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Chinese Dog Breeds

By Paige

ChinaThe Canidae family is a huge one and our canine friends seem to have become a part of human life in every corner of the globe. Dogs have traditionally been used as herding animals, hunting partners and even as a symbol of wealth to our ancestors for tens of thousands of years.

Chinese Origins

We’ve been laying breeds out by continent, but quickly realized that was going to have to change. Many countries have a variety of native breeds, so we’ve given the countries with a lot of breeds their own post. At the end we’ll compile a list that covers the entire Asian continent so readers can see them all.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested dogs come in two types, hairless & powder puff – this breeds ancestors were actually thought to come from Africa (but a similar hairless type comes from North America). The hairless animals were picked up by the Chinese by trade ships to hunt vermin on the ship and re-named Chinese Crested dogs – a name that stuck.

Chinese Imperial Dog

Chinese Imperial Dog
The Chinese Imperial dog dates back to 700 AD and was first bred in the Imperial Palace where they were used as foot warmers to the Emperors. Seen as a symbol of status they were often also carried by the nobility in the sleeves of their robes.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow
Like many older breeds, the Chow Chow’s origins are a mystery, however some of the oldest known dog fossils are similar the Chow Chow in bone structure. Traditionally these big dogs were used as hunting partners, transportation in the form of carts & sleds, and for protection. Not only were their hides used to make clothing, but they were also bred for food.

Pekingese

Pekingese

Image from Hugo.arg

Also called Peke & Peking Palasthund the Pekingese comes from the ancient city of Peking (now Beijing). Traditionally these animals were considered sacred and thought to drive away spirits. Due to their status they were only to be owned by royalty and people without noble rank were expected to bow to them.

Pug

Pug
Also called Carlin, Mops & Chinese Pug Dog, the Pug is one of the oldest known breeds and thought to have originated before 400 BC. Their origins are the topic of debate, however it is agreed that they share ancestors with the Pekingese. This breed later earned worldwide popularity during the 19th century and were often kept as royal pets.

Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei

Image from Yana Mishina

As with many of the Chinese breeds, the Shar-Pei is very old – in fact pottery suggests they have been around since before 200 BC. They are physically similar to the Chow Chow, which which they clearly have an ancestor in common. Traditionally these animals were used as multi-purpose farm dogs, hunting dogs and for sport as fighting dogs.

More Countries On The Way

We hope you’ve enjoyed meeting the dog breeds of China and be sure to check back next time for the dog breeds of Japan.

3 Responses to “Chinese Dog Breeds”

  1. Alex says:

    you guys forgot the Chinese Chongqing Dog.

  2. -Tom- says:

    The Chinese Crested is not a Chinese breed at all. It’s devoloped in America in the 1930′s, out of diverse hairless dogs and small hairy companion dogs (to get a better crest). China had nothing to do with it. It’s just the name they gave it to make it a more exotic breed.

  3. Nancy says:

    Trying to find out which breed of Chinese dog is closest to what the Chinese designate as the “fire dog”. Thanks so much. N

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