You’ve probably seen a pair of dog-shaped sculptures guarding the entrance to a Chinese restaurant before. Because they look like Chow dogs, lions have been called “Foo Dogs” or “Fu Dogs,” not dogs. The name may come from the Chinese word “Fó,” which means “Buddha,” or “Fu,” which could mean “prosperity.” The Chinese call animal sculptures “sh” or “shsh,” which means “stone lion.” Regardless of what you call them, they are universally regarded as symbols of home safety.
The Origins of the “Foo Dog”
Since 206 BC, people have used carved stone lions to guard the entrances to their homes and holy spaces. People thought that these huge monsters had magical protective powers that they used to keep the locals safe. Whether they were real or not, it was said that the roaring lions would keep thieves and other bad spirits from coming onto the property. The animals also showed how wealthy and powerful their owners were.
Chinese Foo Dogs come from lion sculptures, which were put up at the entrances of temples to bring luck and safety. Usually, the lions were carved out of marble, granite, iron, and bronze. For one thing, a Foo Dog’s face looks eviler than a normal lion’s. The normally big, wide-open eyes have a small hole in the middle of them.
The manes are long and flowing, and the bodies are carved and studded with diamonds. Because these sculptures look creepy, they can keep bad things away. Because they cost a lot of money, these lions were associated with the rich. Concrete and resin parts are used to make a lot of lions and Foo Dog sculptures so that people of all income levels can buy them.
Foo Dogs and Their Behavior
Most of the time, male and female Foo Dogs live together. Having just one Foo Dog in your home is not a good idea. “Yin” in Chinese philosophy means how opposing forces balance each other, while “yang” means masculine dominance.
The male Foo Dog is thought to protect the property and buildings, while the female Foo Dog is said to protect the people who live in a house or building. You can tell what gender a Foo Dog is by what you put under its paw. The male model is shown holding a small ball representing the whole planet.
People think the mother bear, who always keeps an eye on her cubs or puppies, symbolizes life and nature. A real Foo Dog usually has one mouth open and the other closed. You could see this as a symbol for the in and out of life and the sound “om.” “Om” is the beginning of life and everything else for people who meditate or do yoga.
Foo Dog Placement
It might seem obvious to buy a pair of Foo Dogs to protect your home, but there are rules about where they can be put. From a frontal view, the woman should be on the left and the man on the right. They should never be put in the same room together or separated by a wall.
The best spot is right in front of a house or building’s front door. Also, they should be lifted off the ground. Statues are usually put on pedestals. Also, they should be the same height if possible. Nobody should like one Foo Dog more than another. Folklore says that evil spirits will come into your home if you don’t put things in the right place.
Even though they aren’t bought for their magical protection powers anymore, Foo Dogs are still popular as collectibles and decorations. As long as you think of them as a way to decorate and protect your house, they come in every size, from huge front yard guards to small bookends. And who’s to say that they don’t keep bad energy from spreading? A pair of Foo Dogs is a good way to make your house safer.