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22 Asian Dog Breeds

Nicole Cosgrove

The American Kennel Club recognizes 195 dog breeds, and another 79 are working towards acceptance. This large number is difficult to get through if you don’t have a good system. Some people will sort the breeds by size, or location, or even temperament. In this article, we will look at all of the breeds that come from Asian countries. For each breed on this list, we’ll show you a picture of what they look like and give you a quick description so you can see if it’s a breed worth considering to be a part of your family.

Keep reading while we look at 22 Asian dog breeds to help you find the right one for your home.divider-dog

Top 22 Asian Dog Breeds:

1. Japanese Spitz

Japanese-Spitz_Shutterstock_Lisjatina
Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, obedient
Colors: White

The Japanese Spitz is a small to medium-sized dog that Japanese breeders first created in the 1920s. Most kennel clubs recognize this breed, but American breeders consider it to be too similar to the Pomeranian for acceptance. It’s rapidly gaining in popularity due to its friendly temperament. It’s devoted to family members and makes a great watchdog. It also gets along well with children and other pets.


2. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Dog
Image Credit: Mabel Amber, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Alert, confident, fearless
Colors: Red sesame, black and tan

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese hunting breed that has a fox-like face, ears, and legs. It has a spirited boldness but a friendly temperament, so it enjoys being around people. It’s a meticulous groomer and will spend several hours a day licking its fur clean. It’s a hardy animal with a long lifespan and relatively few health problems. As a note, it’s not known for being a very affectionate dog.


3. Pekingese

pekingese walking_everydoghasastory, Shutterstock
Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, good-natured
Colors: Wide variety

The Pekingese breed originates from China, and it’s a small dog that often has long hair, though they are also available with short hair. It has a short snout, so it doesn’t do a lot of running, and it’s also susceptible to heatstroke. However, these are affectionate dogs that are also entertaining with comical behavior.


4. Chow Chow

chow chow on a retro vintage background
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 9–15 years
Temperament: Aloof, independent, quiet
Colors: Red, cinnamon, black, cream, blue

The Chow Chow is a large dog from Northern China with a broad skull and tiny triangle ears. It has extremely thick hair that makes it look like a giant teddy bear. This breed is fiercely protective of its owners and can be strong-willed when it wants something. These dogs rarely bark and usually rely on their massive size to intimidate strangers. Though extremely loyal, this is not a particularly cuddly breed.


5. Chippiparai

Chippiparai Dog_SEBEN S_shutterstock
Credit: SEBEN S, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Temperament: Independent and loyal
Colors: Usually white, but other colors are available

The Chippiparai is a sighthound from India. It has very long and narrow legs built for speed. It excels at hunting small games, and it gets frequent work as a police dog. Most kennels do not recognize it, but it’s growing in popularity due to its ties to royalty. These dogs are devoted to their masters and will often refuse to eat food from anyone else.


6. Thai Ridgeback

Thai ridgeback dog_Sbolotova_shutterstock
Credit: Sbolotova, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–13 years
Temperament: Family-oriented, Intelligent, protective
Colors: Blue, black, red, fawn

The Thai Ridgeback is a fantastic family pet that enjoys spending time with humans. It gets along well with children and other pets, and it has short, dense fur that is easy to maintain. It’s a tough breed with a strong survival instinct capable of extremely high jumps. Breeders first created it in Thailand almost 400 years ago, and it’s remained popular ever since.


7. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Alert, energetic, friendly, playful, intelligent
Colors: Black, white, tan, brown

The Lhasa Apso breed is from Tibet, and its name means “goatee”, referencing its unique facial hair. These dogs are instantly recognizable due to the long hair, though there is a less popular short hair version. Despite their distinguished appearance, these dogs are extremely playful and love to chase around balls and play games of fetch. The Lhasa Apso has very few health problems and tends to live a long life.


