Dogs have played an important role in Asia for thousands of years. In fact, scientists now believe that the earliest domesticated dogs appeared in eastern Asia. Like dogs from other continents, each of the Asian breeds was developed for a specific purpose, usually as either a hunter/guardian or as a companion.
In Tibet, for example, the large Tibetan mastiff was used to guard monasteries, while the little Lhasa apso remained indoors, alerting the monks and the mastiffs at the approach of any menacing stranger.
Royalty also prized these dog breeds. In China, commoners could be sentenced to death if they were found in possession of a Pekingese or pug. These little dogs were often transported in the large sleeves of the Chinese Imperial Household and treated like royalty themselves.
Chinese dog breeds include: shih tzu, Lhaso apso, Tibetan mastiff, Tibetan terrier, pug, shar-pei, Pekingese, Chinese crested, Tibetan spaniel, and chow chow.
Japanese breeds include: Akita, Japanese Chin, Japanese Spitz, Shiba Inu, Ainu, and Japanese terrier.
25 Names for Chinese Breeds
- Lo Shen