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17 Popular CHINESE DOG BREEDS List (Alphabetical)

If you’ve ever been to China, you might have seen some of their interesting dog breeds.

China is home to a wide range of breeds that are specific to the country, many of which are becoming increasingly popular around the world.

Here is a list of some of the most popular Chinese dog breeds, including brief histories and facts.

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1. Chinese Chongqing Dog

chinese chongqing dog standing on a white background

Highlights: Smart, Loyal, Protective

Chongqing Dogs are medium-sized dogs with short, bristly fur, a squished face, and pointy ears.

This breed is also known as the East Sichuan Hound and originates from the regions of Sichuan and Chongqing in southwest China.

They have a very similar face to breeds such as bulldogs and pugs and have an incredibly good sense of smell.

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This is related to their original purpose as a hunting dog, as they have to be good at sniffing out prey.

The Chongqing Dog is one of the oldest dogs with Chinese ancestry on this list and can be traced back to the third century.

An archeological dig found statues resembling the breed in a graveyard from the Han Dynasty, proving that it’s clearly been around for some time.

chinese chongqing dog statue in a museumBack then, the statues were used to accompany the family into the afterlife, which proves that they were seen as a very protective breed.

In the past, the breed was also used as a hunting dog, which has resulted in it being a very intelligent and loyal breed.

As with any other ex-hunting breed, they do require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation.

The breed is very intelligent, and so can become bored quickly if they’re not kept entertained.

However, this is easily overcome if you’re willing to put in the effort of playing with the dog every day (which isn’t even that much effort after all).

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Archeologists found sculptures bearing a strong resemblance to the Chinese Chongqing dog in an ancient tomb in 1987. They estimated the breed’s history to go back an estimated 2,300 years from the time of the Han Dynasty!
  • The Chinese Chongqing Dog nearly became extinct during the mid 20th century because of the Communist Party persecution.
  • Today, the Chongqing dog is rarer than the Panda bears! There are only around 2,000 of them in China.

🦴Temperament

2 chinese chongqing dogs on leash

The breed has a very relaxed temperament, but can be very protective of its owners and wary around strangers.

However, if the owner is present, they’ll quickly warm up to anyone.

They make a great family pet but will require plenty of training to overcome their protective instincts.

They can be good around children but again will need to be eased into the situation.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:molosser
Purpose:Working/guarding
Suitable for:Families with lots of free time
Size/Height:medium/35-50 cm.
Weight:15-25 kg
Lifespan:17-18 years
Color:brown, dark brown, or reddish brown
Grooming:regular brushing
Daily exercise:around 1hour every day of jogging and hiking.
Activity levels:medium
Diet:performance diet/highest grade dog foods
Known health issues:(?)
Price:$1800-$2000- average price.

🙋FAQs

1. How much is a Chongqing Dog?

The price range of this rare dog breed is around $1800.00 – USD 3,500!

2. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog photographed on white background

Highlights: Loving, Playful, Loyal

The Chinese Crested Dog is considered to be one of the small dog breeds originating in China.

They are probably one of the most recognizable breeds on this Chinese dog breeds list and are known worldwide for their unusual lack of fur.

They still have fur on their head, feet, and tail, hence the “crested” part of their name.

The rest of their body, however, is completely bald and is often characterized by spots on the skin.

Chinese Crested Dogs were originally bred to be a companion for the disabled and elderly, and so they have all of the desired characteristics of a companion pet.

WORTH A LOOK:  “American Hairless Terrier” 👈

💡Interesting Facts:

  • The Chinese Crested Dog is quite a well-known breed because it’s been the winner of the world’s ugliest breed in 2003, 2004, and 2005. A Chinese Crested, called Sam, was the winner of the ugliest breed these years too.
  • Chinese Crested dogs were used on merchant ships for catching mice and other vermin. Being hairless doesn’t really offer any advantage in this situation, other than helping to keep them cool.
  • One amazing feature about the breed is that they have sweat glands. A well-known fact about dogs is that they pant to keep cool, but this isn’t true of the Chinese Crested. It can regulate its temperature through its skin like humans.
  • They are known as the “Dr. Seuss dog because they look like the characters in Dr. Seuss’ stories.

🦴Temperament:

Chinese Crested Dog infographic

Chinese Crested Dog Infographic

The dogs’ temperament is usually calm, very friendly with family members and they often get on well with other dogs.

One of the best features of this breed is its intelligence.

They’re very easy to train, which is another reason they do well in competitions.

Because they were specifically bred as companion pets, they don’t have the same desire for exercise as standard breeds, which is very helpful for some people.

They could be considered lazy, as their favorite hobby is to sleep. They’re still athletic enough to have a good run around when they want one.

Owners often praise the breed for its easygoing nature, and although they might not be the cutest in appearance, they certainly make excellent companion dogs.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Toy Group
Purpose:Companion
Suitable for:Families with lots of free time
Size/Height:small/11-13 inches
Weight:2.3–5.4 kg
Lifespan:13 – 15 years
Color:Black, Apricot, Cream, Chocolate,
Grooming:Daily brushing( Powderpuff)
Daily exercise:daily short walks
Activity levels:Average
Diet:quality meat-based protein
Known health issues:eye and knee problems plus

#defects in teeth, nails, sweat glands
Price:$400-$600 for puppies

🙋FAQs

1. Are Chinese crested dogs good pets?

The answer is yes. They are very affectionate, fun and playful. Chinese Crested dogs are also good with kids, strangers and other pets.

3. Chinese Imperial Dog

Chinese imperial dog photographed on white background

Highlights: Cute, Sweet, Friendly

The Chinese Imperial Dog is another small Chinese dog breed (the “smaller ” version of the Shih Tzu) and is considered a toy dog.

They’re also known as the “Imperial Shih Tzu,” although the two breeds aren’t closely related.

It’s a translation of “lion dog,” as they’re another breed that’s thought to look like the lion guardians from ancient Chinese culture.

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They were first bred in China by the royal family as companion dogs, and some of the smaller ones were actually carried in sleeves!

However, they’ve always been recognized as separate breeds in China. Its long and wavy coat knows the breed that’s also very dense.

The coat can either be kept long or trimmed, but the trimmed version is more common for owners because it’s much easier to manage.

That said, they still need regular grooming because the coat can become very matted otherwise.

Chinese Imperial Dogs come in a wide range of colors, but the most common is a black and white mix.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • The breed is a very old one and is believed to have been around for over 2,000 years, although the American Kennel Club has only recognized them since the 1960s.
  • The main reason why there’s debate over the origin of the breed is that although they’re not related, the breed is almost identical to the standard Shih Tzu, but is just much smaller.

🦴Temperament

Chinese Imperial Dog on the lawn

The breed is known for its calm and friendly temperament, which is a result of them being bred as companion dogs.

They can be very energetic and require more exercise than you’d expect for a small dog.

However, as they’re small dogs, simply playing with them in the house will often be enough.

The breed makes an excellent companion pet and does socialize well with other dogs, but be careful with them around children.

Like other small dogs, they’re much more susceptible to unintended injury.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:toy group
Purpose:companion
Suitable for:families with children and dogs
Size/Height:small/9" or less
Weight:less than 9 lbs
Lifespan:10-14 years
Color:Black, cream, white, Chocolate, Gold, Red, Silver
Grooming:Daily brushing
Daily exercise:at least 45 minutes of activity per day
Activity levels:moderate
Diet:quality dry dog food
Known health issues:Hip dysplasia, Patellar Luxation
Price:$600-$4000 USD

🙋FAQs

1. What’s the difference between an Imperial Shih Tzu and the Standard Shih Tzu?

The main difference is the SIZE. Imperial Shih Tzu is the miniature version of the standard Shih Tzu.

