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In China: it's simply Shi
In Japan: the lion figures are known as Komainu (lit Korea dogs)
due to their introduction to Japan through Korea.
In Korea: known as Haetae
In Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia:
known as Chinthe and gave their name to the World War II Chindit soldiers
In Okinawa, Japan: known as Shisa
In Sri Lanka: known as Simha
In Thailand: known as Singha
In Tibet: known as a Snow Lion
In Vietnam: known as Sa tu đa
In Western & Rest of the world -
It's FOO DOGS !



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CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
FOO DOGS:
HISTORY & ROOTS

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Ancient Foo Dogs were carved from marble or granite, and the pose and appearance is varied. Foo Dogs, or more exactly "Imperial guardian lions", were traditionally placed at the entrance of Imperial buildings, as they were believed to protect the royal inhabitants. Foo dogs take their name from the Chinese word for "Buddha", which is fo, and they are also commonly known as the "lions of fo". Since lions were not native to China, Chinese sculptors originally modeled the lion statues after local dogs, such as the Chow Chow, which has a bushy coat that gives it a lion-like appearance. Together with other closely related Chinese dog breeds, the Chow Chow belongs to a group of dogs known as "foo dogs". So, the Lions of Fo statues were also referred to as "foo dogs". Lions of Fo always come in pairs, often depicting the male lion playing with a ball or globe and the female lion holding a cub in her paw.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
The History of Japan's Mythical Lion Dogs
If you have ever been to a shrine in Japan, odds are you have seen a pair of dog-like lions flanking the entrance. If you have been to Okinawa you have seen them just about everywhere. In fact you can see some variation on these creatures in China, Korea, Myanmar, Tibet, and other East Asian countries, or even at Chinese restaurants in the West. They are variously known in English as lions, dogs, lion dogs, Fu dogs or Foo dogs. In Japan they are called komainu, and in Okinawa they are shisa. All these different names beg the question - "What exactly are they?"

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
Lion, Canine or Feline?
We will refrain from thrashing about the shrubbery and say right away that these animals are in fact lions. How then, did they come to be called dogs by some? We will come to that momentarily, but first we must look to India. There are also ancient lion statues in Middle Eastern countries, but India is the surest place to begin the lion statues' path to Japan, for it seems to have moved along with the Buddhist faith.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

Lions appeared in Indian temple art and, as early as the third century, showed up in Chinese Buddhist art. In those times, the lion was a symbolic protector of the dharma - the teachings of Buddha. If it is good enough for Buddha, it's good enough for the emperor, may have been the line of thought, for, over time, they also became protectors of imperial gates.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Here the history seems to become a bit unclear. The Chinese word for lion - statues included is shi or shishi, but there was another creature that appeared in China at around the same time called the xiezhi. At some point between the third and seventh centuries, paired stone xiezhi also made their way to Korea, where the name was pronounced haetae or haechi. The haechi appears very lion-like, but often has a scaly body, a small horn on its head, and sometimes small wings.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTSCHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

By the Nara period (710-794), lion guardians had come to Japan as well. I found nothing to indicate whether the original source of their introduction was China or Korea. Early on, they were usually made of wood and only used indoors. In the ninth century, a change occurred, and the pair came to consist of one open-mouthed lion (shishi) and one close-mouthed, horn-bearing, dog-like komainu. The name komainu itself means "Korean dog."

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTSCHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Given the name and its horn, it would seem that the komainu, at least, came from the Korean haechi. By the fourteenth century the horn disappeared, and both animals of the pair came to be known as komainu. At the same time, people started making them in stone and using them outdoors.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Again, the history seems to be vague, and I found no sources to solidly confirm how komainu came to be ubiquitous at shrine entrances. This is only me theorizing, but I think it likely that lion guardians may have initially been associated with Buddhist temples. I say this because of the lions' Buddhist associations in China, and the early Korean influences on Japanese lions.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

Buddhism having been introduced to Japan from Korea in 552 CE. If this was the case, the shift from temples to shrines could be explained by the fact that they often shared grounds and, in trying to spread the faith, Buddhists often drew parallels between characters and symbols of their religion and those found in Japan's native beliefs.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

You may be wondering if anyone in pre-modern Japan had ever seen a real lion. It is a long way from the savannah, but there are Asiatic lions as well. Although their range is quite small today, prior to the nineteenth century they could be found throughout Persia, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and much of India. Captive lions were also known in China. I was unable to find any sources confirming or denying the presence of captive lions in Japan. However, during the Tokugawa periods, exotic animals were sometimes featured as part of festivals, so there is a possibility. Still, I think it's safe to say that the vast, vast majority of Japanese people had never seen a real lion prior to the modern age.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
Open Wide and Say
When seen in pairs, both in Japan and Okinawa, one lion usually has its mouth open while the other's is shut. It's no coincidence, but rather Buddhist symbolism. The open mouth is meant to be forming the sound "a", while the closed mouth is forming the sound "un". Combined, they form the word a-un, the Japanese rendition of the Indian word om. Originating in Hinduism and adopted by Buddhism, om's meaning seems somewhat vague at times, but is sometimes described as the name of God or the sound of the vibration of the universe. At least in Japan, "a" and "un" are also symbolic of beginnings and endings, in the same way that Western countries use alpha and omega. It's also sometimes said that the open-mouthed animal is male, while the other is female.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
Komainu: Popular Protector
In Japan lion statues are a fixture on shrine grounds, but seldom seen elsewhere. On the other hand, anyone who has been to Okinawa will know you can not swing a cat without hitting a lion, though you probably wouldn't want to do that. I'm sure the cat wouldn't appreciate it, and the lion might take offense at your mistreatment of his cousin. That said, lion statues are omnipresent in Okinawa.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

In Okinawa lion statues are known as shisa, meaning lion. They are made of a variety of materials, though the signature regional choice is red clay. They can be found not only at areas of special spiritual significance, but on the roofs or at the entrances of homes and businesses. It's also easy to acquire your own shisa, as statues of all sizes are nearly ubiquitous among souvenir shops.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
Living Legend
They may not be faster than a speeding bullet, in fact they are usually quite stationary, but a shisa's powers are nothing to be trifled with. A Chinese envoy brought a gift for the king, a necklace decorated with a figurine of a shisa. Meanwhile, at Naha bay, the village of Madanbashi was being terrorized by a sea dragon that ate the villagers and destroyed their property. One day, the king was visiting the village, when suddenly the dragon attacked.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Is it a bird? A plane? No! It's Shisa-man!
All the people ran and hid. The local priestess had been told in a dream to instruct the king when he visited to stand on the beach and lift up his figurine towards the dragon. She sent a boy to tell him. The king faced the monster with the figurine held high, and immediately a giant roar sounded throughout the village, a roar so deep and powerful that it even shook the dragon. A massive boulder then fell from heaven and crushed the dragon's tail. He couldn't move, and eventually died.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

At Tomimori Village in the far southern part of Okinawa, there were often many fires. The people of the area sought out a Feng Shui master, to ask him why there were so many fires. He believed they were because of the power of the near by Mt. Yaese, and suggested that the townspeople build a stone shisa to face the mountain. They did so, and thus have protected their village from fire ever since.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
Clashing Kaiju
Shisa also feature in some much more modern stories. King Shisa, a giant monster based on a shisa, first appeared in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in 1974, and again in 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars. In the English dub his name was changed to King Caesar, which seems a bit redundant. In his first appearance, King Shisa was a benevolent protector of humanity, but had been sleeping inside a mountain in Okinawa for a long time. When Godzilla alone cannot defeat his robotic doppleganger, the human heroes of the film awaken the ancient King Shisa with a very non-ancient sounding song. Then King Shisa and Godzilla team up to pound Mechagodzilla. In Godzilla: Final Wars, King Shisa fights against Godzilla, but since he was being controlled by aliens we won't hold it against him. In these movies, King Shisa favors close combat, although he does have the ability to redirect an opponent's energy attacks.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
Komainu:
King of the Beasts

Though a lot of their past remains unclear, guardian lions are fascinating. Although there are tons of komainu to be seen at shrines across Japan I'm sad to say that I haven't seen them utilized much in modern pop culture. Maybe some of you out there know of some examples of which I'm unaware. On the other hand, the Okinawan shisa is very much a living symbol, so at least this overlooked legend has a happy home in Ryukyu.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Asiatic lions were once quite common throughout their historic range in Southwest, South and Central Asia and are believed to be the ones depicted by the guardian lions in Chinese culture. With increased trade during the Han dynasty and cultural exchanges through the Silk road, lions were introduced into China from the ancient states of Central Asia by peoples of Sogdiana, Samarkand, and the Yuezhi in the form of pelts and live tribute, along with stories about them from Buddhist priests and travelers of the time. This exchange can be seen in that the Chinese word for lion is "Shi" (later), which shares the same etymological roots as "Shiar", the Persian language name for the animal.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Several instances of lions as imperial tributes from Central Asia were recorded in the document Book of the Later Han written from 25-220 CE. On one particular event, on the eleventh lunar month of 87 CE, "an envoy from Parthia offered as tribute a lion and an ostrich" to the Han court. Indeed, the lion was associated by the Han Chinese to earlier venerated creatures of the ancient Chinese, most notably by the monk Huilin, who stated that "the mythic suan-ni is actually the lion, coming from the Western Regions".

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

The Buddhist version of the Lion was originally introduced to Han China as the protector of dharma and these lions have been found in religious art as early as 208 BC. Gradually they were incorporated as guardians of the Chinese Imperial dharm. Lions seemed appropriately regal beasts to guard the emperor's gates and have been used as such since. There are various styles of guardian lions reflecting influences from different time periods, imperial dynasties, and regions of China. These styles vary in their artistic detail and adornment as well as in the depiction of the lions from fierce to serene.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS

Although the form of the Chinese guardian lion was quite varied during its early history in China, the appearance, pose, and accessories of the lions eventually became standardized and formalized during the Ming and Qing dynasties into more or less its present form.








MALE & FEMALE FOO DOGS
MALE & FEMALE
FOO DOGS

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Foo dogs are meant to be a pair. Foo dogs are symbolic, protective statues, and they are designed in pairs - one is female, the other is male. The female represents yin, and symbolically protects the people dwelling inside the home, while the male statue, representing yang, protects the structure itself.

MALE LION - FOO DOG
The Male Lion
The symbolism of the lions begins with their gender, one male, one female, reflective of the long Chinese Taoist tradition of the yin and the yang, familiar in the west as the white and black "tadpole" forms intertwined with their opposite-shaded eye. The male lion, symbolic of the Yang, usually has one paw placed upon a ball. It may come as some surprise to know that the ball is actually supposed to be embroidered and not, as may be expected, representative of some weapon or other masculine accessory.

FEMALE FOO DOGS

The embroidered ball itself has a long history. Often made from discarded clothing as a toy for children, their gift came to represent friendship and affection. To this day in China, the throwing of an embroidered ball from a woman to her beloved in the hope he will catch it to bring about good fortune is an aspect of courtship. The male will tend to have his mouth open - the lion, not the lover, though reasons for this are disputed. His primary function is guardianship of the structure itself in its solid materialism, and so also other material aspects of the structure such as its solidity and overall prosperity.

FEMALE LION - FOO DOG
The Female Lion
As the male lion is representative of the male attributes of yang, so the female is representative of the female power of yin. She is seen in company with a cub, often held stationary beneath a protective paw mirroring the male with his embroidered ball. This symbolizes her guardianship over the people within the building as the male guards the building itself. Hers is the power of life.

PAIR OF FOO DOG

As the tendency is for the male lion to have his mouth open, so the female is often represented with her mouth closed. She is no less fearsome than her male counterpart in the representation of her guardianship. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a creature more fearsome than a lioness protecting her cubs.

MALE & FEMALE FOO DOGS COOPERATION, PARTNERS
Male & Female Foo Dogs
Cooperation
Both lions may be found to have a pearl in their mouths. Traditionally this was carved in such a fashion that it could move freely in the mouth of the sculpture, but was too big to escape through its teeth. The two of them together should be sited in strict accordance with fengshui practice and theory. As you face the lions from outside, the male should be on the right, the female on the left, both looking outward in their scrutiny of the world beyond that which they guard.








FOO DOGS EMOTIONS & MEANINGS
FOO DOGS:
EMOTIONS & MEANINGS

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Each detail of the foo dog is symbolic. You can tell which foo dog is which by examining what's beneath the paws: the male dog holds a ball, the female dog holds a puppy. The ball may represent the world, and the puppy may represent nature, or a nurturing spirit.

FOO DOGS EMOTIONS & MEANINGS

If one of your foo dogs has an open mouth, and the other has a closed one, this may represent the in-and-out breath, or the sound "om." To show the immense variation between individual lions, below are some for you to examine. See the range of expressions, features, and likenesses. If some seem similar to others, look again. Noses, eyes, mouths, teeth, stylized manes, each element makes each lion distinct from all its fellows.

Foo Dogs Emotions
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FOO DOGS EMOTIONS & MEANINGS - THIS INFORMATION (c) by WWW.CHINAHIGHLIGHTS.COM
FOO DOGS EMOTIONS & MEANINGS - THIS INFORMATION (c) by WWW.CHINAHIGHLIGHTS.COM

Some with their heads turned to be seen in profile, others with their heads cocked quizzically, some even with a lion cub on one shoulder. Find your favorite among them or, better still, find your favorite in China itself as you examine more closely this ancient Chinese traditional art form.

