The Chongqing Dog Project is the first breeding program to establish the Chongqing dog within the United States. The Chongqing dog is an ancient breed that's thought to have been around for over 2,000 years since the Han Dynasty in China, but recently, numbers had dropped to under 300 dogs overall. 

So a preservation effort was started to begin to rebuild the breed, and since then, there's been a lot of breed recognition, effort made to establish a breed club for the dogs in China, and an interest in the breed that's been spreading across the world. 

The Chongqing dog comes in three sizes. The small size is going to be about 35 centimeters or less, the medium size from 35 to 45 centimeters at the withers, and the large size, 45 centimeters or up from the withers. 

And each different size is used to hunt prey appropriate for that size. The smaller dogs will hunt rabbits, woodchucks, stuff like that. The medium-sized dogs can hunt badgers, foxes. And the larger dogs can actually hunt deer or boar. 

- Chongqing dog is named from the province in China where it originates from, which is the Chongqing province. - [Laura] The Chongqing dog was bred as a working dog, a functional working dog that had to be able to do a job and perform it well, so they're bred to physically be able to meet the demands of a hunting dog that's active, that has good endurance, good stamina, and is very powerful, and also to carry the recognizable traits that define the breed, the upright, pointed, triangular-shaped ears and the bamboo shoot tail.

 The bamboo shoot tail, it'll start very, very thick at the base and then taper down to a point at the end. - The Chongqing dog was primarily used by farmers to eliminate predators and small vermin.

The larger dogs were used as somewhat of a catch dog to hunt larger boar and deer. The Chongqing dog is capable of working singly or in a pack with multiple dogs to take down larger prey. - The Chongqing dog serves as a hunting dog. It also serves as a watchdog for farmers and their families at home. 

It's a very alert, attentive dog. It will alert to any visitors or intruders that show up at your home uninvited, but it's not necessarily an extremely strong guard dog, so very much of a watch dog, it's very alert, it has a very high prey drive. 

Not so much of a guard dog as in having a very high defense drive. The defense drive on the dogs is moderately low, meaning if somebody shows up and breaks into your house and starts beating you over the head, your dog's not necessarily going to come running to your defense, but the watchfulness and the alert nature is very high, meaning your dog's probably gonna recognize the intruder's presence before they ever actually make it into your house. 

The first standard for the Chongqing dog was written by the Chinese Chongqing Dog Club, and with that group, an effort was started to preserve the breed, to start tracking pedigrees, registration, and recognition for the breed itself. 

With the advancement of that, the breed has moved to look for recognition from the CKU, which is the Chinese Kennel Union. With that progress being made, the standard had to be rewritten to meet FCI standards, or FCI guidelines, I should say. With the rewriting of the standard, it was changed to two separate breeds, so the Chongqing dog was divided to one type of dog that was recognized with a larger head type, a wider, more square muzzle, and an underbite, a more powerful, compact, strong, muscled body, and that dog is called the Chongqing dog.

The other variation on the breed is a dog with a narrower head type and a leaner body that is much more functional as a working dog. It's a little more lean, a little more athletic, has a little bit more endurance, and that breed has been classified as a Chuandong Hound. So basically, we started with one breed that did have two notable differences in head type and function, and with the revisions or rewriting of the standard for FCI guidelines, it's now been split into two different breeds. 

The Chongqing dog is a working breed of dog. They've been bred for decades for natural form and function to do a job, which means that the dogs that were bred together were the dogs that were physically fit and able to best perform in the areas they were wanted to perform in, but they weren't necessarily bred to an ideal, exact standard. This means that while you have a good working dog, you will see a lot of variation in the type. 

You'll see variation in head, you'll see variation in the body and the structure, and there's not nearly the amount of consistency in a newly established, in a breed that's being newly established, being bred to a standard, that you would see later on, once you have several generations of consistent type being bred into them. 

What you do have is a good assortment of solid working dogs with good drive that are very easily able to do the job they were bred to do, but it's going to take several generations of selective breeding, choosing the dogs that most ideally fit the standard, to be able to narrow that down to where you produce litters that consistently produce one type of dog, visually. 

So right now, you can breed one litter and you can get some dogs with wide, square heads and square muzzles. You can also get some dogs in the same litter that have the hound-type heads, you know, narrower heads, longer muzzles, and the leaner body structure as well. 

The beginning of the process for registration with the FCI right now through the CKU allows for each breeder to individually look at both standards, evaluate their breeding stock, and make the selection whether their dogs fit the standard for Chongqing dogs or fit the standard for Chuandong hounds. Now, once they make that selection to register their individual dogs, beyond that, every dog that is produced by that initial registered dog is registered under that same breed name. The CKU standard calls for a breed that is sturdy and compact, very lean, very muscular, and extremely powerful. 

In fact, they're often called "explosive" in definitions of their character. The recognizable attributes for the breed are upright, triangular-shaped ears, what's called a bamboo shoot tail, which is very, very thick at the base and then tapers to a point at the tip, and often, a very sparse hair coat as well to help with cooling during the summer, or when it's hot and the dog is actively hunting.

Slightly undershot in bite, very wide, square, and powerful in the muzzle and head, but also balanced. One of the key points in the ideal dog that we're looking to produce with the Chongqing Dog Project is a recognizably powerful, correct dog that's not over-bred to the point where extreme type becomes detrimental to the dog's health and function. - [Richard] One of the things that originally drew us to this breed was finding a smaller dog that possessed the presence and substance of a larger Molosser breed. 

