Dogs, much like humans, have different places of origin. Everywhere you go there’s a specific breed that is more common in that area compared to other places.
Thinking about how many types of different dog breeds there are is both overwhelming and fascinating. How many breeds do you think there are? If you guessed more than a hundred, then you are correct! There are around 390-400 dog breeds recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). That’s a lot of breeds! But, we’re not here to talk about all of them just yet.
The spotlight is on the dogs that are commonly found in Asia. Years of culture and exceptional landscape have made Asia a prime breeding land for a variety of dogs. Many of these breeds have made their way across the world and have captured the heart of many. Here are five (5) of the most common ones:
1. Chow Chow
These dogs originated from Northern China and are perhaps the most ancient of the Chinese breeds of dogs. They are characterized by their lion’s mane ruff around the head, black tongues, and deep-set eyes.
They aren’t the friendliest of dogs, but their protective nature comes from their history as guard dogs for homes and livestock — making them the perfect house buddy for you and your family.
2. Siberian Husky
The breed was developed by the Chukchi tribe of northeast Asia over 3,000 years ago to help them in their nomadic life as sled pullers. Despite their size, they are very loving and gentle dogs that are known for their clinginess and signature howls.
These are dogs bred to run and have a high prey drive that might cause them to chase cats or livestock. While most of today’s Siberian huskies are beloved family pets, many still pull sleds in local races and enjoy ski-joring with their owners.
This toy-sized dog breed is often associated with Holland and the House of Orange-Nassau. As well as Victorian England when pugs took on the latest rage in canine fashion. Many pugs can be spotted in paintings of that era, but they originated from China and were transported to Holland via trading ships of the Dutch East India Company.
They are extremely easy to live with as they are bred to be companion dogs. They, however, need proper care and maintenance due to their tendency to get sick and/or be obese.
4. Shih Tzu
A traditionally Chinese lion-looking dog breed, it was revered in Imperial courts because Buddha was said to have ridden to earth on the back of a lion. During the Ming and Manchu Dynasties, the little lion dogs were bred and raised by palace eunuchs and were considered the exclusive property of the royal court.
Because of their thick coat, they were sometimes carried inside the robes of noblewomen and were even used as bed warmers and placed at the feet of the emperors and empresses to generate heat. They were later on gifted to English and Dutch nobility, making the breed a constant companion to royals.
5. Lhasa Apso
They are an ancient breed developed in Tibet from the Tibetan terrier and similar herding-type Tibetan dogs. Dogs of this breed were sent to China and were used in the development of the Shih Tzu and Pekingese breeds.
They not only served as pets and companions but also as guard dogs because of their alert nature and their sharp bark. This breed is incredibly easy to care for and is known for living long lives.
Our dog companions at home come with such a rich history, and is truly a fascinating thing to read about. These are just five of the many different dog breeds common in Asia! We’ll talk about the other breeds in the future. We hope you learned something new today!
Read our other Dogs Around The World series, Europe, Australia, and Africa!