Shih Tzu Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Shih Tzu (Shih Tzu Kou) or Chrysanthemum Dog (Lion Dog, Chinese Lion Dog, Xi Shi dog) is an ancient companion and lap dog, whose true origin is still veiled in mystery. However, there are actually three theories on how Shih Tzus came into being. According to the first theory, the breed originated more than 2.000 years ago in Tibet, where it was bred by lamas in lamaseries. The lamas gifted a few of these dogs to rulers at the Chinese Imperial Court in the 17th century, when the breed was finally given its present name. If this theory is correct, then this is officially the smallest of all Tibetan breeds. According to the second theory, the breed was actually developed in the 17th century in the city of Peking (Beijing), China, by crossing the Pekingese with the Lhasa Apso. The third theory suggests that the breed actually originated in China around 800 B.C. Anyhow, the recent DNA study confirmed that the Shih Tzu is actually one of the 14 oldest (ancient) dog breeds in the world, which are closely related to the wolf. In this group, apart from its “relatives,” the Lhasa Apso, Pekingese and Tibetan Terrier, are some of the most famous breeds around the globe, such as the Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Siberian Husky, Basenji, Samoyed, Afghan Hound, etc. Continue Reading →

Pekingese Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Pekingese (Pekingese Dog, Pekingese Lion Dog) or Pekig Lion Dog (Peking Palasthund, Lion Dog, Sun Dog, Foo Dog, Fu Lin Dog, Chinese Lion Dog, Peke, Pelchie Dog) is an ancient companion dog that originated in the Western China. It is unknown how this breed came into being (its true ancestors are still unknown), but supposedly it is more than 2.000 years old. According to the Chinese (Buddhist) legend, this dog is an offspring of a union between a monkey/marmoset (representing grace) and a lion (representing nobleness). Of course, this is far away from the actual truth, but it’s still an interesting story. Namely, the lion fell in love with a lovely monkey girl, but he couldn’t marry her since he was much bigger than her. So, the lion asked Buddha to make him smaller. And so it was, Buddha fulfilled his wish, they were married and had a bunch of Pekingese babies. How sweet :) Anyhow, the recent DNA study confirmed that the Lion Dog is one of the oldest and purest dog breeds in the world. That’s why this toy doggy is included in the group of 14 ancient breeds, together with the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Shar-Pei, Shih Tzu, Saluki, etc. These dogs are also the closest relatives of the wolf, which is not something you might have guessed after the actual look of the Peking Lion Dog. Continue Reading →

Saluki Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Saluki (Saluki Dog, Saluki Hound, Saluki Greyhound) or Persian Greyhound (Arabian Hound, Gazelle Hound, Tanji) is an ancient Sighthound that originated in the Fertile Crescent, a crescent-shaped region containing the fertile, Arabian parts of the West Asia, the Nile Delta and Nile Valley. This hound breed is, according to some historical evidence, more than 7.000 years old and is definitely one of the most ancient breeds of dog. In fact, it is included in the group of 14 ancient dogs, together with the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Shar-Pei, Pekingese, Chow Chow, Afghan Hound, etc. These breeds are considered the oldest and purest of all domesticated dogs. The first evidence of the existence of these Sighthounds can be found on the approximately 6.000 years old pottery from Susa, ancient Mesopotamia (now Shush, Iran). However, some experts believe that these are actually depictions of ancestors of the Saluki. This might be up for debate, but there’s no doubt that the Persian Greyhounds were actually depicted on the Egyptian tombs of the Upper Nile region, dating back more than 4.000 years ago. Besides, archeologists found the mummified remains of Salukis next to mummified Pharaohs in these tombs. This just proves how Pharaohs held the Salukis with the highest esteem. They were truly the royal dogs of ancient Egypt. Continue Reading →

Tibetan Terrier Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Tibetan Terrier (Lhasa Terrier) or Tsang Apso (Dhoki Apso, Dokhi Apso) is an ancient companion and working dog that originated in the Himalayas, Tibet. The breed is several thousand years old, and was probably developed from the small mountain wolf that was domesticated around 800 BC. Experts believe that the Lhasa Terrier is the ancestor of all other Tibetan breeds, from the Lhasa Apso to the Shih Tzu or Tibetan Spaniel. In other words, this is quite possibly the oldest of all Tibetan dogs, even though the Lhasa Apso was for a long time considered the same breed. Anyhow, Tibetan Terriers were bred and kept as companions and watchdogs by the Bhuddist monks (Lamas) in the lamaseries for over 2.000 years. Monks considered them sacred and held them with the highest regard. However, unlike its little brother, the Lhasa Apso, the Tibetan Terrier wasn’t only limited to life with the monks and nobles. On the contrary, some of these dogs were often gifted by the monks to the locals and herdsmen of Tibet, who used them for various purposes – from guarding to herding. Just like monks, Tibetans treated these dogs with the highest respect, almost like children. That’s why they were often called “the little people” by the villagers. Continue Reading →

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Lhasa Apso (Long-Haired Lhasa Dog) or Apso Seng Kye (Bark Lion Sentinel Dog or Bearded Lion Dog) is an ancient sentinel dog that originated in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet. The breed was probably developed from a small mountain wolf that inhabited this region some 4.000 years ago. Experts believe that the locals had started domesticating and breeding these wolves sometime around 800 BC. A research study that was conducted recently revealed that the Apso is actually one of the ancient breeds. It is a group of 14 dogs most closely related to the wolf, considered the oldest and purest of all domesticated breeds. This puts the Lhasa Apso in the category with some of the most authentic primitive dogs in the world, such as the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Shar-Pei, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, or Basenji. Apart from these well-known breeds, there is also another breed of dog from Tibet in this group called the Tibetan Terrier. This is a very close relative of the Lhasa, and was sometimes considered the same breed because of the almost identical appearance. However, later on they were separated into two unique breeds, with the Apso Seng Kye being the smaller of the two. Continue Reading →