Sunday, October 12, 2008

Xiao Hai: Portrait of an Aboriginal Dog

One of the most interesting thing I learned during our trip this weekend is the 411 on Taiwan's Aboriginal dogs... All these times I have seen this type of dogs running around the parks or by the river where we run, watching over private lands and homes - never would I have thought that they were purebred doggies... I always just assume they are your typical street dogs... But having visited Shaun's family home in Nantou and getting to see and know their dog, Xiao Hai -- I got to learn more about his kind -- and boy was I wrong!!! Now it makes sense to me why they are very territorial, aloof, and commanding looking but not at all in very threatening ways....
This N That about Xiao Hai's Breed:
The Formosan Mountain Dog, commonly referred to as simply Formosan, and also known as Taiwan Native Dog (è‡şç£ċœŸç‹—) is a breed of dog indigenous to Taiwan. Originally kept by aboriginal Taiwanese as hunting dogs, purebred Formosans are extremely rare. Blood tests showed that they were related to dogs found in Southern Japan and that they were descendants of the South Asian Hunting Dog.

Little known outside of Taiwan, Formosans are recognized with a pedigree from the Taiwan Kennel Club and the International Canine Organization. They are well adapted to the uneven and thickly forested terrain of Taiwan, having become a semi-wild breed prior to the arrival of human Dutch settlers. Notwithstanding these adaptations, Formosans retained the potential to be trained, and are now used as hunting dogs, as guard dogs, as stunt dogs, or simply as companions.

Though one can see them just running wild and free, now and again, at parks or river banks -- Purebred Formaosans can go for upwards of US$1000 each...

FUN FACT About Doggie Names in Taiwan:
For some reason, maybe lack of IMAGINATION, most of the of the dogs in Taiwan are caller, Xiao Hai, Xiao Bai or Xiao Huang (Little Black, Little White or Little Yellow respectively)... they really like to precede names with Xiao -- even when the dogs are hardly on the small side.


Mary E. said...

What an AWESOME dog!!! I'm so glad you posted pictures and the added facts, Rudi. How cool!

wtsrudi said...

just wish I could have touched him... really too cool of a dog.... he also loves to jump into the river and get wet.... just too cool!!!