Chinese Dog Breeds

17 Chinese Dog Breeds: Ancient & Unique Dogs (with Pictures)

China is a huge country with many adorable dogs. There are many other Chinese breeds of dogs, including the Shih Tzu and Chow Chow. This article will cover all Chinese dog breeds. We will help you if you are considering owning a Chinese dog.


Pekingese dog breed pic


These adorable small dogs are from the 8th Century when members of the Tang Dynasty fell for them. They passed a law making it illegal to own one unless you were a royal. Peking was the capital of China. This is how the Pekingese dog breed was named.

This Chinese dog breed is beloved for its charm and affection. They are loyal to their loved ones but also have their own independence. Pekingese aren’t fond of roughhousing and don’t like children.

Pekingese is an adorable wrinkly dog breed you can get for your apartment.


Shar-Pei dog breed pic

The Chinese Shar-Pei can weigh up to 60 pounds. This puts them in the “large dog breeds” category. They are strong guardians who are known for their loyalty and have a lot of intelligence.

They are not the most useful dog for their new owners. Their intelligence, independence, guarding instincts, and intelligence can make them difficult to handle. They can be a little too stubborn and intelligent to do what they decide. Training and socialization are crucial.

These dogs are also not friendly. These dogs enjoy being with their families but are aloof around strangers.

Bone Mouth Dog

Bone Mouth Dog

The Bone Mouth Dog technically isn’t its breed. It is actually a Shar-Pei variation. The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize this possible variation. This “bone-mouthed” Shar Pei is still very popular in China.

It seems that the difference between these two varieties is due to geological locations. The AKC recognizes the “Meat Mouth Shar-Pei” Shar-Pei as a result of American breeding. The Bone Mouthed Shar-Pei is more closely related to the original Shar-Pei and is the breed that is most common in China today.

They behave very similar to the Shar-Pei but have less skin around their faces and muzzle.


Pug dog breed pic

Because of their friendly, sweet demeanors and small size, pugs are a popular choice for family dogs. They are also one of the oldest breeds in the world. It is believed that the Pug originated in China about 400 B.C. As a Tibetan Buddhist monk’s companion. There are many theories about tying pugs with Tibetan mastiffs. Others claim it’s related the Pekingese, another Chinese dog. This comical, affectionate dog, once a mischievous companion for emperors, is now a loving, funny friend.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Toy
  • Height: 10 to 13 inches
  • Weight: 14-18 Pounds
  • Coat & Color: Short, smooth coats available in black or fawn
  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

The United States is home to many pugs. They are great house dogs and can get along with almost everyone. They are happy in both urban and rural settings. They are affectionate and fun-loving.

These dogs do have one major downside: their numerous health problems. They are one of the most unhealthy breeds in existence. They have squished noses that make it difficult to breathe, which can lead to many problems. They can also have back problems due to their curly tails.

You might also be interested in Puppy Food for Pugs if you are thinking of getting a puppy.

Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel

Outside of China, the Tibetan Spaniel is rare. It is however one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They were originally bred as alert dogs for Tibetan monasteries. Many of their barking instincts are still present today.

There are many color options for these dogs. These dogs aren’t technically spaniels but are closer to Chinese dog breeds like pugs or other Chinese breeds.

They are an excellent choice for dog owners who are just starting out and they do a great job with training. These dogs can be quite loud so they might not be the best fit for apartments.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow dog breed pic

Chow-Chow is one of the most famous Chinese dogs. The lumbering beast is well-known in China as well as America. They can weigh up to 70 pounds making them one the largest dogs on this list.

Chows are known for their cleanliness. Chows are easy to housetrain and they have very low doggy smells. They are often trained to clean their own litter like cats.

Although they are not aggressive, they can be protective and “dignified” when they get the chance to socialize with other animals and people. These dogs are not friendly and can be very distant from strangers.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dog breed

This list also includes the Shi Tzu, which is a popular dog. They are easily identifiable by their long, squished noses and thick coats. They are small and weigh in at 9 to 16 pounds. They come in many colors and require lots of grooming. To keep their hair soft and clean, you will need to brush it daily.

Shih Tzus loves children and are very gentle with them. Although they are content to stay on the couch all day long, Shih Tzus should exercise occasionally to avoid obesity.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

This dog is massive. Males can reach up to 150 pounds and measure 26 inches tall at the shoulder. This Chinese dog breed is not suitable for apartments.

These dogs, despite their large size, are very calm and mellow. These dogs are loyal and friendly to their families and are often described as being very dedicated. They can be territorial towards strangers, however. To overcome their territorial and guarding instincts, they need to be socialized early on, preferably before they grow too large.

This mastiff, like most Chinese dogs, has the distinctive “lion’s mane”.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

There are two types of Chinese Crested: the hairless and the haired. However, this is a bit misleading. Although the hairless variety has quite a lot of hair on its head and the haired one has a balder face, it is not completely illegible. They are both not able to live up to their names.

