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Chongqing Dog: Temperament, Origins & Care – Guide to the East Sichuan Hunting Dog

The proper pronunciation for this Chinese dog breed is “Chun-Ching.” Great! You can now properly name the breed, assuming you can even find one. Unfortunately, due to multiple mass culling of dogs in the past, the Chongqing’s population was decimated.

There is currently estimated to be only 2000 Chongqing dogs in existence. For this reason, they’re as rare as the Chinese Giant Panda, if not more. But despite this, various groups are working hard to try to preserve this historic breed.

You can easily identify a Chongqing due to several distinctive characteristics. Folds of skin on the forehead give off the impression that the Chongqing is perpetually frowning.

Combine this with a short black muzzle and unusually pointed ears and you have a canine that appears deeply contemplative. As muscular as they are, the short and sparse fur exposes the underlying skin in the form of black patches all over the body.

One look and you will have realized that this dog is not meant to serve as “arm candy” or a lap dog. They are an aggressive dog breed that thrive when assigned to guard the property or protect the family.

Do not attempt to keep a Chongqing as a pet if you are a first-time pet owner. They respect authority and resent the lack of it. Because of this, they’re more suited for someone who is experienced at handling or training dogs by taking charge of them.

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Chongqing Basic Profile

Friendliness: With enough socialization with people and dogs, a Chongqing can be as friendly as any other dog. However, they do have a primal hunting instinct, which can make them unpredictable at times. Still, it’s not recommended for them to be around children until the children are old enough.


Trainability: These dogs are smart and can pick up commands fairly easily. Because of their intense devotion, they’ll happily do your bidding as long as your firm and consistent with your obedience training. Still, they’re best suited for experienced trainers and as long as you handle them well, you’ll be fine.


Grooming: Chongqing dogs have a short coat which makes for easy grooming. They don’t shed, so you won’t have to deal with intense seasonal cleaning with these dogs. Toothbrushing, combing and nail clipping are still necessary like with all dogs. The occasional bath will be required if they get into a messy situation.


Adaptability: This dog breed is not suited for extreme heat or cold. However, they’re highly adaptable when it comes to living environment. They do great in a large open area, but can also be content in an urban apartment. As long as you take them out for their daily exercise, they’ll be just fine.


Activity: Like with most dog breeds, they need a basic level of physical activity. A simple 30 minute walk every day will suffice. Some Chongqing dogs that are more active by nature may demand more activity. However, there are many cases where a Chongqing may be more laid back. Whatever the case, you must ensure they exercise.

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<strong>Chongqing Dog - </strong><strong>Vital Stats</strong>
  • Height: 16 – 20 inches
  • Weight: 40 – 70 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 15 – 19 years
  • Dog Breed Group: n/a

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Chongqing Dog Highlights

Some interesting facts that you must know about the Chongqing are –

  • This indigenous Chinese dog breed gets its name from the provinces of Chongqing and Sichuan, where it is believed to have originated.
  • This dog breed is also known as: Chuandong, Bamboo Ratter, East Sichuan Hunting dog and Linshui dog.
  • A Chongqing can be a small, mid-sized or large dog. However, irrespective of its size, the canine comes across as being well-proportioned and well-balanced. Despite the strong muscles, the Chongqing manages to appear slim and even endearing.
  • By nature, a Chongqing dog is a staunch loyalist and extremely protective. So, if you reside in a rural setting, this dog will guard your farm and livestock. In an urban setting, the Chongqing would protect your home, family and belongings.
  • The Chongqing’s ears and tail are particularly unusual. The ears are bushy at the base and taper till they become points – completely devoid of fur at the ends. A Chongqing sports a bamboo tail of medium length, which is always upright and perched above the body at a 45-degree angle.  
  • Ideally, a male Chongqing weighs between 44 and 54 pounds and acquires a height of almost 20 inches tall. In comparison, a female Chongqing weighs between 33 and 44 pounds and reaches a maximum of 16 inches in height.
  • The average Chongqing litter will have a minimum of three and maximum of six pups.

Origins of the Chongqing Dog

Chongqing dogs are highly devoted and known for their extreme loyalty to the owner.

Despite many dog breeds, including the Chongqing dog, to have originated from China, there has not been any mention of them in Chinese literature. Instead, these dogs have found representation in mostly ancient artwork from Imperial China.

Curiosity for this dog breed gained momentum in China during the 1980s, when ancient statues from China’s Han Dynasty were discovered. These artifacts proved that the Chongqing existed over 2000 years ago during the ancient dynasty.

Much of the information pertaining to the ancestry of this dog breed is based on guesswork. Whether the Chongqing originated from China or from other Asian countries (before being brought into China) is unclear.

What is evident, however, is the fact that this dog breed inhabited the mountainous regions where they co-existed with the human population. They served a number of tasks, ranging from helping with hunting to guarding the farm against predators.

Heading Towards Extinction

The Chongqing dog was on the brink of extinction twice in the last hundred years. The reason for near-extinction the first time around was the Communist party.

After having gained power, the Communist party expressed the perception of dogs as luxury pets. They embarked on a butchering spree that wiped out almost every indigenous Chinese dog breed – including the Chongqing dog.

The population of this dog breed was well on its way to recovering from the aftermath of the massacre during the last two decades of the 20th century. However, in 2003, the SARS epidemic hit China. Once again, all dog breeds including the Chongqing were culled.

This practice hit so hard that there were hardly any Chongqing dogs to be found in the following years. Since then, the Chongqing has somewhat recovered Today, only the few Chongqings that remain serve as either companions or guard dogs.

The Chongqing’s Temperament

The Chongqing dog is loyal, fearless and bold. That being said, members of this dog breed have been known to exhibit contradictory traits. For example, a Chongqing that serves primarily as a guard dog will behave very differently from one that is a companion.

Some Chongqing dogs might prefer open space to run around. On the other hand, many are perfectly comfortable and happy within the confines of an apartment. Just make sure you take them out to get their daily exercise in.

When you bring home a Chongqing, expect them to show immediate affection towards all members of the family. But as days and weeks roll by, this dog will begin favoring one particular family member. In other words, they do tend to pick favorites.

But once they pledge loyalty, all their efforts go toward ensuring the safety of the whole family. As an owner, you should communicate with your dog as much as possible. Sure, your Chongqing may not be able to verbally reply, but this practice helps gain trust.

Unlike most dogs, a Chongqing dog rarely barks. However, when they do, it is done with the intention of drawing attention to an unknown person or threat.

Be firm with your dog without being heavy-handed. In addition, it’s best to always remain calm and consistent at all times, especially with rules. As independent as they are, Chongqing dogs will quickly begin to respect you if handled well.   

With Other Dogs and Kids

All Chongqing dogs comes with a strong inherent predatory drive. All they need is a hint of a movement and they will instinctively jump out. Whether a fish, a bird, or and even a cricket, nothing ever escapes a Chongqing’s grasp.

When socialized early on with other dogs, they do develop a fondness. However, this remains limited to dogs they’re familiar with and does not extend to stranger canines and felines.

Most members of this dog breed never develop a tolerant attitude towards cats, strangers, dogs or other human. If socialized from an early age with consistent sessions, a Chongqing is polite in front of family friends, but prefers to remain aloof.

Children in the family will find a Chongqing affectionate most of the time. This dog breed will always remain wary of unfamiliar children and adults given it’s suspicious personality – it’s what makes them great guard dogs.

Usually, they will avoid rough play and should not be forced into children’s’ activities in case they turn aggressive. They don’t like to be roughed up. Given a choice, a Chongqing feels at home in a quiet and calm atmosphere, rather than a noisy or rowdy one.

How to Care For a Chongqing Dog

Chongqing dogs need to be exercised daily – like with most dog breeds. It doesn’t have to be intense and can range from a 30-minute walk to something more strenuous. For example, long walks, a jog or a hike are all great for these dogs.

While Chongqings tend to be satisfied with moderate exercise, they are equally comfortable with high-intensity workouts. Given their stamina, this dog breed needs a daily quota of exercise. Failure to do so can quickly turn them into destructive dogs.

An under-exercised Chongqing can turn your house upside down in no time. So, set aside some time every day to take your dog out to expend all the pent-up energy.

Grooming Your Chongqing

Grooming a Chongqing is easy and requires minimal work. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything. All you need to do is ensure that their sparse coats remain brushed at all times.

Likewise, the innumerable wrinkles should be cleaned regularly and checked for any oncoming skin problem. With a Chongqing, bathing is not exactly a priority and should be limited to as and when the need arises.

Make sure they have their teeth brushed regularly, especially if you’re feeding them fruits and vegetables as treats. Nail clipping is also essential to keeping a healthy and happy Chongqing dog.

Diet Guide

Avoid serving your Chongqing commercial dog food. Because they’re considered to be an ancient dog breed, they have certain drawbacks – such as a sensitive stomach. Unlike many other dog breeds, a Chongqing thrives on human-grade foods and dog food of exceptionally high quality.

Make sure that the food served to your Chongqing is 20% fat and 30% protein. If you intend to allow high-intensity exercise then serve high-quality dry food multiple times a day.

Chongqing Health

Many of the health issues that a Chongqing faces are attributed to its sparse coat. As an owner you need to be aware of these problems –

  • A Chongqing can be sensitive to extreme cold. In cold climates, always provide them with extra warmth, such as a coat, booties and so on;
  • Chongqing are prone to suffering from sunburns in extreme heat. This means you should ensure limited exposure when temperatures are high;
  • Dehydration is common and you can prevent it by serving extra water all throughout the day;

Bone and joint problems are fairly uncommon but can occur depending on your dog and their physical activities. Subjecting your Chongqing to regular health check-ups would ensure early detection and a painless recovery.

If taken well care of, a Chongqing can live to be a 19 years old, which is the maximum age limit for just about any dog breed.

Dogs Similar to the Chongqing

The Chongqing dog has since been compared to many different dog breeds, none of which, are Chinese dogs. They’re most similar to the Australian Dingo, Singing Dog (found in Papua New Guinea) and the American Carolina Dog.

If you’re interested in this dog, you may want to consider the other options. Because the Chongqing is so rare, they’re also a very expensive dog breed.

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