Asia is the world’s largest continent. It expands across 48 countries and accounts for more than 4.5 billion people. And from each country and unique origins in this continent, comes some of the most lovable Asian dog breeds that the world loved.
Years of culture and exceptional landscape has made Asia a prime breeding land for extraordinary dogs. These days, Asian dogs have made their way to different corners of the world. Many have become popular in the nations they migrated too as well.
And if you are curious about these delightful breeds, here’s a list of the most exciting dog breeds from various Asian Countries.
Medium and Large Asian Dog Breeds
#1. Tibetan Mastiff
Highlights: Extremely loyal, courageous, Protective
This majestic breed fetches the highest price among all dog breeds. Tibetan Mastiff carries the gold standard in guard dogs because they have all the qualities of a great protector. They are a large breed that is brave, confident, tenacious, and are incredibly loyal to their owners.
Tibetan Mastiff is known to be “nomadic” as they originate from the tribes of Mongolia, Tibet, and China. In the early days, these dogs protect the tribe’s sheep from wild animals and are known as a top-tier guard dog.
Generally, these Chinese dogs breeds are large and heavy-boned with square muscles and broadheads. Tibetan Mastiff appearance is primitive as they maintain the characteristics that help them survive higher altitudes. Their necks are thick, and they have ta bright, medium-sized brown eyes.
Highlights: Intelligent, Rare dog breed, very affectionate
One of the oldest dog breeds to survive until the present day, the Shar-Pei is believed to have originated in 200 BC in Southern China. These dogs stand out from other dog breeds with their unique appearance. They have an adorable wrinkled forehead, small ears, and a hippo-like head.
They are courageous and tenacious companions. Also, these dogs are valuable guard dogs that are very protective of their family and home. Despite their protective nature, they are not aggressive or hostile. More so, they are generally quiet and are extremely intelligent.
Shar-pei is a Cantonese term that translates to “sand skin.” It means that the breed got its name from its rough, sand-like textured skin.
#3. Chow Chow
Highlights: Dignified, Independent
Chow chow is one of the most popular Chinese dog breeds that is loved and admired around the world. They are known for their teddy-bear like or lion-like appearance, fluffy coat, and a rare blue, black or bluish-black tongue.
There is much debate on the origins of this Chow chows. Some say that they are from Mongolia, and others claim that they are from the Arctic regions. But based on their appearance, they are an ancient spitz-type of dog breed that originates way back into the Han Dynasty. They are said to be skilled hunting dogs and accompanied the emperors’ hunters. Presently, chow chows are very much a China dog breeds and are well-coveted family pets around the world.
Additionally, the name Chow chow was given to the dog breed when it arrived in Europe many years ago. Chow chow was a term that was used to describe things that come from China.
#4. Tosa Inu (Japanese Mastiff)
Highlight: Courageous, Patient and Highly-active
The Tosa Inu is the largest among Japanese dog breeds. For instance, they are large and well-muscled bodies. Also, these dogs were initially bred for hunting and fighting. They have an impressive and stately stance. They make excellent protectors because of their massive size, loyal, and confident nature.
Because of its restless spirit, this dog breed is not suitable for small homes. They need constant activity and exercise to avoid developing aggressive behavior. Also, they are challenging for first-time dog owners because they can be quite stubborn.
#5. Akita Inu
Highlights: Fearless, Devoted and Dignified
The Akita Inu dog breed is the National symbol of Japan. When it comes to loyalty, this breed tops the list for Asian dogs. They are an outstanding companion dog, as they are very protective and territorial.
But because of their extreme loyalty to their owners, they can be quite challenging to train. More so, they hardly ever get along with other dogs and pets. Thus, it is necessary to have early and regular socialization training for them.
One of their surprising traits is that they have an affinity with kids. They are excellent around children, and they make excellent playmates. However, due to their massive size, you should closely monitor them when they are around very young children.
#6. Dosa Mastiff
Highlights: Dominant, Affectionate, Good-natured
The Dosa Mastiff is the largest dog breed of Korea. Everything about them seems massive and intimidating, but they are not. They are fondly called “gentle giants” because, despite their colossal physique, they have an affectionate and good-natured characteristic.
Although they look fearful and aggressive, Dosa breaks the mold of the typical mastiffs. They are kind, loving, and steady; thus, they make great family pets. These dogs are very patient and kind-hearted around little children. But because they are huge, adult supervision is a must when they are playing with kids.