4. Chow Chow

Chow chow dog on white background

Highlights: Silent, Dignified, Protective, Aloof

The Chow Chow originates from Chinese indigenous dogs[1], and some historians believe it can trace its history back over 2,000 years!

They were initially bred as a hunting and fighting dogs, but were also used to pull sleds, and are well adapted to the colder climates of northern China.

The breed is a recognizable one, but they’re not particularly popular, for several reasons. (see “Interesting Facts”)

However, if you take the time to look after a Chow properly, they can become a loyal companion.

Chows are known for their stocky appearance and have a square head and large body.

Their fur is very thick and fluffy and can be either soft or rough.

Chows also have a curly tail that sits across its back. The standard color for the breed is cream or fawn, but they are also seen in black and red.

There are particular rules around the acceptable color for dog shows, with fawn being the most popular in competitions.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • A Chow Chow is best known for looking like a “giant teddy bears”.
  • They are not the friendliest dogs and are often described as aloof by owners and breeders.
  • They don’t do well in hot climates, which rules them out to a large number of potential owners, and they can be challenging to manage.
  • They are best known for their blue-black tongues (one of only two AKC-registered breeds with such features), which is a unique feature not seen on many other dog breeds.
  • Chow chow was mentioned as the answer in the famous word puzzle game from codycross-game.com! The question is: “What is the Chinese dog breed also known as Tang Quan? “

🦴Temperament

Chow Chow Dog breed Infographic

Chow Chow Dog breed Infographic

When it comes to temperament, Chows can be very wary of strangers, and owners should take care when walking them in public spaces.

While the breed isn’t known to attack strangers, they can get very protective if they believe their owner is under threat.

They’re not very active dogs, but do still need daily exercise, mainly to prevent boredom and weight gain.

To prevent any aggressive tendencies from developing, owners are recommended to socialize them from a very early age.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Spitz
Purpose:Working/hunting/guarding
Suitable for:older couple
Size/Height:Large/18-22"
Weight:35-90 lbs
Lifespan:9-15 years
Color:Black, blue, red, cream, gold
Grooming:weekly brushing
Daily exercise:an hour of exercise daily, (no walking in hot weather)
Activity levels:low
Diet:High protein, low carb
Known health issues: Hip dysplasia, entropion
Price:$900-$1,200 USD

🙋FAQs

1. Are Chow Chow Chinese dogs good for first-time dog owners?

young girl Sitting Beside Chow Chow on Gray ConcreteThe short answer to this question is no, not really.

Although the breed might have a very desirable appearance, they require a lot of work to keep them looking good.

This requires time and money on the part of the owner, and if you’ve never owned a dog before then, you might not be fully aware of the commitment needed.

Along with the constant grooming is the issue of training. Chow Chows are very stubborn dogs, and they can be very difficult to train.

This isn’t a big problem for an experienced dog owner but might cause an issue for a first-time owner.

First-time dog owners should always consider breeds that are easy to train and care for, as this will make the learning experience much easier.

Many experienced dog owners would avoid Chow Chows for these very reasons.

The other big issue is their temperament around strangers and other dogs.

For an experienced owner, this won’t be as much of an issue. If a first-time owner has no knowledge of socializing dogs, or what’s considered “bad” behavior, then it can become tough to manage.

Chows are independent and intelligent dogs, and they will inevitably take advantage of their owner’s inexperience if given a chance.

Finally, there’s the issue of health problems. Granted, any breed can have health issues, but it’s best to avoid a breed known to have the hereditary issues if you’re a first time owner.

Health issues mean trips to the vet, which require time and money, and if you’ve never owned a dog before then, you might not know what to look out for.

Although Chow Chows are amazing dogs with great personalities, they don’t make a good choice for first-time dog owners.

2. What health issues do Chow Chows have?

chow chow dog on the lawn

As mentioned earlier, many breeds have hereditary health issues; these are an unfortunate consequence of selective breeding over the years.

While this doesn’t bother some owners, it’s worth having information about any potential problems before you commit to buying a particular breed. The most common health issues seen in the breed are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, entropion)
  • Diabetes
  • Pemphigus erythematosus[2]

One of the easiest ways to avoid buying a dog with these problems is to find yourself a good breeder.

Obviously, Chow Chow breeders aren’t massively common, but it’s worth searching around before committing yourself to a particular breeder.

Any breeder who takes their role seriously will provide you with all relevant information on health checks that have been carried out.

This is particularly important if the dog is a pedigree, as these cost a lot more money.

Also, take your new dog to the vet as soon as you can.

Your vet will be able to tell you about any issues that might develop and will advise on treatment. This is important even if the breeder has given you health certificates because it’s always useful to gather your own information.

One way to get around this issue is to get a rescue dog.

Seeing as many of these problems don’t become apparent until the dog is an adult, adopting a fully-grown Chow will help you to rule out the possibility of health conditions.

Whatever you do, don’t buy a Chow from a pet store.

You have no way of tracing back to the breeder, and they could be selling you any old dog.

3. How much does a Chow Chow dog cost?

This will vary massively by the breeder, country, and region. In the USA, you can expect to pay a minimum of $900 for a Chow puppy, with the potential of a much higher cost if you’re looking at a pedigree dog.

When you factor in grooming and healthcare costs, which can run into the tens of thousands over the dog’s lifetime, you’re definitely looking at an expensive breed.

This is another reason why they’re not an excellent choice for first-time owners and should only be a commitment to those that can afford them.

5. Formosan Mountain Dog

Formosan Mountain dog on leash

Highlights: Faithful, Alert, Intelligent

The Formosan Mountain Dog is thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, and its history can be traced back to over ten to twenty thousand years ago.

In ancient times the breed was used as a hunting companion, and they are the descendants of hunting dogs from South Asia.

Today the breed is often found roaming the streets of Taipei, but can also be found in homes as a watchdog and companion.

As an attempt to rescue many of the abandoned dogs found in Taiwan, many Formosan Mountain Dogs have been brought to the U.S.

With that being said, it’s extremely rare to find a purebred of the breed, and most purebreds are located in Taiwan purely for conservation reasons.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Very few Formosan Mountain Dogs are bred in the United States. Most are rescues from Taiwan.
  • The Formosan Mountain dog has a spotted tongue
  • In 2015, an abused Formosan Mountain Dog was adopted by a British Royalty family in California

🦴Temperament

formosan mountain dog standing on shallow water

The Formosan Mountain dog is an extremely territorial breed, making it the perfect choice for a guard dog.

Though they are standoffish around strangers, they are very different with members of their families.

Towards family members, Formosan Mountain Dogs are extremely loyal. Though they do well will all family members, they seem to strike a closer bond with one particular family member.

The Formosan Mountain dog does well with children. With that being said, they don’t deal well with rough behaviors, so children need to learn to respect their boundaries.

When it comes to other animals, the Formosan does have some aggressive tendencies. Because they have a strong prey drive, it’s not unlikely that they will attack a cat or rabbit.

They don’t always do well with other dogs but can get along if they are raised together from puppyhood.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Hound
Purpose:Guarding, companionship
Suitable for:Experienced owner, active singles
Size/Height:Mid-size / 17-20 inches
Weight:26-40 lbs
Lifespan:9-13 years
Color:Black, white,  brindle, fawn, and combinations of white/fawn/black
Grooming:Weekly brushing and occasional bath recommended.
Daily exercise:Several hours every day
Activity levels:high
Diet:High-quality dog food required.
Known health issues:Skeletal concerns, eye issues, mange
Price:Usually only available through rescue and adoption agencies.

🙋FAQs

1. Do any Kennel clubs recognize the Formosan Mountain Dog?

The Formosan Mountain Dog is not popular enough to be recognized by the AKC. With that being said, they are a member of the Foundation Stock Service, suggesting that they may be officially recognized in the near future.

