Antique Chinese Imperial Guardian Foo dogs - Lion. Dogs of Foo are guardian animals that originated in China and can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-211 CE). These lion-like creatures were often placed at the entrances of palaces, temples, and homes to guard and protect. Chinese Guardian Lions or Imperial Guardian Lions are often called the Fu Dogs, and are placed inside or outside buildings to block negative energies.
Foo Dogs are believed as the civilian door gods. They are placed in a pair to provide ultimate protection, guard against evil spirits and harmful people, nourishes chi that enters homes, bring in happy blessings.Their protective powers are deemed symbolic rather than actual and they are said to keep the bad chi away. The female represents yin, and symbolically protects the people dwelling inside the home, while the male statue, representing yang, protects the structure itself. They're actually descended from Chinese lions, which are known as shi and considered the king of all beasts. "Foo dog" is just what westerners started calling them when they first encountered statues of the lions in Japan, where they are referred to as komainu. The Chinese Foo Dog is thought to be a mix between the ancient Chow Chow and European hunting dogs, or a link between the Chinese Wolf and the Chow. It is an ancient breed, possibly named after the Chinese city of Fuzhou (Foochow). The Standard Chinese Foo Dog was originally bred to guard Buddhist temples.