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Foo Dog Meaning and Symbolism in Feng Shui

Sally Painter
Fu Dogs at an entrance

The meaning of the fu dog (or foo dog) in feng shui is a symbol of protection. Most importantly, fu dogs are known as the Imperial Guardian Lions.

What Do Foo Dog Statues Look Like?

The Chinese fu dog is an ancient symbol that is supposed to depict a lion, but appears more like a stylized dog. Since lions aren't found in China, the stylized statues are more relatable to a canine, hence the moniker fu dog.

History of Fu Dogs

It's widely accepted that fu dogs were created sometime after real lions were presented to the Han court. According to The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art), earlier depictions of fu dogs were more in keeping with the look of stylized lions like the one featured on The Met website. The featured partial statue had been paired with another one at the gate of the Eastern Han capital, Luoyang. The Eastern Han dynasty (second Han period) was from 25 AD to 220 AD).

Ancient Protectors of Royalty

The mythology that evolved around the fu dogs revered the creatures as the ancient mystical protectors of heaven. The ancient Chinese fu dogs were carved from stone, such as marble or granite. A pair of enormous fu dogs, one female (yin) and the other male (yang), were believed to stand guard on either side of the gates at the entrance to heaven.

Protective Energies of Fu Dogs

Fu dogs are believed to be so fierce that they scare off all malevolent spirits and prevent them from entering the kingdom of heaven. A pair of fu dogs guards the entrances to Chinese palaces, temples and even garden gates. Any place considered important or sacred is usually protected by a pair of fu dogs, one female and one male.

How to Distinguish Fu Dog Genders

You want to place the correct dog gender on the correct side of your door or entrance. Distinguishing which dog is the female and male is easy once you understand the symbols you need to consider.

Female Fu Dog

The female fu dog is depicted with her paw protecting her cub by placing it directly over the pup. The female fu dog symbolizes her maternal instinct to protect her baby. This same devotion, loyalty and protection translates to the home or business she protects.

Female fu dog statue

Male Fu Dog

The male fu dog is depicted with his paw on top of a ball. Some depictions refer to this as a globe. It symbolizes the male fu dog's control over circumstances and how it effects your own private world.

Male fu dog statue

How to Display Fu Dogs

You can take advantage of the fu dog's protective powers and energies by placing a pair at your front door. You need a female (yin) fu dog and a male (yang) fu dog to establish the ideal feng shui balance of chi energies. You want to make sure both dogs are facing out, so they greet all who enter your home and scare off would be thieves, malicious individuals, evil spirits, and negative chi energies. A few quick steps ensure your fu dogs are placed correctly:

  • Stand inside the open doorway, looking outside.
  • The male fu dog should be placed on the left side.
  • The female dog should be placed on the right side.

This means when you're standing outside your home facing the front door, the female is on the left and the male is on the right.

Types of Feng Shui Issues for Fu Dog Remedies

If you have a poison arrow or other type of sha chi (killing chi or negative energy) threatening your home or business, you can use fu dogs to remedy. A staircase or elevator can create sha chi. To remedy, you can place a pair of fu dogs at the bottom of the staircase or elevator doors with one of either side. You can use a pair of fu dogs to:

  • Protect your wealth sector by placing a pair of fu dogs in the southeast sector or corner of your home or business.
  • A pair of fu dogs in front of a cash register will protect your business revenues and protect you from robberies and thefts.
  • A baby nursery or child's bedroom can be protected against illnesses and evil spirits when you place a pair on a dresser, chest or wall shelf.
  • You can also place a pair of fu dog on either side of your driveway entrance or at a garden gate entrance.
  • You don't necessarily need to invest in large statues, you can use smaller ones on a console foyer table or shelf facing the front door.

Auspicious Effects of Fu Dogs

Besides serving as protectors against evil and inauspicious energies from entering your home or business, fu dogs are also considered auspicious symbols of wealth. The pair of protectors can boost and stabilize the positive chi energies in your home or business.

The Fu Dog Means Protection in Feng Shui

You can use fu dogs in your home or business to stave off inauspicious energies. This pair of protectors guard against robberies, thefts, evil spirits, and misfortune.

Foo Dog Meaning and Symbolism in Feng Shui