2. Is the Formosan Mountain Dog easy to train?

The Formosan Mountain Dog is extremely intelligent and can, therefore, do well with training with a strong owner.

They can also be very independent-minded and often stubborn. In return, they require an experienced owner who can establish themselves as the leader of the pack.

Once a strong bond has been formed and proper training methods are used, the Formosan Mountain dog can do very well when trained for individual tasks.

They are great at problem-solving and have even been used in military work.

3. Can the Formosan Mountain Dog predict natural disasters?

While there have been no studies conducted to validate the fact, many people do believe that Formosan Mountain dogs have a sixth sense and can predict natural disasters with extreme accuracy.

6. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin standing on white background

 Highlights: Noble, Affectionate, Playful, Loyal

Granted, as the name indicates, “Japanese Chin“, this breed isn’t considered a popular Chinese dog breed, but the origin of the breed is actually a hotly debated issue.

Many believe it arrived in Japan through the Chinese or Koreans, which is why it’s ended up on this Chinese dog breeds list.

Owing to this debate, no one is completely sure when the breed arrived in Japan, but the general consensus is between the 8th and 11th centuries.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • The first person to own the Chin in the US was President Franklin Pierce
  • The Japanese Chins are ancient dogs that originated as Chinese dog breeds.
  • When the Chin first came to Japan, they were not seen as a dog. Rather, they were seen as a separate being.
  • Likened to cats due to their agility and the way they wash their faces with their paws

🦴Temperament:

Japanese Chin dog Infographic

The breed is considered more like a cat in temperament than a dog.

They’re independent, talented, and even wash their faces with their paws. They’re very friendly dogs and have built a reputation as therapy animals.

They can be trained very easily and respond well to learning new tricks.

Like other lapdogs, they don’t require much exercise but should be taken out to relieve boredom if nothing else.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:toy group
Purpose:companion
Suitable for:older single couple, older couple, city dweller, owner with physical disability
Size/Height:small/20-27 cm
Weight:4- 8 lbs
Lifespan:12-14 years
Color:Lemon & White, Sable & White, Black & White, Tri-color, Red & White
Grooming:once a week brushing
Daily exercise:20-30 mins/day
Activity levels:low
Diet:1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry dogfood a day, divided into two meals.
Known health issues:heart problems, retinal atrophy, patellar luxution
Price:$1000-$2000 USD

🙋FAQs

Japanese Chin dog on white background

1. What Are The Pros And Cons To Japanese Chin Dogs?

The main pros of the breed are their temperament and bold character.

They’re known to be friendly and affectionate with their owners and are surprisingly adaptable to changing situations.

Unlike some other dogs, they’re not too wary around strangers, particularly in the presence of their owner.

All of this is what makes them ideal therapy dogs.

They’re very receptive to human emotion, and due to their adaptability, are suitable for taking on trips or out in their owner’s daily life.

They learn tricks very easily, and so make excellent competition dogs, although there are strict entry requirements due to the variations in the breed.

The main con relating to the Japanese Chin is its health.

They are prone to breathing issues due to the shape of their face, and these only get worse with age.

They’re also prone to joint issues, particularly in their knees, and these can develop at any age.

They also have problems with cataracts, again relating to the shape of their face, and these can be triggered at any age.

The other big con is the maintenance of their coat.

Like other longhaired breeds, they need at the very minimum daily brushing but should be taken to the groomers regularly.

While you can trim their coat short, this is best avoided in colder climates because the dogs lack the standard insulation that comes from double coats.

They also need to have their faces cleaned regularly because their skin folds can trap dirt and moisture, which can lead to skin problems and fungal infections.

The same is true for their ears, but all of this can be avoided with regular cleaning.

2. Do Japanese Chins Shed?

Japanese chin playing a chew toy on the lawn

Much like Lhasa Apsos, Japanese Chins do shed, but nowhere near as much as a dog with a double coat.

Also, because you’ll be brushing them regularly, you’ll pick up much of the loose hair before it ends up on the floor.

Shedding isn’t a big problem in dogs with a single coat, but you can always expect some level of shedding.

3. Do Japanese Chin Dogs Make Good Family Pets?

Because they were bred as companion dogs, Chins are always eager to please their family members.

They’re good for keeping in apartments because they require little exercise, and by their nature prefer houses to outside.

They are also good around other animals and will get on fine with cats due to their similar personalities.

However, do be wary about keeping Japanese Chins around small children and babies.

They are quite fragile dogs because they have quite a skinny frame under all that fur.

While they will get on with children, smaller children can tend to be rough with dogs, particularly if they haven’t been taught how to behave around them.

That said, Japanese Chins are receptive to training and so can be taught how to interact with children.

Unfortunately, though, it’s usually the children that are aggressive rather than the dog.

If you have older children that are aware of the small dog, then they will make excellent family pets.

4. How Much Do Japanese Chins Cost?

Japanese chin dog sitting on the lawn

Japanese Chins aren’t that popular outside of Japan, so one of the most significant issues will be finding a breeder.

Do your research, though, and find all options before committing to a breeder.

Any reputable breeder will give you any information about the dogs that you want, including health certificates of the parents and puppies.

Due to their rarity in the West, you can expect to pay a decent bit of money for a Japanese Chin.

In the USA, you’re probably looking between $1,500 and $2,500 for a purebred dog. This will vary depending on the breeder and your location.

A cheaper option is to adopt, but you’ll encounter the same issues of a rarity when it comes to looking in a shelter.

7. Kunming Wolfdog (Chinese German Shepherd)

Kunming Wolfdog kneeling on cemented seat with tongue sticking out

Highlights: Intelligent, Brave, Confident

The Kunming Wolfdog is named as such because it originates from a domesticated dog breed being crossbred with a wolf.

This gives the breed a wilder appearance and also affects temperament.
The Kunming Wolfdog is commonly used as a military support dog in China and has even been trained to detect mines.

However, they also make popular pets for many families.

Think of them as essentially the Chinese equivalent of a German Shepherd (they look similar).

The breed is quite a recent one when compared to others on this Chinese dog breeds list.

They were created in the 1950s specifically for military assistance, and although there isn’t an official breeding list, they can count German Shepherds as their ancestors.

Other than that, there isn’t much evidence regarding other breeds used to create the Kunming Wolfdog.

They have a double-layered coat that’s similar in color to a German Shepherd, and they shed it twice a year with seasonal changes.

They have a long tail that is usually carried low but can lift up when excited.

Although their coats are usually black and brown, they have been known to cover a range of colors, including rust and straw.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Kunming Wolfdogs resulted from German shepherds and wolves crossbreeding
  • In August 2019, China’s first cloned police dog, an eight-month-old Kunming wolfdog named Kunxun,  passed the police dog assessment and became an official k9 detective.

🦴Temperament

Kunming Wolfdog standing on the lawn

The breed is very intelligent and can be trained quickly and easily.

This is why they’re used as military dogs, but it also makes them great pets.

However, they do require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation, which unfortunately rules them out as assistance dogs.

That said, they still make excellent family pets and guard dogs and will be very loyal to their family.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Spitz/working dog
Purpose:Working/companions
Suitable for:Families with lots of free time/ Police dogs
Size/Height:medium
Weight:66-84 lbs
Lifespan:12-14years
Color:light tan, deep rust shade
Grooming:once a week brushing
Daily exercise:at least an hour/day
Activity levels:high
Diet:High protein, low carb
Known health issues: Hip dysplasia, bloat, eye problems
Price:(?)

🙋FAQs

There is no available FAQ online

8. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso on white background

Highlights: Loyal, Watchdog, Comical

The first historical recordings of the Lhasa Apso date back to 800 B.C.

