Taiwan Dog – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Taiwan Dog is a breed suitable for only active dog owners. Read on to see how much exercise this breed needs and if Taiwan Dog is for you.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
16 to 21 inches
25 to 40 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 13 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Taiwan Dog is a beautiful black ancient dog breed. They are highly versatile and fast to adapt to any new surroundings.

Taiwan Dog, also named Formosan Mountain Dog, is a rare breed, although interest in this breed is on the rise.

This rare breed goes by many names, including Formosan Mountain Dog, Tokasago Dog, and Taiwanese Native Dog.

Formosan Mountain Dog is a highly intelligent dog used to surviving, so treating them right is a must if you want a well-behaved dog.

They may be stubborn from time to time and try to outsmart you. This is why first time dog owners should avoid this breed and maybe focus on companion dogs or dogs that are more of a people pleaser.

The Taiwan dog may pick up strange guarding habits, which is something that can be managed through training.

This is a loyal and affectionate dog, so if you already have dog experience and want these traits in your dog, the Taiwan dog might be your great fit.

These dogs are in general small or medium dogs, which makes them suitable for apartment living. They are indigenous to Taiwan, where they were mostly used to hunt.

In fact, these dogs were mainly used for hunting small game in the mountains. This practice means only one thing – that when trained right, they are highly responsive to commands.

Taiwan Dogs will be reserved toward strangers, and highly protective of their family. Therefore, next to early training, you should provide early socialization as well.

This is the only way to have a truly polite Taiwan dog. Even today, they are mostly based in Taiwan, although you can see them in other countries as well since their popularity is on the rise.

Quick Facts

Real name: Taiwan Dog
Other names: Formosan Mountain Dog
Origin: Taiwan
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 25 to 40 pounds
Height: 16 to 21 inches
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Litter Size: 2 – 9 puppies
Color: Comes in a wide range of colors, with black being the most common coat color
Coat: Short and two-layer coat

Taiwan Dog History

Certain dog breeds have been around for centuries, but people still haven’t heard much of them. One of those dogs is a medium-sized Taiwan dog.

The roots of this breed can be traced back between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. This makes them one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

Have you ever heard of South Asian hunting dogs? These dogs are long-distance cousins of today’s Taiwan dogs.

Taiwan Dogs have been popular across Asia for decades, and they have been a huge part of Taiwan’s history for thousands of years.

Today, there are popular across the globe and their popularity is only rising.

Purebred Taiwan Dogs are extremely rare and they are, even today, kept for conservation efforts in Taiwan.

Taiwan Dog or Formosan Mountain Dog, which one is correct? Formosan Mountain Dog is just another name for Taiwan Dog, using both names is fine as it references one breed.

Are Formosan Mountain Dogs rare? Purebred Formosan Mountain Dogs are extremely rare.

As such they are very valuable which means that finding reputable dog breeders tend to be difficult, and there is usually a waiting list.

Taiwan Dog Physical Appearance

The Taiwan Dog is everything but an ordinary dog. This is a medium-sized dog with a triangular head and thin ears that are commonly erect.

This dog seems like a powerful and muscular breed of a strong stand. Wide nostrils are complimented with a moderately sized nose which is usually black in color and almond-shaped eyes.

The breed’s coat is harsh on the touch and short. The coat is short, lying tight to the body. The coat’s length is between 1.5 to 3cm.

Taiwan Dogs are most commonly black, but they come in other colors as well, including white, white and fawn, white and black, white and brindle, brindle, or fawn.

They are usually of a single color. As for size, Taiwan Dogs usually weigh between 25 to 40 pounds and are between 16 to 21 inches.

The tail is always upright or curved with a thick fur coat. The bally in the dog is always hairless and usually kept warm by the tail. Overall, this dog is well-balanced.

Taiwan Dog Personality

Taiwan Dog isn’t for first time dog owners, or for those who don’t like spending hours outside being active. That being said, the Taiwan Dog is a dog of high energy.

They are also very affectionate toward their people, loyal, and intelligent. As an intelligent breed, they are fast to learn new tricks and master new commands fast.

At least, this is the case when you have dog experience and know-how to train a dog.

These dogs are usually wary of strangers and sounds. As such, they may become fear-aggressive. This is something that can be easily seen when the Taiwan Dog is put in a new situation.

When they experience fear, they might need days to calm down. That being said, it should be obvious that this breed is highly sensitive and prefer a firm hand to guide them.

They may experience anxiety easily, which is why they need people all day long. If neglected or bored, they may become destructive.

Are Formosan Mountain Dogs Good Family Dogs?

Formosan Mountain Dogs are highly affectionate when it comes to their family members.

They love being surrounded by people, and to their humans Formosans should display loyalty every day.

If trained properly and socialized from day one, they should get along nicely with other household animals.

Formosan Mountain Dog will usually choose one family member to follow around no matter what.

Are Formosan Mountain Dogs good with children? Taiwan dogs should be fine with children, as long as children are trained on how to behave around dogs.

Educate your children on how to behave around dogs and if possible, include them in the training process.

This way they will know not to disturb dogs while they are eating, drinking, resting, or sleeping in their crate.

On the other hand, make sure that your Formosan Mountain Dog is well-trained, follows house dog rules, and knows how to behave around children.

