Top 10 Popular Dog Breeds from China

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Dogs have been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years, with some of the oldest breeds originating from China. Throughout their long history, dogs in China have been used in various working roles. Several breeds were also created as regal companions; these pups were mostly kept in their homeland, unless given as gifts to outsiders by the imperial family.  

Today, Chinese breeds are cherished around the world, bringing joy to dog lovers everywhere. Here are 10 of the most popular dog breeds from China!

#1 Shih Tzu

The most pupular Chinese dog breed in America, the Shih Tzu is a lively pooch who will charm anyone they meet. And they’ve been doing so for centuries, from warming the laps of Chinese royalty in ancient times to enjoying life as pampered pets today. As small dogs bred to spend most of their day indoors, Shih Tzus make great companions for apartment dwellers.

#2 Pug

Often described as a lot of dog in a little package, the Pug is playful, mischievous, and loves being the center of attention. This small but sturdy breed adapts well to any living situation: in the city or country, with kids or seniors, as an only furchild or in a pack. Pugs enjoy snuggling and eating, but can excel in some canine sports as well.

#3 Chinese Shar-Pei

For a dog that’s steadfastly loyal, look no further than the Chinese Shar-Pei. Once on the brink of extinction, this breed was historically employed as hunters, herders, and guardians. They are calm dogs but will not hesitate to respond to threats and protect their family. Shar-Peis are easily recognizable by their wrinkled skin; their name literally means “sand skin” in Chinese.
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#4 Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested’s unique looks make it impossible to mistake this breed for any other. Their exact origin is unknown, but these tough little dogs were believed to have accompanied Chinese sailors on the high seas, skillfully catching rats on ships. Today, Chinese Cresteds enjoy life as family pets; these pint-sized pups do well in various types of homes, including apartments.

#5 Chow Chow

One of the world’s oldest breeds, the Chow Chow was once the preferred companion of Chinese nobles. Present-day Chows still carry themselves with much pride and dignity. They’re not the cuddly type, but are extremely loyal to their favorite person. Chows have also been described as catlike; aside from being aloof and independent, they’re fastidious and barely have doggy odor.

#6 Pekingese

One of the breeds created for the aristocrats of ancient China, the Pekingese is regal yet versatile, able to adapt to many situations. These stocky toy dogs make good companions for novice pet parents and apartment dwellers; however, they do have a tendency to bark and will not tolerate roughhousing. Those who can meet a Peke’s needs will find a loyal friend in this breed.

#7 Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is an old breed whose beginnings have long been debated by historians. But many believe that this toy dog originated in China, despite the name. Regardless of origin, the Chin’s only job has always been to provide companionship and comfort to humans—something that they certainly excel at thanks to their gentle, loving, and happy nature.

#8 Kunming Wolfdog

Sometimes called the Chinese German Shepherd, the Kunming Wolfdog was bred to assist the Chinese military. They can also be seen working alongside firefighters and search-and-rescue teams. Kunming Wolfdogs are courageous and affectionate, hence their popularity as family dogs in China. Because of their high energy levels, they’re better suited for active and experienced pet parents.

#9 Chinese Chongqing Dog

Believed to be among the oldest breeds from China, the Chinese Chongqing Dog has a history that can be traced back to the Han dynasty. Traditionally used for hunting and guarding, this breed is considered very rare today. The Chongqing Dog has a straight and hairless tail that resembles a bamboo stick, thus earning them the nickname the Bamboo Ratter.

#10 Xiasi Dog

Hailing from China’s Guizhou province, the Xiasi Dog is a lean and muscular pup with a wiry white coat. Originally employed as guard dogs due to their speed and stamina, they are loyal and eager to please, making them ideal companions. It is also believed that they bring wealth to their family. With only 300 Xiasi Dogs in existence today, this breed is extremely rare.