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8 Chinese Dog Breeds (with Pictures)

shar-pei dog

Chinese dog breeds are some of the most influential in the history of domesticated dogs, known for being some of the foundations of popular dog breeds today. Some breeds are so old that they’re known as basal dogs, which means they’re one of the original dog breeds of the world. They’re known for their quirky, independent personalities, even the breeds that are companion dogs. Although they’re not for everyone, Chinese breeds can be great dogs in the right environment. If you’re curious about Chinese breeds, this list is for you! Here are 8 Chinese dog breeds:


The 8 Chinese Dog Breeds

1. Chow-Chow

chow chow_VKarlov_Shutterstock
Image Credit: VKarlov, Shutterstock
AKC Group Non-sporting
Height 18-22 inches
Weight 45–70 pounds
Temperament Loyal, alert, aloof

 Chow Chows are one of the most popular and well-known dog breeds in the world, infamous for their aggressive tendencies towards strangers. With their thick coats and blue tongues, Chow Chows have a lion-like stature that gives them an imposing look. Chow Chows are a basal breed and were around before the modern dog breeds of modern times, making them one of the oldest breeds in the world.

2. Pug

AKC Group Toy
Height 10-14 inches
Weight 13–18 pounds
Temperament Quirky, bold, affectionate

Pugs are incredibly popular as apartment companions due to their small size and affectionate personalities. Loud and proud, pugs need to learn how to control their barking as soon as possible since they love to use their voices. Pugs can go from zero to sixty and love to play, but they can get a little moody. They’re highly affectionate and were bred for companionship, but they can be mischievous.

3. Shar-Pei

shar pei_style81_Pixabay
Image Credit: style81, Pixabay
AKC Group Non-sporting
Height 18–20 inches
Weight 45–60 pounds
Temperament Serious, calm, dignified

Once bred for fighting other dogs and guarding their humans, Shar-Pei dogs are far from being socialites and prefer the company of their favorite people. These wrinkly canines can be affectionate and loving, but their independent, stubborn natures can make them hard to train. Though they’re calm and reserved, Shar-Pei dogs do best in quiet homes with no other dogs.

 4. Pekingese

Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay
AKC Group Toy
Height 6–9 inches
Weight 7–14 pounds
Temperament Regal, intelligent, affectionate

Pekingese dogs are aristocratic dogs that act as toy-sized guard dogs, barking at any strangers that may arrive on the property. Preferring the company of their favorite person since they’re more of a one-person kind of dog, Pekingese dogs are often called Velcro-dogs because of their attachment. Don’t be fooled by their affection- these toy dogs are quite stubborn when they want to be.

5. Xiasi Dog

AKC Group Not recognized by major kennel clubs
Height 17–22 inches
Weight 25–55 pounds
Temperament Keen, loyal, friendly

Xiasi Dogs are a very rare Chinese breed of dog from the small village named Xiasi in the Guizhou Prefecture. They’re small but rugged, built to handle the rough terrain and elements. These small dogs are generally friendly and bond closely with their families, though their numbers are dwindling. In the Xiasi village, some believe these shaggy dogs may bring wealth to their families.

6. Chongqing Dog

AKC Group Not recognized by major kennel clubs
Height 17–22 inches
Weight 25–55 pounds
Temperament Dignified, protective, fearless

Chongqing Dogs is another very rare breed of dog from China, notable for their short muzzles, stocky build, and ‘bamboo stick’ tails. They’re naturally protective of their families due to their natural guarding instincts, so socialization is important to establish boundaries. Chongquing dogs can be friendly with strangers, but some will remain somewhat aloof.

7. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog
Image Credit: Pixabay
AKC Group Toy
Height 11–13 inches
Weight 5–12 pounds
Temperament Social, lively, bright

Chinese Crested dogs are toy-sized dogs that aren’t technically from China, but they were brought back after Chinese sailors had them on their ships to chase vermin. These little companions come in two variations: powderpuff (soft, silky coat) and hairless (fur only on face, ears, legs, and tail). Though they may be small, Chinese Crested Dogs are athletic and love a challenge.

8. Kunming Wolfdog (Hybrid)

AKC Group Not recognized by major kennel clubs
Height 25–27 inches
Weight 65–85 pounds
Temperament Intelligent, alert, powerful

Kunming Wolfdogs have a near-identical appearance to the German Shepherd, but their true origins are a bit unclear. These shepherd-hybrid canines are intelligent working dogs, but they’re generally gentle around children and have relatively even temperaments. Kunmings are powerful and athletic, so they need a lot of exercise and training do to prevent boredom or frustration.



Chinese dog breeds range from highly popular to exceedingly rare, creating a wide range of dogs with different backgrounds and purposes. They’re all intelligent dogs that bond to their owners, especially those that were bred specifically for companionship.

Featured Image: Christel SAGNIEZ, Pixabay

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