21 Fascinating Chinese Dog Breeds: Surprising Origins

Chinese dog breeds are some of the most fascinating in the world. Many of them have interesting histories and unusual appearances that make them stand out from other dog breeds.

If you’re a dog lover, you’ll definitely want to learn more about these unique dogs!

Chinese dog breeds are breeds that originated in China. 

These include the Chow Chow, Pekingese, Shar-Pei, and Shih Tzu. Chinese dogs have been bred for a wide variety of purposes, including hunting, herding, watchdogging, and companionship. A number of these breeds have also been popular in other parts of the world, such as the United States.

21. Tibetan Mastiff

Image from Instagram:@tibetan_mastiff_lover

Tibetan Mastiffs are not just a unique Chinese breed, but these pooches are also one of the most expensive dog breeds, having sold for a record $2 million. Tibetan Mastiffs are a status symbol and a popular companion for the ultra-rich in China.

This Chinese dog breed can weigh up to 120 pounds and comes with a luxurious double coat that further enhances its size. Despite their intimidating appearance, Tibetan Mastiffs are actually mellow giants. They are affectionate and protective of their owners.

20. Pekingese

Image from Pet Plate

Pekingese is a Chinese dog breed. It is a toy dog breed, and its most notable feature is its long, flowing coat. The Pekingese is an ancient breed, and it is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in existence.

The breed’s name comes from the city of Peking in China, where it was first developed.

This Chinese toy breed has a luxurious double coat which may be any color, including black, white, cream, fawn, red, sable, or brindle. The coat is long and thick, and it requires regular grooming.

19. Pug

Image from K9Cuisine

The adorable smushy face of Pugs has made them quite popular but you may not know that this dog breed is Chinese. Pugs are an ancient Chinese breed with origins dating back 2000 years ago.

Charming, affectionate, and playful, Pugs are great family dogs and get on well with children. To keep your Pug healthy, you will need to ensure they get plenty of exercises. Pugs are prone to obesity so making sure your pooch has a healthy diet is important.

18. Xiasi Dog

Image from Reddit:@IchTanze

The lean and graceful Xiasi is a Chinese breed that was bred for hunting. This breed has a muscular and powerful body that makes them fast and athletic.

These social pups make great companions. Xiasi dogs are easy to train, affectionate, and playful. They may not do well in small spaces since they are an energetic breed. However, if you have an active lifestyle and want an agile, affectionate, and athletic companion, this breed is perfect.

17. Chinese Crested Dog

Image from Dog.com

The playful Chinese Cresteds are a popular toy breed known as much for their charming personality as their unique appearance. This hypoallergenic Chinese dog breed is a great pooch to adopt if you have allergies since they do not shed.

Cresteds are ideal family pets due to their social and affable nature. However, they are susceptible to sunburn due to their hairless coats. With a fun easy-going personality, Cresteds are a fun low maintenance breed.

16. Japanese Chin

Image from Instagram:@anisimovag

The Japanese Chin is an adorable toy breed with origins in China. These cuddly pups were gifted to Japanese royalty and were regarded as companions for royalty.

This Chinese breed is quiet, independent, and intelligent. Japanese Chins have cat-like tendencies that give these affectionate lapdogs a feline quality. Although this breed is mild-tempered, it does have territorial tendencies and requires plenty of socialization.

15. Chinese Chongqing Dog

Image from Instagram:@chinese_chongqing_dog

Dating back to the ancient Han Dynasty, this unique Chinese breed is ancient. Bred as hunters, Chongqing dogs are athletic and agile dogs that are suited to an active lifestyle.

Chongqing dogs like other hunting breeds can be territorial and wary of strangers. However, when properly socialized, these rare pups are affectionate and loyal. Chongqings make great watchdogs but new pet parents should be aware of this breedโ€™s aggressive tendencies.

14. Chinese Imperial Dog

Image from Instagram:@society_of_dogs

Chinese Imperial dogs have origins in the Chinese Imperial Palace as lapdogs for nobility. These small pups are adorable and their charming personality makes for a delightful companion.

This Chinese breed has a luxurious double coat that requires daily brushing. These pups are tiny and can get by on moderate exercise so they will do well even in small spaces. The vivacious Imperial dog is anything but dull and is sure to keep you entertained with its antics.

13. Kunming Wolfdog

Image from Instagram:@paquiww1

This medium-sized breed was initially bred as military dogs in China. Although similar in appearance to German Shepherds โ€“ the very same breed the 46th POTUS has, Kunming Wolf dogs have a shorter coat which makes them easy to groom.

This intelligent Chinese breed is alert, loyal, and protective and will make a great watchdog. However, if you live in a small space this energetic breed may not be suitable since it requires plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

12. Formosan Mountain Dog

Image from Wolfgang

The Formosan Mountain dog has origins in the Taiwan region. This hardy breed is an agile, athletic, and intelligent breed that is easy to train.

This Chinese dog breed is very loyal and protective and can be aggressive to strangers if not properly socialized. However, due to their alert nature, Formosan Mountain dogs are excellent watchdogs that have even been used as rescue dogs in their native China.

11. Tibetan Spaniel

Image from K9Cuisine

The Tibetan Spaniel is an ancient Chinese breed from the Tibet region. These sassy lap dogs are not just adorable but have the ideal temperament for a family pet.

