10 Chinese Dog Breeds – From Shar Pei To Chow Chow

Chinese dog breeds are some of the cutest you can get and we can’t seem to get enough of them. The Chinese can boast of a plethora of adorable dog breeds from the wrinkled Shar Pei, to the heavily furred Chow Chow. If you are looking for one of these fur babies to adopt, you can get the best of Chinese dog breeds here.

Chinese Dog Breeds

1. Shar Pei

Chinese Dog Breeds
Shar Pei source

The Shar Pei dog breed is characterized by wrinkles. The origin of this Chinese dog breed is traceable to 2,000 years ago in ancient China’s southern provinces during the Han Dynasty. The independent and calm canine was specifically bred for farmers and peasants and functioned as watchdogs over homes and livestock.

The Shar Pei belongs to the quiet breeds of canines that are classified as low barking. The breed survived the 1949 Communist Party ban and made a comeback. It was recognized by the AKC in 1992 and ranked #64 on the list of 200 most popular pooches.

2. Pekinese

Chinese Dog Breeds
Pekingese source

The ancient toy breed, Pekingese is just a darling bred specifically for the Chinese ruling class. The AKC says the breed is fabled as being created by the great Buddha, after shrinking a mighty lion down into a lesser size. You will agree that this story adds up, especially when you consider the breed’s lion-like manes! It was in 1860 during the Opium Wars that Westerners saw and documented the Chinese dog breed for the first time. The Pekingese landed on US soil in the late 1890s and the American Kennel Club recognized it in 1906. By 2015, the loyal and affectionate pooch was ranked by the AKC as #90 on the list of 200 most popular dogs.

3. Chow Chow

Chow Chow source

The title of the oldest dog breed worldwide may well go to the Chow Chow as some Han Dynasty artifacts dating as far back as 206 B.C. apparently depict this splendid Chinese dog breed. Both peasants and nobles alike breed the Chow Chows and they served as palace dogs, as well as hauling, hunting, and herding dogs. In the 1820s, the breed was discovered by Westerners in London Zoos where they were displayed as Chinese wild dogs. The breed earned the recognition of the AKC in 1903. It is listed as the 75th on the list of 200 most popular dogs.

4. Shih Tzu

Chinese Dog Breeds
Shih Tzu source

Next on our list of Chinese dog breeds is the Shih Tzu. This is another ancient Chinese pup with a lion-like appearance. The affectionate and playful breed was secretly bred for the upper class behind closed Chinese palace doors and the ancient breeders were well compensated by the ruling class who lavished them with extravagant presents. The agreement was that they should develop an outgoing and loving lapdog. On the AKC website, this relatively hypoallergenic breed ranks #20 on the most popular dog list after it gained global popularity. The dog is listed as one of the breeds that enjoy the longest lifespan as it can exceed 18 years.

5. Chinese Crested

Chinese Dog Breeds
Chinese Crested source

How or when the Chinese Crested was created is not known as the breed has extremely early origins. According to some sources, some hairless canines were imported from Africa and crossed with smaller Chinese toy dogs to get that unique hairless appearance of the Chinese Crested. The 11 to 13 inches tall breed was specifically used for hunting vermin on Chinese trading vessels. The grayish-pink skin of the dog is completely hairless while the head, limbs, and tail sport soft, silky hair. There is a less popular coated “powderpuff” variety with a silky coat sporting white and gray coloring.

6. Pugs

Pugs source

Pugs are listed among the world’s oldest breeds of canine that probably originated in the Asian country of China around 400 B.C. The sweet and friendly pup was mostly used as a companion for the Tibetan Buddhist monk. There have been claims that the Pugs are connected to the Tibetan Mastiffs and others say the manageable-sized pup is related to the Pekingese. The loving comical pooch was formerly used as a mischievous companion of emperors and is known to warm hearts anywhere it is seen.

7. Tibetan Spaniel

Chinese Dog Breeds
Tibetan Spaniel source

The Tibetan Spaniel is a bit rare outside the shores of China but is credited as one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. Initially bred to keep watch around Tibetan monasteries as alert dogs, the breed still retains its barking instinct to date. You can find the Tibetan Spaniel in different coat colors. More related to Pugs and other Chinese canines, the breed is not technically Spaniel. An easy dog to train, the Tibetan Spaniel can adapt well to novice dog owners.

8. Japanese Chin

Chinese Dog Breeds
Japanese Chin source

Though it is called, the Japanese Chin, it is commonly believed that this dog breed originated amongst the emperors and Buddhist monks in China. However, the breed was ultimately shaped when it was introduced to Japan. Suitable for apartment living, the Japanese Chin dog breed is an endearing lapdog with a noiseless demeanor.

9. Lhasa Apso

Chinese Dog Breeds
Lhasa Apso source

The Lhasa Apso is one of the most adorable Chinese dog breeds. Also known as a “bearded lion dog”, the breed was used for the protection of palaces and Buddhist monasteries. In Tibetan folklore, the breed is considered to be the protector of the country. Its name is significant – while Lhasa is the moniker for Tibet’s sacred city, Apso means long-haired pup. Those who are often lonely can adopt the Lhasa Apso and it would waste no time in becoming their best friend and companion. The playful, loyal, and independent dog is highly protective of its loved ones if given the right training. Maturity in this dog breed can be rather slow, thus, pet parents should exercise patience.

10. Xiasi Quan

Xiasi Quan source

The Xiasi Quan is one of the popular Chinese dog breeds. The breed has existed for centuries and still lives like royalty. It was around 1080 that the lean, muscular, hunting canine originated in Guizhou Providence of China. Believed to bestow its human family with wealth, the Xiasi Quan was bred as a hunting and guard dog. Born with a short wiry white coat, the breed sports padded paws, powerful legs, pointed ears, and a big face.

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