Also known as the Formosan Mountain Dog, the Taiwan Dog is a rare breed, difficult to find outside its native country. He has been used for many jobs, such as stunt work, guarding, or simply as a family companion, proving his incredible versatility and adaptability. Extremely loyal and boasting a keen sense, he is willing to do whatever task his people ask him to perform. Adding his boldness and strong instincts to protect his family, it is the sum of all those traits that makes him a great addition to any household.
Origins of the Taiwan Dog
With their genetics tracing back around 20,000 years ago, the Taiwan Dog is considered one of the most ancient dog breeds across the world. The South Asian Hunting dogs are their progenitors, native to the country’s central mountainous regions and served as faithful comrades of primitive hunters in the wild forests.
Various scholars made a cooperative study and visited different local tribes that proved the Taiwan Dog came from the South Asian hunting dogs.
Today, the Taiwan dog is valued as a significant part of the nation’s historical and cultural heritage. Purebred Taiwan Dogs are incredibly rare and primarily kept for the conservation programs of the breed.
Characteristics of the Taiwan Dog
Height: 17-20 inches
Weight: 26-40 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9-13 years
The Taiwan Dog is a medium-sized dog, with a triangular head, with prominent thin ears sitting erect on the sides of his skull. He is a well-balanced, muscular build, though not in any way appears to be powerful. He has dark brown, almond-shaped eyes, often providing him a curious look. Meanwhile, his nose is medium-sized, with wide nostrils, typically black. As for his coat, it is short, harsh, and tight-fitting to his body. He comes in various patterns and an array of colors, from white, black, fawn, to brindle.
The Taiwan Dog is a true family companion that loves his family and will do everything to protect them. For his long history, he has been in the wild with hunters, and that exposure developed his keen sense, always aware of what’s happening around him. However, that also made him somewhat aloof to people he doesn’t know and can be seen sitting and observing them. Proper socialization is needed to balance out his intense devotion and instinct to guard his family.
With his lineage, the Taiwan Dog has adapted well to nature and should be allowed to explore outdoors with supervision as much as possible. Just make sure to keep him in during cold weather. Despite millennia of being in the forest, the breed doesn’t handle extreme temperatures pretty well.
Highly intelligent and blessed with incredible problem-solving skills, he responds to commands well and is very trainable to do different tasks. He can have a willful or stubborn streak, though, but it can easily be solved with a firmer and more consistent approach. If properly trained and socialized, his character shines, allowing him to excel as an outstanding working dog, watchdog, or family pet.
A close look at a Taiwan Dog
Caring for the Taiwan Dog
The Taiwan Dog is a relatively low maintenance breed, only requiring weekly brushing to keep his coat in check. A slicker brush is recommended as it helps spread his natural skin olds and make his coat sleeker and healthier. Bathing is rarely necessary and should only be done if he gets foul-smelling or dirty.
Check his ears for dirt or any debris and wipe them clean to prevent any infection. Trim his nails every few weeks or before they get too long to avoid painful tears, splitting, or cracking. If you hear his nails click against the floor, it is a sign that you need to get the nail clipper. Then, be sure to maintain his oral health. Use vet-approved toothpaste and dog toothbrush to prevent any gum disease.
As Taiwan Dogs have quite a high energy level, he needs at least an hour of walk each day plus active play sessions to keep him satisfied. He is an inherent love for nature and occasional hiking adventures from time to time aside from the usual walks around the park.
Taiwan Dogs are generally healthy but can be susceptible to common health concerns, such as luxating patella, hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disorders, and sarcoptic mange. As with any other dog breeds, regular consultations with the vet, proper immunizations, and parasite control can help ensure he lives a long, healthy life.