This breed is affectionate, playful, and active. Due to their social nature, these pups do not do well alone and can be prone to separation anxiety. Tibetan Spaniels have a silky double coat that will require frequent grooming. These pups also need regular exercise although they can do well as apartment pets.

10. Manchurian Hairless Dog

Image from Instagram:@d_inka_espipena

The Manchurian Hairless dog is an ancient Chinese dog breed that is closely related to the Chinese Crested dog. The most distinctive feature of this affable breed is its hairless coat which makes it ideal for pet parents who want a hypoallergenic pooch.

Manchurians are affectionate and social dogs so they make great companions. They do tend to be wary of strangers so this breed can make an excellent watchdog.

9. Tibetan Kyi Apso

Image from Instagram:@the_bearded_hound

The Tibetan Kyi Apso is a Chinese dog breed from the Tibetan region. Known for their immense size, these dogs can weigh up to 100 lbs. Despite its large size, the Kyi Apso is a calm and playful breed.

This breed is generally rare outside of Tibet; however, its hardy nature means it can do well in most environments. The Kyi Apso was bred as herding dogs so they are an energetic breed that requires lots of space and physical activity.

8. Chinese Greyhound

Image from Instagram:@koikewei

Greyhounds are known for their agility, speed, and energetic nature and the Chinese Greyhound is no different. This breed has a short coat that requires minimal grooming and sheds very little.

This Chinese dog breed is known for its calm nature and mild temperament. Chinese greyhounds are ideal family pets that get along well with other dogs and children. However, this breed needs plenty of exercises and is best suited to an active environment.

7. Chuandong Hound

Image from Instagram:@nala_thechuandonghound

With origins in the East Sichuan region of China, the Chuandong is a noble Chinese dog breed popular for its guardian traits. These elegant dogs are alert, energetic, and have a short coat that sheds very little.

Although this unique breed cuts an impressive figure, these pups are very affectionate and get on well with children. Chuandong Hounds make great watchdogs since they tend to be wary of strangers.

6. Tibetan Terrier

Image from Pawstruck

The versatile Tibetan terrier is one of the Chinese dog breeds ideal for families. These even-tempered dogs are affectionate, social, and playful. They do well with children and even other pets so these adorable Terriers will assimilate easily into the family.

Since the Tibetan Terrier has a luxurious double coat, it requires daily brushing. However, these cuddly pooches are easy-going and can get by on moderate daily exercise. They will be just fine in small spaces.

5. Laizhou Hong (Chinese Red Dog)

Image from Instagram:@loki.the.laizhou.hong

The Laizhou Hong is a large Chinese dog breed with a strong muscular appearance. This short-haired breed was bred as a working dog so itโ€™s a lively and energetic breed that requires lots of exercises.

Despite the large size, Laizhou Hong dogs are people-pleasers who thrive on love and attention. These pups make great family pets. This breed will also suit you if you want an alert and intelligent watchdog.

4. Bone-Mouth

Image from Instagram:@guardian.line.hounds

The Bone-Mouth is a Chinese dog breed that is closely related to the popular Shar-Pei breed. These dogs are named to reflect the appearance of their muzzles.

This breed has a short coat which makes for easy grooming. In terms of temperament, the Bone-Mouth is an affectionate and social dog that will do well in most environments. These pups do require lots of exercises to expend their energy and are best suited to an active lifestyle.

3. Shih Tzu

Image from ChomChom Roller

As one of the most popular Chinese dog breeds, the Shih Tzu has many fans, and for good reason. This sassy and adorable-looking toy breed is a playful and charming companion.

Shi Tzus are known for their distinctive long coats and small stature. They do require lots of grooming but fortunately, these hypoallergenic pups shed very little. Shi Tzus are affectionate and charming but they do have a stubborn streak so they need consistent training.

2. Lhasa Apso

Image from Bissell

With its luxurious silky coat, you may be surprised to learn that this feisty Chinese dog breed is hypoallergenic. The floor-length hair of these royal pups sheds very little making them the ideal companion for people with dog allergies.

The goofy Lhasa Apso personality makes them a delight to have around but they can be wary of strangers and territorial. Despite the charming personality, Lhasa Apsos can be aggressive if not properly socialized.

1. Shar-Pei

Image from DoggieLawn

The Shar-Pei is a unique Chinese dog breed that is known for its distinctive wrinkly skin and muscular body. Bred as guardian dogs, the Shar-Pei are alert, loyal, and wary of strangers. This makes them perfect as watchdogs.

Due to its skin folds, this breed is susceptible to skin conditions and requires regular grooming. Although Shar-Peis are generally calm, if you are a new pet parent, this dog can be a handful and requires firm handling.

What Is The Most Popular Dog In China?

The most popular dog in China is the Poodle. Although there are many native Chinese dog breeds that are popular in China such as the Shar-Pei, the Poodle is often ranked top among the most popular dogs in China. The adorable and cuddly Poodle is a common pet in many Chinese cities.

Do Chinese Have Pet Dogs?

Yes, many Chinese have pet dogs. Statistics show that dogs are the most popular pets in China at 34% followed by cats at 20%. The Chinese have bred dogs for thousands of years including lapdogs such as the Shi Tzus and hunting dogs such as the Chinese Red dog.

Do Chinese Restaurants Use Dog Meat? 

Chinese restaurants outside of China do not use dog meat. While dog meat is available in some restaurants in China, Chinese restaurants in countries like the United States do not use dog meat.

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Pete Decker