Markus M.

Chongqing Dog - History

The 21st Century is the time when most of the serious breeders realised that a huge part of popular dog breeds had numerous health issues and inherited genetic problems. Popularity of pet ownership and show rings brought delight to lots of people worldwide, but at the same time mass-production and inbreeding of popular breeds did more bad things to the dog breeds itself. I have lived with dogs almost my whole life and when I educated from University many years ago, the dogs became my profession. I have breed, raised and trained Cane Corso for working and show dogs, always having for goal to improve the next generation. With many breeds today it is simply impossible to correct the inherited problems. Sadly over the last few decade’s with the craze of show breeding, for looks, coat colour and exageration’s trying to make the dog’s stand out against their competitor’s, sadly the breeds has lost all the characteristics, athleticism and intelligence it was once reveared for. And that is how my journey started a couple of years ago.Thanks to Google and to the Facebook , it is easy to find lots of usefull data for those willing to learn. I was searching for a purebred, still working and functional breed that was never popular (rare), whose genetics are untouched and without inherited health issues…without need to be cropped or docked…and I found it in the Chongqing Dog ,who was well hidden from the world for a long time. As soon as I saw their appearance and after I read all about the breed, I knew I had to have it one day,so i decide to fly in China, our Trip to #ChongqingCity was well documented: CLICK HERE and … It was love at first sight! I started correspondence with Xiang Baychuan , Top expert in CQ dog community and Wang Peng owner of #ConservationCenter . I have personally visit many big Kennel , including Conservation Center and Preservation Center , and many many other breeder across East Sichuan Province from #Chengdu to #ChongqingCity. My special thanks to Xiang Baychuan for all the time he spent to answer my questions and for introducing this extraordinary dog breed. Above all, I am gratefull for the magnificant opportunity to purchase 12 breeding dog of the finest speciments of the breed directly from best breeder most purest ancient Chinas Bulldog . I am proud to be a part of the program for the protection and preservation of this unusual and unique dog. #chongqingdog is one of the rarest and oldest dog breeds in the World today and there are only a few breeders outside of China priviledged to live and learn from this ancient breed. I must say I was a little suspicious of articles about this breed, none written by western dog experts….it seemed a perfect dog or it could have been just a good marketing ploy for puppy sales…. The Chongqing dog (pronounced chong-ching) is an ancient and unique breed,with only an estimated 200 Chongqing dogs left in the world ( 2012 ), this makes this breed even rarer than the Chinese Giant Panda and urgent assistance is required to save this breed from extinction.The breed is an ancient Bulldoge breed with archeological excavations showing it is around 2000 years old. Although the ancestry of both breed remains a mystery, it is considered to be one of China’s oldest breeds with a history that traces back at least 2000 years. Older then Shar Pei or Chow Chow.Dogs were either the first domestic animal in China or one of the first two along with the pig. It is unclear how the dog was introduced to China and there are three competing theories. Some claim that the dog was first domesticated in China, and that all dogs are the descendants of small population of Chinese wolves. Others claim that the dog was first domesticated in Tibet, India, or the Middle East and subsequently spread to China through trade and military conquest. Still others believe that the dog was domesticated simultaneously in China and another location in Asia and the two populations eventually merged. Regardless, the dog was present in China for as long as the Chinese civilization has existed. Dogs were definitely kept by the first Chinese farmers, and almost certainly by their nomadic hunter-gatherer ancestors. The first Chinese dogs probably served the same roles as their counterparts elsewhere in the ancient world, as guardians #bambooCQdog , hunting aides #chuandonghound , companions, and sources of food and hides. It is unclear what these first Chinese dogs looked like, but most experts agree that they were virtually identical in appearance and temperament to a number of primitive breeds found throughout the world including the Dingo of Australia, New Guinea Singing Dog of Papua New Guinea, and the Carolina Dog of the United States. In fact, dogs which could be classified as Dingoes are still sometimes found throughout Southern China. These early dogs were probably descended from the smaller, less aggressive wolves of southern Asia and were best adapted to life in tropical and subtropical climates. In order to adapt to life in the frigid climates found in mountainous regions and Northern China, the first Chinese Dogs were almost certainly crossed with the larger, more-heavily furred wolves found in those regions. The resulting cross-bred dogs are known in the West as Spitzen. At a somewhat later date, the Tibetan people developed two distinct types of dogs, probably as a result of crossing the early dogs with Tibetan wolves. One was a very large and powerful guarding breed which became known as the Tibetan Mastiff. The other was a small and affectionate companion animal. Both types were brachycephalic, meaning that they had short, pushed-in faces, and possessed wrinkled faces. Trade and conquest eventually introduced both breeds to China where they became well-established. These four types of dogs, primitive Dingo-like dogs, Spitz-type dogs, Mastiff-type dogs, and Pug-like companion breeds, were regularly crossed resulting in all of today’s Chinese breeds.Chongqing dog, Shar-Pei,Chuandong hound, Chow Chow and Thai Ridgeback are the only four known dog breeds that share the blue/black tongue trait and probably all are descendants of the ancient Han dog, evolved separately through centuries under different circumstances, crossbreedings, geografic areas, clima, etc. …or there is a possibility that the ancient Chow, whose existance dates back to at least 1100 B.C. according to ancient cronicles describing a dog „heavily built with harsh, bristly hair, absolutelly straight back legs and blue tongues“, is the one who is ancestor of the Han dog.China was frequently invaded by the barbaric tribes on its Northern borders. These tribes, the Tartars and Mongols, were accompanied by their “war dogs”.At that time the word “Mastiff” was used then, indicating a dog of size, strength and hunting ability and was used indiscriminately by writers and translators irrespective of the breed of dog. The Tarter „war dogs“ were described as of “lion-like” appearance, large, powerful and distinguished black tongues. Records show that the Emperor Wu Wang (1112-1116 B.C.) received a tribute from the enemy of a great number of their dogs described as “of great strength” with plenty of hair and mostly red in color, black tongues ….It was was almost a thousand years before the Han Dynasty and those ancient Chow dogs are possibly ancestors of the Han dog and with it, also the ancestors of modern Chow Chow, Shar-Pei ,#Chongqingdog and #Chuandonghound .The above mentioned may be facts, folklore or myth but it is safe to say that these conjectures may never be positively known. Much of the potential history was lost as Emperor Yuan, during the Mongol Dynasty (1260 ~ 1368) destroyed 140,000 ancient books rather than let them fall into unworthy hands at the anticipation of his certain death.So, the dog-figurines and art works are only evidence of existance of the ancient Han dog. There is lots of assumptions from all sides, but just one look at those figurines and it is clear that the CQd visually is most similar to the ancient Han dog. Identical head and muzzle, ears, body, guarding position… Only the tail of modern CQd keep it straight, not curved. The tail is one of the things which makes the CQ dog so unique. Nobody in the world has this kind of tail and along with his unique fur, character and ancient bluish/black tongue, it makes him one of a kind dog. Most of the sculptures showing the Han dog weared armored harness speak enough about what kind of a dog he was and what was his purpose. They look strong, very muscular and serious. Burial of those dog figurines along with the dead was regular at that time since they believed that those guard dogs will keep away the evil spirits in the afterlife. Those dogs played a great part in the life and death of the Han people.The Han Dynasty was the second dynasty of China, it lasted for two centuries and is considered as the golden era in Chinese history, age of economic prosperity. Even so, for such a large empire as the Han Empire, there was always wars for expanding or defending the empire. Borders were always in danger and under attack from many tribes, so the necessarity of the strong „war dogs“ and fierless guardians was obvious.There is no doubt that they had a large number of them and that Han dogs were highly regarded back then. Being so respected, the breed found its way through history by serving people and ensured its existance most likely through all three breeds – Thai Ridgeback ,Chow Chow, Shar-pei,Chuandong hound and Chongqing dog. Maybe 2000 years of evolution made those breeds to look a bit different from each other, and more or less different from the ancient Han dog, but still it is quite possible that they share the same roots and genes.At some point, the Chinese developed a unique type of dog, probably by heavily crossing all four ancestral types. This type was typified by loose, wrinkly skin, medium size, a curled tail, a low-set stocky body, and a blue-black tongue. Although it is unclear, these blue-black tongued dogs were almost certainly multipurpose dogs, used for hunting, property guarding, and sources of food. This new type was very well-established throughout China by the time of the Han Dynasty, which ruled China from