Which breed of dog is considered as the national dog of China?

Travel Destinations

By Mackenzie Roche

China’s National Dog

Every country has its own set of national symbols that reflect its culture and heritage. In China, one of these symbols that hold great significance is their national dog. Dogs have played an important role in Chinese history, from serving as loyal companions to guarding the emperor’s palace. Today, there are several breeds of dogs that are considered as the national dog of China, each with its own unique characteristics and history.

The Ancient History of Chinese Dogs

Dogs have been an integral part of Chinese culture for centuries. The earliest evidence of dogs in China dates back to the Neolithic period, around 10,000 years ago. During the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), dogs were bred for their hunting and guarding abilities. They were also trained to perform tricks for the entertainment of the royal court. Over time, different breeds of dogs were developed in different parts of China, each with its own special traits that made it suitable for various tasks.

The Pekingese: China’s Original Lap Dog

The Pekingese is a breed of toy dog that originated in ancient China. Also known as the "lion dog," the Pekingese was favored by Chinese royalty and was considered a symbol of nobility and wealth. They were kept as lap dogs, and it was believed that they could ward off evil spirits. The Pekingese has a distinctive appearance with a flat face, large eyes, and a flowing mane of hair. They are loyal and affectionate to their owners, but can also be stubborn and independent.

The Shar Pei: A Unique Chinese Breed

The Shar Pei is a breed of dog that originated in the Guangdong province of China. They were originally bred for hunting, guarding, and fighting. The Shar Pei has a distinctive appearance with wrinkled skin and a blue-black tongue. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature. Shar Peis require a lot of socialization and training to prevent them from becoming aggressive towards strangers.

The Chow Chow: An Enduring Chinese Symbol

The Chow Chow is a breed of dog that originated in northern China. They were bred for hunting, herding, and guarding. Chow Chows have a distinctive appearance with a thick coat of fur and a blue-black tongue. They are known for their loyalty and independence, and can be aloof towards strangers. Chow Chows require a lot of training and socialization to prevent them from becoming aggressive.

The Shih Tzu is a breed of toy dog that originated in Tibet and was later developed in China. They were kept as companion dogs by Chinese royalty and were considered a symbol of luxury and grace. Shih Tzus have a distinctive appearance with long, flowing hair and a flat face. They are known for their affectionate and playful nature, but can also be stubborn and independent.

The Tibetan Mastiff: A Treasured Chinese Guardian

The Tibetan Mastiff is a breed of dog that originated in Tibet and was later introduced to China. They were used as guard dogs to protect flocks and herds from predators. Tibetan Mastiffs have a distinctive appearance with a thick coat of fur and a large, muscular build. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature, but can also be independent and stubborn.

The Chinese Crested: A Quirky Chinese Breed

The Chinese Crested is a breed of toy dog that originated in China. They were kept as companion dogs by Chinese sailors and were used to catch rats on ships. Chinese Cresteds have a distinctive appearance with a hairless body and a tuft of hair on their head. They are known for their playful and affectionate nature, but can also be shy and timid.

The Kunming Wolfdog: A Chinese Police Dog

The Kunming Wolfdog is a breed of dog that was developed in China for police and military work. They were bred from German Shepherds and local Chinese dogs. Kunming Wolfdogs have a distinctive appearance with a thick coat of fur and a muscular build. They are known for their loyalty and intelligence, and are used for tasks such as tracking and search and rescue.

The Chinese Rural Dog: A Versatile Chinese Breed

The Chinese Rural Dog is a breed of dog that is found in rural parts of China. They are a mixed breed that has evolved over time to suit the needs of their owners. Chinese Rural Dogs have a range of appearances and temperaments, but are generally known for their intelligence and versatility. They are used for tasks such as hunting, herding, and guarding.

Controversy Surrounding China’s National Dog

Despite the popularity of certain breeds of dogs in China, there is still controversy surrounding which breed should be considered as the national dog. Some argue that it should be the Pekingese, as it is the oldest and most historically significant breed. Others argue that it should be the Chow Chow, as it is the most iconic and enduring symbol of China. Still, others argue that a new breed of dog should be developed specifically to represent China as its national dog.

Conclusion: The Search for China’s Official National Dog

The debate over China’s national dog continues, as various breeds compete for the title. While each breed has its own unique characteristics and history, ultimately, the decision will be based on which dog best represents China as a whole. Whether it is an existing breed or a new breed that is developed, China’s national dog will serve as a symbol of the country’s culture and heritage for generations to come.

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Mackenzie Roche

Mackenzie Roche, part of the content operations team at TravelAsker, boasts three years of experience as a travel editor with expertise in hotel content at U.S. News & World Report. A journalism and creative writing graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, she brings a wealth of literary prowess to her work. Beyond the desk, Mackenzie embraces a balanced life, indulging in yoga, reading, beach outings, and culinary adventures across Los Angeles.

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