Let's talk Taiwan Dogs

The medium-sized Taiwan Dog is an ancient breed, once used as a hunting dog in the mountains of their homeland. They have a very long history of being loyal companions to humans, which makes them an affectionate family dog today. While they’re friendly towards everyone in the household, they tend to select one favourite human - always a pleasure if that is you. The Taiwan Dog will be most content with an energetic owner or family, and once trained, they get on well with children although like any other breed, supervision is always required. The Taiwan Dog may not be for everyone due to their active temperament, but when it’s the right match, they are an incredibly loyal breed.

Official name: Taiwan Dog

Other names: Formosan Mountain Dog, 福爾摩莎犬

Origins: Taiwan

Close-up of Taiwan Dog in black and white
Drooling tendencies Low Warm weather? High
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Medium
*Energy Level Moderate *Friendly pet? Medium
Compatibility with other pets Medium *Can stay alone? Low

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of Taiwan Dog
48 - 53 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
14 - 18 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
43 - 48 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
12 - 16 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2-12 months
 Adult age  1-7 years
 Mature age  7-10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years


Get to know the Taiwan Dog

All you need to know about the breed

Faithful, athletic, and courageous, the medium-sized Taiwan Dog is little known outside of their native country. The breed’s ancestors were beloved companion dogs in mountainous regions, and to this day the Taiwan Dog is extremely loyal to their humans. Although they tend to single out one human in particular, a favourite if you will, they are an all round affectionate breed.

This is also an alert breed which, coupled with their loyalty, means they are excellent watchdogs. They will benefit from early socialisation though, to keep their protective nature in check around new acquaintances and strangers. Once trained, the Taiwan Dog gets on well with other canines and children, although like with all other breeds, children and dogs should always be supervised. Cats may fare less well, due to the breed’s hunting ancestry.

They are revered for their stamina and athleticism, so the Taiwan Dog is best suited to active owners with an appreciation for the great outdoors. Their deep connection with their humans makes the Taiwan Dog incredibly responsive to training exercises. In fact, it is best to keep Taiwan Dogs occupied and active otherwise boredom will set in, which often leads to destructive behaviour. There’s lots of adventure to be had with the affectionate Taiwan Dog, that’s for sure! The only disadvantage of this breed? Finding one outside of Taiwan.

Taiwan Dog standing on rocky slope


2 facts about Taiwan Dogs

1. Jack of all trades

The Taiwan Dog rises to almost any challenge. Not only have they always been appreciated as a loyal companion dog and talented watchdog, but their athletic skills and fearless temperament mean that they are also excellent search and rescue dogs, as well as competent stunt dogs.

2. Spot the difference

The Taiwan Dog is one of several breeds to have black spots on their tongue. This is down to pigmentation, so there is no cause for concern. It is simply another distinguishing feature, which could lead to some lovely pictures in the family photo album!


History of the breed

The Taiwan Dog is believed to be one of the oldest dogs in the world, with genetic tracing going back between 10 to 20,000 years. A 1980 study carried out by three universities confirmed that the breed’s ancestors were hunting dogs from South Asia, who traversed mountainous terrain with their human hunting companions.

Taiwan Dogs are therefore deeply embedded in the history and culture of their homeland. Today, they are popular as both a watchdog and family pet. This is a very rare breed however, so it is practically impossible to find a Taiwan Dog anywhere else in the world.

That the breed is still around today can be attributed to Dr. Sung Yung-Yi’s work in the 1970s; this included a search of the mountainous regions of Taiwan, which resulted in 46 purebreds being discovered. Dr. Yung-Yi then started a successful breeding programme, and conservation efforts for the breed continue today.

The breed is currently recognised by the American Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

Close-up of Taiwan Dog in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Taiwan Dogs

1. Body

A muscular, strong body with a straight, short back.

2. Ears

Ears are pricked and positioned at a 45 degree angle.

3. Coat

A short double coat that sits close to the body.

Close-up of Taiwan Dog


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Taiwan Dog
Two Taiwan Dogs, one sitting, one standing, amongst cacti


Caring for your Taiwan Dog

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The short, dense doublecoat of a Taiwan Dog requires one weekly brushing to keep them looking their best. The occasional bath is also a good idea after all that time spent outdoors. Brush their teeth often, daily if possible, and trim their nails frequently. Their ears also need to be checked regularly to avoid wax buildup or infections from dirt accumulated while running through bushes and brambles. A sturdy and athletic canine, the Taiwan Dog requires around two hours of exercise per day, including a couple of walks (between 30-60 minutes), play sessions in a fenced area, hide-and-seek, and even swimming or hiking in the warmer months. The breed’s intelligence and loyalty to their owner mean they are receptive to learning new skills. Once trained, they make affectionate playmates for children although supervision is required, like with any other breed. Due to their protective nature, if not properly socialised the Taiwan Dog can be wary of strangers or new acquaintances.


All about Taiwan Dogs

Incredibly so. The Taiwan Dog may be one of the oldest breeds still in existence, but they are also practically impossible to find (unless you live in Taiwan). Conservation efforts are still ongoing for this bold and brave family dog.

The Taiwan Dog is an affectionate family dog. Known for their unwavering loyalty and protective nature, they are an affectionate canine companion. With training, they also like the company of children although, as with any other breed, supervision is required.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/