This is a very old ancient breed and its history is not very well documented. It is believed, that they are descendants of the South Asian hunting dogs that lived with local Taiwanese tribes in central mountains of Taiwan. These first Formosan Mountain dogs helped people with hunting and protecting against predators.
2) Almost extinct
There are four catastrophes, that made this breed almost extinct. The first one is Dutch settlement on Taiwan, because Dutch brought their dog breeds with them, and those dogs crossbred with local dogs, which decreased the purity of Formosan dog bloodline. The other events were Japanese rule on Taiwan, second world war and the Kuomintang era, which all decreased numbers of all dogs on the island. Luckily the breed survived everything and today, they are not on the verge of extinction anymore.
3) Rescue dogs
For a long time it was impossible to find these dogs outside Taiwan and even there, they were most often living as stray dogs. Today the situation is different and you can find this breed in other countries, such as USA and it is all thanks to rescue groups like Dogs Without Borders, Rocket Dog Rescue, Mary´s Doggies or HARA. If you would like to find more information about rescue possibilities, you can also check out this website: formosan.org. Today, the breed is also very popular all across the Taiwan island as watchodg but also, as great companion dog.
These dogs make very good companion dogs, especially because they are extremely faithful to its owner. Typicaly they are protective over its family and owner, which is why proper early socialization is needed so they dont become overprotective. These dogs also like company of children and they like to play with older kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Taiwan dog is typically pretty smart, playful, lively and very affectionate towards its owner.
But this is still not a dog for everyone. Those are dogs developed for centuries for hunting and guarding, so its no wonder they have higher energy levels. This breed definitely need proper daily outdoor exercise, walks and runs to stay healthy and happy. With enough exercise, they tend to be relatively calm and inactive indoors. These dogs will also enjoy good vigorous playtime or fun training sessions with its people. The Formosan Mountain dog will do best in house with a fenced yard, where they can run off leash, but with enough exercise, they can live indoors as well.
It is believed, that there are not that much of real purebred Formosan Mountan dogs these days, since most of them were crossbred throughout the history. But the purebred dogs should have height between 43-52 cm, which is 17-20 inch and weight should ideally be 12-18 kg, which is 26-40 pounds. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
7) Military dogs
These dogs have a long history of watching over the property and guarding. Today, they are not used for this purpose that often, but, currently, Republic of China Air Forces are considering this breed for military purposes. The Air Forces think, that the Taiwan dogs adaptability to local weather and terrain, great senses and naturally protective instinct would make them just as suitable for guarding as German Shepherds are and there is a big possibility that this breed will replace the GSD as military Taiwanese dog in future.
This breed has a smooth and oily coat, lying tight to the body. The lenghth of the coat is approximately 2 cms and you can find this breed in several colors. The most common is black, but they can also be yellow, yellowish brown, fawn or brindle.
Great fact about this breed is, that its quite easy to groom them. They do shed but its nothing terrible and even without any grooming they will keep their coat in good condition. Of course, you brush the coat regularly, to keep it shiny and as clean as possible. Just like with all dogs, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Formosan Mountain dog is usually very healthy, with good lifespan between 11-13 years. Of course, just like all dogs, even them can suffer from some health issues. Ocassionally they can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation or cataracts.