Last, but not least… No matter how well your children and Formosan Mountain Dog might get well-along make sure that you supervise their interaction.

Accidents do happen, and it is always advised to prevent them by implementing proper supervision.

Taiwan Dog Training

The Taiwan Dog is very protective of his people and his territory.

Just like in any other breed, this trait is desirable but should be handled the right way. This is where proper training and early socialization step in. They need structure, fun, and treats.

Dogs love treats. In fact, whenever you reward a dog you are speeding up the training process.

Just be careful with treats – serving too many treats can lead to obesity in dogs, which is a condition that you want to avoid.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States, and you don’t want your dog to be part of this not-so-healthy trend.

Make sure that you use the socialization window properly.

During this period, Fido should learn:

  • Basic dog commands
  • To ‘come‘ and ‘sit’ on first command
  • How to behave around people
  • To follow house dog rules
  • How to walk on a leash

Taiwan Dog Exercise

The Taiwan Dog should be exercised regularly unless you want to learn what a dog with extra energy can do.

Have you ever heard of that saying – a tired dog is a happy dog? This one is 100% true.

Dogs were bred to perform certain tasks. When there isn’t something for them to do, they might become bored and as such destructive.

Exercise comes in many forms of activities, from indoor games, puzzle toys, swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls.

If you love training dogs, you might think about dog sports, such as agility or obedience.

Your Taiwan Dog will be more than happy to compete with other dogs.

To keep this high-energy level dog happy, provide at least two good half-hour- to hour-long walks per day: mix regular walks with active play sessions.

How much exercise do Formosan Mountain Dogs need? To keep this breed happy and healthy, make sure that you provide at least one hour of exercise daily.

Include multiple day walks or a visit to a dog park for a nice run. If you have a backyard, make sure that the fence is safe.

Does Formosan Mountain Dog sound like a high-maintenance breed? If so, you might want to compare this breed with other dog breeds, to find the breed that suits your lifestyle the best.

Taiwan Dog Grooming

If you don’t like long grooming sessions, you are in luck. The Taiwan Dog is more of a wash-and-go type of dog.

With a short coat, all you have to do is to use the right grooming tools and brush his coat weekly.

A short brushing session of 20 minutes should be enough to keep his coat clean and fresh.

Use a damp and soft cloth once a week. Make sure that you check his skin for fleas or any sign of skin infection.

This breed is known for not having a heavy dog odor and doesn’t require frequent baths.

Dogs have different skin than humans do, and as such, they don’t need frequent baths. When bathing, use only shampoo specially designed for dogs.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Clean ears when needed
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge
  • Check gums weekly

This dog is not known as a drooler.

Since his coat is short, they are considered to be kind-of hypoallergenic dogs, meaning that people with allergies can spend some time around them.

How Healthy Is Taiwan Dog?

If you choose to work with responsible dog breeders only, you should be getting a 100% healthy dog.

They will present you with medical documentation on the breed, and inform you of any possible health issues.

Reputable breeders will always be honest about dogs’ health. They will even give you professional input on how to groom this breed and what to expect in terms of health.

Even if you are adopting from a local shelter, you should be informed of the dog’s exact health.

Some of the concerns that may appear in this breed include:

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Cataracts
  • Canine Glaucoma

To keep this breed healthy and prevent any of the following issues appear you should provide the right nutrition, regular veterinarian check-ups, and occasional test that should include CERF and OFA on hips and elbows.

Is Taiwan Dog For You?

The Taiwan Dog isn’t for first time dog owners.

If you are a novice owner, check these breeds, as they are more suitable for those who are just stepping inside the world of canine ownership.

Taiwan Dogs are more suitable for experienced dog owners, who know their way around high-energy dogs and love being active outdoors.

This breed is for you if you have extended experience as a dog owner, love being active for hours per day and a long hike is a normal part of your day.

This breed is for you if you want a medium-sized dog who is active, but also very protective of his people and property.

If these traits are something that you want to see in your next canine, then the Taiwan Dog may be the right breed for you.

Frequently Asked Questions On Formosan Mountain Dog

1. Are Taiwan Dogs Rare?

Yes, Taiwan or Formosan Mountain Dogs are very rare dogs. This breed is mostly found in Taiwan, but it can be found in other places as well.

As a rare breed, finding a reputable and responsible breeder should be imperative.

2. Are Formosan Mountain Dogs Smart?

Formosan Mountain Dog is an intelligent breed, that will thrive on proper training and a great exercise regime.

They tend to be wary of strangers, doing their best to keep family members safe.

3. How Long Do Taiwan Dogs Live?

Taiwan dogs tend to live between 10 to 13 years. To add to their longevity, Taiwan dogs need proper nutrition, an exercise regime, and safe surroundings.

4. Do Formosan Mountain Dogs Shed A Lot?

Formosan Mountain Dogs are not big shedders. They don’t shed much, but they still need proper grooming.

Weekly brushing is still a must, bathe should be conducted only when needed, and occasionally, to remove debris.

5. Are Formosan Mountain Dogs Easy To Train?

Formosan Mountain Dogs are smart dogs who enjoy training sessions. They are fast to learn, and as such labeled as a highly trainable breed.

To get the most out of the training sessions, make them consistent, short, fun, interactive, and packed with treats.

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