What Are Chinese Guardian Lions?-Fu Dogs/Stone Lions
The Chinese are known for many things, and if you are traveling to China, the range of cultural aspects and its overall richness will impress you a great deal.
One thing that stands out significantly about the Chinese is their guard dog or the Fu dogs. In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about the Fu dogs.
What Is The Meaning Of Fu Dogs
What do stone lions symbolize? The Fu dogs, also called the Fo/ Foo dogs or the Chinese Guardian dogs, imperial guardian lions.refer to the mythical dogs that look like lions. They are important protectors. As a result, the statues of the Fu dogs are found in most parts of China, and they flank the gates and entrances to palaces, temples, homes, official buildings, and also tombs.
Fu dogs have their origins in the protective symbols of the lions that traveled to China with the Buddhists. At the time, many of the Buddhist temples had thee guardian lions at the gates. But with the lion not being indigenous to China, the fu dogs would come to resemble these mythical creatures that look like dogs and also lions. The Fu dogs are poised for their ferocious stance, especially as they stand up poised in a rather ferocious stance, with their front paws or just one paw just up in the air, ready for attack.
Chinese Guardian Lions Feng Shui
Generally, gates, entryways, and doors are considered sacred portals, and this is considered the standard belief in cultures across the world. But in Feng shui, the doors are not only important structures, but they also represent places where and how energy gets into spaces. In most parts of China, therefore, fu dogs are found everywhere, including in China’s Forbidden City. These mythical creatures are not only a symbol of protection but are also symbols of safety and good luck for the people that inhabited the spaces the dogs defended/ protected.
In Chinese Feng Shui, the fu dogs are considered the most powerful mythical protectors, and they are also great additions to the home. In this regard, you’d need to position the fu dogs in your home’s front door. In this regard, the Fu digs are placed on both sides of the doorway, one on the exterior to face out and also facing away from the home’s interior. The fu dogs are ideally meant to be in pairs rather than on the floor.
The feng shui dogs are also placed on raised platforms and raised above the ground to waist height. Also, the feng shui don’t need to be very big, but they would have to be sized proportionately in relation to the size of the building or the space the fu dogs were meant to protect.
To serve their purpose well, the fu dogs are always in pairs on both sides of the entryway. The pair of fu dogs represent the yin and yang, or rather, the masculine and feminine energies. The male dog is the yang, and it is often depicted with the dog’s paw resting on top of a ball. The female fu dog or the yin is the one that is often depicted as sitting or having young offspring. And when standing in the doorway looking out, the male fu dog would be standing on the right while the female stands on the left of the door.
So, while you may be tempted to keep just one fu dog, you should know that the fu dogs should be kept in pairs, especially when used for feng shui adjustment. But if you are procuring a singular fu dog as a decorative item, then it will be fine to have just one fu dog as a décor item, but not as an adjustment object for feng shui.
Fu Dogs and the Five Elements’ Application
These mythical protective dogs are often made of different materials, from ceramic and stone to bronze and wood. They are also available in various colors. These colors are fun and attractive, but what you need to know about the dogs is that you could also make use of the 5 elements to determine the best fu dogs for you. The elements include:
- Water Elements – these are the dark-colored or black-colored fu dogs that are known for their ability to improve your wisdom, career, and also your social connections.
- Wood Elements – these fu dogs are blue or green-toned, and they bring in the features of the wood elements as they are believed to symbolize new beginnings and growth. Most pairs of the green fu dogs made of jade are auspicious, and they invite good luck.
- Earth Elements – these fu dogs are made of ceramic, which is an earth element. The dogs are in brown and yellow, and they symbolize overall wellness and nourishment for the family.
- Fire Elements – these are the red or the fiery-colored fu dogs, and they symbolize passion, inspiration, and also improvement of one’s reputation.
- Metal Elements – the fu dogs that are made of metallic elements such as bronze or the ones in the color white symbolize the energies of organization, precision, and also clarity. They will bring these elements to your home too.
Fu Dogs History
The Fu dogs are believed to have originated from the Buddhists who had traveled to China, even as they introduced Buddhism to China. They are depicted ad guardian lions according to Chinese mythology, and the idea of the guard dog was introduced to the Chinese during the reign of the Han Dynasty. It was introduced to China through the Silk Road, and the lions were first seen in Central Asian states. These recordings are from between 25 and 220CE.
In one event in the 87CE, an envoy to China from Parthia was offered a lion and also an ostrich to the Han Court. From that time, the lion was associated with the Han Chinese and, more importantly, a protective symbol. The Buddhist version of the lion introduced to China during the Han dynasty was the protector of the dharma, and the lions were important aspects of ancient Chinese art from as early as 208BC. These lions were slowly used as the guardians of the Imperial government’s harm. Overall, the Lions were considered regal gifts that guarded the gates of the emperors, and that is what they have been used for since.
In Chinese mythology, the lion was one of the important or divine beasts carrying the ability or, rather, the power to drive away evil spirits. And according to the Chinese lore, the stone lions had the power to cleanse the poison arrows or the Shar Chi, as well as the negative forces and pain from sickness, sharp corners, imposed authorities, jarring structures like traffic lights, and obelisks, and even busy crowds.
The belief and the ability of the fu dogs to drive off the negative spirits and negative energies are the reasons why the placement of the fu dogs mattered a great deal in the Buddhist temples. This would then lead to the spread of the practice throughout the nation, including the palaces, mausoleums, and other important residences.
Foo Dog Origin
Foo dogs are known as lions, and they originated in China. They are also known as the Shi or shishi meaning stone lions. They resemble Chow Chow and the Shih Tzu dogs, and this is what led them to be called the foo dogs.
These dogs are believed to have been brought into China by emissaries and ambassadors from the center of Asia like Yuezhi and Samarkand. They were first recorded as the Asiatic lions in the Han Dynasty’s Courts in the 2nd century BCE. They were introduced by the silk road.
When Were Guardian Lions Invented?
The guardian lions were first recorded in 87CE after an emissary from Parthia brought a live lion along with the ostrich were given as tributes to the Han dynasty.
The earliest of the guardian lions were displayed in a variety of poses, styles, and details. These would then be formalized, and the dogs were made into commonly-acceptable standardized rules by the Ming and the Qing dynasties.
Fu Dogs Placement
In Feng Shui, the Fu dogs are placed up front on the door on the outside. The female fu dog (with offspring) sits on the left of the door when you are looking outside from the inside of the house, while the male fu dog sits on the right with its paw resting on a ball.
How To Place Fu Dogs/Where To Place Fu Dogs
As mentioned above, you’d have to place the Fu dogs on each side of your entryway or doorway, on the outside. The dogs face away from your home’s interior. They are often placed in pairs, and you will notice the foo dogs on platforms, often raised above the ground to a maximum waist height length.
The dual placement of the foo dogs is essential for a balance of energy between the good and the bad, and they help to harmonize and create a sense of harmony and great fortune. It’s also important to pay attention to the color of the foo dogs for maximum benefits.