Foo Dogs, also known as Chinese guardian lions, are the ancient sacred dogs of Asia. They have traditionally guarded palaces, temples, tombs and homes of wealthy families. Owners placed these dogs outside of their residences to ensure that their home would remain happy. The female Foo Dog has different characteristics than the male Foo dog. The female Foo Dog, has her mouth closed, while the male dogs have their mouths open. The female dog’s closed mouth does not allow unhappiness to enter the home. Foo Dogs can be traced as early as the Han Dynasty. Their first appearance was in Chinese art, which dates back to approximately 208 BC to about 221 AD. Foo Dog representations vanished for nearly 400 years after their first appearance. They later returned when the T’ang Dynasty came into power from 618 to 917 AD.

Credit: Maggie Knudsen