Saturday, April 22, 2006

Guardians of the Sacred Space

Foo Dogs are ancient sacred dogs of Asia who guard Buddhist temples and defend the law. The dogs were commonly placed at business institutions, temple gates, home entrances, and estates. It was also not uncommon to see these sacred dogs guarding tombs or placed in front of government buildings to scare evil spirits. Foo Dog art is stylized in numerous ways. Sometimes they took on the appearance of lions, others look more akin to the real dogs that inspired them.

Today, A spitz-type dog is now considered to be the Chinese Foo Dog originating when European hunting dogs were cross-bred with Chow Chows nearly 3,000 years ago. Though not recognized by the AKC yet, these guys are gaining in popularity as a rare breed.

If you would like to pick up a pair of your own Foo Dog statues, check them out here. Or check out the rare breed network if you'd like more information on the real dogs.

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