The Chongqing Dog is one of the less-known dog breeds to have come from China. Physically, it tends to be very distinctive-looking, both because of its red fur and because of its Shar-Pei-like face. Temperamentally, the Chongqing Dog is a loyal protector, though that can make it less than fond of strangers under certain circumstances. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Chongqing Dog:
1. Named for a Place
The Chongqing Dog is named for Chongqing, which is one of the most important cities in the whole of China. In part, this is because it is an inland port with considerable manufacturing capabilities. However, it should also be noted that Chongqing has a fair amount of historical significance, with examples ranging from the coronation that resulted in it receiving its current name meaning “Double Celebration” to its status as Chiang Kai-shek’s provisional capital during the Second World War.
2. Found in Chongqing and Its Surroundings
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Chongqing Dog received its name because it is most common in Chongqing. Furthermore, it is common in the province of Sichuan as well. For those who are curious, Chongqing is the focal point for Sichuan, but in the present, it is not a part of Sichuan because it is one of the four municipalities that have been put under the direct administration of the central Chinese government, meaning that it possesses similar status to the provinces.
3. Unclear Origins
No one knows the exact origins of the Chongqing Dog. Furthermore, it seems probable that no one will ever known the exact origins of the Chongqing Dog because there isn’t enough evidence to come to a conclusion on the matter. There are those who claim that the breed into existence under the Han Dynasty, which isn’t particularly useful because said dynasty lasted for four centuries with the exception of a short interval from 9 to 23 AD.
4. Came Close to Extinction
At one point in time, the Chongqing Dog came close to extinction. In short, what happened was that the Communist Party of China used to regard pet ownership as being “bourgeois” in nature. Combined with widespread poverty as well as a fall in the number of people who hunted, the result was devastation for the numbers of the Chongqing Dog and other Chinese breeds. With that said, the economic revival of recent decades has produced a surge of popularity for pet ownership, which has brought new life to Chinese breeds.
5. Came Into Existence Via Semi-Natural Selection
Due to the sheer length of its existence, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Chongqing Dog isn’t one of the breeds created through strict breeding plans implemented by humans over the course of decades and decades. Instead, it is the product of semi-natural selection in the sense that the dogs that were best-suited for their environment as well as best-suited for their particular roles would’ve been the ones that got the chance to breed for the most part.
6. No Major Health Problems
On a related note, this means that Chongqing Dogs do not have any major health problems that they are particularly prone to experience. However, the breed tends to have a thin coat, meaning that some members have been known to develop various skin conditions when exposed to unfavorable environments.
7. Hunting Dogs
Chongqing Dogs were used to hunt a wide range of animals such as boars, rabbits, and on rare occasions, tigers. Unlike some hunting breeds, Chongqing Dogs can be used to hunt either on their own or as a member of a pack.
8. Comes in Three Sizes
Speaking of which, Chongqing Dogs come in three sizes, each of which is better-suited for some tasks than others. For example, small-sized Chongqing Dogs were used for hunting burrowing animals such as rabbits and woodchucks. In contrast, medium-sized Chongqing Dogs were used for the foothills, while large-sized Chongqing Dogs were used for either the forest or the open plain.
9. Used as Guard Dogs
Nowadays, the Chongqing Dog is often used as a guard dog because they make for natural protectors. Fortunately, while the breed tends to be wary of strangers, individual members can be taught to tolerate people that they don’t know.
10. Still Rare
The Chongqing Dog isn’t particularly common even in its homeland. Certainly, pet dogs have managed to become very popular in modern China, but some breeds have managed to benefit much more than others. Still, the Chongqing Dog is no longer at risk of going extinct.