10 Unique Dog Breeds That Come from China

When it comes to canine diversity,

China has much more to offer than the popular breeds we often hear about.

While you may be familiar with breeds like the Pekingese and the Shar Pei,

China boasts a rich history of unique dog breeds that are lesser-known but equally fascinating.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Chinese dog breeds,

unveiling 10 remarkable and often overlooked canine companions that originate from the heart of the East.

The Shih Tzu: A Regal Companion

Origin: China
Temperament: Affectionate, Friendly, Alert

The Shih Tzu, often referred to as the “Lion Dog,”

has a history dating back to ancient China.

These small, long-haired dogs were favored by Chinese royalty and are known for their friendly disposition and flowing coats.

The Chow Chow: Ancient Guardians

Origin: China
Temperament: Aloof, Loyal, Independent

Chow Chows are distinctive with their lion-like mane and unique blue-black tongues.

Originally bred for hunting and guarding,

they are known for their aloof yet loyal nature.

The Chinese Crested: A Unique Appearance

Origin: China
Temperament: Affectionate, Playful, Alert

The Chinese Crested is a small breed known for its hairless body and distinctively crested head.

They make excellent companions due to their affectionate and playful nature.

The Shar Pei: Wrinkled Wonders

Origin: China
Temperament: Calm, Independent, Loyal

Shar Peis are instantly recognizable by their wrinkled skin.

These loyal and calm dogs were originally bred for hunting and guarding in southern China.

The Tibetan Mastiff: Majestic Guardians

Origin: Tibet and Northern China
Temperament: Protective, Aloof, Loyal

While technically not exclusively Chinese,

the Tibetan Mastiff originates from the Himalayan region, including parts of China.

These majestic giants are known for their protective nature.

The Pekingese: Imperial Charm

Origin: China
Temperament: Regal, Affectionate, Independent

The Pekingese, often referred to as the “Imperial Lion,”

has a history intertwined with Chinese royalty.

These small, regal dogs are known for their affectionate and independent personalities.

The Kunming Wolfdog: A Unique Hybrid

Origin: China
Temperament: Loyal, Brave, Energetic

The Kunming Wolfdog is a unique hybrid breed with a striking appearance.

Bred for their loyalty and bravery, they have become popular working dogs in China.

The Chinese Foo Dog: Guardian Statues Come to Life

Origin: China
Temperament: Loyal, Protective, Alert

The Chinese Foo Dog, also known as the Fu Lion Dog,

resembles the guardian statues found at entrances to temples and palaces.

They are fiercely loyal and protective.

The Formosan Mountain Dog: Taiwan’s Treasures

Origin: Taiwan (Historically part of China)
Temperament: Intelligent, Agile, Loyal

While not from mainland China,

the Formosan Mountain Dog has historical ties to the island of Taiwan.

These intelligent and agile dogs were used for hunting and companionship.


China’s diverse landscape has given rise to a wide range of unique dog breeds,

each with its own fascinating history and characteristics.

From the regal Shih Tzu to the protective Tibetan Mastiff,

these Chinese breeds offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of canine diversity that exists in the East.

If you’re considering bringing a new furry friend into your life,

exploring these lesser-known breeds might lead you to your perfect companion.


1. Are all Chinese dog breeds rare?

No, not all Chinese dog breeds are rare.

While some, like the Shih Tzu and Shar Pei, are well-known worldwide,

others, such as the Kunming Wolfdog and Chinese Foo Dog,

are relatively rare and less commonly seen outside of China.

2. What is the origin of the Chinese Crested’s unique appearance?

The Chinese Crested’s unique appearance,

including its hairless body and crested head,

is the result of selective breeding.

This breed was specifically developed for its distinctive look.

3. Are Tibetan Mastiffs good family pets?

Tibetan Mastiffs can make excellent family pets if properly trained and socialized from a young age.

They are known for their protective and loyal nature,

making them good guardians for families.

4. How do I find a reputable breeder for these Chinese dog breeds?

To find a reputable breeder for Chinese dog breeds,

research breed-specific clubs and organizations, attend dog shows,

and ask for recommendations from experienced dog owners.

Always ensure the breeder follows ethical breeding practices.

5. Can I adopt a Chinese dog breed from a rescue organization?

Yes, it’s possible to adopt Chinese dog breeds from rescue organizations.

Many breed-specific rescue groups focus on finding loving homes for these unique breeds.

Check local shelters and rescue organizations for availability.

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