Dosas have shiny and smooth coats that range in beautiful hues of red mahogany to deep brown. Grooming needs are minimal, and they need cleaning on folded skin weekly.
#7. Korean Jindo
Highlights: Brave, Versatile, Devoted
The Korean Jindo dog is South Korea’s national dog breed, and of course, they are the most popular breed from the country. These dogs are versatile family dogs and are known for their loyal and energetic nature.
As their name suggests, these doggies are indigenous to Jindo Island in southern Korea. They were once bred and trained as skilled hunting and tracking dogs. But these days, they have become lovable family companions.
Physically, Jindo dogs are of a medium, well-proportion built. They have thick fluffy coats, erect ears, and vivid expression. They are agile and alert, thus always keep an eye on them as they are also excellent escape artists.
#8. Black Russian Terrier
Highlights: Courageous, Confident and Intelligent
Big and sturdy are the words that best describe this massive dog breeds from Siberia. They can stand as high as 30 inches at the shoulder and look even more imposing and huge when you consider their enormous head. Despite their size, they are agile and sure-footed fellows.
Originally, BRTs are bred as a military hunting dog. They are very fierce workers, and their graceful, big bodies make them reliable for any tasks. Their all-black double coat makes them patrol some of the coldest places in the country.
When not working, these dogs are affectionate and calm. They are well-behaved around children and are loving pets to their families. However, you have to exercise them often. They will thrive on a job that you will give them.
Highlights: Loyal, Affectionate, Versatile
Known for their smiling faces and white double coats, the Samoyed is one of the happiest dogs breeds hailing from Siberia. They are hard-working dogs that are bred initially for harsh jobs in the snow.
When not working, these dogs are fantastic family pets. They are very affectionate and loyal to their owners. And because of that, they need lots of love and attention.
However, these dogs are not ideal for everyone. They do not do well in warmer climates. They shed a lot and require lots of physical activity daily. It is rare to find Sammies that bark, instead, they are known for “singing” or yodeling in a melodic tune.
#10. Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound)
Highlights: Aristocratic, Calm and Affectionate
The Borzoi or the Russian Wolfhound is impressive and aristocratic dogs. They have a calm and agreeable temperament, which makes them great family companions.
Physically, these dogs are very princely. They are a blend of strength, agility, and grace. Beneath their elegant and luxurious coat, these dogs are swift and tough. On the other hand, they can be quite stubborn, which makes training a challenge.
Borzoi is too dignified to enjoy roughhousing with the family, but do secure them in a fenced-in running space. A squirrel or cat will immediately stir their pursuit instinct.
#11. Siberian Husky
Highlights: Energetic, Affectionate, Playful
Siberian huskies are the most iconic dog breed from Russia. They are found all over the world, including places with warmer climates. They are graceful-medium sized Asian dogs with almond-shaped eyes that convey friendly and playful expression.
Huskies are quick and agile. They are powerful sled dogs that work well in packs. These doggies enjoy family life and enjoy the company of other dogs. They are innately friendly and playful, making them ineffective watchdogs.
This breed also has very high energy and will chase small animals when given a chance. Likewise, they are naturally clean and has very little odor.
#12. Afghan Hound
Highlights: Regal, Agile and Independent
The Afghan Hound has long been revered for their glorious coat. They are elegantly beautiful with a solid and robust body. Their coat protects them from the harsh climates of the Afghan mountain regions. They are slender and stands as high as 27 inches at the shoulder. These dogs are built and bred for hunting a challenging terrain.
On the other hand, Afghan Hound dogs exhibit profound loyalty and a bit of silliness despite their seemingly aloof and dignified characteristics. Experts claim that this breed is a special one, and only special people can have them as pets.
#13. Thai Ridgeback
Highlights: Loyal, Intelligent, Tough
The Thai Ridgeback medium-sized, muscular dog breed is the most popular breed from Thailand. They have a robust and rugged body making them natural athletes. These dogs are agile, quick, and high jumpers. They have a unique ridge on their backs formed by hair that grows in the opposite direction.
Thai Ridgebacks are very independent doggies with strong survival instincts. They are formidable hunters and may hunt down small animals when they see one. Fortunately, they have evolved into lovable family dogs. They make excellent guard dogs and are very protective of their home.
