This guide will help you find compatible Asian dog breeds that could live with you. Before anything, here’s some brief information for you. For many centuries, parts of Asia were isolated from the rest of the world. This isolation is a big factor in Asia’s development of their own unique dog breeds. Fortunately, these beautiful dog breeds have begun to spread to different parts of the world. Below you will find some of the best Asian dog breeds. Some you may know, and some you may just be learning about. One thing is for sure, these dogs are beautiful and unique in their own ways and make great companions.
1. Chow Chow
First on the list of the best Asian dog breeds is the Chow Chow. These fluffy dogs may look more like lions found in an African Savannah, but they actually originate from Ancient China. Chow Chows are among the oldest known dog breeds, often depicted in art from China’s Han Dynasty. However, these dogs are suspected to be even older than that period. These dogs were known for being faithful companions to royalty for centuries. Over time they have been made into workers such as guards and hunters. These beautiful dogs slowly gained popularity in the West in the early 1900s.
Characterized by their fluffy coat, blue or black tongue, and deep-set eyes, Chow Chows are known for their dignified appearance. Their coats can be tan, blue, and black in color. These dogs are fiercely loyal to their families and can be aloof around strangers. However, early socialization will prevent any troubles your Chow Chow might have with new people.
Related Guide: Chow Chow Poodle Mix.
These beautiful little dogs have origins from both China and Tibet. Shih-Tzus were initially bred in China, but the parent dogs are from Tibetan breeding stock. These dogs were born to be loyal companions to royalty for centuries. Shih-Tzus remained a hidden treasure, exclusive to Chinese royalty, until the 1930s. After discovery, these dogs became one of the most popular toy dog breeds worldwide.
Shih-Tzus are known for their large, expressive eyes and beautiful, long coats. The affectionate and lovely personalities of these dogs make them great family companions. They are small and gentle, so they are perfect for families with children. Because they spent their history as famous lap dogs, Shih-Tzus are happiest when indoors, cuddled up with their family. This intense love and attachment to their family sometimes lead these dogs to be very vocal when strangers approach. However, careful and early training ensures your Shih-Tzu is well-adjusted among new people.
Origin: China and Tibet
3. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos are a small dog breed with an extensive history. These dogs have strong ties to their homeland of Tibet. The Lhasa Apso is known as the earth-bound incarnation of the country’s protector, the Snow Lion. Therefore, Lhasa Apsos were used as guard dogs outside palaces and monasteries in Tibet despite their small size. The Lhasa Apsos journey to the West is attributed to the 14th Dalai Lama, who gifted the breed to Americans in the 1940s.
These dogs may be small, but they are full of love and energy. Because of their history as guard dogs, Lhasa Apsos make excellent watchdogs for their family. This leads Lhasa Apsos to be uncomfortable and extra alert around strangers, resulting in barking. They can also be stubborn dogs, so they can be a challenge to train at times. They are known for their long hair that is often parted down the middle and their soulful eyes that will easily express their adoration for their loved ones.
Related Guide: Best Teddy Bear Dog Names.
Probably one of the most distinct dog breeds globally, Shar-Peis are also one of the oldest. Established over 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty in China, Shar-Peis are well-rounded dogs. Unlike many other breeds on our list, Shar-Peis were not bred for royalty. These dogs were the dogs of peasants which can be seen in the balanced nature of the Shar-Pei. Shar-Peis wore all hats on the farms where they originated. They guarded livestock, herded farm animals, and hunted. These dogs eventually made their way over to the West in the 1960s.
The distinct appearance of the Shar-Pei makes this breed unmistakeable (unless you mistake it for a hippopotamus, which is understandable). Shar-Peis have a broad muzzle, small eyes, little triangular ears, and a blue or black tongue. All these features are nestled within the plethora of winkles found along this dog’s body. Because of their history, these dogs are naturally highly loyal to their families and highly suspicious of strangers. However, these dogs are also brilliant and can be trained easily. Training your Shar-Pei to trust people from a young age is essential to ensure your dog does not become aggressive toward strangers.
Related Guide: Best Chinese Shar-Pei Breeders in the United States.
Similar to Shih-Tzus, Pugs were bred in China to be companions to emperors during ancient times. However, the Pug made its way over to Europe in the 1500s, becoming a popular watchdog in Holland. Pugs later gained extreme popularity in England and later worldwide, making them one of the most highly sought-after breeds.
Pugs come in three different colors: silver with a black face mask, tan with a black face mask, or all black. However, the most notable features of this breed are their compact snout, large expressive eyes, and distinguished wrinkles. This unique and adorable appearance dramatically contributes to the popularity of this breed. However, Pugs do best indoors as their short snout makes them susceptible to breathing complications during extreme weather. These little dogs are known for being a little mischievous, but their love and devotion quickly help this breed charm its way into the hearts of anyone it meets.
6. Shiba Inu
Originating in Japan, the Shiba Inu has been around since 300 bc. However, these dogs have had a very tumultuous past, nearly becoming extinct during World War 2. Luckily, this is not the case, and the Shiba Inu lives on to touch hearts and lives everywhere. This is a happy, active breed initially used for hunting. The word “Shiba” refers to “brushwood,” indicating the mountainous region in which these dogs hunted. “Inu” simply means “dog” in Japanese. However, many people worldwide are now familiar with the Shiba Inu, as its popularity has soared to the moon over the last 50 years.
