With 48 countries and over 4.6 billion people, Asia is ranked as the most populated continent in the world. Having said that, the continent is filled with plenty of incredible animals, too – including an assortment of Asian dog breeds.
Dogs have been a piece of history for thousands of years. They have been found in artworks, woven into cultural stories, and discovered in many archaeological sites. They’ve been used for herding, hunting, hauling, as guardians and stunt dogs, and as much-beloved companions.
From fluffy big dog breeds to wrinkly-faced guard pups and spotted handbag aristocrats, these breeds come in all shapes and sizes.
There are more than a handful of Asian dog breeds to choose from; that’s why I’ve gone ahead and selected a mere few adorable breeds for fun-loving doggy people.
- 1 29 Asian Dog Breeds You’ll Love
- 1.1 1. Akita Inu
- 1.2 2. The Pug
- 1.3 3. Pekingese
- 1.4 4. Shih Tzu
- 1.5 5. Shar-Pei
- 1.6 6. Chow Chow
- 1.7 7. Tibetan Mastiff
- 1.8 8. Thai Ridgeback
- 1.9 9. Chinese Crested
- 1.10 10. Lhasa Apso
- 1.11 11. Japanese Spitz
- 1.12 12. Japanese Chin
- 1.13 13. Kintamani Dog
- 1.14 14. Telomian Dog
- 1.15 15. Siberian Husky
- 1.16 16. Borzoi Dog
- 1.17 17. Afghan Hound
- 1.18 18. Samoyed
- 1.19 19. Black Russian Terrier
- 1.20 20. Korean Jindo
- 1.21 21. Dosa Mastiff
- 1.22 22. Xiasi Quan
- 1.23 23. Kunming Wolfdog
- 1.24 24. Sapsali Dog
- 1.25 25. Thai Bangkaew
- 1.26 26. Formosan Mountain Dog
- 1.27 27. Alaskan Malamute
- 1.28 28. Chippiparai Dog
- 1.29 29. Chinese Chongqing
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions About Asian Dogs
- 3 A Footnote on Oriental Dog Breeds
29 Asian Dog Breeds You’ll Love
1. Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is a beautiful, large breed of dog that hails from the remote mountainous regions of Japan. These dogs were bred for hunting and are often seen as aloof to strangers, but affectionate to families.
There are two variations of Akita, the Akita Inu (Japanese strain) and the American Akita (American strain). The Japanese Akita has a restricted color palette, while the American comes in a variety of colors. The Akita has a thick double-coat similar to many other spitz breeds, including the Siberian Husky.
2. The Pug
Pugs are one of the most beloved dog breeds for families due to their adorable faces, sweet demeanors, goofy characteristics, and manageable sizes. Their distinguishing features are wrinkled, short-muzzled faces and curly tails.
These dogs hail from Ancient China and have grown in popularity across all corners of the world. They’re one of the oldest dog breeds, first appearing around 400 B.C. Although this Chinese breed has a super stubborn side, they’re playful and very affectionate.
Pekingese, also known as “Pekes,” “sun dogs,” or “lion dogs,” are some of the most iconic Chinese dog breeds. Favored by royalty, these dogs really do give out that aristocratic demeanor. With their elegant lion mane for hair and their snobby, bold seating arrangement on your lap.
This popular toy breed is considered loyal, strong-willed, and affectionate. Surprisingly, they also make good watchdogs and despite its small size can become quite vocal if they suspect the presence of an intruder.
4. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is a small Asian toy dog with a delightful, playful personality. Originating from Tibet, the breed is recognized for its short snout and large, bulgy eyes. And don’t forget about their ever-growing, soft coat.
Although they are small in size, these dogs are notorious for having a calm and friendly temperament and make great companions. Interestingly, these dogs are traced back to ancient dog breeds and are more closely related to wolves than other breeds of dogs.
The Shar-Pei, meaning “sand skin”, is one of the oldest dog breeds. Believed to have originated in 200 BC in southern China, these dogs have distinctive, wrinkled faces, tiny ears, and blue-black tongues.
Formerly bred as hunting and guard dogs, Shar-Pei have a protective nature. Although they make valuable guardians, they are not aggressive. Instead, they are considered tenacious and extremely intelligent.
6. Chow Chow
Chow Chow is another favorite Asian dog breed that is loved from around the world. These dogs originated from northern China, and their Chinese name, “Songshi-Quan” translates to “puffy lion dog,” which is quite fitting for their appearance.
They are popular for their lion or teddy bear-like appearance, downy coats, square profile, and bluish-black tongues.
7. Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiffs originate from Mongolia, Tibet, and China. These large, majestic breed dogs carry the ideal qualities of great protectors. They are brave, tenacious, and found to be incredibly loyal to their owners.
This dog breed has thick necks and long coats, so be prepared to invest in some dog brushes.