During this time they were only kept by monks and nobility and were largely used for guarding and protecting.

Because the breed was commonly found watching over temples and monasteries it was considered to be very sacred.

The only time there were allowed to be transported out of the country was when they were gifted by the Dalai Lama.

When gifted by the Dalai Lama, Lhasa Apsos were thought to bring prosperity and good luck.

The first pair of Lhasa Apsos sent to the US were gifted to Suydam Cutting in 1933.

Shortly thereafter in 1935 the breed was officially accepted into the AKC and has long been welcomed into American homes ever since.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Many people believe that when the owner of a Lhasa Apso dies, their soul enters into the body of the dog.
  • You can expect to see a Lhasa Apso in the pound scene of the newly released “Lady and the Tramp”
  • The name “Lhasa Apso” means “Bark Lion Sentinel dog”

🦴Temperament:

Lhasa Apso on the lawn

The Lhasa Apso was long bred to be a guard dog, so they can often be aloof with strangers.

They have a sharp bark that allows them to alert their family when strangers are nearby, but this bark can become a nuisance if the breed is not properly trained when barking is acceptable vs. when it is not.

Though the Lhasa Apso can be wary of strangers, they are very loving and affectionate with those of their own family.

They require a great deal of human companionship and require socialization from a young age to prevent snippy behaviors.

Young socialization is also required in order for the Lhasa Apso to do well with other dogs and pets.

They also tend to mature slower than other breeds, so extra patience is required when raising this breed.

Though the Lhasa Apso loves to be around their family, they are also extremely independent and don’t mind being alone.

Though a short walk will be welcomed, this breed doesn’t require a great deal of exercise and is more than content spending the majority of their time indoors.

The breed is often described as curious and playful, and owners often refer to them as little comedians.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Non-sporting
Purpose:Guarding
Suitable for:older single owner, older couple, city dweller
Size/Height:Small/ 10-11 inches
Weight:12-18  lbs
Lifespan:12-15 years
Color:Honey, black, slate, white, or a mixture
Grooming:Bi-weekly baths and weekly brushings required.
Daily exercise:One walk  a day x 30 minutes
Activity levels:Low
Diet:High protein, low carb
Known health issues:Kidney dysfunction, dry eye, slipping stifles, cherry eye, hip dysplasia
Price:$1000-$1500

🙋FAQs

1. Do Lhasa Apsos change color as they age?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos do have a tendency to change color as they age.

Brown Lhasa Apso puppies usually turn cream color or a light golden color as they age, and most black Lhasa Apsos will start to turn a silvery color.

2. Are Lhasa Apsos hypoallergenic?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos are hypoallergenic and are much less likely to cause allergic reactions than other breeds of dog.

3. Are Lhasa Apsos snippy?

Yes. As mentioned in their temperament description, Lhasa Apsos do have a tendency to become snippy if they are not properly trained.

Because this breed is so independent-minded, they require a strong owner that can establish themselves as the leader of the pack.

If properly trained and socialized from puppy age, the Lhasa Apsos tendency to snip should be eliminated.

9. Pekingese (Peke)

Pekingese dog licking her nose

 

Highlights: Noble, Aloof, Dignified

Pekingese are also known as “Lion Dogs” because they look like the ancient Chinese lion statues commonly found in temples and palaces.

They’re an ancient breed and are known as toy dogs.

This makes them count as a small Chinese dog breed, and are in fact, one of the smallest on this list.

The breed was originally kept by Chinese royalty as a companion dog, and that’s where its name comes from.

The Forbidden City, the seat of Chinese royalty, is located in Peking (now called Beijing).

However, the breed has soared in popularity around the world and is favored for its appearance and temperament.

The breed has hardly changed in the last 2,000 years and is known for its long and fluffy coat.

They can come in a wide range of colors, including fawn, black, brown, and cream, and typically have blackface.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Three out of twelve dogs survived the sinking of Titanic. One of them is a Pekingese.
  • in Ancient China; stealing a Pekingese was a crime punishable by death.
  • Known to snore loudly because of their short noses.

🦴Temperament

Pekingese Dog infographic

Pekingese Infographic

Pekingese dogs are typically calm and quiet and don’t require much exercise.

Because they were bred to be lap dogs, they’re very content to simply sleep all day, but should be taken on walks to avoid weight gain.

They are independent, stubborn, quite difficult to train and not fond of strangers.

With patience and proper training, calm, affectionate and devoted companions.

One of the biggest commitments needed is constant care of the coat.

It requires daily brushing and should be groomed every other month.

The fur should be trimmed around the face to avoid things getting in the eyes.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Toy
Purpose:companion
Suitable for:older single owner, older couple, city dweller, owner with physical disability
Size/Height:small
Weight:7- 14 lbs
Lifespan:12-15 years
Color:Black, Fawn, Black & Tan, Cream, Fawn Brindle, Gray
Grooming:Daily brushing
Daily exercise:at least 30 minutes of exercise per day
Activity levels:low
Diet:high-quality diet divided into small meals
Known health issues:eye problems, back problems, brachycephalic airway problems
Price:$400 -$600 USD (puppy)

🙋FAQs

1. What health problems do Pekingese have?

The breed is unfortunately known for a range of health issues that include anything from overheating due to their long coats to breathing difficulties because of their short noses.

They can also develop eye problems, and their face creases can become inflamed if not cleaned properly.

The breed is also vulnerable to intervertebral disc issues so, and they should be discouraged from jumping on tables or run upstairs.

10. Pug

Pug lying on white background

Highlights: lively, eager to please, playful

The pug is probably one of the most recognizable breeds in the world and has held a special place in popular culture for many years.

Characterized by its squished face, stocky body, and curly tail, pugs, have a long history in both the East and the West.

When they were first brought to Europe, they became a popular companion for royal families.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Confucius (551-479 BC) wrote something about pugs during his time.
  • Pugs’ existence is thought to date back to 400 BCE!
  • They love to sit on sofas or furniture.

🦴Temperaments

Pugs are definitely among the popular Chinese breeds and are known for their big personalities and friendly temperaments.

Pugs can be stubborn, but not in a bad way, and they are easy enough to train if you’re committed.

Worth A Look:  “Pugs pros and cons.”

They’re rarely aggressive and will get on well with other pets and children.

For this reason, they make great family dogs.

“Retro” pugs were much longer in the body than modern pugs, which are characterized by their short legs and stocky body.

Recommended:   “RETRO Pug: The Facts Behind the Face

They’re surprisingly strong for their size and require more exercise than you might think for a small breed.

This is down to their high energy levels, and the breed’s tendency for holding weight easily.

Due to their use as companion dogs, pugs appreciate the human interaction and are very aware of changes in their owner’s mood.

They’re eager to please and should be played with regularly.

While they do require plenty of exercises, pugs also appreciate sleeping for much of the day.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:toy
Purpose:companion
Suitable for:older couple, older single owner, city dweller, teen living with parents
Size/Height:small/25-30 cm
Weight:14- 18 lbs
Lifespan:12-15 years
Color:Black, Fawn, Apricot, Silver Fawn
Grooming:Daily brushing
Daily exercise:20 minutes x2 a day of walking
Activity levels:low
Diet:High protein, low carb
Known health issues:breathing problems, eye, back problems, hip dysplasia, encephalitis, luxating patella.
Price:$750-$2500 USD

🙋FAQs

1. Why is a pug dog so expensive?

pug standing on the lawn

One of the biggest reasons pugs are so expensive is because of their popularity.

Like anything else that’s popular, breeders can get away with charging more money simply because people are willing to pay.

While this might not seem massively fair, it’s the price you pay for choosing a popular breed.

However, this issue can be overcome by choosing a rescue dog instead.

Many owners choose to get rid of pugs if health issues develop, which are quite common in the breed and providing you’re willing to deal with these, it’ll save you money on initial costs.

