China is worldwide known for its pandas, dragons, and history of wonderful ancient traditions. But, do you know that this country is also home to several popular dog breeds as well? From small to large and from fluffy to hairless, you are able to find every dog breed in China.

Dogs have been a significant part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. These Chinese dog breeds have been used for various purposes, such as guardians, hunting, herding, and even royal companions since they were domesticated. You can find Chinese dogs in varied sizes and characteristics.     

Though some Chinese dog breeds have gained the most significant part in the history of domesticated dogs, some of them are being known as the foundations of popular dog breeds these days. Some of the oldest breeds are known as basal dogs i.e., the original dog breeds of the world.

If you are curious to know about small and large Chinese dog breeds list, here are some of them.

Small Chinese Dog Breeds

When you are looking for Chinese dogs, you will find that the most popular Chinese dog breeds around the world are mostly small dogs. Some of them are even famous as lap dogs, and many people prefer to own them as well. This is so because these small Chinese dog breeds were bred to enjoy their life on the laps of royalty.

Do you know that many of these dogs are still maintaining their characteristic of warming your lap?


These small Chinese dogs are royal in all ways. They are also one of the most popular dogs in China. They are affectionate and are known as one of the best loyal dog breeds around the world.

This dog breed was bred in the 8th century, and now they have come a long way. There is also one story that says that Pekingese were originated when a Buddha shriveled a lion to the size of a small dog. It is true or not, we can’t say.

Pekingese Chinese Dog Breed

Now, they are bred and owned by many people all over the world. They have a golden coat, which makes them able to get a nickname of sun dog or lion dog. These dogs justify their lives in both ways – they are brave as a lion and bright as a sunny day.

Another name of this dog breed is ‘Pekes’. They are very friendly to their families, but they are also arrogant towards strangers. Due to their stubbornness and strong will, they are also counted on the list of dumbest dog breeds in the world.

Life Expectancy of Pekingese – 12 to 14 years

Chinese Crested

These small Chinese dogs come in two different versions. One comes with s heavy furry coat and is called the Powderpuff Chinese Crested, while the other has minimal hair and is called a Hairless Chinese Crested. This breed has highly early origins, so it is not sure when or how they were developed.

Here, the hairless dog version has a dominant personality, which makes them more popular than their furry version. If you are one who respects baldness or who is allergic to pet hair, the Hairless Chinese crested may be the best choice for you. 

Chinese Crested Dog Breed

Also, remember that these dogs are not completely hairless. They have a bunch of hair on their head as well as on the top of their tail, which gives them a bushy look. These small dogs are sweet, loving, affectionate, and playful.

As companion dogs, they are extremely entertaining because they will often ask for your attention using one trick or another. They are also eager to please but not too energetic.

Life Expectancy of Chinese Crested – 13 to 18 years

Shih Tzu

These Chinese dogs are very popular around the world for so many reasons. They are wonderful companions who love their owners the most and also love to sleep on their owner’s lap. In other words, we can also say that these are one of the most popular lapdogs in China.

Shih Tzu is very affectionate, loyal, and gentle. These dogs have playful personalities. During the rule of the Ming Dynasty, this dog breed was the favorite among various rich pet lovers.

Having this dog means you need to spend quality time with them. Sometimes, you will find them stubborn. But in reality, these dogs are one of the most appealing dog breeds that you can hope for.

shih Tzu Chinese Dog Breed

They show their happiness when around their owners. They can also live in enclosed spaces, such as in the apartment. Due to their long hair, they need regular grooming, usually every day. If you make your dog live in a warm climate region, they feel uncomfortable.

Life Expectancy of Shih Tzu – 10 to 16 years


We all are very must familiar with the adorable dog that was featured in the Vodafone ad. It is one of the steadiest and dependable companions you have ever seen. This small Chinese dog looks exactly the same.

These dogs are highly charming and mischievous. They are also playful, affectionate, and sociable as well. At some times, you may find them a little quirky.

Pugs have also gained a remarkable position on the list of the most stable dog breeds around the world. As they are small in size, they are dependable. It means that you can expect this small dog by your side or on your lap at any time.

Pug Chinese Dog Breed

They are highly capable of enjoying comfort in any setting; all they need is their family members to any new place. Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or on a farm in the rural region, you can own a pug without worrying about their comfort and adjustment.

If you have kids, this dog breed goes wonderfully with them. Thus, it makes a perfect Chinese dog breed choice for families with kids. They love being spending time around their people, especially owners. This is what they were bred for.

Life Expectancy of Pug – 13 to 15 years

Lhasa Apso

This is a Tibetan dog breed that was developed thousands of years ago. Though they are small in size, they are also known for their lavish coat. Their hair hangs to the floor, so they need regular grooming to avoid tangles.

These dogs are fun, confident, and very intelligent as well. They have oval-shaped dark eyes that work great as communication tools. Due to this reason, they are also known as very expressive dogs and make them good communicators.