Both dogs are affectionate and playful. They need a little more exercise than other smaller dogs, and they thrive in an active family.

For those suffering from allergies, the hairless variety may be a good option. They aren’t all hypoallergenic, however.

Chongqing Dog

Chongqing Dog

This breed is rare. It is one of the rarest dog breeds in the country, making it difficult to find one to adopt. Although they are fully recognized by American Kennel Club, they have their conservatory program.

Chongqing dogs are believed to have been around since the Han Dynasty, more than 2000 years ago. They were bred as hunting and watchdog dogs. They were the dog of the common man.

These dogs are very outgoing and confident. They are very playful and enjoy having fun. They are very prey-driven and will often chase other animals, sometimes running off. They are great family dogs and are gentle with children.

Kunming Wolfdog

Kunming Wolfdog

The wolfdog is very similar to a German Shepherd. It shares the same head shape as a German Shepherd and has an athletic build. This dog’s unique feature is its ability to fluff up when alerted. It is similar to a feline. Because they are so rare, these dogs are not recognized by AKC.

This dog is related to the German Shepherd, as you might guess. It was actually developed and originated from China. They can be trained for many jobs, including police and military work.

It is hard to find this breed in the United States.

Formosan Mountain Dog

Formosan Mountain Dog

This breed is a Taiwanese island called Formosa. They are very common in this area. They are a common sight in the country and can be found roaming the streets. They are stars of the island and have adapted well to their environment.

They are difficult to find because they can only be found on one island. They are not considered a popular breed in America and are not recognized as such by the American Kennel Club.

They are energetic and loyal dogs. They thrive in active families, and they often go on the move all day. They can also learn commands quickly because they are intelligent. They can be used as guard dogs occasionally, but do not possess the same territorial instincts as other breeds.

The Formosan Mountain Dog, a relatively new domesticated breed, is one of the most popular. They spent a lot of their lives in the wild. This is why early socialization is so important.

Xiasi Quan

Xiasi Quan

The dog is also known as the “Bai Long Quan” or the Guizhou Province, which is located in the south.

It is quite different from other Chinese dogs. It is a small dog with a thin build and a wispy white coat. It does not have a “lion’s mane” like the Chinese dog.

The Xiasi Quan is a hunting dog. It has a high prey drive. The Xiasi Quan is intelligent and alert, with sharp senses. They are easy to train and don’t seem to be stubborn. They are good with other dogs and may even consider smaller animals to be prey.

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin dog breed

I understand what you are thinking. The history of the Japanese Chin is complicated. Breed experts and historians don’t know the origin of this dog. Many believe it is a Chinese product despite the common name. It could have come from Tibetan monasteries like the other dogs on this page, or it could be a favorite of Chinese emperors.

The breed was eventually bred in Japan by Japanese nobles. It is actually both Chinese and Japanese.

This breed is best suited for living in a small apartment. They are easy to exercise, and they can be found comfortably laying on the couch for most of the day. They are friendly and affectionate, but not too troublesome. They are great for a first-time owner.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso dog breed

Lhasa Apso looks similar to Shih Tzu’s, but its muzzle is more prominent. They have been around for thousands of years. Their origins are in the Himalayas where they were used as alert dogs at monasteries.

They are small but strong. Their long, straight coat can reach the ground and needs to be kept clean and tidy. Their tail curls up over their back, just like other Tibetan breeds.

They are intelligent dogs, sometimes a bit too intelligent for their own good. When they aren’t being commanded, these dogs can be stubborn or willful. Although they don’t like strangers, they can be affectionate with their families.

Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier

The Lhasa Apso is similar to this dog, but it is slightly larger. It is not a Terrier, despite its name. It is instead in the non-sporting category.

This Tibetan dog was originally bred to serve as a watchdog at monasteries, just like many Tibetan dogs. Their long, thick coats require frequent grooming. They can reach 30 pounds and are considered to be “medium-sized” dogs. The Tibetan terrier’s unique flat feet make it easy to navigate the deep snow of the mountains where they were raised.

The energetic dog breed is known for its energy. They love to be outside and do something. They are best suited for active people.

Tibetan Kyi Apso

Tibetan Kyi Apso

This rare breed protects Tibetan livestock. Their hair can be shaved occasionally and used to make rugs. That’s how hairy they really are. Their coats are extremely long and they often weigh in at least 100 pounds. That’s a lot of hair to make a rug, as you can see. Although they are more athletic than the Tibetan Mastiff, they are still very similar.

Their strong pack instincts likely helped them survive in the rugged, mountainous terrain of their homeland. They are considered “primitive” and have many of their original instincts.

Last Thoughts

There are many pure-bred Chinese dogs. However, there are also dozens or hundreds of mixed breeds. A list of more than 100 Chinese dog names is available if you are interested in bringing a Chinese breed dog to your home.

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