You can get almost any dog in America these days — including some wonderful mixed breeds like labradoodles. But a few popular dog breeds started out in China before gaining popularity in the United States. Most countries are known for their own specific breeds, but some of the cuddliest come from China. It was common for Chinese royalty to have "sleeve dogs" to keep them warm. China is also known for its wrinkly pooches whose saggy faces are just adorable.
At one time, it was feared that some Chinese breeds would go extinct because communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong had condemned pet ownership as elitist, according to Slate. Science Daily reported that the beloved, wrinkly Shar Pei breed was almost lost in this time period.
Fortunately the country's special breeds have flourished in the years since. It's now common to find them as pets in both China and across the world. Many of the dogs we've grown up seeing in dog parks, on social media, and even in our own homes are breeds that stem from the Chinese. These 11 popular dog breeds all have roots in China.