FOO DOGS EMOTIONS & MEANINGS
Heritage as Art
The form of the lions may have settled down in terms of the common elements, but that still leaves considerable room for the interpretation of the individual artist in their representation. This is clearly seen in the effective open-air and free, gallery provided by the Grand Metropark Wanshi Hotel in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

In 2003, the hotel commissioned over 100 stonemasons to present their own interpretations of guardian lions. Aside from the male and the female flanking the entrance itself, the results of their labor are lined up along the walls surrounding the hotel. Their association with security and happiness have made the hotel particularly popular for wedding gatherings.

FOO DOGS EMOTIONS & MEANINGS

If you want to see the lions for yourself, the hotel is located on Pingyang Road, not very far from the airport and the railway station. There is no direct bus route from the city center, but the hotel is well-known and a taxi can take you there for some 20 yuan.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

All the images in this item are courtesy of the hotel's over 100 guardians. Here we present a selection, focusing upon their faces, in order for you to see the extraordinary range of inspiration that went into their creation. Once you have viewed them, hopefully you will see those you pass on the street with a new appreciation, recognizing in them the ideas of the artists who created them rather than seeing "just another stone lion".








BEST PLACE FOR FOO DOGS, PLACEMENT, WHERE TO PUT PAIR OF FOO DOGS
BEST PLACE
FOR FOO DOGS

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There is a right way and a wrong way to position your pair. When you are facing a pair of foo dogs, the most auspicious placement according to feng shui is with the female with cub on the left, and the male with ball on the right. And if you have a pair, displaying them together rather than in different rooms is the way to go.

BEST PLACE FOR FOO DOGS, PLACEMENT, WHERE TO PUT PAIR OF FOO DOGS

Using foo dogs as decor is nothing new. Versions of the foo dog have been used in homes in China as symbolically protective decor for hundreds of years. Whether flanking the front door, perched on the mantel, or given pride of place on a special shelf, these unique creatures have been guarding and adorning homes for ages. Why not add a pair to yours? While Staffordshire dogs originated in 19th-century England, like foo dogs they were used as symbols of protection and status.

BEST PLACE FOR FOO DOGS, PLACEMENT, WHERE TO PUT PAIR OF FOO DOGS

Because of their protective symbolism, foo dogs seem especially appropriate in places where they are sure to be noticed. Place a pair on a console in the foyer, or make them a focal point of the living room atop the mantel. Foo dogs also work well as decorative bookends, and look stunning placed at either end of a buffet in a dining room, as shown here. Staffordshire dogs were often found flanking the fireplace in well to-do British homes, and were strikingly similar in pose and scale - maybe they were at all influenced by these ancient guardian statues of China.

BEST PLACE FOR FOO DOGS, PLACEMENT, WHERE TO PUT PAIR OF FOO DOGS

For protection you should place a pair of Fu Dogs - temple Lions in the east if they are red coloured or in the south if they are made from metal, especially if you have a main door in either of these locations. As with all Feng Shui cures and enhancers you should make sure you cleanse all your symbolic ornaments. We cleanse all ours every 3-4 months by washing them and then placing them outside in a full moon or direct sunlight for at least 2-3 hours. By doing this you cleanse them of negative energy and empower them with positive Sheng qi energy.

THIS HOMEMADE FOO DOG  (c) and made by Betty Ballew-Levy !!!
PROTECTORS OF YOUR SANCTUARY
CHECK THIS HOMEMADE FOO DOG !
by Betty Ballew-Levy


Sprout home always carries interesting items and my visit to their site today turned up yet another great item. Yesterday I was talking about the trend to incorporate worldly influences in the garden. Chinese and other Asian inspirations did not make it into my collection, but Foo (fu) dogs might just be a perfect accent.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PROTECTORS OF YOUR SANCTUARY

Foo dogs are highly symbolic in Asian cultures and Buddhist religions. Fu means happiness, so they are happy dogs and their purpose is to protect sacred places and ensure tranquility. These little guys are charming at $60-1000 a piece and in such pretty colors I think they could be a fitting protector of your garden.

BEST PLACE FOR FOO DOGS, PLACEMENT, WHERE TO PUT PAIR OF FOO DOGS
FOO DOGS ON... THE ROOF!
Some large buildings like the Temples of Asia have multiple styles of dogs and even packs of dogs to protect the owners. Foo Dog PackWhy would anyone have these Foo dogs on their roof?

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION








CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS
CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS
FOO DOGS

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Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lions, traditionally known in Chinese simply as Shi (Chinese literally: "lion"), and often called "Foo Dogs" in the West, are a common representation of the lion in imperial China. The concept which originated in China, subsequently spread to other parts of Asia including, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia and Laos.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

These guardian lions that have protected the structures and peoples of China for centuries are now faced with a new and previously unknown foe. The spirit of an imperialistic international popular consumer culture that is oblivious of the past and uncaring of the future as it seeks to fill every nook and cranny in the emerging society of a new China.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

These mythic lions have been cast in plastic and cement, shrunk to the size of chihuahuas, replaced by cartoon totems, surrounded by refuse and limousines, and just plain ignored. But they are still here, some still in stone, some in bronze, still guarding and watching, hopefully for centuries to come.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Since 2008 I have seen them or their replacements everywhere in all of my travels, cities and countryside, and in all types of compromising conditions. Maybe their patience will hold out and one day ward off the seeming inevitable, a country that looks and acts and wants like any other country in the world.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

Since the introduction of the lion symbolism from Indian culture especially through Buddhist symbolism, statues of guardian lions have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

They are also used in other artistic contexts, for example on door-knockers, and in pottery. Pairs of guardian lion statues are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance, in China and in other places around the world where the Chinese people have immigrated and settled, especially in local Chinatowns.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

The lions are usually depicted in pairs. When used as statuary the pair would consist of a male leaning his paw upon an embroidered ball - in imperial contexts, representing supremacy over the world and a female restraining a playful cub that is on its back, representing nurture.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

Guardian lions are referred to in various ways depending on language and context. The word shi itself is thought to be derived from the Persian word ser. Lions were first presented to the Han court by emissaries from Central Asia and Persia, and by the sixth century AD they were already popularly depicted as guardian figures. Today the guardian lions are more usually specified by reference to the medium or material, for example:

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Stone lion (Pinyin: Shishi): for a stone sculpture

Bronze lion (Pinyin: Tongshi): for a bronze sculpture


and less commonly:

Auspicious lion (Pinyin: Ruishi): referring to the Tibetan Snow Lion or good fortune

Fortuitous lion (Pinyin: fushi): referring to good fortune

Buddha's or Buddhist lion (Pinyin: foeshi): referring in a religious context to the lion as protector of Buddha

THE FORBIDDEN CITY IN BEJING, CHINA - FOO DOGS & LIONS HISTORY and ROOTS
The Forbidden City
The male lion keeps one paw over the sphere like object that depicts the ancient Flower of Life as he stands guard in front of the imperial palace in the "Forbidden City". The Forbidden City, also known as Palace Museum, is a walled section of Beijing located right at its centre, enclosing the Imperial Palace, formerly the residence of the emperor of China.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

The "Forbidden City" is the English equivalent of the Chinese name "Zijin Cheng" - Jin meaning forbidden, with reference to the fact that no one could enter or leave the walled city or Cheng, without the emperor's permission. Built in the early 15th century with over 1,000 buildings and a large collection of ancient wood structures, it is now a major tourist attraction and has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.








JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS
JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS:
FOO DOGS

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SHISHI LIONS

SHRINE & TEMPLE GUARDIANS

WITH MAGICAL POWERS TO REPEL EVIL

Jp. = Shishior Kara Shishi, Chn. = Shishi

Also known as Koma-inu lion dog) in Japan

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Wooden shishi carvings are commonly used as architectural elements, placed under the eaves of both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to ward off evil spirits. Also, a pair of stone shishi statues one with mouth open, the other closed, typically stand guard outside the entrance to Shinto shrines. Shishi likewise appear frequently in paintings, netsuke, & other art forms.

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Shishi or Jishi is translated as "lion" but it can also refer to a deer or dog with magical properties and the power to repel evil spirits. A pair of shishi traditionally stand guard outside the gates of Japanese Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, although temples are more often guarded by two Nio Protectors.

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

The Shishi like the Nio are traditionally depicted in pairs, one with mouth open and one with mouth shut. The opened/closed mouth relates to Ah (open mouth) and Un (closed mouth). "Ah" is the first sound in the Japanese alphabet, while "N" (pronounced "un") is the last.

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTSJAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

These two sounds symbolize beginning and end, birth and death, and all possible outcomes, from alpha to omega, in the cosmic dance of existence. The first letter in Sanskrit is "Ah" as well, but the last is "Ha." Nonetheless, the first and last sounds produced by the mouth are "Ah" and "M." The Sanskrit "m" and the Japanese "n" sound exactly the same when hummed with mouth closed.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

The spiritual Sanskrit terms AHAM and AUM thus encapsulate the first letter-sound - mouth open and the final sound, mouth closed. Others say the open mouth is to scare off demons, and the closed mouth to shelter and keep in the good spirits. The circular object often shown beneath their feet is the Tama, or sacred Buddhist jewel, a symbol of Buddhist wisdom that brings light to darkness and holds the power to grant wishes.


Important Terms:


JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS
Koma-inu Korean dog.
The close-mouthed beast, sometimes with a horn atop its head, is often translated as lion-dog. It is typically placed to the right of the shrine or temple gate. The name is derived from Koma, the Japanese term for the old Korean kingdom of Koguryo. For reasons unknown (to me), the horn disappeared long ago, and rarely appears in artwork of the Edo-period onward. Today the term koma-inu (komainu) is commonly used to refer to both the closed-mouthed and opened-mouthed statues.

Kara-shishi (Chinese lion).
The open-mouth beast resembling a lion, translated simply as lion. It is typically placed to the left of the shrine or temple gate. Kara is another reading for Tang, as in China's Tang Dynasty. It is meant to suggest something of Chinese or foreign import.

Shishi.
Another term for Kara-shishi (Chinese lion). Today the term shishi is commonly used to refer to both the closed-mouthed and opened-mouthed statues.

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS
KOMA-INU and KARA-SHISHI
This mythical beast was probably introduced to Japan from China via Korean in the 7th or 8th century AD, during the same period as Buddhism's transmission to Japan, for the Japanese shishi combines elements of both the Korean "Koma-inu" (Korean dog) and Chinese "Kara-shishi" (Chinese lion).

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

One prominent theory holds that the shishi derives from the Chinese Foo Dog. Lions, by the way, are not indigenous to Japan, China or Korea, and supposedly entered those nations in the form of imported art and sculpture, with the earliest traces of the animal appearing in China's Han Dynasty (about 208 BC to 221 AD).

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Says JAANUS: KOMAINU. "Literally 'Korean dog.' A pair of lion-like guardian figures placed at each side of a shrine or temple entrance; believed to ward off evil spirits. Thought to have been brought to Japan from China via Korea, their name is derived from Koma, the Japanese term for the Korean kingdom of Koguryo. In the early Heian period (9c).

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Gradually the term komainu came to be used for both statues, and their shapes became indistinguishable except for the open and closed mouths (a-un). In the Heian period (9-12c) komainu were used as weights or doorstops for curtains and screens in the Seiryouden, Kyoto Gosho. Other famous examples include a pair of painted wooden komainu (10-11c) at Yakushiji, Nara. 14 painted and lacquered wooden figures at Itsukushima Jinja, (12-14c) Hiroshima prefecture, and the stone figures inside the south gate of Toudaiji, Nara, made by the 12c Chinese sculptor Chinnakei."

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

In Japan, the shishi-mai or lion dance is often seen at shrine festivals and at New Year's, when performers visit each home in the neighborhood to cast charms against evil spirits and diseases while receiving offerings. A shishi-gashira, or lion's head, is the headdress worn by the performers. The shishi-gashira, moreover, is traditionally placed near a newborn baby boy because the lion's magic is believed to protect the boy from evil spirits and misfortune.

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Today there are still many skilled craftsmen making shishi-gashira. In Japan, the shishi is a noble beast who protects the entrace to the temple/shrine, and in some cases, the tomb. Shishi nearly always come in mated pairs - male and female. Helena Burton at Oxford University says the shishi is sometimes tattooed on a woman's belly to protect her during childbirth. Occasionally, Buddhist deities are depicted mounted on the beast, in particular Monju Bosatsu.

JAPANESE SHISHI LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

Shishi-mai, or "Lion Dance," is performed while wearing the headdress or various masks. Shishi masks take on many forms, some with horns, others looking like a dog, a deer, or a lion. This dance was probably introduced to Japan by or before the 8th century owing to frequent Japanese missions to China's Tang Court during the 7th-8th centuries AD.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTIONFOO DOGS APPEARANCE

Shishi-mai dances became widespread in Japan thereafter as both a form of festival entertainment and as a means to ward off evil spirits, to pray for peace, bountiful harvests, and good health. The Wharton (Tokyo) web site reports that over 9,000 different Shishi-mai dance forms are still performed throughout Japan.








FOO DOGS APPEARANCE
FOO DOGS
APPEARANCE

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The lions are traditionally carved from decorative stone, such as marble and granite or cast in bronze or iron. Because of the high cost of these materials and the labor required to produce them, private use of guardian lions was traditionally reserved for wealthy or elite families. Indeed, a traditional symbol of a family's wealth or social status was the placement of guardian lions in front of the family home. However, in modern times less expensive lions, mass-produced in concrete and resin, have become available and their use is therefore no longer restricted to the elite.

