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Chinese Foo Dog Statues

Chinese foo dog, foo lion, or guardian lion statues can often be seen in pairs guarding the entrance to a household, or as small figures within the interior of a room. Foo dogs are inspired by the majestic lion, but were often compared to the lion-like appearing dog breeds: Chow-Chow and Shih Tzu.

Foo dogs are meant to be guardians that ward off evil and ill fortune. Traditionally used as guardians of palaces and imperial households, the rank of the official to whom the statue guarded was discernable by the number of curls on the foo dog’s head. The lesser the rank, the fewer the curls.

While foo dog statues might appear as individual statues, more often they come in pairs. One statue usually represents the male and one the female. One is the yang, and the other is the yin. The male yang is usually depicted with a wide-open mouth and playing with a round sphere representative of the earth. The female yin is shown with a small cub and a closed mouth. Together, they are a sacred Buddhist symbol believed to protect both exterior and interior of the home.


Quick Facts

  • The male foo dog’s open mouth and the female’s closed mouth represent the Buddhist sacred sound, “om”
  • In Chinese, these statues are never actually referred to as dogs. They are actually called “shi-shi," meaning “stone lion”
  • When you have a pair of foo dog statues, the traditional placement requires the female with the cub to be on the left and the male with the earth sphere to be on the right

Recommended Items at Auction

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Vintage Chinese Carved Stone Foo Dog Statues
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Carved Stone Foo Dog Statues
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
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Solid Tibetan Silver KYLIN Temple Guardian FOO DOGS
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Solid Tibetan Silver KYLIN Temple Guardian FOO DOGS
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
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Vintage Hand Carved Natural JADE Chinese Imperial Foo Dogs
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Vintage Hand Carved Natural JADE Chinese Imperial Foo Dogs
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
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Pair of Antique Chinese Carved Jade Foo Dogs
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Pair of Antique Chinese Carved Jade Foo Dogs
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
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Pair of Chinese Large Glazed Pottery Foo Dog
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Pair of Chinese Large Glazed Pottery Foo Dog
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Est: $100- $1,000
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19th Cent. Chinese Jade Buddhist Lion Carving
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
19th Cent. Chinese Jade Buddhist Lion Carving
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Est: $500- $5,000
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Chinese Carved Jade Foo Dog Sculpture
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Carved Jade Foo Dog Sculpture
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$602 Bids
Chinese bronze Foo dog handle, 18th/19th century, 11cm long
Nov 06, 10:00 AM AEDT
Chinese bronze Foo dog handle, 18th/19th century, 11cm long
by Leski Auctions Pty Ltd
Est: AUD100- AUD200
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Hardstone Fudog Sculpture
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Hardstone Fudog Sculpture
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Est: $10- $1,000
$72 Bids
Cast Hard Stone Classical Lion Garden Statues, Bronzed
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
Cast Hard Stone Classical Lion Garden Statues, Bronzed
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Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
Antique Chinese Bronze Foo Lions on Stands
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Chinese Bronze Foo Lions on Stands
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $500- $5,000
$2001 Bid
Chinese Foo Dogs
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Chinese Foo Dogs
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Antique Lion Head Coal Copper Scuttle
Oct 31, 1:00 PM EDT
Antique Lion Head Coal Copper Scuttle
by Time Auction
Est: $50- $100
$251 Bid
Chinese Foo Dogs
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Chinese Foo Dogs
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
PAIR OF CHINESE STYLE VERDIGRIS METAL FOO DOGS
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
PAIR OF CHINESE STYLE VERDIGRIS METAL FOO DOGS
by Potomack Company
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
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A Paul Storr Silver Figural Covered Sugar Bowl, London, 1825 Marks: (lion passan
Nov 16, 10:00 AM CST
A Paul Storr Silver Figural Covered Sugar Bowl, London, 1825 Marks: (lion passan
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5001 Bid
two ivory carvings, China, around 1920-30, Foo dogs
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
two ivory carvings, China, around 1920-30, Foo dogs
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €200- €500
€2000 Bids
CHINESE WHITE JADE LION ORNAMENT
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
CHINESE WHITE JADE LION ORNAMENT
by Ander's Auction
Est: $1,600- $2,000
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Antique Tin Circus Wagon Lion Cage
Oct 30, 9:00 AM CDT
Antique Tin Circus Wagon Lion Cage
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Est: $50- $300
$250 Bids
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Oct 30, 9:00 AM CDT
Lion Uniform advertising doll-Gulf Oil
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Est: $150- $300
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A Chinese wood 'Buddhist' lion seal
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A Chinese wood 'Buddhist' lion seal
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £500- £700
£5000 Bids
A Chinese celadon jade carving of lion
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A Chinese celadon jade carving of lion
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £1,800- £2,000
£1,8000 Bids
A pair of Chinese pottery green glazed Guardian Lions
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A pair of Chinese pottery green glazed Guardian Lions
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £150- £250
£1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Foo Dog Statues


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

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Hermann Historica GmbH

Akiba Antiques

Akiba Antiques