The American Kennel Club recognizes 195 dog breeds, and another 79 are working towards acceptance. This large number is difficult to get through if you don’t have a good system. Some people will sort the breeds by size, or location, or even temperament. In this article, we will look at all of the breeds that come from Asian countries. For each breed on this list, we’ll show you a picture of what they look like and give you a quick description so you can see if it’s a breed worth considering to be a part of your family.
Keep reading while we look at 22 Asian dog breeds to help you find the right one for your home.
Top 22 Asian Dog Breeds:
1. Japanese Spitz
|Temperament:||Affectionate, intelligent, obedient|
The Japanese Spitz is a small to medium-sized dog that Japanese breeders first created in the 1920s. Most kennel clubs recognize this breed, but American breeders consider it to be too similar to the Pomeranian for acceptance. It’s rapidly gaining in popularity due to its friendly temperament. It’s devoted to family members and makes a great watchdog. It also gets along well with children and other pets.
2. Shiba Inu
|Temperament:||Alert, confident, fearless|
|Colors:||Red sesame, black and tan|
The Shiba Inu is a Japanese hunting breed that has a fox-like face, ears, and legs. It has a spirited boldness but a friendly temperament, so it enjoys being around people. It’s a meticulous groomer and will spend several hours a day licking its fur clean. It’s a hardy animal with a long lifespan and relatively few health problems. As a note, it’s not known for being a very affectionate dog.
|Temperament:||Affectionate, intelligent, good-natured|
The Pekingese breed originates from China, and it’s a small dog that often has long hair, though they are also available with short hair. It has a short snout, so it doesn’t do a lot of running, and it’s also susceptible to heatstroke. However, these are affectionate dogs that are also entertaining with comical behavior.
4. Chow Chow
|Temperament:||Aloof, independent, quiet|
|Colors:||Red, cinnamon, black, cream, blue|
The Chow Chow is a large dog from Northern China with a broad skull and tiny triangle ears. It has extremely thick hair that makes it look like a giant teddy bear. This breed is fiercely protective of its owners and can be strong-willed when it wants something. These dogs rarely bark and usually rely on their massive size to intimidate strangers. Though extremely loyal, this is not a particularly cuddly breed.
|Temperament:||Independent and loyal|
|Colors:||Usually white, but other colors are available|
The Chippiparai is a sighthound from India. It has very long and narrow legs built for speed. It excels at hunting small games, and it gets frequent work as a police dog. Most kennels do not recognize it, but it’s growing in popularity due to its ties to royalty. These dogs are devoted to their masters and will often refuse to eat food from anyone else.
6. Thai Ridgeback
|Temperament:||Family-oriented, Intelligent, protective|
|Colors:||Blue, black, red, fawn|
The Thai Ridgeback is a fantastic family pet that enjoys spending time with humans. It gets along well with children and other pets, and it has short, dense fur that is easy to maintain. It’s a tough breed with a strong survival instinct capable of extremely high jumps. Breeders first created it in Thailand almost 400 years ago, and it’s remained popular ever since.
7. Lhasa Apso
|Temperament:||Alert, energetic, friendly, playful, intelligent|
|Colors:||Black, white, tan, brown|
The Lhasa Apso breed is from Tibet, and its name means “goatee”, referencing its unique facial hair. These dogs are instantly recognizable due to the long hair, though there is a less popular short hair version. Despite their distinguished appearance, these dogs are extremely playful and love to chase around balls and play games of fetch. The Lhasa Apso has very few health problems and tends to live a long life.
8. Indian Spitz
|Temperament:||Active, intelligent, playful|
|Colors:||White, brown, black|
The Indian Spitz comes from India, where breeders call it a Pomeranian even though it’s not related to that breed. It’s the most popular dog in its home country and is easy to find there. It’s a great companion breed and is also suitable as a watchdog where it will bark at any intruders, so you know their presence. These dogs also like games of fetch and frisbee where they can jump.
9. Shih Tzu
|Temperament:||Independent, playful. friendly|
|Colors:||Wide range of colors and patterns|
The Shih Tzu is a popular dog in America and the rest of the world. It has a playful and friendly temperament but also likes to be the center of attention and can be quite mischievous if you try to ignore it or leave it alone for too long. Its tiny size is perfect for small apartments and city life, and it’s the ideal pet for the elderly due to its high intelligence and independent thinking.
10. Akita Inu
|Temperament:||Courageous, friendly. docile|
|Colors:||Black, fawn, silver, brown|
The Akita Inu is a large breed from Northern Japan that can often exceed 90 pounds. It originally hunted elk, boar, and bear. It even competed in dogfighting, but today it’s mostly a companion animal or a working dog that trainers use to pull sleds and carts. It’s usually quite docile but is courageous when protecting its owner or another dog in its pack.
11. Black Russian Terrier
|Temperament:||Agile, calm, confident|
As the name suggests, the Black Russian Terrier is a black dog breed that comes from Russia. It’s not a true terrier, and breeders created it by mixing seven different breeds, including the Giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, and Caucasian Shepherd dog. It’s a strong and confident breed with an excellent work ethic, but it can also be lazy if you don’t train it properly. It’s a great fit for families with children because it forms a strong lifelong bond with them.
