Perhaps you’ve seen a pair of majestic stone statues looking like a lion-dog creature at a temple’s or large building’s doorway? These awesome statues are known as Foo Dogs, or Imperial Guardian Lions, and hold a lasting history and meaning in Chinese culture and Feng Shui.
Foo Dogs are thought to have strong protective capabilities and for centuries have been trusted as guardians of key places. Within this article, we will delve into the intriguing world of Foo Dogs, their symbolism, cultural significance and perhaps some of the many superstitions about them.
The History of Foo Dogs
Foo Dogs’ history goes back to ancient China, when they were initially referred to as “Shi”, which means lion or animal. Foo dogs were frequently represented as a pair, the male having a paw on a ball, symbolizing supremacy, while the female had a paw on a cub, representing guardianship. Since lions weren’t native to China, the aspect of the statues changed into a more stylish dog-like form rather than a lion, leading to the name “Foo Dog” or “Fu Dog”.
Foo dogs were used mostly as custodians of significant places such as palaces, temples and graves, and were believed to have mystical abilities to ward off evil spirits and evil energies. It was during the Han dynasty that Foo Dogs were first documented to be set up as guardians, and the practice continued under the Tang, Song and Ming dynasties.
Is One Single Foo Dog Bad Luck?
Probably the most common question asked about Foo Dogs is whether owning a single statue is counted as bad luck. And the short answer is no, a single Foo Dog isn’t intrinsically unlucky. Nonetheless, there are additional aspects to consider.
Historically, Foo Dogs were always used in pairs, placing a male and female statue at the doorway of a building or house. The pair of statues was considered to stand for balance and harmony, the male symbolizing protection and the female symbolizing nurturing energy. Taken together, they were believed to provide a peaceful environment and dispel bad energies.
Although owning a single Foo Dog does not bring bad luck, it disrupts the traditional symbolism and energetic balance. There is a belief in Feng Shui suggesting that the location and positioning of objects make an impact on the flow of energy, or chi, in a given space. Just one Foo Dog might create an imbalance and may not be as efficient at clearing negative energies as a pair.
How to Distinguish the Sex of Fu Dogs?
You want to place the dog of the appropriate sex on the right side of the door or entrance. Distinguishing the female from the dog is easy once you understand the symbols you need to take into consideration.
The feminine Fu dog is depicted with the paw protecting the pup, placing it right above the puppies. The female Foo dog symbolizes the maternal instinct to protect the child. The same devotion, loyalty, and protection translate through the house or business it defends.
The male Foo dog is illustrated with the paw above a ball. Some depictions refer to this as a globe. It symbolizes the control of the male dog over the circumstances and the way your private world affects you.
How to Display the Fu Dogs
To take full advantage of the protection power and energies of the Foo dog, you should place a pair at the main door, facing outside, at a relatively high height.
You can also place them on a small table facing the main entrance, and they will protect the house against burglary and evil.
The Fu Dogs also eliminate the negative Chi that enters the house or office, changing it into positive energy.
If you place this Feng Shui remedy in front of your house on the sides of the door or gate, it will be of much help, especially if your home has a straight road or an imposing infrastructure in front of it.
You want to make sure that both dogs are facing outside, welcoming everyone who comes into your house or scaring off thieves, malevolent individuals, evil spirits, and negative Chi energies. A few quick steps to ensure that you place the Fu dogs correctly:
● Stay in front of the open door, facing outside.
● The male Fu dog should be placed on the left side.
● The female Fu dog should be placed on the right side.
It means that when you sit in front of your house, facing the front door, the female dog is on the left, while the male is on the right. They will protect your home against the negative energies of those crossing your threshold and also against the negative arrows coming from the neighboring buildings.
How Foo Dogs Can Help You Overcome Common Problems
You can use a pair of Fu dogs to:
- Protect the wealth sector by placing a pair of Fu dogs in the southeastern zone or corner of your home or office.
- A pair of Fu dogs in front of a cash register will protect the business profit, and it will also protect you against robberies and thefts.
- A kindergarten or the children’s bedroom will be protected against sicknesses and evil spirits when you place a pair of Fu dogs up on the dresser or a wall shelf.
- You can also place a pair of Fu dogs on both sides of the entrance, on the alley, or next to the garden gate.
You don’t necessarily need to invest in large statues, as you can use some small ones, placing them on the table or a shelf facing the front door.
Aside from the fact that they serve as protection against evil or unpleasant energies and impede them from entering your home or office, the Fu dogs are also considered auspicious symbols of wealth. The pair of protectors can increase and stabilize the positive Chi energies in the house of office. The Fu dog signifies protection in Feng Shui.
Exploring the Superstitions of Foo Dogs
One of the essential superstitions is that Foo Dogs should always be positioned at the entry to a house or building. This placement helps to drive away any negative energies and evil spirits that might enter the space. Picture yourself entering a house or building protected by these ferocious guardians – it will definitely make a lasting impression!
Another compelling superstition involves the assumption that touching the nose of a Foo Dog means good luck. Legend has it that the keeper will bless the guest and grant protection.
It is also said that if the fu dogs are directed towards the outside of the house then they will protect it from outside evils, and if they are oriented towards the inside they will ensure harmony within the family.
If you put a coin in the mouth of one of the fu dogs, according to Feng Shui beliefs, this will contribute to the financial well-being of the family. It should be kept in mind that originally in the past, these mystical statues were used to protect treasures and wealth.
Last but not least, if somehow one of the statues is damaged it must be replaced immediately because it loses its powers.