approximately 206 B.C. until 220 A.D. These dogs were very frequently depicted in Chinese artwork, especially statues, and are known as Han Dogs do to their popularity during that time. These pieces show a dog that is remarkably similar, if not identical, to modern day Chow Chows, Shar Peis, Chuandong hound and Chongqing dog.They are shaped by the forces of nature during centuries, natural selection has successfully eliminated undesirable traits in the breed. It is fantastic that the breed is preserved in its natural form and looks practically identical as the potteries from the Han dynasty. Today it is quite possible that descendants of the ancient Han dog are those known today as the Chinese Chongqing dog.It is known that in the Han court there were kept hundreds of dogs, different breeds, each for its own purpose. They had small companion dogs, they had hunting dogs and strong guard dogs, but they kept also dogs breed for food. Liu Bang founder of Han dynasty was once a farmer, before he bacame a Emperor and time of Han dynasty is known as time of prosperity in China. Enforcement of efficient rules in economy and encouraged agriculture was unique in the world at that time. China had lots of aristrocracy back then and all of the farmers had good and pleasant life. They all had passion for dogs which were mostly used for hunting and guarding, but some of the aristocracy kept Han dogs as status symbol. Unfortenatelly with arrival of Ming Dynasty and hard poverty, arrived bad times for all dog breeds there, including the ancient Han dogs. The number of dogs decreased rapidly and whole breeds were allmost lost. Today it is quite possible that descendants of the ancient Han dog are those known today as the #bambooCQdog .There is substantial dispute among fanciers of all three breeds as to which of those three breeds the Han Dog represents, but the full truth will probably forever remain a mystery. In the opinion of this author, the Han Dog exhibits characteristic features of all three dogs and probably actually represents a common shared ancestor which was subsequently developed into a number of new breeds.Until 1997, the city of Chongqing and its immediate surroundings were part of the ancient Chinese province of Sichuan, which has long served as Tibet’s eastern border. Sichuan is famous for its mountainous terrain, unique culture and cuisine, and speech, which is either a unique dialect or language depending on the expert. A unique dog breed developed around Chongqing, which is considered one of the most important, wealthy, and powerful cities in China. This breed was different from all other Chinese dogs for a number of reasons, including possessing a straight, hairless tail known in Chinese as a #bambootail . Each valley and municipality had a unique name for the breed, and the Chinese Chongqing Dog has probably been called dozens of different names throughout the centuries. Chinese dog breeders were much less involved than their European counterparts. The Chongqing Dog was not deliberately bred, although a fair amount of indirect selection was conducted (only those dogs which were most favored were kept alive to breed). This meant that most of the Chinese Chongqing Dog’s development was the result of natural pressures, and also that the breed was considerably less inbred.The CQ dog was used as a guard dog, protecting its home and family from both wild beasts and ill-intentioned humans. The breed also served as a pet for local families, providing companionship and affectionate.The CQ dog became very well-known around the city of Chongqing and throughout Eastern Sichuan. However, the breed remained essentially unknown outside of its homeland, even in the rest of China. The breed remained essentially unchanged in its homeland for centuries, continuing to serve as a multipurpose working dog. The introduction of modern technology and farming methods in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries led to a massive population boom, and by the middle of the 20th Century Sichuan province was home to a massive population which at one point exceeded 100 million people. 100 million people require a large amount of agricultural land to feed them, and most of Sichuan’s remaining wild areas were cleared to make room for farming. This left little land for the Chongqing Dog to hunt on, and the breed began to be kept primarily as a guard dog and companion.After a protracted and bloody civil war which was interrupted by World War II, the Communist rebels under the leadership of Mao Zedong took control of mainland China. Official Communist thought held that dogs were the useless playthings of the rich and that keeping pets was an unnecessary strain on resources. The keeping of pet dogs was outlawed throughout China #chuandonghound was never endangered.In the year 2001 the Chongqing Dog Promotional Comitee made its first web-site in Chinese and English and the breed was presented to the rest of the world for the first time ever. There is also presented the first Standard for the breed, written with help of the experts from the Western World. With their dedicated work for