Also, part of the reason for high costs from breeders is to cover the potential costs associated with these health issues.

Many pugs are unfortunately born with health defects, and the breed tends to labor complications due to female pugs not being the best shape for carrying puppies.

This is one of the unfortunate side effects of selective breeding, so always make sure you do your homework before deciding on a breeder.

2. Do pugs have a lot of health problems?

Pug in owner's hand

The short answer is yes.

One of the most common issues associated with the breed is breathing problems.

Their squished nose might look cute, but it’s had some serious impacts on the dog’s health.

It’s resulted in a smaller soft palate, which hardens over time, and might result in costly surgery to reduce or remove.

You can also have a pug’s nostrils widened, but this is again very expensive.

They also have regular problems with their eyes, which is because of the shape of their face.

Their eyes bulge out, and unlike dogs with more “traditional” shaped faces, there’s very little to prevent foreign matter from entering the eyes.

This can result in ulcers, cataracts, and eventual blindness if left untreated.

There are also common issues associated with toy dog breeds, such as dental problems and pressure on internal organs that result from selective breeding related to size.

However, these issues aren’t as common, but will usually become present only in later life.

For this reason, you might be better off looking for a rescue dog if you have your heart set on a pug.

As with any other dog breed, these issues tend to be more common in purebred and pedigree dogs.

This is simply because any issues that relate to selective breeding are compounded due to the intensively selective nature some breeders use.

If you do want to buy a pug from a breeder, make sure you do plenty of research. You should do everything possible to reach out to some of their previous clients to see how an older dog is doing.

You can do this without going through the breeder; it might just take a bit of homework.

3. Are pugs aggressive?

Pug sitting on the lady's lap

Pugs have an incredibly kind and sweet nature, but it’s worth remembering that this is a generalization, and so every dog should be considered individually.

If they’re not appropriately socialized from an early age, pugs can develop aggressive tendencies, such as barking or nipping.

Also, due to their nature as companion dogs, they can become very territorial of a space they consider their own.

This will likely only be a problem if you try to bring another dog into the house but is also an issue that can be easily corrected.

Pugs are very receptive to training, and because of their dependence on human contact, it won’t take them long to realize you don’t like their behavior.

Each dog will have triggers that cause them to display aggressive behavior.

As mentioned, much of this will probably relate to their territory, so it’s worth working on this before it becomes a problem.

Pugs don’t take long to develop bonds with other dogs, so bringing a friend’s dog into your home is an easy way to combat dominant behaviors.

4. Are pugs a good family dog?

Pug dog with children in an inflatable pool

Pugs make excellent family dogs because of their innate friendly nature.

Although they can sometimes display aggression, this is easy to train out of them, and they are great around children.

Unlike some other small breeds, pugs aren’t delicate, and so can withstand inquisitive children.

They’re also great around other pets, not just dogs, although you might have to introduce them slowly to cats and other animals.

Once trained, though, a pug will be friendly with all animals and is very calm, so it is perfect for having around the house with a large family.

11. Shar-Pei

2 types of Shar-Pei

Highlights: Calm, independent, loyal and affectionate.

Shar Pei’s are known around the world but have never really taken off as a famous dog, although they have a special place among dedicated breeders and owners.

Shar Pei’s have small, triangular ears that sit on top of their head, and a tail that curls over their back.

The standard color for a Shar Pei is fawn or cream, but kennel clubs recognize over 16 different colorations.

They have a blue-black tongue, which is only really also seen in the Chow Chow, which was one of the original species the Shar-Pei was bred from.

Three Types Of Shar-Pei

1. Bone-Mouth

Bone-Mouth Shar-pei on white background

It is actually the “original” or the Traditional type of Shar-Pei but is probably less recognizable to many reading this list.

The breed has quite a distinctive look and has several unique features.

It has fewer wrinkles, shorter fur, “roof-tile” muzzle, short hair, and a more pointed tail, all of which set it apart from its better-known cousin.

Typically, bone-mouth is favored in darker colors, and will usually be found in black, blue-black, and black with rust.

However, lighter colors, such as fawn and cream, are found, but these are considered less desirable by breeders.

2. Meath-Mouth or Western Sharpei

Shar Pei sitting on white background

The Meat-mouth Shar-Pei is easily one of the most recognizable on this Chinese dog breeds list and is known for its wrinkly face and curly tail, heavy muzzle (or “hippopotamus look”) with fleshy padding and longer hair.

They come in 3 varieties of coat types namely:

  • Horse Coat – rough, prickly and off-standing, soft in one direction and harsh in the other.

Meat Mouth horse coat shar-Pei in the beach

  • Brush Coat – with longer hair and a smoother feel.

Meat mouth brush coat shar-pei

  • Bear-Coat– long, soft coat.

3. Miniature Shar-Pei

Miniature Shar-pei with blue collar standing on the lawn

As is probably obvious in the name, this breed is simply a smaller version of the Shar-Pei breed.

This makes it a small Chinese dog breed and is typically only 17” tall at its biggest.

While this might not seem particularly small, it does make them better suited to certain households, and therefore, an excellent family dog.

The breed was created simply through selectively breeding small Shar Peis together, and so isn’t counted as a separate breed.

Everything about the breed is identical to a normal Meat Mouth Shar-Pei, except they’re just smaller. They have the same build and face, and the characteristic facial wrinkles that identify the breed.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • “Shar-Pei” is a Cantonese word, which means “sandy skin.” The breed was named “Shar-Pei” because of its rough coat bearing a sand-like texture.
  • It’s been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the rarest breeds in the world.

🦴Temperament

Shar Pei’s were originally bred as guard dogs, so this has resulted in them being wary of strangers, and needing constant socialization from an early age.

If this is done correctly, however, they will develop into incredibly friendly and loving dogs.

They are very loyal to their owners and are receptive to strangers if their owners are present and handle the meeting properly.

The breed is quite energetic and very intelligent, and so requires plenty of exercises and mental stimulation.

If this isn’t handled correctly, the dog will become bored, which results in either depression or destructive behavior.

However, if appropriately exercised, the breed will be fine when at home

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Non-sporting (AKC)
Purpose:hunting, guarding and dogfighting
Suitable for:Experienced owner
Size/Height:Large/19-23"
Weight:40-65 lbs
Lifespan:10-15 years
Color:black, blue-black, black + rust brown, red, and fawn and cream
Grooming:Daily brushing/wrinkle care
Daily exercise:daily walks/short walks
Activity levels:low
Diet:high-quality dog food
Known health issues:eye disorders
Price:Puppy from $300 -$2500 USD from credible breeders

🙋FAQs

1. Are Shar-Pei dogs a suitable breed for a first-time dog owner?

Much like with Chow Chows, Shar Peis are not a suitable dog for first-time owners for many reasons.

These issues mainly stem from their temperament, their ability to train, and possible health issues.

However, if these are things you’re willing to commit to, then nothing is stopping you from getting a Shar Pei (except maybe the price).

As a breed, they are very stubborn, and as they’re a large Chinese dog breed, they can be difficult to handle if you don’t know what you’re doing.

However, if you have experience dealing with dogs, then these problems aren’t as much of an issue.

Training a large and stubborn dog requires patience and commitment, and many first time owners aren’t completely confident in treating a dog properly.shar-pei puppy on white background

Another significant factor worth considering is the breed’s associated health issues.

As has been mentioned in this article, all breeds will have health issues, but some are more prone than others.

Shar Pei’s do suffer from a range of health conditions relating to their physical appearance, and while these are manageable, they do lead to high vets bills.

This is often something first-time owners don’t consider. They would realize their mistake when they’re paying thousands to treat a hereditary condition that would have become apparent with a bit of research.

