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Two Lion Dogs

Two Lion Dogs

A Shi (a mythological lion/dragon/dog creature often called Foo Dogs in the west) and a Shizi Gou (a real dog breed known as Shih Tzu in the west).

A lot of people mistakenly think the Shi is supposed to look like a Shizi Gou, but it's the other way around. Shi means "lion", and Shizi Gou means "lion dog".
It's unclear if the likeness was on purpose or if the Chinese accidentally bred a dog that kinda looked like a Shi and named it accordingly.

Shih Tzu
2nd May 2015
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9 years ago #9356213        



Just chiming in to correct a common misconception. The Shih Tzu is commonly believed in the west to mean "lion dog" because the romanization looks similar, but the actual characters for the breed are 西施犬 (pinyin: xīshī quǎn). 西施 is the name of the foremost of the "four legendary beauties" in Chinese lore, and 犬 is another word for dog (like gou).

The Chinese do in fact have a lion dog that is likely intended to resemble the gaurdian lions. This would be the Chow Chow, which in Chinese is called 鬆獅犬 (pinyin: sōngshī quǎn), literally fluffy lion dog. The origin of the name "Chow Chow" is believed to come from pidgin-English in the latter 18th century, when the term essentially meant "knick-knacks brought back from the Orient."

All that being said, I love the image anyway! XD

9 years ago #9356809        



Thanks for the correction, @bucephalus!

9 years ago #9356731        



There is also a breed called the foo dog but to me they look like something similar to a chowchow.

9 years ago #9355551        



The breed's name is probably just Shizi. Gou is Mandarin for dog. Also makes more sense that way for the different transcription in pinyin and Wade-Giles (shizi vs. shih tzu). And for the simple addition of the "zi/tzu" (子) to distinguish the mythological lion-dog from the real one.

9 years ago #9355199        



Awwwww I've never seen a doggie like that. It looks adorable!! I know Okinawa, Japan has Shi[but they call it Shi Shi dogs]. Here in Okinawa you get two, one with an open mouth and one with a closed mouth, and you put it on the roof of your house. It's said that the open mouth Shi Shi scares away bad spirits and the closed mouth Shi Shi keeps good ones in.:3

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9 years ago #9355183        



That's really cute (=゚ω゚)ノ

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