Formosan Mountain Dog

The Taiwanese Dog, better known as the Formosan Mountain Dog, commonly referred to as simply Formosan, is a native breed of Taiwan. It is also known as the Taiwanese Dog/Canis or Taiwanese Native Dog. It is mainly an outdoors dog, as it is well used to the thick and dense forests of Taiwan. They therefore also evolved as a somewhat wild breed, but the foreign colonizers who came in the country thereafter tamed them. This shows that the dog has retained its ability to be subservient and trained as and when required. Contemporarily, they are also used as pets, guard dogs, hunting dogs, rescue dogs and stun dogs.

Their classification just within two small and one medium kind, of the two small kinds, one is approximately 30 cm in height, whilst the other is nearly 40 cm. The former was however, not discovered during a research study done in 1976 by Dr. Sung Yung, Yi of the National Taiwan University. The variety of this breed which is classified as medium has a height of 50 cm. it is also attributed with a thin but robustly built frame, with an expansive chest, and big ears. Its colors vary from yellowish brown, black to earthy yellow. Its nose is always black in colour. The Formosan has been described by Mr. Ming Jie, Xu of the Formosan Do and Guard Dogs Breeding Center and Dr. Sung as typically having almond shaped eyes, a black coating on the tongue, a firm jaw, thin alert ears, a triangular face and a sickle-like tail, which is covered with a thick spread of hair, which is used to keep the belly (which is hairless) warm. If long enough, it may even be used to ward off insects.

A Formosan is known foremost for its loyalty and protectiveness, and then for its heightened sense of movement, which it expertly detects. It is also known for being brave and courage. It works well in packs and teams, especially while hunting. It is also said that it is not very easy to form a rapport with the dog if someone else already has ownership over it. A purebred Formosan is rare these days, and hence is considered very valuable. It was formerly used as a hunting dog by the aboriginal Taiwanese.

Due to its rarity, the dog used to mate with its siblings, which would marginally increase the risk of a genetic disease setting in. Therefore, they were made to mate with other breeds, as a result of which contemporary day Formosans do not much resemble those of olden times. While a lot of people want to get back the original breed and think that crossbreeding is one of the biggest threats to the Formosan, others maintain that the difference in looks is merely a case of natural evolution over the years. Formosan mean was never a delicacy in Taiwan, and was consumed normally in winters only. It was also medically known to help in keeping the body warm. Due to insistence from animal rights groups, and in a bid to better the perception of the country, the government of Taiwan banned the consumption of dog meat.