preservation and presentation of this ancient and rare breed, the first Chongqing puppies was exported ( Canada, Croatia, Russia and Austria ) outside of China not so long ago. During the year of 2003, the spread of S.A.R.S. occured in Chongqing area, many of the Chongqing dogs were killed along with other local dogs. Today, the genuine Chongqing dog has become very rare and precious, they are mainly kept by a few private breeders or as pets in Chongqing City. They say that the Chongqing dog is so rare today, that it is even rarer than the Panda bears.The breed is an ancient and primitive breed . There is no mistaking him.His tail is his most special feature. Known as a “bamboo tail”, it stands completely straight. It is thick at the base and sharp at the end .As it is located in the mountains, the relative isolation from the outside world , makes the #chongqingdog a breed rarely affected by the outside world , independent and maintaining a high genetic lineage purity. Chongqing Dog in long-term natural breeding , selection and elimination , and gradually formed a unique appearance and personality, characteristics and temperament , but also little known to outsiders , even the locals do not know much about the breed , at this point and in the near future this breed will be a matter of prestige for their nation and the theme for lots of debates. Because of no influence from the outside world, this breed formed its unique appearance and temperament due to a long term of natural evolution and that guaranteed genetic purity of the breed. Different from many western breeds which are known, that are “man-made” in more recent history, the CQ dog has ancient roots and is considered as a natural breed. Make no mistake – this dog will attract a lot of attention! It has a unique appearance – with it’s bold physique, rich, deep red colour, sparse coat, erect ears and spotted tongue – there is no other dog out there like it! Today, the CQ dog is considered to be one of the rarest breeds on earth. The breed’s total global population is slow low that it is thought that there are fewer purebred Chinese Chongqing Dogs on earth than there are Giant Pandas, another creature that has only survived until the present day by hiding deep in the Mountains of Sichuan and Chongqing. There are currently under 2000 (2019) purebred Chinese Chongqing Dogs remaining, the vast majority of which are owned by a small number of breeders and fanciers in the city of Chongqing and its suburbs.Today, the genuine Chongqing dog has become very rare and precious, they are mainly kept by a few private breeders or as pets in #ChongqingCity. In the last decade, the Chongqing dog fanciers and breeders have been putting together lots of effort to promote the breed in the whole of China, to warn people and government about this ancient and domestic breed which needs the attention and help of the nation. To keep them in their functional form is the primary goal. Only the best animals were kept and used as brood stock. Farmers didn’t know that they had such a valuable breed in their possession. Price of real ancient type today is up 3500$ for puppy , Top adult over 10000 $. Chongqing dog is one of the #mostExpensiveDog in the World. Many of the locals are not even aware of their existence. During that period, it is quite fortunate that this breed survived, only their multifunctional character saved them from being completely lost from us today. When pet-ownership was allowed in the end of 80’s, some of the Chongqing dogs spread from the farms to the urban areas mainly #ChongqingCity, and the breed was pointed to a better future. In early 90’s of last century, Chinese archeologists studying archeological findings estimated the breed’s history to go back 1700 – 2200 years, to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). This conclusion was reached by numerous experts after considering not only history, but also the geography of the Chongqing area in ancient times. They confirmed the existance of the ancient dog breed with name #chongqingdog. Since then, more of the tombs from the same era were discovered and more of the dog sculptures of that same type of dog were found. The dog, along with the pig, were the earliest animals domesticated in China. Remains of both animals have been found in the oldest Neolithic settlements of the Yangshao (circa 4000 B.C.) and Hemudu (circa 5000 B.C.) cultures. Canine remains similar to the Dingo have been found in some early graves excavated in northern China.Until the last 30 years, the Chongqing Dog was kept almost exclusively as a working dog, especially during the period which lasted from 1949 until the late 1980’s. Prior to the 1950’s, the breed’s primary role was as a guarding dog, but very few breed members are still used for that purpose today.The restoration of the breed was undertaken successfully not until 70’s. They become a popular utility dog in Chongqing City since then. There is minimal information about the #bambooCQdog online or in books, #bambootailkennel hope to change that soon.

Bamboo Tail

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