- And we thought it'd be a very challenging and rewarding project to become involved with the breed, to do a lot more research on them, to import the first ones to come to the United States with the purpose of beginning to establish the breed here. 

There's a lot of work that'll go into it, and it'll be very time-consuming and... (laughing) It'll be very time-consuming and take a lot to get there, but it'll be very rewarding in the long run as well. With the Chongqing Dog Project, we believe that teamwork is vitally important to our success. The overall project is a collaborative effort between ourselves and a small number of other dedicated breeders who all participate together in starting to establish a well-bred, healthy, very consistent foundation for the Chongqing dogs within the United States. 

As part of the way that we do this, from each litter that's bred, we will select our very best puppies, the ones that are most physically representative of correct breed type to the new standard, as well as strong in temperament and characteristics and the drive that the dogs should have, and we use those to move our breeding program forward a next generation. The remaining dogs from each litter are placed as pets. 

They're still wonderful companions, they may not be quite as ideal in certain physical areas of type or bite, or small areas where we feel we can select a better dog to move the program forward with, but they're still wonderful companions. 

So those pets are placed into companion homes on spay-neuter agreements without breeding rights, and the best dogs from each generation are used to move our program forward another degree towards consistency in the type that we're producing. 

We started with three original imports into the Chongqing Dog Project, and two of them were brought over to the United States already bred to one of the top dogs in China, so beyond those original three dogs, we have another three retained puppies that are here with us, and several more retained dogs within the program that are placed with other new breeders and members of the Chongqing Dog Project. - We do have plans over the coming years to import new dogs from China, to add to the bloodlines we currently have, and to diversify our pedigrees. - Chongqing dogs are amazing pets. 

They are attentive, alert, and very eager to please. They're also very unique. They are independent, and if there's something that catches their attention and triggers that prey drive, they may forget you exist for a little while while they go check it out, but they'll always be back to want some more playtime and some snuggles from you. The Chongqing breed is a dominant dog breed overall, with each other or with other dogs. They're not necessarily dominant and overly assertive towards their humans They love their people. 

But with other dogs, if another dog wants to posture in a dominant manner towards one of the Chongqings, they generally won't take it for very long and they won't back down. Now, with any other dog that's not extremely dominant and gets in their face, they usually have a very easygoing relationship with no problem. 

- [Richard] Well, after many years of breeding for function, there are not many known health issues in the breed. The life expectancy of the Chongqing dog is approximately 15 years. - The Chongqing dog can thrive in a variety of living or home environments. 

They are an active breed, so I do know of people who have them in apartments or smaller, city-type of residences and dwellings, but those people do provide stimulation mentally and a lot of exercise for their dogs. They thrive also in areas where they have a lot of room to run, open fields, farmlands, pastures, stuff like that, where they can be active, which is what they really love to do. 

As with any breed, you do wanna train and socialize your Chongqing puppy. Socialization is always important. The Chongqing is a naturally confident and outgoing breed. They usually meet new people very easily with their head up and their tail wagging, and love to make new friends, but training is a vital part of having a respectful, well-mannered dog as well, so getting your puppy out early, getting a lot of socialization, meeting a lot of new people, and learning good manners is a key part to raising a well-mannered adult.

Our black male, his registered name is Dudon, is a three-year-old fella that we imported directly from China. He's awesome in his type. He has a lot of substance, he's massive, he's got this amazing square little head, and a gorgeous expression. 

He's very, very quirky in his character. He loves to run, he loves to play, he loves to have fun, and when I call him, he'll always come. He's the one dog that will generally always come running back to see what I want and get some more loving before he's off booking it to have another adventure. Now the female that we brought over, one of the first two females, Cami, she is an independent spirit. 

If there's something out there that she thinks she can find, shes' going after it. Maybe and Behind are going, "Hey, come back, come back!" Doesn't really matter until she's done checking everything out. 

When she's ready, she'll come back to me, kind of like a cat like that, but once she's snuggled up with you or in the house or on leash, you're introducing her to new people, she's the first one to be right there greeting them, her tail's wagging, her little tongue's flapping, and she's sharing kisses all the way around. 

She loves attention, she loves to be loved on, but if you give her the chance to do what she's bred to do, which is run around and hunt and try to find something fuzzy to chase, she's all in. 

That's 100% what her focus is on. - The Chongqing Dog Project is really my wife's passion, and together, we've decided to pursue it as a team, and as a result, I've got to meet some really great dogs.

You know, it really has been something that we started looking into probably four years ago, and I think we researched the breed for two years before we decided to buy our first dog, and then the dog I decided I wanted to buy, the best dog that I could find, wasn't available for sale yet, so we put a deposit down on her, waited another half-year before we bought her, and another couple months after that for her to be bred before she came to the US, so it's been a lot of time and effort and work that's gone into it already, and very rewarding. 

I tell you, very exciting when the dogs first got off the plane and we got to meet them in person, it was absolutely awesome, and since then, it's been really exciting getting to know them better, watching them bond with us, and starting to move forward watching the next generation that we've produced here start to grow up, and having a goal and a vision to work towards and look forward to over the next 10 to 15 years of really seeing these dogs widespread across the US and recognized by a number of people as well. (dramatic Chinese music)  

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