8. Indian Spitz

indian spitz_napat intaroon_shutterstock
Credit: napat intaroon, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Temperament: Active, intelligent, playful
Colors: White, brown, black

The Indian Spitz comes from India, where breeders call it a Pomeranian even though it’s not related to that breed. It’s the most popular dog in its home country and is easy to find there. It’s a great companion breed and is also suitable as a watchdog where it will bark at any intruders, so you know their presence. These dogs also like games of fetch and frisbee where they can jump.


9. Shih Tzu

shih tzu with tongue out
Image Credit: Michael Mong, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Temperament: Independent, playful. friendly
Colors: Wide range of colors and patterns

The Shih Tzu is a popular dog in America and the rest of the world. It has a playful and friendly temperament but also likes to be the center of attention and can be quite mischievous if you try to ignore it or leave it alone for too long. Its tiny size is perfect for small apartments and city life, and it’s the ideal pet for the elderly due to its high intelligence and independent thinking.


10.  Akita Inu

akita inu puppy peed in the carpet
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Temperament: Courageous, friendly. docile
Colors: Black, fawn, silver, brown

The Akita Inu is a large breed from Northern Japan that can often exceed 90 pounds. It originally hunted elk, boar, and bear. It even competed in dogfighting, but today it’s mostly a companion animal or a working dog that trainers use to pull sleds and carts. It’s usually quite docile but is courageous when protecting its owner or another dog in its pack.


11.  Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier_Shutterstock_Livanich
Image Credit: Livanich, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Temperament: Agile, calm, confident
Colors: Black

As the name suggests, the Black Russian Terrier is a black dog breed that comes from Russia. It’s not a true terrier, and breeders created it by mixing seven different breeds, including the Giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, and Caucasian Shepherd dog. It’s a strong and confident breed with an excellent work ethic, but it can also be lazy if you don’t train it properly. It’s a great fit for families with children because it forms a strong lifelong bond with them.


12.  Japanese Chin

chinwa japanese chin chihuahua mix
Image Credit: studio hoto, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Temperament: Alert, intelligent, loyal
Colors: Black, lemon, sable, white

The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is easily recognizable due to its strabismus of the eyes, giving it a slightly cross-eyed appearance. It’s an ancient breed that dates back to about 700 AD when it was popular with Japanese royalty. Most owners describe it as being catlike because it uses its paws to clean its face. It also likes to do tricks like dancing on its back legs while clapping its front paws.


13.  Chinese Crested

chinese crested dog in grass_Veronika Andrews_Pixabay
Image Credit: Veronika Andrews, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Temperament: Lively, affectionate, happy
Colors: Wide variety of colors and patterns

The Chinese Crested is an attractive and tiny breed that rarely stands taller than 13 inches. It has long hair over large triangle ears and face but short hair over the body, giving it a unique appearance that made it the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest from 2003 to 2005. It’s an intelligent breed that’s also playful and entertaining.


14.  Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Image Credit: David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Temperament: Independent, clownish, happy
Colors: Red, cream, silver, white, black, blue, tan

Afghan Hounds are medium to large-sized dogs with long silky hair. It has panoramic vision and unique hip joints that allow it to achieve incredible speeds. It’s available in several colors, and most owners describe it as happy with a penchant for clowning around. It’s perfect for children and was even kept as a pet by the famous painter Picasso.


15.  Borzoi

Borzoi dog
Image Credit: artbycharlotte, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12–13 years
Temperament: Athletic, gentle, independent
Colors: Wide variety of colors and patterns

The Borzoi is an athletic dog with a long and narrow head and legs to match. Its fur is soft and silky, and the Russians use it for hunting wolves and other game due to its athletic abilities. Despite its hunting prowess, it’s quite gentle around humans and even makes a great companion for a child.


