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Celebrating the 'Year of the Dog' at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Picture of Michael LoRé
Sports Editor
Updated: 16 February 2018

The 2018 Chinese New Year began Feb. 16 and lasts until March 2. What better way to celebrate the Year of the Dog than at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show? Get to know the Chinese dog breeds that were at the most famous dog show in the United States.

Chinese crested


Chinese crested | © Michael LoRé/Culture Trip

While the exact origin of this breed is unknown, it is believed the Chinese crested evolved from African hairless dogs, which were reduced in size by the Chinese. These dogs also allegedly accompanied Chinese sailors while out at sea, hunting vermin.

This toy breed, which averages 8–12 pounds, is lively, alert, and somewhat cat-like in mannerism, enjoying sitting in high places like the back of the couch or arm of a chair.

Chinese Shar-Pei


Chinese Shar-Pei | © Michael LoRé/Culture Trip

This dog is an ancient and unique breed, existing for centuries in the southern provinces of China. Statues bearing a strong resemblance to the Shar-Pei have been discovered and dated back as far as the Han Dynasty in c. 200 BC.

Chinese Shar-Peis are compact and powerful medium-sized dogs, who typically weigh between 45–60 pounds.

Chow Chow


Chow Chow | © Michael LoRé/Culture Trip

A recently discovered carving dating back to the Han Dynasty (150–200 BC) places the Chow Chow as a hunting dog during that period in China.

This breed has a blue-black tongue, unique to only the Chow Chow and Chinese Shar-Pei. Chow Chows, which weigh between 45–70 pounds on average, are independent, dignified, and not very active.



Pugs | © Michael LoRé/Culture Trip

The Pug breed dates back as far as 400 BC, when ruling families in China are said to have kept the dogs in luxury surroundings, guarded by soldiers.

Pugs, which weigh between 14–18 pounds, are known for being playful, even-tempered, outgoing, and loving.

Shih Tzu


Shih Tzu | © Michael LoRé/Culture Trip

While the exact origin of the Shih Tzu is unknown, evidence of its breed dates back to 624 AD. It’s said that during the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), the King of Viqur gave the Chinese court a pair of dogs resembling Shih Tzu, said to have come from the Byzantine Empire.

These toy dogs, which weigh between 9–16 pounds, are outgoing, affectionate, and playful. Few dogs are as well-groomed as the Shih Tzu.