Asia is a vast continent full of diverse cultures, food, a rich history, and tropical weather.
But, amongst all of those unique things about Asia, did you know many cool canines belong to this continent?
You probably knew a few of these dogs existed but may not have realized they belong to Asia.
To help spread the love for this continent and these marvelous creatures, we've compiled a list of the best Asian dog breeds.
The Chow Chow is a dog that originates from the north of China, dating back to the Han dynasty. They were originally bred to be guard dogs and used to herd animals.
Therefore, don't be deceived by this furry bundle of cuteness; this canine is an introvert and can be easily aggressive towards other dogs. On the contrary, they also are loyal dogs to any owner and are intelligent, so they require a lot of mental stimulation.
A distinct feature of this breed is that it looks like a miniature lion. It has a coat that resembles a lion's mane and can come in a range of colors from black, blue, fawn, green, and red.
If you're looking for a dog with unparalleled house manners and full of energy, then the Jindo might be for you. This breed can live up to 15 years.
This breed's typical traits are being highly intelligent, confident, thoughtful, calm, and has excellent problem-solving skills. A Jindo tends to have a triangular head, come in a range of coat colors from white, black, brindle, grey, and red fawn. The average cost for a Jindo puppy is between $800-$1000.
Native to Thailand is the Bangkaew, a medium-sized dog believed to have first come into existence 100 years back. If you travel to Thailand, you can regularly see this breed; however, it's not common in other areas of the world.
This breed is typically loving and affectionate towards its owner. They also are dominant and protective over them. This means they can easily become hostile towards strangers or when they feel threatened. The Bangkaew requires a lot of training and socialization from an early age to make them comfortable in a new environment.
They're known for their distinct triangular ears, square-shaped body, and muscular limbs. Plus, the Bangkaews coat is medium length with a soft undercoat. Likewise, the colors it can come in are black & white, grey & white, red & white, white & chocolate, and red & white.
Tamil Nadu in southern India is home to the Chippiparai. This breed is tall and can grow up to 2.1 feet in height! It was also a favorite dog of the Indian royals and is a sighthound. Nowadays, it's rare to come across a Chippiparai as they're crossbred frequently, and their bloodline is getting diluted.
They're known to be brave, loyal, energetic, willful, and the most intelligent Indian dog breed. A Chippiparai's coat is short, with coarse, thick hair, and can come in fawn, reddish-brown, black, silver, gray, and white markings.
Looking similar to a Tibetan Mastiff, you will find the Himalayan Sheepdog in Eastern Nepal's foothills and Kashmir, India. This breed's main job is to serve as a guardian and protector from flocks of predators and yak and sheep, attacking crops.
It has similarities to a Tibetan Mastiff because it has a double coat that is heavy and thick. Its coat is often black or tan, and they have white markings on their toes. The Himalayan Sheepdog can also live up to 10-11 years.
The Telomian has an interesting history. This breed was originally bred by indigenous tribes of Malaysia and was later brought into the United States. It's known to be highly intelligent and active too.
They're small to medium-sized dogs and have a square body with an elongated head. If you socialize them from an early age, they're perfect with children and playful too.
Their coat is short and smooth and shed minimally. Which is an excellent dog to have if you suffer from a lot of allergies! A Telomian's coat comes in black and white, tan and sable.
The Shih Tzu is a dog breed that originates from Tibet. It's believed that the Tibetan kingdom sent Shih Tzu's as gifts to China's royals. From there, the Chinese bred them with Pugs and Pekingese to resemble the Shih Tzu we know today.
They're a small dog but have a long double coat and are also known to have short curly hair. They shed very little but do have tendencies to shed sometimes when their coat changes between seasons.
A Shih Tzu's temperament is happy, affectionate, and outgoing.
Coming from the mountain regions of northern Japan, the Akita is renowned for being a working dog. Their original purpose was to guard royals and hunt wild boar, black bear, and deer.
This breed is banned across many parts of the USA as they're renowned for being aggressive. Similarly, they don't do well living with other dogs, so if you already have a dog in your home, then the Akita Inu won't be for you.
This breed also comes in red, brindle, black, and white. They have a coat consisting of multiple layers with three different types of hair.
Pugs have more to them than just their cuteness; this breed dates back to 400 B.C in China! They're believed once to be lap dogs to emperors of the Ming dynasty. These dogs are small in height, growing up to 10-14 inches.
Pugs are known for being loyal, affectionate, and thrive off human companionship. They have rose and button shape ears and a muscular chest. Plus, they have a curly tail and strong legs.
If you visit Bali, Indonesia, then you have a high chance of coming into proximity with a Kintamani on the streets.
They represent similar characteristics to a spitz, being small to medium in size. Similarly, their coats are thick, coming in two layers and colors like white, brown, beige, and black.
The Kintamani is loving towards humans but very aggressive towards other dogs. Plus, they have a strong drive to hunt prey and are known to hunt birds and chase small animals.
Phu Quoc Ridgeback
A rare dog breed coming from one of Vietnam's southern islands, Phu Quoc, is the Ridgeback. Because it is mainly bred on an island, this breed has a pure lineage and has a unique appearance.
The Phu Quoc Ridgeback has a black coat, and the hair on its back grows in the other direction to other parts of its body. Which makes it look like there's a long line of hair on its back.
This dog is medium in size, has a muscular structure, and loves to exercise. In particular, it loves to run, swim in the water, and climb trees. Because they're a rare breed, they can cost anything from $15,000 upwards.
The Gull Terrier breed is thought to be a few hundred years old and originating from Pakistan and India. Their original purpose was for dog fights, hunting, and guarding. It's believed they first came into existence when the British Raj brought their Bull Terriers over, and they were bred from there.
You can identify a Gull Terrier by its distinct white coat with dark colored markings on its face and body. Due to their hunting capabilities, these are an aggressive dog to own, and it takes a lot of experience to train them.
Also referred to as the Japanese Spaniel, this breed is small, growing up to anything between 8-11 inches. They're commonly kept as domesticated lap dogs and bred to entertain owners. They have a silky soft straight coat whose common colors are tri-color and black and white.
The Indian Spitz is a dog native to India and was extremely popular in the country between 1980-1990. It's believed they're a descendant from the German Spitz and were bred to hunt. They're small in size and can grow up to 13 inches tall.
Their soft chest, fair till, and milky white coat are the most distinguishable features of an Indian Spitz. The Indian Spitz is known to be intelligent, playful, and athletic.
A hypoallergenic small non sporting breed originating from Tibet is the Lhasa Apso. This dog is a thousand-year-old breed and renowned for its coat falling to the floor. They're known to be playful, obedient, friendly, and alert.
Their coat comes in a range of colors from white, golden, brown, honey, and black. Plus, they require a diet full of protein and a fat level of 14 percent.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.