Five Unusual But Impressive Chinese Dog Breeds

A list of five unusual but impressive dog breeds that trace their origin in China.

Unusual dog breeds can be classified as those breeds that demonstrate certain features or traits not seen in other dog breeds. These unusual breeds are found in all corners of the globe. In this article we feature those unusual but impressive dog breeds which originated in China. Read on to know them.

Chow Chow

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The Chow Chow or ‘Songshi’ as it is known in China, is one of the most strange dog breeds, having the trademark lion-like mane, the characteristic blue-black tongue of a bear and its almost straight hind legs. A large, sturdy dog, Chow Chow has large black nose, triangular erect ears with rounded tip, almond-shaped eyes and broad chest. It has densely-furred coat that can either be smooth coat or rough coat. The coat comes in variety of colors including black, blue, cinnamon, cream and solid red. This impressive Chinese dog breed averages 46-56 cm at the shoulder and weighs between 20-32 kg. Life Expectancy is about 15 years.

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Chows are well-mannered dogs and can go along well with children. Though intelligent, they are not easy to train. Chow is a very dominant breed who requires a dominant owner. They are aloof, dignified, independent, reserved with affection, and stubborn. They will do okay in an apartment but need to be taken for a daily walk. This breed is a seasonal heavy shedder and the long coat requires regular brushings. Common ailments include: canine pemphigus, diabetes mellitus, entropion, gastric cancer, glaucoma, hip dysphasia, and lymphoma. Owing to its thick coats, fleas can become a problem.


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The Pekingese, or “Peke”, is a small companion dog originating in China. Bred for the Chinese nobility, this breed is known for its flat face, muscular, compact body and bowed legs. This toy dog sports a double coat and colors may come in black, black and tan, cream, gold, red, sable, white, sables, black and tan and occasionally ‘blue’ or slate grey. A Pekingese has large round eyes, short neck, black nose and slightly arched tail. On average, adults measure 15–23 cm at the withers and weigh between 3.2 to 6.4 kg. Life Expectancy about 12-15 years.

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Pekingese are brave, very intelligent, sensitive, independent, and very affectionate with their master. They are good watchdogs since they are aloof, almost cautious, of strangers. They can do okay for apartment life, but need a daily walk. They don’t always get along with other dogs. If overfed, Pekingese tend to gain weight and with their short noses, they snore, some quite loudly. Some health problems that besieged this breed include eye-related problems, congestive heart failure, back injuries, and breathing difficulties caused by the flat face. Pekingese tend to catch colds very easily. The long, flowing coat requires daily maintenance.

Shih Tzu

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The Shih Tzu ,literally “Lion Dog”, meaning “of the master”, is a breed of dog with a short muzzle, large, dark eyes and with long silky hair. The breed measures between 25-26.7 cm at the withers  and weighs  between 4–7.25 kilograms. This sturdy dog has broad nose with well-open nostrils, and large low-set ears covered with plenty of hairs. The body is longer than the tail and well-boned, straight stocky legs. The double coat is dense and long and comes in a variety of colors including various shades of gold, white, brown, solid black, and black and white. Life Expectancy is about 15 years or more.

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The Shih-Tzu is a clever, happy, alert, playful, little dog. this affectionate and sociable dog goes along way with people as well s other dogs. This unusual but impressive Chinese dog breed makes a very alert watch dog. The Shih Tzu is fairly active indoors and can do with apartment life but requires a daily walk. It needs a daily grooming using a bristle brush. The breed is prone to some health issues like: ear infections, respiratory problems, eye problems, thyroid malfunction, hip dysphasia, and brain problems. 

Shar Pei

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The Shar Pei is a large dog known for its wrinkled skin and a blue-black tongue. This unusual but impressive Chinese dog breed can reach between 46-51cm at the withers and weighs around 18-25kg. It a broad, flat head; a hippopotamus-like wide muzzle; small almond-shaped eyes; small, triangular ears; and a high-set tail. Shar Pei comes in two coat types: horse-coat and brush coat which has longer hair. Coat colors include all solid colors and sables. Life Expectancy is up to 10 years.

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Shar-Pei is an intelligent dog, playful, dominant, brave and very loyal to its master. They go along good with people but are weary of strangers, thus Shat Pie is a good guard dog. The breed will do okay in an apartment, since it is moderately active indoors provided it gets a daily walk. The Shar-Pei coat is never trimmed but requires a regular brushing. Warning: Shar Pei are allergic to foods containing corn, gluten or sugars, soy and wheat. This Chinese dog breed is prone to some ailments like: Common ailments include: entropion, (a painful eye condition), allergy-induced skin infections, and chronic yeast infections in its ears.


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The Pug is a small “toy” dog known for its distinctive wrinkled face, short muzzle, long tongue, large, expressive eyes, and curled tail. Known in ancient China as lo-sze, the breed have two different shapes for their ears, “rose” and “button” (standard style) and “Rose” (smaller one). Breeders prefer the “button” style pugs. It has round head and very strong, straight legs. The coat is short and smooth and comes in  a variety of colors including apricot, black, fawn, and silver. Males average 30-36 cm at the withers and weighs between 6-9kg. Pugs have a life span of about 12 to 15 years.

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The Pug is loyal, highly intelligent, playful, lively and affectionate which made the breed fitting for families with children. Though at times, Pugs appear quiet and docile, they are very alert and make good watchdogs. Pugs fall under the low-maintenance breed of dogs since the smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. This unusual but impressive Chinese dog breed can do okay in for apartment life, but needs regular daily walks. Caution: Pugs can’t withstand hot or cold weather. They are prone to certain ailments such as: colds, chronic breathing problems, and other skin problems.

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User Comments
  1. Eunice Tan

    On December 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Very special article, will be good if there are the photos of them.

  2. FX777222999

    On December 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Amazing dog breeds indeed. Great!

  3. bobie

    On December 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    chow chow is unique..ang cute cute!

  4. lapasan

    On December 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Beautiful dogs.

  5. LCM Linda

    On December 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Interesting dogs. I want to hug Chow Chow. Guess it will be comfortable and warm.

  6. mtrguanlao

    On December 9, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I wonder why all of them look small and short,haha! They are all cute idol!

  7. Margaret Boseroy

    On December 10, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Great introduction to these dog breeds. Love the pictures too. I think the 2nd picture is of a pomeranian, though, and not a chow chow.


    On December 10, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Those are very unusual and unique dogs. :-)

  9. aleah

    On December 10, 2011 at 1:46 am

    These doggies are really cute, but I love cats better :)

  10. Brewed Coffee

    On December 10, 2011 at 2:42 am

    The Chow Chow is so cuddly and adorable. If I will have a pet dog, that’s my choice…if only I’m not so afraid of dogs lol!

  11. K Kristie

    On December 10, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Wow dogs! They’re all beautiful, love them all!

  12. AJ Garcia

    On December 10, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Shih Tzu I like most. They are so adorable. :)

  13. sheilanewton

    On December 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    The Shar Pei is the strangest dog I’ve ever seen! Brilliant article, my friend.

  14. Mark Gordon Brown

    On December 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    The wrinkley faced dogs kinda freak me out.

  15. erwinkennythomas

    On December 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm


  16. Lady Sunshine

    On December 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Ni hao! lol. Enjoyed this piece. The “Songshi” looks so plush and fluffy. Chinese breeds tend to be aloof while American breeds are needy. lol.

  17. J M Lennox

    On December 11, 2011 at 1:37 am

    They are unusual and no doubt popular breeds, but not for me. Excellent research and write-up though papaleng, and interesting, as always…

  18. Yvhes P.

    On December 11, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Really cute dogs =) Great article.

  19. PR Mace

    On December 11, 2011 at 8:41 am

    These are some cute little fellows.

  20. megamatt09

    On December 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Rather interesting looking types of dogs.

  21. ittech

    On December 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

    wonderful images thanks for this

  22. nurzaira

    On December 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    good share

  23. mtrguanlao

    On December 13, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Revisiting these cute dogs!

  24. ittech

    On December 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

    very useful tips

  25. realityspeaks

    On December 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Well presented article.

  26. Ruby Hawk

    On December 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    papaleng, they are all so cute. I wouldn’t be able to choose between them.

  27. Joe Ram

    On December 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    very cute!

  28. Dee Gold

    On December 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Hi papa,cute dogs.
    tagal ko na pong di nakakavisit sa triond pero dahil bakasyon baka magka-time na ako uli dito.

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  30. dodolbete

    On February 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    so cute ^,^

  31. revivor

    On March 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Great article!! Enjoyed reading about all those interesting dogs. Picked this up from Stumbleupon

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