Chinese Foo Dog

Last Updated on January 23, 2020 by Bridget Shirvell

Quick Facts

  • Weight: Toy: Up to 20 pounds
    Miniature: 20 to 50 pounds
    Standard: Over 50 pounds
  • Height: Toy: Up to 10 inches
    Miniature: 10 to 15 inches
    Standard: Over 15 inches

The Look of a Chinese Foo Dog

The Toy, Miniature, and Standard Chinese Foo Dogs look very much like the Chow Chow, with squarer bodies and more fur. This breed has a thick, double coat with a coarse outer coat and woolly undercoat. The coat can be long and rough or short and plush and comes in blue, black, blue/brown, black/tan, cream/sable, red, sable, and gray.

The Chinese Foo Dog has a strong, muscular body; triangular face; and pricked ears. The long-haired version has a magnificent “lion mane.” In fact, the look of a lion was considered when the Chinese Foo Dog was first bred because the lion was regarded as a sacred animal.


  • Lion’s mane on long-haired version
  • Courageous nature
  • Guarding ability
  • Gentleness with children
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years (the smaller versions usually live longer than the Standard)

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

What They Are Like to Live With

The Chinese Foo Dog lives up to its leonine appearance. They are bold, courageous, and king of the castle. They can also make friendly family dogs as long as they are socialized early.

Chinese Foo Dogs are known for their gentleness with children and make quiet and dignified companions. The Chinese Foo Dog can be overly independent, so consider a different breed if you’re looking for a constant, interactive pet.

The Chinese Foo Dog needs regular daily exercise and brushing. Be prepared to have fur everywhere in your living space.

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.


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 (Foochow). 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.

About the Author

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart