The Chongqing Dog is an ancient and unique breed, in 1987 Archaeologist's found sculptures of an unknown breed of dog in
an ancient tomb which dated back to the time of the Han Dynasty, (206 BC -
Dogs were found in the surrounding area that closely resembled the statues, these were Functional, Agile hunting dogs, that were also companions, and highly prized by their owners, the origin of the breed is in the Chongqing region, which belongs to the eastern part of Sichuan Province, located in the moutain area of southwest China, the communities were often very isolated and in each area the breed was called by different names, e.g Chuandong dog, East Sichuan Hunting dog, Bamboo Ratter, Mountain dog, Hechuan dog, Pak Tin Par dog, Linshui dog, etc.
The unique appearance of the Chongqing dog is due to the long period of natural evolution with no influence from the outside World, this has guaranteed the genetic purity of the breed we see today, natural selection has successfully eliminated undesirable traits, it is fantastic that the breed is preserved in its natural form and looks practically identical to the potteries from the Han dynasty, it is known that in the Han court hundreds of dogs were kept, different breeds, each for its own purpose, they had small companion dogs, hunting dogs and strong guard dogs, but they also reared some for food!
Liu Bang, founder of the Han dynasty was a Farmer, before he bacame an Emperor, this period in Chinese History is known as a time of great prosperity, Liu Bang introduced efficient rules in Economy and encouraged Agriculture which was unique in the world at that time, China's Aristocracy and most of the farmers were wealthy and had a good life, they all had a passion for dogs, and the Aristocracy kept Han dogs as a status symbol. Unfortunately with the arrival of the Ming Dynasty when the people were in poverty, the number of dogs decreased rapidly and whole breeds were almost lost.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China (1949), the dog population was essentially eliminated, dogs were considered as inheritance of capitalism, Farmers who kept dogs for hunting had to pay high taxes, (few dogs were seen in the cities), during this time the Chongqing dog was on the edge of extinction! only the best animals were used for Breeding, the Breed's multifunctional character saved it from being completely lost from us today, when pet ownership was allowed at the end of the 80's, some of the Chongqing dogs spread from the farms to the urban areas, mainly Chongqing City.
The breed was named as The Chinese Chongqing dog in the year 2000, to avoid confusion, because of the many names used in the different areas surrounding Chongqing City. Sadly, in the 2002-2004 outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in the region, the Chinese Government had the Chongqing dogs in the Cities killed, along with many other local dogs in an attempt to stop the spread of the Disease, by the end of the SARS epidemic the number of Chongqing Dogs had reduced from an estimated 5000-10000 to a mere 200 or so, with only the Farmer's dogs, and dogs that were taken into the Mountains to keep them safe, surviving!
The Chongqing dog has become very rare and precious, they are kept by a few private breeders in Chongqing City sold as Companion dogs, and by Farmers in the mountains, who value the Breed in it's natural state, as a true Hunting dog. The Chongqing dog is still rarer today than the much prized 'Giant Panda'. Until recently the breed was not known much in other parts of China, The Chongqing dog is a true survivor, who has proved it's worth over 20 Centuries in China, having the ability to adapt to numerous tasks, Their unique look, bamboo tail, black/bluish spotted tongue and spectacular character is starting to attract lots of attention worldwide, not just in its homeland.
In the last decade, The Chongqing Conservation Center has been working hard to promote this unique Breed outside of its native China, along with gaining recognition from the Chinese Government and the Chinese Kennel Union (CKU), which has resulted in the Breed being accepted by the CKU in July of 2016, Representatives from The Chongqing Dog Club are now working with the CKU to get the Breed Standard published which will enable the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale, English - World Canine Organisation,) to in turn recognise the Breed.
The first few Puppies, bred and released by the Conservation Centre, have been exported to Sweden and Germany, (2015)
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