The Shanxi Xigou is a rare sighthound breed that originated in China. These majestic dogs are skilled hunters, dependable guard dogs, and devoted companions.
Asian and Oceanian
Shanxi Xigou History
Also known as the Xian Hound, the Shanxi Xigou is an ancient breed from China. How ancient? Well, 2500-year-old paintings from the tomb of a Qin Dynasty prince feature dogs that look like the Shanxi. The breed gets its name from the Chinese god Zhang Xian, who often takes the form of a dog.
Some experts believe the Shanxi Xigou is the original sighthound breed. Emperors used these speedy dogs to locate and track prey—a job they performed brilliantly for centuries. But when the Chinese government banned hunting by citizens, the Shanxi lost its usefulness. Today, the breed remains rare. That said, the China Kennel Union is attempting to restore its population.
Shanxi Xigou Traits
Shanxi Xigou are large, majestic dogs built for speed and endurance. They have a slender, muscular build and an elegant, balanced appearance.
Coat and Coloring
Shanxi have short, smooth, silky coats with feathering on the legs and back of the thighs and longer hair on the ears and tail. All coat colors are allowed—though white, black, blue, silver, and red are the most common. Some Shanxi have brindle patterned coats.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Shanxi have long, narrow heads and a raised bridge on their nose, reminiscent of a sheep's nose. Their ears are long, thin, and hang close to the skull. A long, arched neck, streamlined body, and slim waist give these pups a graceful overall appearance. Their long tails sit low and have a curve or ring at the end.
Shanxi Xigou Temperament
These noble, independent, often aloof dogs are devoted to their humans but are often wary of strangers. In addition to being skilled hunters, they make excellent guard dogs.
Shanxi Xigou Care
Shanxi Xigou thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). To maintain their slender physique, keep an eye on their food intake and measure out portions to avoid overfeeding. And don't forget to account for treats. As a guideline, they should make up no more than 10% of a dog's daily calories.
Brushing to remove loose fur and the occasional bath are all that's needed to keep a Shanxi's coat looking its best. To prevent ear infections, check their ears regularly and clean them as needed to remove wax build-up and debris. Nail trims should also be part of every dog's grooming routine. If your pup's nails grow too long, they can cause pain and potentially lead to problems running or walking.
Lastly, good dental hygiene will support your dog's overall health. Dental disease is one of the most common health conditions in adult dogs. Left untreated, it can contribute to other serious issues. So, in addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.
Shanxi are active dogs that need daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Showing off their speed inside fenced yards and taking long walks on a leash are both great ways for them to burn energy. These athletic dogs also make fine candidates for dog sports—such as agility or rally.
These intelligent, self-reliant dogs can be stubborn. But consistent obedience training using positive reinforcement tends to work well for them. It's also important to socialize your pup when they're young, as this helps them develop into a predictable, well-mannered adult dog.