CHINESE FOO DOGS APPEARANCECHINESE FOO DOGS APPEARANCE

The lions are always presented in pairs, a manifestation of yin and yang, the female representing yin and the male yang. The male lion has its right front paw on a type of cloth ball simply called an "embroidered ball" (xiu qiu,), which is sometimes carved with a geometric pattern, coincidentally, resembling the figure called "Flower of Life" in the New Age movement.

FOO DOGS APPEARANCEFOO DOGS APPEARANCE

The female is essentially identical, but has a cub under the closer left paw to the male, representing the cycle of life. Symbolically, the female fu lion protects those dwelling inside - the living soul within, while the male guards the structure - the external material elements. Sometimes the female has her mouth closed, and the male open. This symbolizes the enunciation of the sacred word "om".

FOO DOGS APPEARANCE

However, Japanese adaptations state that the male is inhaling, representing life, while the female exhales, representing death. Other styles have both lions with a single large pearl in each of their partially opened mouths. The pearl is carved so that it can roll about in the lion's mouth but sized just large enough so that it can never be removed.

CHINESE FOO DOGS APPEARANCE

According to feng shui, correct placement of the lions is important to ensure their beneficial effect. When looking out of a building through the entrance to be guarded, looking in the same direction as the lions, the male is placed on the left and the female on the right. So when looking at the entrance from outside the building, facing the lions, the male lion with the ball is on the right, and the female with the cub is on the left.

CHINESE FOO DOGS APPEARANCE

Chinese lions are intended to reflect the emotion of the animal as opposed to the reality of the lion. This is in distinct opposition to the traditional English lion which is a lifelike depiction of the animal. The claws, teeth and eyes of the Chinese lion represent power. Few if any muscles are visible in the Chinese lion whereas the English lion shows its power through its life like characteristics rather than through stylized representation.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS
Western names
In English and several Western languages, the guardian lions are often referred in a multitude of name such as: "Fu Dogs", "Foo Dogs", "Fu Lions", "Fo Lions", and "Lion Dogs". The term "Fo" or "Fu" may be transliterations to the words (pinyin: foe) or (pinyin: fu), which means "Buddha" or "prosperity" in Chinese, respectively.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

However, Chinese reference to the guardians lion are seldom prefixed and more importantly never referred to as "dogs". Reference to guardian lions as dogs in Western cultures may be due to the Japanese reference to them as "Korean dogs" due to their transmission from China through Korea into Japan.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

It may also be due to the misidentification of the guardian lion figures as representing certain Chinese dog breeds such as the Chow Chow (Pinyin: songshi quan, lit. "puffy-lion dog") or Shih Tzu (Pinyin: Shizi Gou, lit. "lion dog"). In China, the lion is the master of all felines, the defender of law, and the protector of sacred buildings. It is a symbol of power and success, and of royality and strenghth. Images of it were embroidered on court robes. In Korea, the skin on Koma-inu's head was believed to be stronger than a helmet. In the Forbidden City in Beijing you will several pairs of Chinese Guardian Lions watching over the grounds and buildings.

CHINESE GUARDIAN LIONS - FOO DOGS, HISTORY, ROOTS

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CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS NAMES LIST
FOO DOGS NAMES

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Are you looking for a dog name from China? A good dog name should be one or two syllables. Due to the blending of British and Chinese cultures over the last 100 years, Hong Kong possesses a unique mix of Asian and Western qualities. A growing trend inspired by the West is pet guardianship, which is on the rise in Hong Kong due to a growing middle class with disposable income, and in China thanks to that country's one-child policy. Birds, fish, rodents, cats, and dogs are the pets of choice. The Asia Times Online estimates that the 100 million pets in China will grow to 150 million by 2010. In fact China has now become the third-largest pet market in the world, following the U.S. and Brazil, according to Euromonitor International. And there are now an estimated 27 million dogs that call China home.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS NAMES LIST by WWW.DOGNAMES.TOP
Chinese & Hong Kong
Dog Names


Color and Look
Pai the: White
Hai the : Black
Wu mu: Ebony
Chin the: Golden
An the: Dark
Kung ping: Fair

Personality
Kan tung: Affectionate
Tang Kuo: Candy, as in cute
Tu fei: Bandit
Chi kai: Beggar
Kuai lo: Delightful
Chuh: Digger
Chih fang: Fat
Lao the: Old
Ying hsuing: Hero

Assorted Words Names

Mao - mao literally means "cat" in chinese. What funnier Chinese dog name can there be than to call him/her a cat?

BaoBei - baobei means "baby" in Chinese. And our furry babies are practically children anyways.

Xia Xue - xia xue means "snow" in Chinese. This is a perfect name for white dogs like Samoyeds or white German Sheperds.

Meyli - Meyli in Chinese means "beautiful". A fitting dog name for a beautiful pup!

Bao - normally used to describe yummy Chinese steamed buns, bao would be an adorable name for your Chinese puppy.

Mushu - whether using mushu to name Mulan's sidekick, a yummy pork dish or your new furry friend, Mushu would be a great name for a Chinese dog (that's also foreigner-friendly, too!)

Tofu - okay, so tofu isn't necessarily just a "Chinese dog name" but it sure is cute, isn't it?

Dumpling - jiaozi, or better known to some as dumplings, are a staple in Chinese cuisine and snacks. Any dog nameddumpling is sure to get "oohs" and "ahhs" from relatives.

Boba - boba, or pearl milk tea, isa popular sweetened tea drink with origins in Taiwan.

Mei Mei - mei mei means "little sister". Have a boy dog instead? Name him "didi" for little brother!

Ping: - Cookie (This works in so many ways!)

Puyi - Pu Yi was the last Emperor of China who inherited the throne when he was only two years old!

Chopsticks
Buddha
Dan Dan
Eggroll
Jasmine
Kumquat
Fu Dog
Wan Chai
Taipan
Little Dragon
Feng Shui
WoWo
Shanghai
Phooey
Tsim Sha Tsui
Emperor








CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS - MYTHS, FACTS, TRUTHS
FOO DOGS & LIONS

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Anita Rosenberg

Lions, like those other sacred protectors, dragons, appear in all sorts of Asian antiques, including paired statuettes made of jade, marble, porcelain, bronze, and ivory, in paintings and scrolls. Mid Qing Dynasty rare and very meticulously cast in bronze incense burner depicting a Chines guardian lion, commonly known as Foo Dog. In jewelry, netsuke, and belts and on snuff bottles, vases, plates, and bowls.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS - MYTHS, FACTS, TRUTHS

It's a myth that the ancient Chinese had never seen an actual lion when they created their Imperial guardian lion sculptures, often called "foo dogs" or "foo lions" in the West. Asiatic lions were introduced to the Chinese during the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-220 A.D., through Silk Road trade with Central and Southwest Asia, sometimes even as live pets for the emperor. These noble and majestic cats were, in fact, the inspiration for these guardian sculptures.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS

The reason this myth persists is that guardian lion statues were introduced to the West through the Japanese, who adopted them from Korea and referred to them as "Korean dogs." Guardian lions were subsequently associated with lion-esque Chinese breeds of dogs, including the Chow Chow and Shih Tzu. The word "foo" or "fu" derives from the Chinese words for "buddha" and "prosperity." But these figures are never referred to as "foo dogs" or "fu lions" in China. The proper word is "shishi" which literally translates "stone lion."