8. Thai Ridgeback
The Thai Ridgeback is a medium-sized, muscular breed that was originally bred as a hunting dog. Native to Thailand, these dogs have a robust build, are quick, and are super high jumpers, making them natural athletes.
The Thai Ridgeback is one of three breeds that have their hair growing in the opposite direction along their back, uhum ridge, to the rest of their back.
9. Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested dog is a super unique looking dog; it’s a hairless dog featuring tufts of silky hair on its head (the crest), paws, and tail. Moreover, these dogs are considered one of the cutest spotted dog breeds with dots scattered on their bare skin.
This breed of dog is affectionate and belongs to the toy group. They dote and adore their human companions and absolutely love snuggle time. To sum up these dogs in three words, it would be ‘a couch potato’.
10. Lhasa Apso
When you think of a remote-mountain dog, the thought of a small canine with a butt load of long fur certainly doesn’t come to mind. The Lhasa Apso is native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and worked as guard dogs for the temples and monasteries.
Although small, these dogs are feisty and full of energy, so expect tons of games. They are friendly to children but are not keen on any teasing tongues and poking fingers.
11. Japanese Spitz
A small to medium-sized dog breed, the Japanese Spitz are white fluffy dogs with a curled tail and foxlike, pointy ears. This breed is extremely active, brave, intelligent, and has loads of character.
These dogs thrive on human contact and may require tons of exercise, making them excellent for their tireless playmates – children.
12. Japanese Chin
Cousins of the Pekingese, these pups share plenty of common features, namely, a short muzzle, small ears, and bulging eyes. Their coats are long and fluffy and shed quite a bit.
This type of dog breed is gentle, affectionate, and sweet-natured, paw-fect for families.
13. Kintamani Dog
The Kintamani dog breed originates from, as the name suggests, the Kintamani region of Bali, Indonesia. Interestingly, this breed is the only official dog breed in Bali.
These dogs are considered to be very energetic, active, and great climbers. Moreover, they are super lovable, but they can be territorial. This makes them great family pets and excellent watchdogs.
14. Telomian Dog
Originating from Malaysia, the Telomian breed is a rare purebred that possesses a terrier-like temperament. They feature curly tails, erect ears with a short fur coat that can vary in color.
These dogs are noted as agile jumpers and fantastic climbers. They are considered very energetic and may require regular exercise.
15. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are one of Russia’s most iconic dog breeds and are now found in all corners of the world. These medium-sized dogs boast warm almond-shaped eyes that often vary in color from blue to brown.
Known to be powerful sled dogs, they are quick and agile, playful and friendly. These dogs love to run, so expect to invest in a dog lead to walk or run them.
16. Borzoi Dog
The Borzoi, also recognized as the Russian Wolfhound, has a calm temperament and aristocratic foci.
This breed features large, long-haired sighthounds that have been a part of Russia for over 900 years. Originally bred by distinguished Russian families and used as royal hunting dogs.
Though they may look like elegant dogs with their silky flat-wavy-curly coats, they are also strong and incredibly fast, bred for hunting small to medium-sized game.
17. Afghan Hound
Another tall and elegant breed is the Afghan Hound. It is famous for its thick, silky coat and tail. These pooches were selectively bred for their unique features to survive the cold mountains of Afghanistan.
Apart from the breed’s visually appealing appearance and glorious coats, they have a steadfast, robust build that can stand as high as 27-inches at the shoulder. Despite their seemingly dignified characteristics, these dogs exhibit loyalty and calmness.
The Samoyed is known as one of the happiest dog breeds and often looks like they are smiling. Hailing from Siberia, these dogs were initially built for tough jobs in the snow and maybe that’s why they have lovely white double-thick coats.
These woofs, however, are not really suitable for all pet owners as they do not do well in hot or humid climates. They also shred a lot and require plenty of physical activity.
Fun Fact: These dogs aren’t known to be barking dogs. Instead, they sing or yodel in a melodic tune – cute!
19. Black Russian Terrier
Another breed from Russia, the Black Russian Terrier, can stand as high as 30-inches at the shoulder. These dogs were first used as military hunting canines and are fierce workers with graceful, large bodies.
Because of their slick, all-black double coats, these dogs were put to service by the Soviet government to patrol the coldest of places. When these dogs are off duty, they are calm, lovable pets to their families.
20. Korean Jindo
The Korean Jindo breed is South Korea’s national dog breed and is, of course, one of the most popular breeds of dog in the country. These woofs are native to Jindo Island and trained to hunt and track dogs. Today, they have become our affectionate, loving, and furry friends.
These dogs are a medium build with thick fluffy coats, vivid expressions, and erect ears. These pooches require patience, training, and long walks.
21. Dosa Mastiff
One of the largest dog breeds of Korea, the Dosa Mastiff, is massive. Although their colossal-looking physique may sound a bit intimidating, these dogs are actually gentle giants and have good natures, making great family pets.
Moreover, they have lovely smooth coats that come in an assortment of colors, from chocolate brown to mahogany red. Their grooming needs are minimal, however, you may need to give a little scrub or wipe under their folded skin every so often.
