darker pigmented tongues although there are around 30 breeds that may have this type of striking feature.


The Chow Chow is an ancient breed of dog and one that over time, has become a very popular choice as a family pet. They are extremely proud looking canines that boast lovely personalities although they do tend to be protective. Their wonderful lion-like ruffs and their blueish-black tongues set them apart from other breeds in the looks department, although they are not the only breed to boast darker pigmented tongues. The Chow Chow, however, boasts a wonderfully long ancestry with many people thinking they could well be the foundation dogs for many other breeds that we see around today.



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