Named after the Chinese city Foochow , the Chinese Foo is an extant breed of Spitz-type dogsthat come with a compact, square-shaped body, broad head, pricked ears, deep chest, muscular loin, and a tail that is carried over their back.
This Chinese breed is a loyal and lively dog that makes a loving companion. Although never confirmed, it is said that the Chinese Foo was a cross between the Chow Chow and European hunting dogs. Let’s dig into the Chinese Foo Dog breed information and facts you need to know when determining if this is the dog for you.
The Chinese Foo Dog is found in three sizes: toy Chinese Foo Dog (10 inches or less), miniature Chinese Foo Dog (over 10 inches up to and including 15), and standard Chinese Foo Dog (over 15 inches). The Chinese Foo Dog breed can also be classified by weight, with small dogs weighing up to 20 pounds, medium dogs weighing 21 to 50 pounds, and large dogs weighing over 50 pounds. A typical Nordic-type dog, the head is broad, the ears are upright, and the eyes are dark. These dogs often have a dark blue tongue. The tail is set high and curled over the back. Some breeders dock the tail.
The Chinese Foo Dog coat is double, with a thick, dense undercoat and an outer coat that is hard and stands away from the body. With the heavy coat, grooming is very much a part of life with these dogs. This breed needs brushing at least twice a week, although when the heavy undercoat is shed, daily brushing will help keep the hair in the house somewhat under control.
Foo Dogs are moderately active. They enjoy a walk morning and evening and can be quite playful. Chinese Foo Dogs are appealing to the sense of humor and continue to be playful on into adulthood. One of the original uses of Chinese Foo Dog is as guard dogs, and the breed continues to be wary of strangers. However, unlike some other watchful breeds, this one does not bark unless there is a reason to do so.
Early socialization and training is important, and teaching the dog to accept regular grooming should be a part of that. The Chinese Foo Dog is an affectionate, intelligent, playful breed. They are good with well-behaved children but will not tolerate disrespectful behavior. The breed is good with other dogs, although interactions with other pets should be supervised. This is a healthy breed with few problems.
AKC group: Working
UKC group: Hunting
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 20 lb
Coat appearance:Thick, hard, weather-resistant, double-coated; straight-haired, coarse outer coat; soft, dense undercoat
Coloration: Blue, black, brown and blue, black and tan, red, orange, gray/silver, sable, cream, fawn
Lion’s mane on long-haired version
Gentleness with children
The Chinese Foo Dog is thought to be a mix between the ancient Chow Chow and European hunting dogs, or a link between the Chinese Wolf and the Chow. It is an ancient breed, possibly named after the Chinese city of Fuzhou . The Standard Chinese Foo Dog was originally bred to guard Buddhist temples. They were also used for hunting and sledding.
Until the Chinese Foo Dog’s numbers began to increase in the 19th century, it was rare enough to be thought extinct. Today, the breed is still rare but growing in popularity in the U.S., as seen by the creation of the Chinese Foo Dog Club of America.
The Chinese Foo is an independent and highly intelligent breed, so it is perfect for the owner who does not want an overly attached pet. However, this independence often leads to a proud and even stubborn personality, which can make training challenging. The dog also has a tendency to be dominating, although not aggressive. Even though the Chinese Foo is big, the dog can stay calm when it is indoors, so it can be a good apartment dog.
They are immune to major health problems. Some members, however, are susceptible to cryptorchidism as well as problems with their bones and joints.
The Chinese Foo Dog will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Sensitive to heat, can live in or outdoors in cooler weather.
Since the Chinese Foo can sometimes be stubborn and domineering, training could become a challenge for first-time dog owners.
The Chinese Foo is not a recommended breed for a person or family getting their first dog. This pup can be domineering and a challenge to train. Even though the crossbreed is not vicious, socialization needs to be taken slowly and carefully, especially with young children and other pets. Although the dog is difficult to train, it does take to the training well once it learns. In many cases, it will make sense to seek out formal dog obedience training with this pup.
Ideal Human Companion
- Apartment dwellers (Toy and Miniature; the Standard can be kept in a smaller space as well as long as it gets extra exercise)
- Those looking for a good guard dog
- Experienced dog owners
- Those who would love a toy version of their Chow Chow
Things You Should Know
The Chinese Foo Dog is also known as the Chinese Celestial Dog, the Chinese Dragon Dog, and the Happiness Dog. Its ancient skill as a guard dog is still prevalent. This means you will have a well-guarded home, but it also means a dog who may be averse to strangers. This is a stubborn breed, so early obedience training is a must for all three versions.
The Chinese Foo Dog has no known health issues.