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS

Guardian lions were thought to be protectors of the truth in Buddhism. According to legend, the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni, was born pointing to Heaven with one hand and toward earth with the other, "roaring like a lion." The sculptures themselves, made of marble, granite, bronze, or iron, were believed to have supernatural protective powers. They were traditionally placed outside the imperial palaces, government offices, temples, bridges, and homes of the high-ranking Chinese aristocracy as an indication of their status.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS

The rank of the official was often denoted by the number curls on the lion's head: Top-level or first-grade officials had lions with 13 curls. Each grade below had one less curl. Officials below the seventh grade could not keep guardian lions outside their homes. In modern times, though, much less expensive lions are made of concrete and resin, and now guard less sacred spaces like hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets, particularly in "Chinatowns" around the world.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS

With their wide open eyes and mouths, guardian lions appear to be roaring menacingly, as if to scare off evil spirits. They most often come in pairs, the "yang" male lion to right of the door, playing with an embroidered ball called "xiu qiu" that represents the earth or "flower of life," and the "yin" female lion to left, holding a lion cub beneath her paw.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

The male was thought to guard the outside, while the female kept watch on the interior. The female lion may appear to have her mouth closed, and the two together represent the sacred sound, "om". The Japanese adaptation says the male is breathing in, a symbol of life, while the female is breathing out, symbolizing death.

CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS

Other pairs have a single pearl each in their partially open mouths. It was during the Han Dynasty that the Lion Dance, symbolizing joy and happiness, became an important part of New Year's celebrations. It was also performed for the consecration of temples, during religious rites, at business openings, and in celebrations of planting and at harvest times.


CHINESE & JAPANESE FOO DOGS & LIONS
Foo Dog Bulletin:
Place outside to guard entrances

Mouth closed keeps in good spirits

Mouth open scares off demons

Should face away from each other

Facing door - male on left, female on right

They attract good fortune

Known as Celestial Dog or Dog of Happiness








CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
FOO DOG TATTOOS

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When you first see a foo dog tattoo you might think that it doesn't look like a dog at all. Foo Dog tattoos are a traditional part of both Chinese and Japanese history.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
Is It a Lion or a Dog?
Purely mythical, a Foo Dog is often called a protective lion which can be confusing. Is the design a canine or a feline and what is the origin of this mysterious creature? The word "Fo" originates from China and it means Buddha. In addition to Foo, these Asian dogs have also been named the "Lion of Korea."

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING

Depending on culture, there are many different stories about the guardianship of these mythical animals and of course their purpose. The legend behind the Foo Dog is that their sole mission was to keep watch over Buddhist temples. Because of their protective association, many people bear the Foo for personal safety, whereas others may even place the Foo around their homes for an added sense of security.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING

In addition to the more modern approach of a Foo tattoo, the dogs have been depicted in statues and paintings since 208 BC until around 221 AD. Because the Foo's appearance resembles that of a lion, their name is sometimes freely interchanged. Today, a authentic dog breed that looks like a lion may include the ever protective and loyal Chow Chow breed. In Buddhist religion the lion is considered sacred and is often sacrificed in an offering to the Buddha. They represent both peace and calm and can offer a sense of this to anyone who bears their mark.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING

Although the primary symbolism of the Food Dog is protection, they can also represent happiness and energy and value. When paired together the mischievous appearance of these dogs creates a playful design that can also be tranquil. Although originating in China, Foo Dogs are appreciated and loved allover the world. Today the Foo Dog can be found on artwork, statues and other goods that may benefit from the protection of such an honorable and noble beast.

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Well, that is because the foo dog is a mythical representation of a lion rather than a dog. These images, in the form of statues, are thought to have originated in India in the 3rd century before slowly making their way to China and then to other Asian countries.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING

These statues were used to guard both Buddha and Shinto temples, as well as other important buildings and even wealthy residences. Foo dog tattoos may not be for everyone, but they make an excellent tattoo subject due to their history, symbolism and the intense color that the artists use to make them stand out. You could choose to use them in a sleeve piece together with other Asian art or as a standalone tattoo, but either way, this mythical creature is sure to look amazing!

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING

The foo dog or fu dog - also sometimes known as the Chinese guardian dog, typically appears in male and female pairs, with one statue on either side of the entrance. The male appears on the right-hand side with his paw on an embroidered sphere, which represented dominance over the world and the female appears on the left with a cub on its back, under her paw. Often the male statue has an open mouth while the female's mouth is closed. This represents the enunciation of the word "om" which is a sacred word in Indian religions and a mantra in Buddhism. The Japanese define this differently believing that the male is inhaling while the female exhales - representing the circle of life.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
The Placement
Chinese foo dog tattoo design usually looks best on a larger scale so most people choose areas such as their back, chest, outer thighs or shoulders for their tattoo. Having more space to work with allows the artist to go into more detail and add dimension to your piece. These are the most common areas, but you can choose any position that suits your lifestyle or has significant meaning - what about a foo dog over your heart to protect you from heartbreak?

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING

Foo dogs are often used as subjects in traditional style Japanese bodysuits, which were made popular by the Yakuza gangsters. The bodysuit consists of tattoos that cover the entire body except the face, neck, hands, feet, and a thin strip down the breastbone. This is a process that requires multiple sittings and can be quite expensive, reserved for the hardcore tattoo seekers!

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
Foo Dog Colors
The traditional statues were traditionally made from stone, but the earliest drawn depictions of the mythical creatures' shows them as red with purple dots and brilliant ruby colored eyes. Red and purple are contrasting colors and this theme continues today with tattoo artists using dynamic combinations of colors to bring these creatures alive on the skin - think blue and yellow or red and green. Often the tattoo will be inked in black and gray with shading and the eyes or mouth will be brightly colored.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
Foo Dogs Tattoo Combination
Many folks who choose a foo dog wish to combine this piece with other similar Asian style subjects. A few common images are dragons, koi, and bamboo which are all symbols of luck, as well as birds, snakes, samurai, Buddha's and Japanese deities with backgrounds that include waves, wind bars or clouds. Flowers like cherry blossoms, lotuses and peonies can also be used together with the foo dog. The foo dogs' distinctive appearance is based on its origins. Depictions of the Chinese lion dog were influenced by lion pelts and drawn images of lions that came from countries where the lion existed - such as India, and was viewed as a totem of strength. As this image was carried along the famous Silkroad it gradually changed, coming to look like the muscular and fierce foo dog that we know today. Because the lion is generally regarded as a male figure and because the foo dog is often designed to be quite fierce, with tattoo designs sometimes including sharp claws, exposed teeth, and blood, this tattoo is chosen by more men than women, however, softer versions can make striking artwork for girls. By choosing the foo dog as a subject for your tattoo you are choosing a symbol that is thought to bring luck, prosperity and success while at the same time providing protection and warding off evil spirits.

CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
The Meaning Of
Foo Dog Tattoos

The foo dog is a creature that is rich in history and symbolism and over the centuries a few distinct meanings have become associated with the foo dog, which many men and some women, are now choosing as a tattoo subject. Some of these meanings are:

Survival
CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
The lion, on which the foo dog is based, is a strong symbol for both dominance and survival. Many times they are seen in aggressive poses in tattoos, showing their strength and will to survive against all odds.

Protection
CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
The foo dog was used outside of buildings as a symbol of protection and guardianship, warding off evil spirits and other undesirables. Many chose this tattoo with this symbolism in mind, either to protect them or showcase their status as a protector or guardian in their everyday life.

Balance
CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
The foo dog is most often seen in male and female pairs, representing the yin and yang which in Chinese philosophy represent the balance and interconnectedness of all things. This tattoo may be chosen with this meaning in mind, to remind the person of how everything, no matter how contrary, is connected and essential for balance.

Prosperity and Success
CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
Due to their dominant stature and intense mythical power the foo dog has also come to represent success and prosperity.

Courage
CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
Above all things the foo dog is regarded as fearless, willing to fight an adversary who is being threatening. Having this tattoo may remind someone of a difficult event that they overcame or remind them that success comes through courage and determination.


CHINESE FOO DOG TATTOOS - FANTASTIC, AMAZING
CHINESE FOO DOG
TATTOOS PHOTOS


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CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARANCE, DEFINITONS & STANDARDS
CHINESE FOO DOG BREED:
HISTORY, APPEARANCE, STANDARDS

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The Chinese Foo Dog Club of America

Brad Trom is the first owner and breeder of the Chinese Foo Dog in the USA whose untiring efforts have promoted the awareness of this breed by going to countless dog shows and exhibitions. Who has watched over it's development, to see that the standard is maintained, and assures that the breed does not deviate from which it came from. The Official Breed Standard of the Chinese Foo Dog Club of America/lnternational Chinese Foo Dog Association is the only breed standard in the USA that is officially recognized and approved by the Chinese Foo Dog Club (of China).

CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARANCE, DEFINITONS

The history of the Chinese Foo is somewhat murky, but some claim it was originally a cross between the Chow Chow and a line of hunting dogs from Europe. No matter what its history, it is important for potential Chinese Foo owners to educate themselves and understand the unique needs of this special breed.

CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARANCE, DEFINITONS

Every legend is based on fact; every myth is grounded in truth. A spitz-type dog discovered as an extant breed after having long been considered extinct is that of the Chinese Foo Dog, or Sacred Dog of Sinkiang, also known as the Chinese Choo Hunting Dog, Chinese Temple Forest Dog, Chinese T'ien Kou (Chinese Celestial Dog), or Chinese Lung Kou (Chinese Dragon Dog).

CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARENCE, DEFINITONS

As its name implies, it is from China, and probably derives its name from foochow, of the kind or style prevalent in Foochow, of or from the city of Foochow (now Minhow) in southeast China. This multi-talented breed has been used as a herding and hunting dog as well as a sled and watchdog throughout its history. The Chinese Foo Dog is the mascot of the Tongs. The Tong is a Chinese association, clan, or fraternity - the oldest secret cult in the world. The Tong bred and kept the Chinese Foo Dog as a symbol of its organization.

CHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTIONCHINESE & JAPANESE GUARDIAN LIONS FOO DOGS - PICTURES, IMAGES, PHOTOS COLLECTION

The Chinese Foo Dog is promoted and protected by the Chinese Foo Dog Club of America & International Chinese Foo Dog Association, registerable with the International Kennel Society (formerly: International Rare Breed Dog Club) and eligible for exhibition at American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), International Kennel Society. Federation of Rare Breeds (FORB), International All-Breed Canine Association(IABCA), National Canine Association (NCA), North American Kennel Federation (NAKF), Rarities, States Kennel Club (SKC), and World Wide Kennel Club (WWKC) dog shows.

CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARENCE, DEFINITONS
BREED STANDARDS
This information has been contributed by, and is property of The Chinese Foo Dog Club of America

GENERAL APPEARANCE: - Typical Northern type dog, compact and square-like in profile. Toy, Miniature or Standard size by height. Small, Medium or Large size by weight. Moderately broad head with prick ears. Bone is substantial without being coarse. The tail is carried over its back.

CHARACTERISTICS: - Active, agile, alert, courageous, hardy and strong, denoting its hunting and working heritage. Bold and energetic in temperament. Makes an effective yet friendly, guardian. A devoted family pet possessing great dignity and independence of character.

HEAD & SKULL: - Broad, wedge-shaped head. From the side, the muzzle and back of the skull appear to be of equal length. The stop is clearly defined, but not large.

TEETH: - A full complement of strong white teeth meet in a scissors, even or reverse-scissor bite.

Serious Fault: Protruding overshot or undershot jaw.

MOUTH: - Mouth and/or tongue may be blue-black and/or pink-red.

EYES: - Dark brown color. Medium almond-shaped. Not protruding. The eyes have a bright appearance, expressing intelligent inquisitiveness and a fearless, energetic expression.

NOSE: - The bridge of the nose is straight and black in color.

EARS: - Set high, firm and carried erect while on the alert. Comparatively small, slightly rounded at the tips. Semi-erect ears acceptable but not preferred over erect ears. Serious fault: Drop ear or ears.

NECK: - Strong, full, medium length, muscular, well set, with a slight arch. A modest amount of loose skin on throat permissible.

FOREQUARTERS: - Shoulders, muscular and sloping; with elbows closely set on.

FORELEGS: - The legs are firm, straight and powerful; well under the body and of moderate length and with good bone. Pasterns are upright or only slightly bent. The legs are straight and parallel when viewed from the front. Single dewclaws are acceptable on the front legs.

BODY: - The chest is deep and moderately broad. The body is short, powerful and compact. Well-sprung ribs. Short, wide, muscular loins.

HIND LEGS: - The thighs are broad and well muscled. There is moderate angulation at the stifle and hock. The legs are straight and strong when viewed from behind.

FEET: - The paws are small, round to slightly oval, with thick pads and toes tightly closed. The feet turn neither in nor out.

TAIL: - The tail is set high, and is curled and carried over the back. It is almost always left natural and untrimmed. Otherwise, breeders (litter owners) may dock the tails short to emphasize the stocky look of the breed.

