An ancient breed of China, the Chow Chow may look like a giant teddy bear, but it can tackle you like a real bear thanks to its surprisingly muscular strength. Actually, its name means "puffy lion dog," due to its mane-like facial hair, which can be red, cream, cinnamon, black or even blue. It also has a tongue that turns blue-black as it becomes full grown, similar to the Chinese Shar Pei, its cousin.
Deep-set eyes give this breed a scowl of an expression, which just adds to its regal authority. These dogs are definitely very refined, which explains why statues of them have served as guardians to Buddhist temples, and why their nickname is "Dogs of the Tang Empire."