The Appeal of Chinese Dog Breeds
Just like canines from any other part of the globe, Chinese dog breeds are very unique and possess individual traits that make them stand out. There are a few very popular breeds from this Asian country as well as some lesser-known that might make a great pet for your family.
The Shar Pei
With its heavy wrinkles and tightly curled tail, the Shar Pei is unmistakable. Its name translates to mean “sand skin” which accurately describes the dog’s coarse, rough coat. In 1978, this breed was labeled the worlds’ rarest. It wasn’t until 1991 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Shar Pei as an official breed.
There are actually different types of Shar Pei, both of which share their trademark blue-black tongue. The western version can have a brush, horse or bear coat. The traditional Chinese Shar Pei has fewer wrinkles, stands taller and has a flatter nose and mouth. This breed requires proper socialization from a young age. They can be very strong willed and often act territorial but also show love and affection to the families who adopt them.
The Chinese Crested Dog
The Chinese Crested Dog is another breed that is easy to identify because of its unusual appearance. This canine can be born hairless. Those that fall into the furless category actually have long hair on their paws, tail and head (which gives them the “crested” appearance) while the rest of the body is bare. A Powderpuff version also exists which is covered entirely in a long coat. A female Chinese Crested can have both types of puppy in the same litter.
Compact size makes this breed ideal for homes with less space, such as condos and apartments. The Chinese Crested does not like to be left alone for long and is a very playful and friendly companion for individuals of all ages. They are also very willing to please and respond best to positive reinforcement when training.
The Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu was bred in China but has become a popular breed in many other countries. They are recognizable by their small size and flat face. A purebred Shih Tzu will have large eyes that are dark in color and a double coat. A height of less than 10.5 inches is average with a weight of between 10 to 16 pounds for an adult.
Many families have fallen in love with the Shih Tzu’s gentle personality. The dog is very loyal and personable. Although they are not intimidating to look at, they will make noise to alert the family of strangers. They are generally friendly with children, visitors and other pets.
While the Shih Tzu sounds like a great companion animal, potential owners should learn about potential health problems that are common with this breed. Immune system issues that lead to hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, hair loss and lethargy but can be treated with medication. The breed is also prone to breathing problems because of its face shape. As long as new owners adopt from reputable breeders and know the risks, the Shih Tzu can be one of the most appealing Chinese dog breeds available.