When it comes to dog breeds, there are naturally some dogs like Golden Retrievers that enjoy immense popularity regardless of the region. However, certain dog breeds tend to be more popular in specific parts of the world, particularly in Asian countries.
Asia is the biggest continent, so it’s no surprise that there are a large number of Asian dog breeds. Some are popular in the western world, while others are not as easily recognized. Many breeds also come from, or originated in China. China is obviously a very large country and the most populous on earth.
There are some dogs that have achieved fame, especially in their own country. There are also some interesting tidbits about Asian dog breeds that some of you trivia buffs may enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of these Asian dog breeds that many of us may recognize in North America.
1. Lhasa Apso Dog Breeds
The Lhasa Apso originated in Tibet. Lhasa is the capital of Tibet and the word “apso” means “bearded” in the Tibetan language, though others say it means “goat-like”. This is a smaller breed of dog that has a lot of hair that has made its way to North America. They weigh around 14 pounds with males weighing a little more.
These Asian dog breeds were originally bred by Buddhist monks to warn of any intruders coming into the monasteries. These dogs can live up to 14 years. They have a keen sense of hearing. They are loyal to the master but wary of strangers.
2. Akita Inu Dog Breeds
This breed originated in the mountains of Japan. There are two strains, the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. This is a powerful and dominant dog. They are also independent. Obviously, they are very affectionate towards you and the family but may be aloof with strangers (hey, who isn’t?) It has sometimes been described as having feline qualities. After eating, they may clean their face! They may also be intolerant of other male dogs, so unless you have the experience, this breed may not be a great choice for a first-time owner.
Hachiko was the name of an Akita in Japan that gained fame in Japan and even the world. He belonged to Dr. Eisaburo Ueno. Hachiko would accompany the master to the train station. When Professor Ueno returned, Hachiko would be waiting at the station to accompany him home. One day, the professor suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died.
However, Hachiko kept going to the train station to wait for its master to return. He did this for almost 10 years! What loyalty! There is a bronze statue at Shibuya Station of Hachiko, who captured the hearts of a nation. Helen Keller, who herself became world famous, has been credited with bringing the Akita to America when the Japanese government gave her 2 in 1938.
3. Shiba Inu Dog Breeds
The Shiba Inu is a very popular dog in Japan as well as Asia. You may have noticed that they have become a popular meme on the Internet. These dogs are small and quite independent. They are also quick and agile.
These Asian dog breeds look a little bit like a fox and are so adorable. They sometimes make a funny high-pitched scream, especially when they are distressed or excited. Thankfully, these guys are still around, because they nearly went extinct in the 2nd World War.
4. Shar-Pei Dog Breeds
These cute fellows are unmistakable, with their wrinkly faces. This breed originated in China. Their skin has creases and folds, especially when they are puppies. Some of this disappears as they get older. They have a black and blue tongue just like the Chow Chow.
At one point, this breed was considered to be quite rare. Their numbers dwindled, but thanks to a Hong Kong businessman, these Asian dog breeds were saved. He asked Americans for help in a dog magazine. As a result, many were smuggled into the United States. Many of the Shar-Peis in America now are as a result of this incident.
5. Chow Chow Dog Breeds
This is another popular dog that is easily recognizable. Like the Shar-Pei, it too has a black and blue tongue. For these Asian dog breeds, their origins can be traced to northern China. In this region, it is referred to as ” Songshi-Quan”, which means “puffy-lion dog”. It has a lot of hair and boy is it thick! They look like a cross between a lion and a bear! Don’t ever cross a lion or a bear though, unless you can run really fast! They can live up to 13 years.
6. Pug Dog Breeds
These cute little dogs are very popular. They can be mischievous, charming and very playful. They have a short-muzzled face that is also wrinkly. On average, they can live to around 11 years. They need to have regular exercise, otherwise, this is a breed that can put on weight.
Because of the way their face is built, with not much of a snout, pugs are prone to having breathing problems. They also might do a lot of snorting and gasping, known as reverse sneezing, though this is not generally dangerous.
7. Afghan Hound Dog Breeds
As you can guess, this breed originated in Afghanistan. It is a large breed that can put many supermodels to shame! They have a thick coat of fine, silky hair. On average, these beauties can live to around 12 years of age. A dog named Snuppy created history when it was successfully cloned.
While other mammals had been cloned, cloning a dog proved difficult. Finally, in 2005, Snuppy was born. Snuppy lived for 10 years. He was an Afghan hound that was cloned using a cell from the ear of another Afghan hound. The process produced only 2 pups. One died after a few weeks, leaving Snuppy as the first cloned dog.
8. Shih Tzu Dog Breeds
This breed originated in the Tibetan plateau but was developed in China. This little dog can live up to 15 years. They are such a wonderful companion and are great as a lap dog. The noblemen and aristocrats of China absolutely adored them, and who can blame them? This breed has become one of the most popular toy dogs all over the world. The name means “little lion” in Mandarin. This was a breed that nearly went extinct when the Communist party took over. 7 males and 7 females were saved and from these, the entire line was rebuilt. Thank goodness for that!