16.  Korean Jindo

korean jindo_jamongcreator_Shutterstock
Image Credit: jamongcreator, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Brave, active, intelligent
Colors: Red, white, black, brindle, fawn

The Jindo dog breed is indigenous to South Korea and is one of their national treasures. It’s a double-coated spitz-type dog with forward-pointing upright ears. Most owners describe it as having a gentle nature that is never aggressive toward humans or other dogs. It’s extremely loyal and has often traveled hundreds of miles to return to its original home if transported elsewhere.


17.  Dosa Mastiff

Lifespan: 7–12 years
Temperament: Dignified and easy going
Colors: Chocolat, mahogany, red

The Dosa Mastiff is a very large dog breed that enjoys being around people. It has a dignified appearance and an easy-going temperament that makes it the perfect family pet. These dogs rarely bark and prefer to scare off would-be intruders with their imposing size. It’s a sweet breed that loves children but doesn’t live quite as long as many other breeds.


18.  Kintamani-Bali

Kintamani Bali Dog_Adi Dharmawan_shuterstock
Credit: Adi Dharmawan, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Temperament: Affectionate, friendly, lively
Colors: Black, white, beige, pied

The Kintamani Bali Dog is from Indonesia, and you can recognize this breed by the broad face, flat forehead, and forward-facing triangular ears. It’s an affectionate breed that often sits on your lap despite being too large and will often be under your feet as you move from one room to the next. This breed likes to dig, so you will need to designate an area of the yard or you will have holes all over.


19.  Pug

pug in a harness
Image Credit: maniablack18, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Attentive, docile, playful, and quiet
Colors: Wide variety of colors and patterns

The Pug is one of the most popular pets in America, and it seems to get more popular every day. It’s also a prized dog in China. This small dog rarely gets more than 14 inches tall and has an adorable scrunched-in face covered with wrinkles. It tends to follow you wherever you go and like a lot of attention. It also enjoys sitting on your lap and going for long rides in the car.


20.  Samoyed

white Samoyed dog in a beautiful forest
Image Credit: Evgeniia Shikhaleeva, Shuttestock
Lifespan: 12–13 years
Temperament: Alert, sociable, stubborn
Colors: White, biscuit, cream

The Samoyed breed is a light-colored dog with long soft fur. You can use this fur as an alternative to wool when knitting, and many craftsmen use it to create artificial flies for angling. These dogs are alert and make excellent watchdogs, but they are friendly toward family members and other pets. Another unique feature about the Samoyed dogs is that if you look at them straight on it looks like they are smiling.


21.  Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky_Shutterstock_Konstantin-Zaykov
Image Credit: Konstantin Zaykov, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Intelligent, alert, outgoing
Colors: Agouti, black, black and tan, white

The Siberian Husky is an extremely hardy animal capable of withstanding harsh temperatures. Because of their ability to travel long distances over snow and ice, they are part of the United States Army’s Arctic Search and rescue unit. These dogs are very outgoing and like to make new friends, but they are protective of their owners and will not allow strangers to get by unchecked.


22.  Tibetan Mastiff

brown tibetan mastiff_Shutterstock_Liliya Kulianionak
Image credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Temperament: Aloof, strong-willed, and stubborn
Colors: Black, tan, blue, fawn, sable, red

The Tibetan Mastiff is another breed that enjoys the cold weather and has a dense fur coat to protect them. These large dogs are the perfect watch dogs because they rarely bark and, despite their large size, are quite agile and attentive, so they quickly sneak up on any intruders. It likes to stand guard by itself and isn’t much for company, though it enjoys going for walks with its master and will usually sleep close to the rest of the family.divider-paw

Summary

There are plenty of breeds on this list that would make excellent pets and aren’t hard to find. The Pug and Shih Tzu are especially popular in America, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a breeder. We recommend avoiding the Chow Chow if you are new to owning dogs because these large dogs can be quite stubborn and will take over the house if you don’t know how to become the Alpha.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found a few dogs you would like to have. If we’ve given you some options to consider, please share these 22 Asian dog breeds on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured image credit: Akbudak Rimma, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.