#14. Thai Bangkaew
Highlights: Athletic, Independent, Robust
This medium-sized spitz Asian breed is not as famous as the other Thai dog. However, it is equally interesting to get to know. These dogs hail from Thailand’s Phitsanulok Province. They have a well-proportioned, athletic body, almond-shaped intelligent-eyes, and luxurious coat.
Originally bred by the monks of Bangkaew temple, these dogs have become great family pets. They are affectionate, loyal, and protective of their home. These dogs are also wary and aloof around strangers; thus, they also make excellent guard dogs.
Highlights: Active, Independent, Loyal
Chippiparai is the most popular Indian dog breed. They are very active and are great runners. They have long, quick legs that render them the best hunting Asian dog breed. In the early days, these dogs were owned and bred only by Indian royalty.
If you get this breed for home, you have to provide them with plenty of exercises to keep them happy and healthy. They are a robust breed and require little veterinary care. Modern families love having this breed as a guard dog and companion. They are very friendly and loyal to their owners.
Small Asian Dog Breeds
Highlights: Active, Adaptable, Intelligent
The Telomian is the most popular dog breed from Malaysia. They are a rare purebred by the aboriginal Orang Asli to aid in hunting vermin in the jungles of Malaysia. These dogs are agile jumpers and are great climbers. Their instinct for potential threat makes them excellent watchdogs.
At present, these dogs are wonderful family pets. They are an independent breed, but with early socialization and training, they can become gentle and patients pets. On the other hand, their energy and eagerness make them tireless playmates.
#17. Kintamani Dog
Highlights: Active, Independent, Affectionate
The Kintamani dog originates from the Kintamani region of Bali, Indonesia. These dogs resemble the Samoyed, but they are smaller versions with long fluffy hair and broadhead. They are very energetic, active, and are great climbers.
These dogs are very independent, but they have been domesticated as family pets. They still have traces of being independent, but with early socialization, they can be the perfect playmate for your kids. More so, they are territorial and protective of their home; thus, they are also excellent watchdogs.
Highlights: Affectionate, Loyal and Regal
The Pekingese is the most iconic of all Chinese dog breeds. They are small toy breeds that were favored by royalty. These dogs have an adorable lion’s mane and are excellent lapdogs.
This Asian dog breed may be small, but they act like royalty and have that aristocratic demeanor. Moreover, these dogs are always confident and charming. They are not suitable to play with smaller children, but they do enjoy being around older kids.
#19. Shih Tzu
Highlights: Lively, Affectionate, Clever
Another elitist Chinese dog breeds, the Shih Tzu is a toy breed that shares a rich history with the Chinese noblemen. These dogs are excellent lap dogs and are faithful companions. More so, the Shih Tzu have a superior carriage and is undeniably charming little creatures.
Despite their small sizes, Shih Tzu dog breeds are energetic and has a sturdy body. They have a soft and smooth coat that ranges from gold to white, black, and brown. With early socialization, these dogs can make friendly and smart family pets.
Highlights: Playful, Charming, Lovable
Pugs originate from China, and they are well-loved by European noblemen. These endearing dogs are amongst the most popular Asian dog breeds that are recognized around the world. These dogs are known for their playful and mischievous attitude.
Their big expressive eyes can easily save from the troubles they created. Humans will quickly know whether their pooch is happy, sad, or worried about their human-like expressions. At present, these little fur babies adapt well to any environment. They are great in apartments, city or large houses in the suburbs.
#21. Chinese Crested
Highlights: Affectionate, Alert, Intelligent
The Chinese Crested is also known as Chinese hairless dogs. They are said to come from Africa or Mexico and were bred to become smaller in size by the Chinese. These affectionate pooches belong to the toy group and are regarded as wonderful companion pets.
The Crested dog is an alert and happy breed. They dote and adore their humans to a fault, thus expect to have lots of snuggle time from this loving pooch. Though they are brilliant, they do not meet most of the typical dog personality profiles.
#22. Lhasa Apso
Highlights: Feisty, Independent, Shy
When you think of mountain dogs, the most common breed that comes up are those with massive built and energetic bodies. The Lhasa Apso contradicts this belief. They are small canine with lots of fur and character. The Lhasa Apso originated from the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and worked as watchdogs of the temples and monasteries.
Apsos have large lungs, which makes them breathe easily in high altitudes. They are partners with the Tibetian Mastiff in patrolling temples. These little dogs are feisty and stubborn. If you take in an Apso for a pet, you have to ensure that they get plenty of games and exercise. They are friendly to other pets and children, but they do not tolerate teasing.