The final thing to consider is that Shar-Pei dogs are very intelligent and are good at picking up on a person’s mood.

Considering they have issues around people they don’t know, there’s every chance they will pick up on your anxiety and take advantage of it.

And this is the last thing you want when taking a big dog out for a walk.

The best advice for considering the first-time dog is to do research.

Learn as much about the breed as you can, and decide whether its needs will fit in with your lifestyle.

Speak to volunteers at a local shelter; see if there are any dogs you can interact with, and you never know, you might even decide to adopt one.

2. How much do Shar-Peis cost?

shar-pei puppy sitting on light violet background

The actual price you pay for a Shar-Pei puppy will depend on a range of factors, including your location, the pedigree of the dog, the breeder, and much more.

If you buy a purebred dog, you can expect to pay significantly more, as you’re mostly paying for the dog’s genetic history.

As a standard rule, though, if you’re looking to buy a Shar-Pei puppy in the USA, you can expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 but could be looking closer to $2,000 for a purebred dog from a good family.

Because they’re a very rare breed, your options are going to be reasonably limited, but make sure you search around before committing to one breeder.

If you’re that serious about getting a Shar Pei, you’ll likely travel for the privilege.

3. Do Shar Peis have health problems?

shar-pei dog in the park

Shar Pei’s do have a range of hereditary health conditions[3], as well as immunodeficiency syndrome[4].

Any breeder that respects their position will provide you with a health certificate if you’re looking to buy one of their puppies.

While this won’t rule out the possibility of any health conditions, it will at least help you get an idea of what you’re committing to.

The most common health issues found in the Shar-Pei breed include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Glaucoma and retinal dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Skin infections (particularly in their wrinkles)

There is also a condition known as Shar-Pei fever, which is reasonably self-explanatory.

The dog develops a high fever that’s accompanied by vomiting, tiredness, and trouble breathing.

Treatment for this can be expensive and can prove fatal if not dealt with quickly.

Shar Pei’s are also prone to obesity, but this is easily managed through diet and exercise.

Breeders will have to publish any health results in a public domain, but it’s always worth taking a new puppy to the vets to spot any health conditions before they become a problem.

This will help you to manage them, and will hopefully save you money in the long term.

12. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dog breed with red-ribbon on white background

Highlights: Lively, Friendly, Good Natured

The history of the Shih Tzu dates back to the 7th century, where they were often handed out as gifts to Chinese emperors.

Though the exact origins of the breed are unknown, they may have been developed through the cross-breeding of the Lhasa Apso or Pekingese.

While it is not for certain, many believe that it was the Shih Tzu that was kept by Mongolian Emperors to help keep lions calm during lion training.

It was the belief that this was the reason that Shih Tzu’s earned the nickname “little lion dogs”.

It was in 1928 that the first pair of Shih Tzu’s were brought England, and soon after, they also took on popularity in the US. The breed gained official recognition with the AKC in 1969.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Recent research suggests that Shih Tzu’s are in the top fourteen oldest breeds of dog, with origins dating back as early as 8 000 BC.
  • Paninging, the Shih Tzu, has taken over the internet! Photos of Paninging sleeping in unusual positions have gone viral, and the dog now has over 124 000 Instagram followers.

🦴Temperament

The purpose of the Shih Tzu has long been as a companion, and their personality remains reflective of that to this day.

Unlike many breeds of dogs that enjoy hunting, guarding, or retrieving, this small Chinese dog simply wants to be with members of their family.

In return, the Shih Tzu can be described as an extremely loving and affectionate breed of dog. They require a lot of attention, and they love lying in your lap.

With that being said, though the Shih Tzu will happily curl up beside you, they are also extremely lively and alert.

They will always let you know when strangers are in the home, though you will rarely find a Shih Tzu that will become aggressive.

In most cases, Shih Tzus do well with all people, including children and strangers. In the majority of situations, Shih Tzus also tend to do well with other dogs and pets.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Toy Group
Purpose:Companionship
Suitable for:Everyone
Size/Height:Small/ 10 inches
Weight:9-16 lbs
Lifespan:10-16 years
Color:Black, Black and white, grey and white, red and white
Grooming:Daily brushing
Daily exercise:One hour walk a day
Activity levels:average
Diet:½ cup to 1 cup high quality dry dog food
Known health issues:Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Eye abnormalities
Price:$500-$1000

🙋FAQs

1. Are there any bad habits that are common among Shih Tzus?

Yes. Though Shih Tzu’s make excellent companion dogs, they do tend to have some bad habits. Many Shih Tzu’s like to dig, and some tend to be excessive barkers.

2. Are Shih Tzu puppies difficult to housetrain?

Yes. Shih Tzu’s are very intelligent, but they also tend to be somewhat stubborn.

For this reason, housebreaking can take longer than with other breeds. Most Shih Tzu’s can take up to 8 months to housebreak and even then can still be prone to accidents. Plenty of patience is required when training this breed.

3. Are there short and long-haired breeds of Shih Tzu?

No. Shih Tzus always have a naturally longhaired coat.

This coat of fur is undercoated. This means that they have both an outer and undercoat that helps to protect them from both the heat and the cold.

With that being said, some owners choose to keep the coat of the Shih Tzu long, while others prefer to have it trimmed or sheared regularly.

13. Tibetan Kyi Apso (Apso Do-Kyi )

Tibetan Kyi Apso standing against a white background

Highlights: Good guardian, Gentle, Good with Kids

While the exact history of the Tibetan Kyi Apso a.k.a. Tibetan Collie is unknown, Tibetan art pieces suggest that the breed most likely dates back to the 17th century and likely originated in the Mount Kailash area.

The breed was commonly used by nomads to herd and guard livestock. The breed was also known for having strong hunting instincts and good stamina and was therefore also used to hunt down large game.

Though the breed did make its way into other countries in the 1970s, it remains very rare outside of its native land. It has not yet gained recognition by any American Clubs.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • The name “Kyi Apso” translates to “bearded dog”
  • The name “Kyi Apso” can also mean “a dog that is tied”, insinuating that these dogs probably spent much of their time in history tied on chains.
  • It is said that the 13th Dalai Lama owned a Kyi Apso.

🦴Temperament:

Tibetan Kyi Apso with owners in front and behind it

The Kyi Apso is often described as both extremely brave, yet also very affectionate in nature.

They are a very dominant breed and therefore require an owner that can establish themselves as leader of the pack.

Because they were long used as guard dogs, the Kyi Apso has developed a strong suspiciousness towards strangers.

They will not let a stranger enter into their territory without a challenge, and at times, this challenge could become aggressive.

In order to prevent aggression towards strangers, early socialization is required.

The breed does very well with children and handles them very gently. Having said that, because the breed is so large, supervision is always required when they are near young children to avoid any accidents.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:working dog
Purpose:Guarding
Suitable for:Experienced owners
Size/Height:Large/ 24-48 inches
Weight:90-100lbs
Lifespan:12-15 years
Color:Black, Black and tan, shades of red, bluish-grey, often found with white markings
Grooming:Daily brushing. Subject to seasonal blowouts. 
Daily exercise:Several hours every day
Activity levels: high
Diet:(?)
Known health issues:Hip and elbow dysplasia, Degenerative disk disease, Arthritis, skin allergies, obesity, bloat
Price:(?)

🙋FAQs

1. Are Tibetan Kyi Apsos good with other pets?

The Kyi Apso can get along with other dogs as long as they are familiar to them.

Towards stray dogs, the breed may display acts of aggression. For this reason, your Kyi Apso should always be kept on a leash while walking and they should always be introduced to other dogs with great caution.

In terms of other pets like cats, Kyi Apsos can adapt well to co-living, but they must be introduced at a young age.

