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Other namesXiquan, Xilagou, Chinese xigou, Chinese xilagou, Chinese Xiquan, Chinese Hound, China Canines, Chinese thin dog, Xian, Xian Hound, Chinese Saluk, Qidan Hound, Chinese Greyhound
Origin China
Height 24–31 in (60–78 cm)
Weight 44–66 lb (20–30 kg)
Coat short coat and long coat, etc.
Color White, cream, buff, ocher, caesious, black, blood red, Blue-gray, etc.
Life span 10–23
Kennel club standards
China Kennel Union standard
Dog (domestic dog)

Xigou (Chinese: 細狗), also known as Xiquan (Chinese: 細犬), Xiliegou (Chinese: 細獵狗), and Chinese Xiquan (Chinese: 中國細犬), is a breed of sighthound native to China. Xigou is a rare dog breed.


Xigou is an ancient native dog breed in China. Xigou is currently known to be 2,500 years old.[1] Xigou has always been popular with nobles and citizens of Chinese dynasties.There are traces of Xigou in many Chinese tombs and cultural relics.

While some cynologists speculate just might be the principal ancestor of all sighthounds known today, others indicate some intermixing with modern stock, pointing to greyhounds shipped to China by the East India Company.[2] Once used to chase and capture prey on the open, flat land of the Huangtu Plateau, the breed is now in trouble, its numbers plummeting as a result of the government curbing the rights of its citizens to hunt. The China Kennel Union (CKU) classifies the breed as ‘rare,’ and is trying to resurrect it. To that end, the CKU initiated an effort to collect DNA from the dogs in 2017.[3]


Xigou is lanky, 60 to 78 centimetres (24 to 31 in) tall and weighs between 20 and 30 kilograms (44 and 66 lb). Xigou has a long and narrow head, a flat forehead, small spacing between ears, drooping ears, a slender neck, a slender waist, a curved back, and a long tail. It is divided into short-haired and feathered species, etc. Coat colors include yellow, black, brown, white, and fawn red.[2]


The existing Xigou varieties mainly include Shaanxi Xigou (Chinese: 陝西細狗), Hebei Xigou (Chinese: 河北細狗), Shandong Xigou (Chinese: 山東細狗) and Mongolian Xigou (Chinese: 蒙古細狗), etc.

Shaanxi Xigou

The Shaanxi Xigou, also known as Shaanxi Hound or Xian Hound (), is an ancient and rare breed that originated in China. These majestic dogs are skilled hunters, dependable guard dogs, and devoted companions. Some experts believe the Shaanxi Xigou is the original sighthound breed.[4] The Shaanxi Xigou is characterized by a long, narrow sheep-like head, but not all descendants will necessarily inherit this head type.

Hebei Xigou

Hebei Xigou is a rare breed in China. Hebei Xigou is similar in appearance to Greyhound. Hebei Xigou is mainly used for hunting hares.Hebei Xigou is very loyal to the owner, has a strong memory, a keen sense of smell, a high desire to hunt, and has good endurance. It is suitable for hunting in the plains and can also be used as a guard dog.

Shandong Xigou

The Shandong Xigou is a rare breed with a keen sense of smell and innate hunting instinct. Shandong Xigou once served as the royal hunting dog of the Tang dynasty and has been a reliable hunting dog for centuries. In fact, in addition to working with hunters, this breed excels at protecting livestock on farms.[5]

Mongolian Taiga dog

The Mongolian Taiga , also known as Khitan Hound (Chinese: 契丹獵犬).[6] is a distinctly different looking hound; much stockier and with a thicker coat. The Mongolian Taiga is an ancient hunting breed known for its tenacity, keen sense of smell, and running ability. Mongolian Xigou was loved by some northern aristocrats in Chinese history who used Mongolian Xigou as a hunting dog and watchdog. Experts believe the Mongolian Xigou originated from one of the oldest dog breeds, the Saluki. Once a top hunting dog in Northeastern Mongolia, this breed is relatively rare today.[7]



  2. ^ a b Morris, Desmond (2008). Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-57076-410-3.
  3. ^ National Purebred Dog Day. "The Earthly Xian". National Purebred Dog Day.
  4. ^ Annette Louviere, DVM. "Shanxi Xigou". Wisdom Panel™ Dog Breeds.
  5. ^ Laura Inman, DVM. "Shandong Xigou". Wisdom Panel™ Dog Breeds.
  6. ^ 伍六柒七. "中國細犬的分類介紹". 雪花新聞.
  7. ^ Annette Louviere, DVM. "Mongolian Xigou". Wisdom Panel™ Dog Breeds.