In China, dogs are regarded as symbols of wealth and prosperity and were originally bred to guard monasteries or offer companionship to monks. Because of their religious roots, many Chinese dog breeds were considered sacred and most of them have no outside influence Dog breeds from other countries – this is one of the many reasons why Chinese dogs have a completely unique appearance like no other.
China is a mystical land adorned with Imperial Guardian Lions believed to provide protection. Also known as Fu dogs – these “dogs” are believed to have influenced many Chinese dog breeds and therefore resemble scaled-down lions.
From Lhasa Apsos and Chow Chows to rarer breeds, you might be surprised by some of the Chinese dogs on our list.
1. Tibetan Terrier
Interestingly, the Tibetan Terrier is actually not a terrier at all. In fact, it was named by European travelers visiting the country who believed the breed was similar to the terriers of home. This Chinese dog, known as “the sacred dog of Tibet” was bred to protect the ancient monasteries of Tibet. Today, Tibetan terriers thrive on human contact and are a popular choice for therapy dogs.
2. Lhasa Apso
This Chinese breed of dog dates back thousands of years and was originally used to protect Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas. The Lhasa Apso is considered one of the most sacred races in China and was only allowed to leave the country if it was given by the Dalai Lama as a symbol of luck and prosperity. The first pair was sent to the United States as a gift to explorer C. Suydam Cutting in 1933, and the rest of the world soon fell in love with them.
The Pekingese dog named after Peking, the old name for Peking, dates back to 700 BC. According to legend, these Chinese dogs are considered shrunken lions due to their resemblance to the Fu dog statues located across the country. Originally, they were only allowed to belong to royal kings, and the penalty for their theft was death. Their self-important attitudes are still present in the breed today and they are sure to become king or queen of your house.
4. Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is another breed of dog that follows the Chinese lion dog tradition. Tracing back to the 11th Century BC This Chinese breed of dog is one of the oldest living dog breeds in the world, and ancient Chinese artifacts have even been discovered showing the mighty breed. Its original purpose was an all-around farm dog that could be found hunting, herding, pulling, and guarding.
Many are often surprised to learn that the pug is a Chinese dog. The actual period the breed originated from is unclear, but some say it was back in the Han Dynasty over 2,000 years ago. Pugs were bred as companions in monasteries and were particularly preferred by Buddhist monks. Today they are popular companions around the world because of their loving personality and clown-like demeanor.
6. Tibetan Spaniel
The Tibetan Spaniel is another very old Chinese breed of dog and just like the Tibetan Terrier, it is actually not a spaniel at all! Bred in the Himalayas nearly 2,500 years ago, it was one of the watchdogs of choice for Buddhist monasteries. Despite his short stature, the Tibetan Spaniel was very adept at his job – the dogs sat high up on the walls and barked when strangers approached. Because of their roots, you can expect a Tibetan spaniel to be an attentive and excellent protector of your home.
7. Chinese Crested
Known for their small size and unusual appearance, this Chinese breed of dog was actually supposed to be celebrated for something different – they helped prevent the black plague from spreading on ships where they were taken to kill rats while traveling. The Chinese Crested There are two types: powder puff and hairless. Interestingly, the hairless one is the most popular!
Fun fact: They are sometimes referred to as cat dogs because they love heights and climb like cats.
8. Tibetan mastiff
Thought to be the most expensive dog breed ever, the Tibetan mastiff is often seen as a status symbol in China. Impressively large, this Chinese dog is mainly used for protection. The breed is said to have protected Alexander the Great and even the Dalai Lama!
Fun fact: The most expensive dog ever sold was a Tibetan mastiff, which sold for nearly $ 2 million in 2014.
9. Shih Tzu
Its incredibly popular small dog dates from around 1000 BC In ancient China, where they were kept as royal pets. Shih Tzu literally means “little lion”, which may be due to a legend surrounding the Chinese breed of dogs. The story goes that Buddha owned a little Shih Tzu and one day while he was traveling, robbers ambushed him with the intention of robbing and murdering him. To protect its owner, the little dog turned into a giant lion and scared them off!
In recent years, because of their loving personality, they have moved from the palaces of the emperors to family sofas around the world.
10. Formosan Mountain Dog
Originally from Taiwan, the Formosan Mountain Dog is one of the rarest dogs on the list. At one point, this Chinese dog breed was threatened with extinction due to a lack of conservation efforts linked to the dog-eating culture introduced by the Chinese Nationalist Party in 1945. Today, purebred animals are rare and mostly restricted to Taiwan for conservation reasons, thanks to rescue measures there are many mixtures in American homes.
11. Xiasi Quan
These Hunting dogs Another Chinese dog breed that is critically endangered comes from the southern province of Guizhou in China. Today there are fewer than a few hundred in the region. Xiasi Quan dogs were a respected breed that was primarily used as hunting and protection dogs. In addition, they were considered to be lucky charms that would bring prosperity and prosperity to the homes of their owners.
These are our top 11 Chinese dog breeds! Fancy a trip around the globe to discover more breathtaking breeds?