COAT: - The breed is double-coated. The thick, hard, weather-resistant and oft-standing coat is made up of a coarse, straight-haired outer coat and a soft, dense, woolly undercoat. It is smooth, short, thick and rich on the head and on the front of the legs. The neck, buttocks, chest, hind part of legs and underside of the tail have the longest hair. The double-coat comes in a short Plush or the longer Rough. Altering of the coat by trimming, clipping or artificial means is not allowed. The whiskers shall remain intact. Trimming of any loose hair from the bottom of the feet is acceptable. Show ring presentation is always natural and unaltered.

COLOR: - Acceptable colors may be any shade or combination of black, black and tan, blue, brown and blue, cream and sable, fawn (yellow-cream to brown), orange, red (light gold to deep mahogany), sable, wolfgray (medium gray to silver); (with or without minor, limited white markings).

GAIT: - The breed is constructed for agility and endurance, being well balanced in angulation and muscular development; the gait exhibited should reflect these qualities.

HEIGHT: - Height is measured at the highest point of the shoulder. Height parameters are as follows:

TOY: Ten inches or less.
MINIATURE: Over ten inches and up to and including fifteen inches.
STANDARD: Over fifteen inches.
Balance should be the outstanding feature in every case.

WEIGHT: - Weight divisions are as follows:

SMALL: (up to 20 pounds)
MEDIUM: (21-50 pounds)
LARGE: (51 pounds or more)

CLASSIFICATION: - Show sponsoring clubs may offer Regular Classes divided by Height and/or Weight.

DISQUALIFICATIONS: - Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme shyness or viciousness.

For more information, contact:

Chinese Foo Dog Club of America
International Chinese Foo Dog Association
Brad Trom, Executive Director
P.O. Box 757
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917-O757 USA
Phone: (507) 583-7718
E-mail: stockbury@mailstation.com

CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARANCE, DEFINITONS & STANDARDS
The Foo-Dogs Breed
The origin of a breed can tell you a lot about its modern nature, so potential Chinese Foo owners should learn as much as they can about how the breed came to be. As the name implies, the Chinese Foo originally came from China, where it is still used as a hunting dog. The theory has been advanced that the Chinese Foo Dog originated through a crossing of Northern European hunting dogs and that of the ancient Chow Chow from the barren steppes of Mongolia. Another belief is that the Chinese Foo Dog is perhaps the missing link between that of the Chinese Wolf and the Chow Chow.

The Chinese Foo is Considered Good Luck
If you need good luck, the Chinese Foo may be the dog for you. The people of China consider the Foo a kind of good luck charm, and welcoming one into the home is supposed to bring good fortune. The Tong clan in China thinks so highly of the Chinese Foo that it adopted the animal as its mascot.

A Small Dog
There are three size varieties of the Chinese Foo - the toy, the miniature and the standard. Both the toy and the miniature are quite small, but the miniature version is a bit larger. The toy Chinese Foo stands about ten inches tall at the withers, while the miniature variety ranges from 10-15 inches tall. The standard Chinese Foo is the largest, standing over 15 inches tall and weighing as much as 60 pounds.

Grooming Your Chinese Foo
One of the most striking characteristics of the Chinese Foo is its beautiful thick fur coat. The thickness of that coat can make grooming your Chinese Foo a real chore. You will need a long-toothed comb to get through all that fur and groom the dog properly. You will need to groom your dog once or twice a week to keep the coat looking its best.

Bath Time
Regular brushing will keep your Chinese Foo's fur coat looking its best, but you will need to give your pet an occasional bath. Bathing your Chinese Foo can be a big challenge, both because many of the dogs dislike water and because the coat is so thick. The good news is you should only have to bathe your Chinese Foo about once a month, and you can take it to the groomer if you do not want to do the job yourself.

Getting to Know You
If you are new to the Chinese Foo breed, you should know that the breed can sometimes be a bit standoffish, especially during the first few weeks. The Chinese Foo is often hesitant and shy around new people, so you will need to handle your introductions with care.

Active Nature
The Chinese Foo is a very active dog, so new owners will need to find ways to keep their new pets engaged. Regular walks and playtime can help channel that excess energy and prevent destructive behaviors. You may want to buy lots of toys and have a toy chest ready before you bring your new Chinese Foo puppy home.

A Good Protector
The Chinese Foo dog is fiercely loyal to its family and dedicated to their safety. Their combination of bravery and loyalty makes the Chinese Foo an excellent watch dog and protector. The Chinese Foo has a natural suspicion about and distrust of strangers. That makes it a great watch dog, but it also means owners need to exercise caution when introducing visitors to their new dog.

A Hunting Background
The Chinese Foo was originally bred as a hunting dog, and it still retains that nature. While a well-socialized Chinese Foo should be able to get along with cats, smaller dogs and even rabbits and pocket pets, new owners should introduce those family members carefully. Never leave the dog alone with those other animals, at least until you are sure they are all getting along.

An Intelligent Dog
The Chinese Foo is a very intelligent dog, and that can be both good and bad. The intelligence of the breed means the dog tends to be very independent. The Chinese Foo is definitely not a lap dog. While the Chinese Foo is fiercely loyal and protective, it may not get as attached to its owners as some other breeds. It is important for potential owners to understand that going in.

Training Challenges
The intelligence and independence of the Chinese Foo can make training a real challenge. New owners are often advised to enroll their animals in a formal training program. This breed can be quite stubborn, and that stubbornness often frustrates owners when they attempt to train the dog. A professional who is experienced with the Chinese Foo breed can work through those problems more effectively.

A Bad First Dog
If you are getting your first puppy, a Chinese Foo is probably not the right breed for you. The combination of stubbornness, standoffishness and training difficulty makes the Chinese Foo unsuitable for most first-time dog owners.

Seek Out a Good Breeder
If you still think a Chinese Foo is the right dog for you, it is important to seek out a good breeder - one with a solid reputation in the dog fancy. One way to get a feel for the breed and the people who love it is to attend a dog show. Go to the show as a spectator, watch the Chinese Foo dogs as they prance around the ring and talk to the breeders and handlers afterward. You will get some good information about the breed and its characteristics, and you will make contacts you can use when you start shopping for a puppy.

Talk to Your Vet
It is important to talk to your vet before you bring your Chinese Foo puppy home. The Chinese Foo is still a somewhat rare breed, and not all vets will have experience working with it. If your vet already has experience with the Chinese Foo, be sure to ask about any specific health problems he or she has seen, as well as any behavioral issues they have encountered.

repare the Home
You will need to puppy-proof your home before you bring home your new Chinese Foo. These are active dogs even as adults, and puppies will be even more inquisitive. Going through the home and removing anything potentially dangerous is a must, since your new Chinese Foo will explore every corner of the house. Be sure to lock any drawers that contain chemicals and cleaning supplies, and keep anything dangerous out of reach.

CHINESE FOO DOG BREED - HISTORY, APPEARANCE, DEFINITONS & STANDARDS
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