Bringing an adult Kyi Apso into your home if you already have a cat could be a bad idea, as could bringing a cat into your home if you already have an adult Apso.

2. Can the Kyi Apso withstand cold temperatures?

Yes. This breed has long been adapted to survive the harsh weather conditions that come along with the high-altitudes of the Himalayan range.

Like many other wild canines and wolves, the Kyi Apso breed retains a single estrus per year (while most breeds have two). This allows them to survive in much harsher temperature conditions, especially in the cold.

3. Can you keep a Kyi Apso in an apartment?

No. Kyi Apsos are much better suited to country and outdoor living. This breed needs plenty of exercises and loves to roam.

In fact, this breed actually undergoes periods of extreme restlessness where they need to roam. This period is generally associated with the yak migrations in Tibet.

When not given access to land, the Kyi Apso can start to display undesirable behaviors such as chewing and destruction.

14. Tibetan Mastiff (Do-Khyi)

Tibetan Mastiff in front of white background

Highlights: Strong, loving, gentle

The history of the Tibetan Mastiff can be traced back to Tibet and is believed to have descended from Mastiff type dogs that originated over 5,000 years ago.

Unfortunately, due to lack of documentation, little is known about the history of the breed before 1800.

The first Tibetan Mastiff to be transported to England was gifted to Queen Victoria in 1847. They were officially recognized by the England Kennel club’s Stud Book.

In 1931, the first breed club was formed for the Mastiff, but these efforts were soon put to an end with WWII. It was not until 1976 that imports of the breed began again.

In 1974, both the Tibetan Mastiff Club and the American Tibetan Mastiff Association were formed, and the AKC officially recognized the breed in 2007.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Many people in Tibet believe that Tibetan Mastiffs are hosts of the souls of monks and nuns were not accepted into reincarnation or the heavenly realm
  • In Tibet, Mastiffs are often kept chained to fences during the day and let loose at night
  • Tibetan Mastiffs can survive high in the mountains and harsh, low-oxygen environments. According to studies, Tibetan Mastiffs share a pair of mutations with wolves that most other breeds of dogs do not have. It is this genetic connection to wolves that allows them to survive in such harsh conditions.
  • “Tibetan Mastiff” is a misnomer. The Tibetan Mastiff itself is not a true mastiff.

🦴Temperament:

Tibetan Mastiff with red leash on the lawn

The Tibetan Mastiff is a highly intelligent breed of dog that is very independent and self-sufficient.

The breed has a strong sense of self and will not tolerate being treated as a “pet”. Rather, they want to be treated equally.

Though the Tibetan Mastiff tends to be extremely loyal to family members, they can also be very stubborn, which often makes them difficult to train.

For this reason, Mastiffs require an experienced owner that can establish themselves as the leader of the pack.

The Tibetan Mastiff is often described as being extremely fierce and makes an excellent guard dog.

Though they are loving and affectionate towards family, they do tend to be aloof towards strangers. This breed requires early socialization to prevent territorial aggression.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:working dog
Purpose:guarding
Suitable for:Experienced dog owners
Size/Height:Large / 24-26 inches
Weight:90-150 lbs
Lifespan:10-12 years
Color:Black, brown, gold, or blue, sometimes with tan markings.
Grooming:weekly brushing
Daily exercise:Prefer being given a job to do over playtime
Activity levels:Moderate
Diet:2-4 cups of high-quality dog food per day
Known health issues:Hip/Elbow Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Entropion, Ectropion.
Price:$1500-$5000

🙋FAQs:

1. Can Tibetan Mastiffs tolerate the summer heat?

Yes. Remember that this breed originated in the Tibetan plateau, which tends to get very hot.

The Mastiffs’ double coat of fur helps to keep them protected from the heat of the sun.

It’s always important that you provide your Mastiff with plenty of shade and water throughout the hot summer months.

2. Should I shave my Tibetan Mastiff to help keep them cool?

No. You should never shave a dog with a double coat of fur.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, shaving a dog with a double coat of fur can make them hotter.

This is because, just as their coat of fur is designed to keep them warm in winter months, it’s also designed to keep them cool in the summer months.

The Tibetan Mastiffs’ double coat of fur protects them from the UV rays and helps them to keep cool. Shaving them can lead to overheating or burns.

3. Are Tibetan Mastiffs safe for families with children?

Yes. Tibetan Mastiffs tend to naturally develop a close bond with the youngest member of the family, possibly because they feel they need more protection.

Having said that, it’s important to remember that even though they are gentle-natured with children, they are also very large and can accidentally knock a small child over. In return, supervision is always suggested when a Mastiff is around a young child.

15. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel photographed against a white background

Highlights: Playful, Intelligent, Confident

The Tibetan Spaniel is a small dog, but its history is anything but.

The breed was originally bred by Tibetan Buddhist monks to be companions and alarm dogs.

The “Tibbies” as they were nicknamed were also commonly given to foreign dignitaries as gifts.

The first Tibetan Spaniel was brought over to England in the late 19th century, and the breed quickly gained popularity here until WWII when it was wiped out.

In 1947, more Tibetan Spaniels were imported and efforts were made to recover the breed.

In 1960, it was officially recognized by the England Kennel Club as a distinct breed. Since that time, the breed has also made its way to the United States, where the AKC recognized it in 1984.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • The new 2019 Lady and the Tramp movie features a Tibetan Spaniel as the one who sings “He’s a Tramp” in the pound.
  • Tibetan Spaniels have long been referred to as “Little Lions”. In Buddhist religions, lions are considered sacred. In return, Tibetan Spaniels are considered very honorable.
  • Tibetan Buddhists believe that humans are often reincarnated as Tibetan Spaniels and other similar dog breeds.

🦴Temperament:

Tibetan Spaniel dog sitting on grass

The Tibetan Spaniel is still an excellent watchdog, and for this reason, they can often be somewhat aloof with strangers.

Having said that, unlike many other small guard dog breeds, the Tibetan Spaniel is not prone to excessive barking and will only bark if an intruder is near.

Though the breed is somewhat standoffish with strangers, they are extremely loving and affectionate towards their family members.

The breed loves to cuddle and seems to be especially responsive to people’s feelings and moods.

Even though the breed loves to cuddle up with their family members, they are also very independent thinkers.

They generally do well with training, but can also be quite stubborn when they want to be.

The breed does enjoy being active but doesn’t require as much activity like many other dog breeds. Their small size makes them suitable for apartment or country living.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Non-sporting
Purpose:Guarding
Suitable for:Singles, couples, families
Size/Height:Small/ 10 inches
Weight:9-15 lbs
Lifespan:12-15 years
Color:Black, White, Black & Tan, Cream, Sable, Gold, Red
Grooming:regular bathing and brushing required
Daily exercise:1 hour walk every day
Activity levels:Moderate
Diet:High quality dog food. One cup per day. Treats for training
Known health issues:Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Patellar Luxation
Price:$1600 to $4500 USD

🙋FAQs

1. Are Tibetan Spaniels good with other pets?

Tibetan Spaniels generally do well with other pets, yes.

With that being said, they do require plenty of love and attention, so as long as your attention is not directed elsewhere, they will be fine. If all of your attention goes to another pet, they may become jealous.

2. Are Tibetan Spaniels good with children?

For the most part, yes.

With that being said, the Tibetan Spaniel is a small breed of dog that requires gentle attention and care.

Rough handling won’t be tolerated well. For this reason, small children need to learn how to be gentle with the breed and should always be supervised when near.

3. Are Tibetan Spaniels actually Spaniels?

No. Despite the name, Tibetan Spaniels don’t share any common ancestry with other spaniel breeds.

The name “Spaniel” was actually derived from the French word “Epagnuel,” which at one time meant companion and comforter dog.

16. Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan terrier photographed against a white background

Highlights: Loyal, Affectionate, Playful

The Tibetan Terrier, sometimes referred to as the Lhasa Terrier, is an ancient breed that originated in the Tibetan Himalayas.

Believed to be one of the most ancient of all Tibetan dogs, this breed is thought to be an ancestor of Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu, and the Tibetan Spaniel.

The breed was originally kept by Buddhist monks to be both watchdogs and companions but was also commonly gifted to local herdsmen to be a guard and herd dog.

In fact, for many years, the Tibetan Terrier was so prized that it could not be bought; it could only be gifted.

The first Tibetan Terriers to be brought to Europe came over in 1922 (one male and one female).

These pairs were bred together and had their first litter in 1924. Since then, the Tibetan Terrier has been recognized by the FCI under the Tibetan dog breeds.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • Frank Lampard, Premier League Manager of Chelsea, equates his success in business to his Tibetan Terrier. According to Lampard, he has a specific walking, feeding, and training schedule with his dog that, if he misses, will have a negative effect on his success.
  • Tibetan Terriers have long been regarded with extreme respect in Tibet, and are often called the “little people.”
  • Tibetan Terriers have long been known as “Holy dogs” and “bringers of good luck.”

🦴Temperament:

Tibetan Terrier sitting on the lawn

The Tibetan Terrier is an extremely loving and affectionate breed that thrives on attention.

The breed does not tend to bond closely with one particular member of the family, but rather with all family members equally.

The breed is also considered to be very sensitive, and also reads human emotions very well. If the Tibetan Terrier senses sadness, they will do almost anything to cheer you up.

The breed is playful and good with children, but will not tolerate rough behaviors.

As such, it’s always important to supervise small children around the dog and to teach children how to respect the Terrier through gentle play.

Though the Tibetan Terrier is very loving and affectionate to family members, they do tend to be standoffish towards strangers.

They are also extremely territorial, and for this reason, they make excellent guard dogs.

With that being said, while the Tibetan Terrier will alert you to a stranger’s presence, they are not considered aggressive and will not attack unless extremely provoked.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:Non-sporting
Purpose:Guarding, companionship
Suitable for:Singles, couples, families
Size/Height:Small/ 14-16 inches
Weight:18-30 lbs
Lifespan:12-15 years
Color:Black, White, Piebald, Brindle, Tri-color, Grey, Golden
Grooming:Brushing 2-3 times per week.
Daily exercise:15-minute walks daily x 2/day
Activity levels:Moderate
Diet:digestible gruel and meat broth
Known health issues:Geriatric heart murmurs, cataracts, vestibular disease, cancer
Price:$1000-$1500 USD

🙋FAQs

1. Are Tibetan Terriers actually Terriers?

No. Today Terriers are defined as dog breeds that hunt vermin from the ground.

The Tibetan Terrier has never actually hunted game, nor do they have the same personality as a typical terrier.

So why are they called Terriers?

At the time that they were originally bred, the English used the term “terrier” to define any type of small dog.

Because Tibetan Terriers are small, they gained the name and have held onto it ever since.

2. Are Tibetan Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Yes. The Tibetan Terrier is hypoallergenic and is, therefore, a good choice for those who suffer from allergies.

3. What is Shaggy Dog Syndrome?

Tibetan Terriers are often defined as having “Shaggy Dog Syndrome”.

This means that their long fur often creates the perfect environment for things like mud, snow, leaves, and other debris to cling onto.

When a Tibetan Terrier takes a drink, it’s also likely that their beard will absorb the water, which will then dribble onto your floor when they are finished.

In return, Tibetan Terriers and other breeds with Shaggy Dog Syndrome are not recommended for those who like their homes to be immaculate.

17. Xiasi Dog (Xiasi Quan)

Xiasi dog in the green lawn

Highlights: Tenacious, Loyal, Alert

The Xiasi Dog is one of the breeds considered Tugou[#] and originates from the Guizhou Province in China.

It’s named after the town in which it was originally bred, and is still considered the center of the breed, both in China and the rest of the world.

There is evidence that suggests the breed was created in the 11th century and was used for hunting small animals.

They are not particularly well known outside of China, and current estimates state that there are very few purebred Xiasi Dogs left in the world.

💡Interesting Facts:

  • The Chinese believe that the Xiasi dog brings wealth to their family that is why they have so much respect for the dog.
  • Xiasi dogs are popular in boar-fighting competitions.

🦴Temperament

female Xiasi dog in the green lawn

The breed is very intelligent and agile.

However, at the same time, the breed is very friendly towards humans and is very protective of its owners.

It was also used as a guard dog throughout China, and so is wary of strangers, particularly when its owner isn’t around.

The breed’s intelligence makes it very easy to train, and like many other hunting dogs, it shows a willingness to learn.

While this is useful for domestic owners, it also, unfortunately, means that they’re still commonly used as fighting dogs in China, and are often pitted against boars.

The dogs are judged on a range of things in these fights, and they, unfortunately, prove to be still quite popular.

🐕Breed Overview

Breed type:(?)
Purpose:Working/hunting
Suitable for:(?)
Size/Height:medium/17-20"
Weight:22-26 lbs
Lifespan:11-15 years
Color:beige, white
Grooming:weekly brushing
Daily exercise:90 minutes of activity daily
Activity levels:Very high
Diet:High protein, low carb
Known health issues: Hip dysplasia, eye and ear problems
Price:(?)

🙋FAQs

[#] 1. What is “Tugou”?

“Tugou” doesn’t refer to one specific breed of dog, but simply means “native dog.”

For this reason, the term is used to collectively refer to a number of breeds, some of which have already been included on this Chinese dog breeds list.

One such example is the Chongqing Dog, and all others included under this umbrella term roughly follow the same size and appearance guidelines.

Typically, the breeds included under the term Tugou are around 20” tall, and all have a similar physical appearance.

While there might be variations in things such as face shape, color, and tail, they are all a very “standard” dog shape, characterized by a slimmer build, long legs, and a short coat.

Many of the Tugou breeds evolved from wolves and were domesticated during the Han Dynasty for a range of working purposes.

These included hunting, fighting, guarding, and less frequently, for companionship.

For this reason, many of the breeds are known to be loyal yet wary and don’t fare too well around strangers.

Also, few of the breeds considered Tugou aren’t well known outside of China.

This is because, unlike more popular Chinese dog breeds, there are native equivalents of a similar physical build and purpose in other countries.

Unlike a breed such as a pug, which is unique in appearance, Tugou breeds have Western equivalents, such as Retrievers and similar dogs.

👁️ WORTH A LOOK: 👁️

Conclusion:

Many popular Chinese dog breeds are increasing in popularity in the rest of the world, excluding obvious choices like pugs.

However, the rarity of many breeds is still reflected in their price, especially if you’re looking to buy from a reputable breeder.

One of the most important things to bear in mind is that many of these Chinese dogs require attention, and might not be suitable for first-time owners.

The best place to start is by researching your desired breed to see how it fits in with your lifestyle, as many of these breeds do still make excellent pets.

References: ✍️

1. [^] Yang, Hechuan, et al. “The Origin of Chow Chows in the Light of the East Asian Breeds.” BMC Genomics, BioMed Central, 16 Feb. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312535/.

2. [^] Gonsalves-Hubers, Taesha. “Pemphigus Erythematosus in a Chow Chow.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal = La Revue Veterinaire Canadienne, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Oct. 2005, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1255596/.

3. [^]Shar-Pei Autoinflammatory Disease (SPAID).” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 17 June 2019, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/animal-health-diagnostic-center/testing/protocols/shar-pei-autoinflammatory-disease.

4. [^] Rivas, A L, et al. “A Primary Immunodeficiency Syndrome in Shar-Pei Dogs.” Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 1995, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7859414.