Their history as hunters has led Shiba Inu to be naturally energetic and alert dogs. Shiba Inu’s coats are typically red or a combination of black and tan. They move swiftly, closely resembling foxes, especially those with a red coat. Also, because of their hunting background, Shiba’s should never be left off-leash as they are a flight risk. Don’t take this behavior too personally, though. Shiba’s love their families, but their instinct to hunt compels them to run when left off-leash.
7. Akita Inu
Another dog breed originating in Japan, the Akita Inu (sometimes referred to as the Akita), is a large part of Japanese culture. These dogs are symbols of happiness, health, and long life. There is a Japanese tradition of giving parents an Akita figurine when a new baby is born to signify this prosperity and good luck the Akita is said to have. These dogs were once exclusive to the imperial families of Japan but are now a beloved breed in the West. The first Akita Inu was brought to the United States by Helen Keller after a trip to Japan, where the dog was given as a gift.
Akita Inus prefer human companionship over interaction with other animals. They are loving and affectionate with their human friends and family, as well as fiercely protective. Therefore, socializing with an Akita from an early age is essential to developing a friendly dog. These dogs were hunters during their past in Japan, so they developed sturdy, athletic bodies. Akitas come in all colors, but their prominent defining feature is their expressive ears and eyes.
Related Guide: Best Akita Breeders in the United States.
Originating in China, it is actually unknown how far the Pekingnese dates back. These little dogs are so old, they are said to have been created by the Buddha. Legend has it that the Buddha shrunk lions down to get the Pekingese, which would explain their little lion appearances. Unlike other dogs on our list, these little lion dogs were brought to the West reasonably early. It’s assumed these dogs made their way over to the West around the 1860s.
Pekingese are loyal companions who are highly affectionate towards their family, typically choosing one human, in particular, to bond with. These dogs are alert and protective over their family, making them excellent watchdogs. However, they can sometimes be independent and stubborn, making them hard to train. They are characterized by their long “lion’s mane” that drapes along with their heads. Like the Pug, the Pekingese have a short muzzle, making them sensitive to extreme temperatures. These dogs are famously known for the way they move, often referred to as a rolling gait.
9. Tibetan Mastiff
As the name suggests, Tibetan Mastiffs originate from Tibet. Not much is known about this ancient breed besides their history of being the great guardians of the Himalayas. These dogs are thought to be the original Mastiffs, giving way to all the modern Mastiff breeds we now know and love. The most imposing breed on our list, the Tibetan Mastiff, is a faithful guard dog who is calm and loving with family but fiercely territorial with strangers.
These dogs can weigh anywhere from 70 to 150 lbs, making them a genuinely intimidating breed if not trained and socialized at a young age. Luckily, these dogs are brilliant and will follow their owner’s commands as long as they are delivered confidently and firmly. If you do not deliver your commands with conviction, your Tibetan Mastiff will make decisions based on instinct which can be dangerous.
Tibetan Mastiff Mention: Mastiff Poodle Mix Guide.
Originating on a small island off of the coast of South Korea, the Jindo was a companion and hunter for many years. Jindos are a new breed among the West, only joining the ranks of the pure breed organization, the American Kennel Club (AKC), in 2008. These dogs are considered a protected Natural Treasure in South Korea. These medium-sized dogs come in many colors, including white, black, and red.
They are known for their self-cleaning coats and their tendency to practice similar hygiene acts to cats. Jindos do often shed because of their thick double coats. These dogs are fiercely loyal to their loved ones, often forming an unbreakable bond with one specific person. This extreme devotion can lead to unease and aggression towards strangers. They must be socialized and trained early in life. However, training a Jindo is easy, as these dogs are intelligent and eager to please their loved ones.
Origin: South Korea
Last on the list of the best Asian dog breeds is the Samoyed. Bred initially and raised among the Samoyedic people of Siberia, the Samoyed developed the ability to withstand freezing temperatures. And it grew strong, lasting bonds with humans. These dogs worked with their human companions to ensure survival among the frozen tundra of Siberia. Samoyeds would huddle in tents with their semi-nomadic families and provide warmth. Because of these temperatures, people would keep large packs of these dogs to ensure maximum warmth in the cold. Samoyeds were also responsible for hunting and herding reindeer. These dogs were eventually brought to the West in the early 1900s.
Because of the strong bonds they formed with humans throughout history, Samoyeds grew into a highly human-centered breed. They are loving and affectionate dogs who require lots of attention from their humans. These dogs will become sad and depressed if they are not spending enough time with their loved ones. They are known for their snow-white coats and their upturned mouths. The shape of their mouths was forged over time to prevent drool which would turn into icicles in the cold climate. However, nowadays, their upturned mouths contribute to their happy-go-lucky nature as they look like they have huge smiles on their faces.
Conclusion For The “Best Asian Dog Breeds”
As you can see, there is quite a variety of dog breeds that originate from Asia. These dogs have become extremely popular globally as they have amazing characteristics both physically and emotionally.
For more dog breed recommendations, check out:
- Best Medium Non-Shedding Dog Breeds
- Small Non-Shedding Dog Breeds
- Most Popular Dog Breeds in Nigeria
To learn more about this topic, watch “10 Asian Dog Breeds” from AnimalWised down below: