How to Train a Taiwan Dog

The Taiwan Dog is extremely faithful to his master, keen in sense, alert in movement, bold and fearless. He is a medium-sized dog with triangular head, almond shaped eyes, thin pricked ears and a sickle tail.

The Taiwan Dog’s intuitive nature and connection to its master were most likely honed from generations of collaboratively hunting small game in the mountains. This also means that they are extremely responsive to commands and easily trained. This breed can be reserved towards strangers and are fearless in protecting their family. Therefore, socialization for the Taiwan dog is necessary to mediate its strong instinct to protect its master and family. They should be an integral part of the family household and not an outside dog as they excel with daily interaction and socialization. 


Taiwan Dogs have been genetically traced back between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest and most primitive dog breeds in the world. They are the descendants of the South Asian hunting dogs indigenous to the central mountainous regions of Taiwan and was the loyal companion of the ancient hunter in the wild forest.

Scholars from the National Taiwan University, Japan Gifu University and Nagoya University carried out a cooperative study in 1980 on the subject of the native Taiwan Dog. They visited twenty-nine communities of local inhabitants and as a result, it was confirmed that the present Taiwan Dog is indeed a descendant of the South Asian hunting dogs.

This ancient breed has been an integral part of Taiwan’s historical and cultural landscape for thousands of years. Now, they are popular all across the island as a watch and companion dog.

Also known as Formosan Mountain Dogs, they have gained popularity in America due to the rescue efforts that have transplanted abandoned Taiwan Dog mixes to the U.S. However, purebred Taiwan Dogs are extremely rare and mostly kept for conservation efforts in Taiwan.

Quick Facts

Temperament: loyal / intelligent / Versatile

Height: 17-20 inches

Weight: 24-60 pounds

Life Expectancy: 9-13 years

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Other than age-related degenerative conditions, the Taiwan Dog is a healthy breed with no known health issues. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.


The Taiwan Dog’s short, two-layer coat requires minimal grooming. A weekly brushing and the occasional bath will suffice. Dental care is recommended, as like other breeds, to prevent tartar build-up. Their nails should be trimmed as needed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection.


This breed should be exercised regularly and entertained with new games. Options for exercise could include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, or retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.


To curb his intense protective instincts, it is strongly recommended to socialize and train your Taiwan Dog. He will be happiest when he is an integral part of the family household.


The Taiwan Dog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.