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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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PAIR OF ANTIQUE CARVED IVORY FOO DOG FIGURES
Apr 20, 10:00 AM CDT
PAIR OF ANTIQUE CARVED IVORY FOO DOG FIGURES
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $300- $500
$3257 Bids
Vintage Hand Carved Natural JADE Chinese Imperial Foo Dogs
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Hand Carved Natural JADE Chinese Imperial Foo Dogs
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$243 Bids
Lot of 2 Ornate and Fully Enameled Chinese Guardians of Evil Foo Dogs
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 Ornate and Fully Enameled Chinese Guardians of Evil Foo Dogs
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$242 Bids
Pair of Chinese Shiwan Ware Foo Dog Statues
Apr 14, 9:00 AM EDT
Pair of Chinese Shiwan Ware Foo Dog Statues
by Montgomery Auction
Est: $300- $500
$702 Bids
Pair of Chinese Handmade Jade tone and Tibetan Silver Foo Dogs
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair of Chinese Handmade Jade tone and Tibetan Silver Foo Dogs
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$61 Bid
CHINESE HAND CARVED JADE FIGURINE OF FOO DOG W JUG
Apr 20, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINESE HAND CARVED JADE FIGURINE OF FOO DOG W JUG
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
A pair of Chinese ceramic glazed foo dogs together with a larger example (H:18-20cm)
Apr 18, 1:00 PM AEST
A pair of Chinese ceramic glazed foo dogs together with a larger example (H:18-20cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD151 Bid
4 Chinese Serpentine Carved Jade Foo Dogs
Apr 17, 5:00 PM EDT
4 Chinese Serpentine Carved Jade Foo Dogs
by Abington Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$1501 Bid
Pair Chinese Hardstone Foo Dogs, H: 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm.)
Apr 16, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair Chinese Hardstone Foo Dogs, H: 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm.)
by Weschler's
Est: $30- $50
$151 Bid
Chinese Bronze Figure of a Foo Lion
Apr 14, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Bronze Figure of a Foo Lion
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $75- $100
$301 Bid
A PAIR OF TIBETAN BRONZE LIONS
Apr 20, 3:00 PM PDT
A PAIR OF TIBETAN BRONZE LIONS
by Mega International Auction
Est: $1,200- $1,700
$7000 Bids
Chinese Foo Dog Guardian Lion Bronze Sculpture
Apr 29, 9:00 PM EDT
Chinese Foo Dog Guardian Lion Bronze Sculpture
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $500- $700
$2900 Bids
Chinese Foo Dog Guardian Lion Bronze Sculpture
Apr 29, 9:00 PM EDT
Chinese Foo Dog Guardian Lion Bronze Sculpture
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $500- $700
$2900 Bids
Two Chinese dogs
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CEST
Two Chinese dogs
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €250- €750
€2500 Bids
2x Bronze Foo-dog
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CEST
2x Bronze Foo-dog
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €450- €1,350
€4500 Bids
Pair Of Green Jace Foo Dogs With Wooden Stands
Apr 24, 9:00 PM EDT
Pair Of Green Jace Foo Dogs With Wooden Stands
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $600- $900
$1900 Bids
LARGE FO DOG, CHINA REPUBLIC
Apr 15, 10:00 AM CEST
LARGE FO DOG, CHINA REPUBLIC
by Historia Auctionata
Est: €0- €0
€1800 Bids
Lot of 2 Early Mini Curio Bronze Pixiu Foo Dog Lions
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 Early Mini Curio Bronze Pixiu Foo Dog Lions
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$60 Bids
2x Marble foo dog
Apr 19, 10:00 AM CEST
2x Marble foo dog
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €80- €240
€800 Bids
A PAIR OF 19TH CENTURY CHINESE CERAMIC FOO DOGS
Apr 17, 10:00 AM BST
A PAIR OF 19TH CENTURY CHINESE CERAMIC FOO DOGS
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £200- £300
£1000 Bids
Pair of Antique Asian Carved Wood Foo Dogs
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Pair of Antique Asian Carved Wood Foo Dogs
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Chinese Scholar Brass Lion Shaped Paper Weight
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Chinese Scholar Brass Lion Shaped Paper Weight
by Luban Antique
Est: $100- $500
$100 Bids
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Pair Chinese Amethyst Like Stone
Apr 19, 11:00 AM PDT
Pair Chinese Amethyst Like Stone
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $200- $300
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Foo Dog Statues


Raffan Kelaher & Thomas

Raffan Kelaher & Thomas

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Leon Gallery

Leon Gallery

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures