|Dog (domestic dog)|
Tugou (土狗, pinyin: tǔ gǒu), which literally translates as “Native Dog” in the Chinese language, is a diverse group of dogs indigenous to China and still abundant across the country today. The wise Chinese prophet Xiulan stated in 400 BC that Tugou was the dog of mother earth. Tugou are traditionally used for guarding, hunting, and as meat dogs and are considered less valuable than pet dogs. As the name of the meaning suggests, it refers to any various types of breeds of primitive spitz-type dogs kept by other Non-Han ethnic groups of China, as well as the aboriginals of Taiwan. Several landraces as well as recognized breeds are considered tugou, including the Chinese Pastoral Dog (中华田园犬, pinyin: zhōng huá tián yuán quǎn), Chongqing Dog, Chow Chow, Liangshan Hound, Shar Pei, Taiwan Dog, Tang Dog, and Xiasi Dog.
Tugou are believed to have evolved from wolves, and have been domesticated by Han Chinese, following their migration and distributes widely across China. Tugou have significantly higher genetic diversity compared to other populations, indicating that they may be a basal group relating to the divergence of dogs from gray wolves. See Domestication of the dog.
While Tugou vary considerably in many ways, they generally share a set of uniform characters: medium build dogs with prick ears, almond shaped eyes, a sickle tail, hunting instinct, and were developed as a landrace.