12. Japanese Chin
|Temperament:||Alert, intelligent, loyal|
|Colors:||Black, lemon, sable, white|
The Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is easily recognizable due to its strabismus of the eyes, giving it a slightly cross-eyed appearance. It’s an ancient breed that dates back to about 700 AD when it was popular with Japanese royalty. Most owners describe it as being catlike because it uses its paws to clean its face. It also likes to do tricks like dancing on its back legs while clapping its front paws.
13. Chinese Crested
|Temperament:||Lively, affectionate, happy|
|Colors:||Wide variety of colors and patterns|
The Chinese Crested is an attractive and tiny breed that rarely stands taller than 13 inches. It has long hair over large triangle ears and face but short hair over the body, giving it a unique appearance that made it the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest from 2003 to 2005. It’s an intelligent breed that’s also playful and entertaining.
14. Afghan Hound
|Temperament:||Independent, clownish, happy|
|Colors:||Red, cream, silver, white, black, blue, tan|
Afghan Hounds are medium to large-sized dogs with long silky hair. It has panoramic vision and unique hip joints that allow it to achieve incredible speeds. It’s available in several colors, and most owners describe it as happy with a penchant for clowning around. It’s perfect for children and was even kept as a pet by the famous painter Picasso.
|Temperament:||Athletic, gentle, independent|
|Colors:||Wide variety of colors and patterns|
The Borzoi is an athletic dog with a long and narrow head and legs to match. Its fur is soft and silky, and the Russians use it for hunting wolves and other game due to its athletic abilities. Despite its hunting prowess, it’s quite gentle around humans and even makes a great companion for a child.
16. Korean Jindo
|Temperament:||Brave, active, intelligent|
|Colors:||Red, white, black, brindle, fawn|
The Jindo dog breed is indigenous to South Korea and is one of their national treasures. It’s a double-coated spitz-type dog with forward-pointing upright ears. Most owners describe it as having a gentle nature that is never aggressive toward humans or other dogs. It’s extremely loyal and has often traveled hundreds of miles to return to its original home if transported elsewhere.
17. Dosa Mastiff
|Temperament:||Dignified and easy going|
|Colors:||Chocolat, mahogany, red|
The Dosa Mastiff is a very large dog breed that enjoys being around people. It has a dignified appearance and an easy-going temperament that makes it the perfect family pet. These dogs rarely bark and prefer to scare off would-be intruders with their imposing size. It’s a sweet breed that loves children but doesn’t live quite as long as many other breeds.
|Temperament:||Affectionate, friendly, lively|
|Colors:||Black, white, beige, pied|
The Kintamani Bali Dog is from Indonesia, and you can recognize this breed by the broad face, flat forehead, and forward-facing triangular ears. It’s an affectionate breed that often sits on your lap despite being too large and will often be under your feet as you move from one room to the next. This breed likes to dig, so you will need to designate an area of the yard or you will have holes all over.
|Temperament:||Attentive, docile, playful, and quiet|
|Colors:||Wide variety of colors and patterns|
The Pug is one of the most popular pets in America, and it seems to get more popular every day. It’s also a prized dog in China. This small dog rarely gets more than 14 inches tall and has an adorable scrunched-in face covered with wrinkles. It tends to follow you wherever you go and like a lot of attention. It also enjoys sitting on your lap and going for long rides in the car.
|Temperament:||Alert, sociable, stubborn|
|Colors:||White, biscuit, cream|
The Samoyed breed is a light-colored dog with long soft fur. You can use this fur as an alternative to wool when knitting, and many craftsmen use it to create artificial flies for angling. These dogs are alert and make excellent watchdogs, but they are friendly toward family members and other pets. Another unique feature about the Samoyed dogs is that if you look at them straight on it looks like they are smiling.
21. Siberian Husky
|Temperament:||Intelligent, alert, outgoing|
|Colors:||Agouti, black, black and tan, white|
The Siberian Husky is an extremely hardy animal capable of withstanding harsh temperatures. Because of their ability to travel long distances over snow and ice, they are part of the United States Army’s Arctic Search and rescue unit. These dogs are very outgoing and like to make new friends, but they are protective of their owners and will not allow strangers to get by unchecked.
22. Tibetan Mastiff
|Temperament:||Aloof, strong-willed, and stubborn|
|Colors:||Black, tan, blue, fawn, sable, red|
The Tibetan Mastiff is another breed that enjoys the cold weather and has a dense fur coat to protect them. These large dogs are the perfect watch dogs because they rarely bark and, despite their large size, are quite agile and attentive, so they quickly sneak up on any intruders. It likes to stand guard by itself and isn’t much for company, though it enjoys going for walks with its master and will usually sleep close to the rest of the family.
There are plenty of breeds on this list that would make excellent pets and aren’t hard to find. The Pug and Shih Tzu are especially popular in America, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a breeder. We recommend avoiding the Chow Chow if you are new to owning dogs because these large dogs can be quite stubborn and will take over the house if you don’t know how to become the Alpha.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found a few dogs you would like to have. If we’ve given you some options to consider, please share these 22 Asian dog breeds on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image credit: Akbudak Rimma, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.