22. Xiasi Quan
The Xiasi Quan is a beautiful small white dog breed originating from the Guizhou region in China. This breed of dog was typically used for hunting and guarding. It’s widely believed that owning one of these dogs can bring wealth to the family.
These dogs feature muscular bodies and short, wiry, white coats. They are intelligent and always keen to please, making them easy to train for use in different situations.
23. Kunming Wolfdog
Much like the popular K9-unit police dogs, Hong Kong Police use the Kunming Wolfdogs. Like their cousins, German Shepherds, the Kunming dogs are trained as military dogs, search-and-rescue, and fire dogs – rather badass if you ask me.
They portray similar features with round eyes, long black muzzles, and large triangular ears. More interestingly, this dog breed is a hybrid between dog and wolf.
24. Sapsali Dog
A shaggy-coated dog breed from South Korea, Sapsalis were cherished companions among Korean royal families and believed to bring good fortune. Today, these medium-sized pooches are much loved from around the world.
Their coats and patterns come in various colors, including gold, red, brown-black, and gray – much like the English Sheepdog. They are generally very friendly, loyal and can also get a little protective. They love daily walks, or even a brisk jog and some fun, playful chew toys.
25. Thai Bangkaew
Another lovely Asian dog breed is the Thai Bangkaew, a medium-sized spitz-type breed. Native to the central region of Thailand, these pooches were originally bred by the monks of Bankaew temple.
They have a well-proportioned, athletic body and a luxurious coat. The Bangkaew features a lovely double coat and a short undercoat. These dogs are also very affectionate, loyal, and smart, making wonderful home protectors.
26. Formosan Mountain Dog
Formosan Mountain Dogs, also known as Taiwan Dogs, is one of the oldest and most primitive dog breeds in the world, dating back 20 000 years. These dogs feature short, smooth coats in black, fawn, brindle, white, or a combination of colors.
They are a small-to-medium-sized breed that hails from the Taiwanese mountains. Although these dogs were considered wild, they’re now domesticated and used for hunting, guarding rescue, stunt, and as family pooches.
27. Alaskan Malamute
While the Alaskan Malamute is widely popular in Alaska, they actually migrated from Siberia (like the husky). These dogs have very similar features to the Siberian Huskies. One main difference may be their size – Malamutes are considerably larger.
Malamutes are top-tier sleigh dogs and specialize in pulling heavy loads. However, this will also mean they require daily runs to meet their exercise needs.
28. Chippiparai Dog
Originating from India, Chippiparais is a very attractive breed with typical sighthound features. They are also surprisingly quick and gain distance using their long legs and lean frame. They come in a wide selection of colors including fawn black, tinged, and silvery gray.
These dogs are built to run and hunt, so expect plenty of daily exercises if you plan on getting one. Chippiparais are regarded as a symbol of dignity and royalty in India and are reputed to prefer a single owner.
29. Chinese Chongqing
The Chinese Chongqing dogs are a rare breed and were once used for hunting and as guardians. They are believed to have first appeared 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty in southwestern China.
These dogs have a reddish-brown coat and an unusual tail. Its tail stands up straight, and is hairless, looking similar to a ‘bamboo stick.’ They also have adorable wrinkly faces, similar to a shar-pei.
Frequently Asked Questions About Asian Dogs
What are some popular Asian dog breeds?
What are some popular Asian dog breeds? Some popular Asian dog breeds include the Shiba Inu, Akita, Chow Chow, Pekingese, and Shar Pei. These breeds have gained recognition and popularity worldwide for their unique appearances, rich histories, and distinct personalities.
Are Asian dog breeds generally good with children and other pets?
The temperament and compatibility of Asian dog breeds with children and other pets can vary depending on the breed and individual dog. Breeds like the Shiba Inu and Akita may have a more independent and dominant nature, requiring proper socialization and supervision around children and other animals. Other breeds, such as the Pekingese and Chow Chow, may be more tolerant and gentle, making them potentially better suited for families with children and other pets.
Do Asian dog breeds require special grooming or maintenance?
Many Asian dog breeds have unique coats and may require specific grooming or maintenance. Breeds like the Shiba Inu and Akita have dense double coats that shed heavily during specific seasons and require regular brushing to manage shedding. Breeds like the Chow Chow and Pekingese have thick, luxurious coats that require frequent brushing to prevent matting. It’s essential to understand the grooming needs of each breed and provide the necessary care to keep their coats healthy and attractive.
A Footnote on Oriental Dog Breeds
Dogs are certainly incredible, heaven-sent companions, wherever they may have come from. No matter their physical qualities, whether tall and lean, wrinkly with folds, or bare skin and spots, all our woofies are special.
So, there you have it, a small but great selection of Asian dog breeds for all those loving doggy owners. Now that you’ve squizzed through this list, did I miss any ‘must-see’ pooches?