Lhasa Apso Chinese Dog Breed

These small Chinese dogs are very friendly, which makes them highly appealing to families of all types. Once you learn to know them, you will find them quite comical and a little mischievous. Unfortunately, they are not easy to train.

They are warm and affectionate with the people they know and wary of strangers. Don’t worry; this makes them one of the great watchdogs.

Life Expectancy of Lhasa Apso – 12 to 15 years

Large Chinese Dog Breeds

This Chinese dog breeds list has some of the most famous and popular dog breeds. Some of them have made their way to the West as well as various Asian countries. Here, we have taken the Chinese dogs above 50 pounds in weight.

Shaanxi Xian Hound

This Chinese dog has traditional legends connected to its name. They are one of the oldest Chinese dogs that were originated around 685 AD. They were developed with the aim to locate, track, and chase prey in open areas. Due to this, they are agile and skilled hunters.

They have unique ears that are used for hunting. These dogs are courageous and alert. They have a short, smooth coat and long legs that help them in hitting quick speeds. As these dogs are highly active and energetic, they need plenty of exercise to maintain amazing stamina for wild games.

Shaanxi Xian Hound

They are loving and friendly and also go well with other dogs. They are also independent and react to the commands of people they know and love the best.

Life Expectancy of Shaanxi Xian Hound – 10 to 14 years

Laizhou Hong

These dogs are also known by the name ‘Chinese Red Dog’. They have their origin in Northeastern China. Red is taken as the lucky color in China. Due to this, this dog breed is also referred to as ‘red’ because they have a reddish hue.

These dogs are muscular, large, and strong. What makes them stand out in the large dog breeds list is their body that is more likely to look long with a thick neck and large head. Along with these features, they also have large and straight ears, which resemble them as a German shepherd.

They are calm, courageous, and loving. They are a relatively rare dog breed that can be typically found in the Laizhou region of China. They are hard to find out of this province and are impossible to find in other countries. 

Laizhou Hong

They are also very friendly than they look. If you spend time with them and build trust, believe us, they will always be by your side no matter what. They love to please their owners. They are also excellent guard dogs. Also, they are easy to adapt to any home.

Life Expectancy of Laizhou Hong – 10 to 14 years

Kunming Wolfdog

When you compare the appearance of these Chinese dogs with other breeds, you will find them resemble a German shepherd. Both these dogs have somewhat similar head shapes and athletic physiques.

Kunming Wolfdog has small feet that encourage you to compare them to cats. These dogs are developed for search and rescue tasks. These dogs fluff up and straighten their tail as an indication of alertness. Due to these traits, they are used for police and military work. Also, they may not be the best choice as the family pet.

They need the highest level of physical and mental stimulation. This is not possible for many people. They are obedient and love to do the tasks asked by the owners. They perform well in obedience training, which makes them perfect service dogs.

Kunming Wolfdog

As they are unpredictable, therefore, they should be watched at all times. These large Chinese dogs are not the ideal choice for a home with kids unless they are properly trained.

Life Expectancy of Kunming Wolfdog – 12 to 14 years

Chow Chow

If you want to own a large, hairy, and strong dog, you will find Chow Chow as the ideal canine. The actual origin of this large dog breed is somewhat not known.

The bluish-black tongue of these dogs makes them stand apart from other canine breeds. They also have a thick mane around their head that makes them look like a lion. Also, due to their thick fur, people relate them to bears.

These dogs are loyal, aloof, and independent. Due to their large size and inherent strength, this large Chinese dog breed is also served as a hunter and a sledge puller. They are also the best guard dogs. Chow Chow is also the most independent dog among other Chinese dog breeds.

Chow chow chinese dog breeds

They are stubborn as well, so you must start socializing them as early as possible. Due to their thick coat, they also need frequent grooming. They are also loyal and devoted to their family.

Life Expectancy of Chow Chow – 10 to 12 years

Shar Pei

This dog breed is believed to be originated around 200 BC in Southern China. Shar Pei is one of the most ancient large Chinese dog breeds that survive until today. This breed got this name due to its rough coat that has a sand-like texture.

This dog breed has been recognized as courageous and tenacious canines for centuries. They are also used as guard dogs and are highly protective of their family members. They are not hostile or aggressive at all. Even if they are given a choice, they choose to be remaining out of the fight.

Shar Pei Chinese Dog Breeds

They are reserved, affectionate, and intelligent dogs. Due to their stubbornness and independence, it is necessary to put them through obedience training. When they see their owners in danger, they may be aggressive towards strangers.

Life Expectancy of Shar Pei – 10 to 12 years

Final Words

The list of Chinese dog breeds includes the breeds from highly popular to extremely rare. These dogs have different backgrounds, traits, and purposes.

If you are interested in owning them, this Chinese dog breeds list will help you find the one that best fits your lifestyle and family.