Shiba Inu dog in a bedroom

Which Asian dog breed is your favourite?

© Shutterstock

13 of the most popular Asian dog breeds

By Emilie Heyl Content Writer

Updated on the

There are hundreds of breeds in Asia. However, Asian dogs have made their way to different parts of the world and some dog breeds have become some of the most popular dog breeds in western countries. Yes, we are talking about Pugs, Chow Chow, Shiba Inus and many more.

Asia expands across 48 different countries and is the most populated continent in the world. With its 4.5 billion people, Asia represents over half of the world’s total population. Asia is also the home of hundreds of millions of dogs. With Asia’s thousands of years of culture, they have bred some of the most unique Asian dog breeds. Let’s meet them!

Asian dog breeds

There are over hundreds of Asian breeds but we have selected the 13 most popular ones.

Are you inspired by the Japanese culture and wish to find an original Japanese name for your furry friend? Check out this list of Japanese dog names.

The Akita Inu from Japan

The Akita Inu ©Shutterstock

The Akita Inu is a powerful and large dog who was originally bred to guard royalty, nobility and also hunt wild boar, black bear, and sometimes deer. This dog breed is fearless and very protective over its family. When trained and socialised properly, they are affectionate and amusing.

Chinese Crested dog from China

The Chinese Crested dog ©Shutterstock

The Chinese Crested dog is unique looking: it is a hairless dog with, as the name suggests, a silky hair on its head (the crest), its tail and paws. If you are looking for a couch potato, the Chinese Crested is your guy.

Chow Chow from China

The Chow Chow ©Shutterstock

The Chow Chow is an independent dog and you will need a lot of patience and consistency to be able to cuddle with your Chow Chow. They do need a lot of exercise and won’t enjoy being left alone at home. If you are an experienced dog owner, will stimulate your Chow Chow physically and mentally you will have a faithful and protective furry friend.

Japanese Chin from Japan

The Japanese Chin ©Shutterstock

The Japanese Chin was a popular member of the Chinese and Japanese imperial courts. These elegant, playful and easy going dogs can live in an apartment and are easy to train. They also love to get a lot of attention and affection from its owner.

Japanese Spitz from Japan

The Japanese Spitz ©Shutterstock

This small white ball of fluff is intelligent, easy to train and great with children. The Japanese Spitz is an amazing companion, can live in a flat as long as it gets enough exercise during the day. And on top of that, they don’t need much grooming despite their gorgeous appearance.

Kai Ken from Japan

The Kai Ken dog ©Shutterstock

The Kai Ken was originally bred to hunt in the mountains in the province of Ka, an island in Honshu. Because Honshu was surrounded by mountains, this dog breed is quite rare because it was isolated for a very long time. The Kai Ken is quite reserved but is a great watch dog and will always keep an eye over its family.

Lhasa Apsos from Tibet

The Lhasa Apsos ©Shutterstock

Don’t judge a book by its cover. The Lhasa Apsos was originally bred as a watchdog in palaces and monasteries. Today, this Asian dog breed is a loyal and protective furry companion. This long haired dog is curious and playful but it is not very patient with children.

Pug from China

The Pug ©Shutterstock

The Pug is probably one of the most famous dog breeds in the world due to its physical characteristics and its goofy personality. The Pug is a great companion, can adapt to any living situation and get along well with pretty much anyone. They can be a little stubborn, but they are playful and very affectionate.

Shar Pei from China

The Shar Pei ©Shutterstock

The Shar Pei has been around for hundreds of years. They were originally bred to guard, hunt, herd, and unfortunately fight. As a result, today the Shar Pei needs a firm and consistent training as this dog can be quite stubborn. They can live in a flat, but be aware as the Shar Pei has a tendency to bark a lot. If you make sure your dog is socialised early, you meet its needs you will have a protective and loyal furry companion.

Shiba Inu from Japan

The Shiba Inu ©Shutterstock

The Shiba Inu was originally bred to hunt birds, small game and sometimes every wild boar. But with time, they became more of a companion animal than a hunting dog. The unique look of the Shiba Inu, small pointed ears and fox look-like, curly tail  makes it very popular in Japan. The Shiba Inu has a bold and fiery personality but is also described as a spirited dog. 

Shih Tzu from China

The Shih Tzu dog ©Shutterstock

Shih Tzu means “little lion”. However, there is nothing fierce in the Shih Tzu, on the contrary, this dog is affectionate, outgoing and extremely friendly. Known for being a lap dog, the Shih Tzu loves nothing more than to follow its owner anywhere.

Thai Ridgeback from Thailand

The Thai Ridgeback ©Shutterstock

The Thai Ridgeback is thought to be the oldest dog breed in the world. Indeed, ancient artefacts showed that they were found living on the isolated island of Pho Quoc in Thailand. This dog breed is extremely rare and difficult to find. They are energetic, active and develop a strong bond with its owner. However, they can be quite wary of strangers so they will need to be socialised at an early age. They are quite a dominant breed and won’t suit first time owners as they will need a firm and consistent training.

Tibetan Mastiff from Tibet

The Tibetan Mastiff ©Shutterstock

This very large dog was originally bred as a guard dog. Despite its intimidating size, the Tibetan Mastiff is a softy and love its  human family. This dog does have a protective instinct and will need to be socialised at an early age. This Asian dog breed can be a little stubborn and won’t always listen especially in a situation where he think he’s right. You will however find a loyal friend in the Tibetan Mastiff.

Want to find a cool Tibetan name for your pooch?

We’ve discovered 13 of the most popular Asian dog breeds, but there are plenty more. Here are just a few more of them.

Other Asian dog breeds




Chong Qing dog
India Rampur Greyhound
Indonesia Kintamani
Japan Shikoku
Japanese Terrier
Korea Dosa
Poong san
Malaysia Telomain
Sri Lanka Sinhala Hound
Thailand Thai Bang-kaew dog

Tibetan Spaniel 

Tibetan Terrier

Vietnam Phu Quoc Dog

As we’ve seen together, a lot of Asian dog breeds have been around for hundreds of years and were mainly used to guard and hunt. But today, most of these breeds have become domesticated dogs and are great companions. So, which one is your favourite?

Other dog breeds by country or continent:

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