#23. Shiba Inu
Highlights: Independent, Active, Intelligent
Shiba Inu or Shiba Ken is probably the most popular dog breed from Japan. Their cuteness has taken over the internet and has a lot of Shiba Inu memes. These dogs are small, independent, and very cat-like. They like to clean themselves, can be very sneaky and quick.
The Shiba Inu is cute doggies that look similar to other Japanese breeds, but they are smaller and can be quite aggressive when not socialized. They may not go well with small children, but they make excellent companions.
Check our List of Popular Japanese Dog Breeds
#24. Japanese Spitz
Highlights: Active, Obedient, Devoted
Japanese Spitz may be small in bodies, but they are packed with a tremendous character. They share the same features with their Jap cousins Samoyed and American Eskimo but in a smaller and more compact body. Japanese Spitz makes great apartment pets and the family dog.
These fur babies have a fluffy white coat and need lots of grooming. They may need lots of exercises, but they can be tireless playmates for your kids. You can have a loyal and devoted pet in a Japanese Spitz.
#25. Japanese Chin
Highlights: Gentle, Affectionate, Loyal
The Japanese Chin is a toy breed that has originated from China many years ago. They are known as imperial chins and were treasured companions of the nobility in Japan. Chins are far cousins of the Pekingese; thus, they share a lot of features. In addition, Japanese Chin also have a short muzzle, protruding eyes, and small ears. Their coat is fluffy and smooth, but they are heavy shredders.
The Japanese Chin is generally a sweet-natured dog breed. They are gentle and affectionate family companions. They are good with children, other pets, and even strangers.
FAQs About Asian Dog Breeds
There goes our list of some of the most popular dog breeds in Asia. Some of the breeds mentioned may be familiar to you as they were featured in movies or played an important role in history. If not, here are some juicy details of how some Asian dogs have become icons in various parts of the world.
The Akita Inu, a Japanese dog breed was the featured dog in the movie Hachiko. The film showcased the immense loyalty of this breed to its master. In this movie, Hachiko regularly waits for his master at the Shibuya Train station. When his master suddenly died, Hachi waited at the train station for nine years until he died in 1935. At present, a bronze statue of Hachiko stands outside the Shibuya train station.
The Siberian Husky is another iconic breed from Russia. They are strong and powerful sled dogs that can survive the harshest climates. Many years ago, a pack of Huskies delivered antitoxin vaccines to save sick children in a remote Alaskan town in 1925 — the two most celebrated Siberians as Togo and Balto. Additionally, huskies have also appeared in movies like 8 Below, and they were revered characters in Game of Thrones.
Likewise, we have Jofi the ChowChow. Jofi was a well-loved companion and partner of the renowned Psychologist Sigmund Freud. Many years ago, they worked together to determine the status of his patients. Jofi also timed his master’s session by staying to calm the patient and leaving his spot and heading for the door when the time is up.
Most Asian dogs are well known in different countries and are well-loved for their unique qualities and abilities. These canines were also given as gifts to dignitaries and essential people visiting their home countries. For instance, Lhasa Apso and the Tibetan Mastiff was gifted by the Dalai Lama to influential people visiting Tibet. More so, Pekingese, Pugs, and Akita puppies are also commonly given as a token to royalties and politicians visiting their countries.
Are Asian Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Most Asian dogs are not hypoallergenic. If you will search whether the most popular ones like the Shiba Inu or the Chow chow are allergen-free, then you might be disappointed. Our list of the most popular dog breeds from Asia included well-known hypoallergenic pups.
From our list of medium and large breeds, the Afghan Hound and the Samoyed are the only ones that are not will not trigger your allergies. On the other hand, the Chinese Crested and the Shih Tzu are the small Asian dog breeds that are hypoallergenic.
Dogs are heaven-sent companions wherever they may have originated. No matter what their physical qualities are, dogs are well-loved for their loyalty, hard-work, and affectionate nature. Many Asian dogs are popular in America and Europe. Some of the most popular include Chow chow, Tibetan Mastiff and Shih Tzu from China. Other special breeds that you should consider are the Afghan Hound, Shiba Inu, and the Japanese Chin. We hope to have shared with you the unique and endearing characteristics of native dogs hailing from various countries in Asia.
If you have something unique or unusual info about your Asian fur baby, let us know by sharing your story in the comment box!