Chinese Foo Dog


Height: Toy: 10 inches or less; Miniature: 10 - 15 inches; Standard: 15 + inches.

Weight: Small: 20 lbs. or less; Medium: 21 - 50 lbs.; Large: 51 or more lbs.

Life Span:

Litter Size:

Country of Origin: China


Watch-dog: High. Chinese Foo Dogs are very alert.

Guard-dog: High. Chinese Foo Dogs were bred for the purpose of guarding.

Description: The Chinese Foo Dog's characteristics remain largely a mystery for this rarest of breeds. They resemble the typical Northern type dog, compact and square-like in profile. They have a moderately broad head with prick ears. Similar in structure to the Chow Chow, the Foo Dog's coat is substantial without being coarse. The tail is carried over their back, as it is slightly curled. Foo Dogs are medium sized dogs, bulky and used for working. They are one of the spitz-type breeds, originally used to pull sleds, herd, and to guard. They are bold, energetic and make an excellent watch dog and guardian dog. They learn quickly, and are very intelligent. They tend to be good with children as well. There are three types of Chinese Foo Dogs in height: toy, miniature and standard. The three divisions of standard in weight are: small, medium, and large. The standard are over 15 inches, the miniature 10 - 15 inches, and the toy are less than 10 inches tall. Chinese Foo Dogs were often kept to guard palaces, sacred places and homes. They were popular in China for a time, and are thought to possibly be the link between the Chinese wolf and the Chow Chow. Hardy, alert and a courageous, the Chinese Foo Dog is excellent for a family needing a loving, working companion.

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Other Names: Happiness Dog, Celestial Dog

Colors: Acceptable colors may be any shade or combination of black, black and tan, blue, brown and blue, cream and sable, fawn (yellow-cream to brown), orange, red (light gold to deep mahogany), sable, wolf gray (medium gray to silver); (with or without minor, limited white markings).

Coat: The breed is double-coated. The thick, hard, weather-resistant and oft-standing coat is made up of a coarse, straight-haired outer coat and a soft, dense, woolly undercoat. It is smooth, short, thick and rich on the head and on the front of the legs. The neck, buttocks, chest, hind part of legs and underside of the tail have the longest hair. The double-coat comes in a short Plush or the longer Rough.

Temperament: Chinese Foos are bold and energetic, alert and courageous. They are unafraid of strangers, and will defend their master's possessions. They are loving, hardy, strong and independent. They learn quickly, and love to guard and alert their owners of intruders. They are good with children and quite friendly. Chinese Foo Dogs are a dignified breed.

With Children: Very Good, they are friendly towards them as well as guard them.

Learning Rate: High

History: The Chinese Foo Dog originated in China with its name supposedly deriving from the city of Foochow. These dogs being ni resemblance and symbolism to Buddha in China, the name may also come from the Chinese word for Buddha, Fo. This word led to the original name of the dog, Dog of Fo. The Dog of Fo traces its ancestry back over 3000 years with its progenitors including the Spitz Foo Dog and several other Asian breeds, such as the Chow Chow. It was originally used as a hunter, a working dog, and as a family protector. Foo Dogs served largely as guardians to the Han Dynasty as well, making their origins date back even further to the 200s B.C. From about 221 to 618 A.D., the Foo dog left behind no evidence of existence, until after 618 A.D. when the T'ang Dynasty gave them as gifts to royalty. The breed was highly regarded due to their resemblance of a lion, in which lions were sacred in the Buddhist culture. Chinese Foo Dogs were often placed outside of businesses, homes, temple gates, and estates. They were seen as sacred animals used to scare off evil spirits of unwelcome guests. Their emergence into art came as an explosion, as many recorded paintings, sculptures and more of Chinese art resembled that of a lion dog, the Chinese Foo. Today the dog is a symbol of value and energy, important things to an owner. Often in sculptures the Foo Dog/lion is displayed as a pair of male and female. The male plays with a ball, which is the Earth, while the female holds a cub. Today the breed is still rare.

Class: Companion, Northern

Registries: IRBDC (International Rare Breed Dog Club), CFDCA (Chinese Foo Dog Club of America), ICFDA (International Chinese Foo Dog Association)