Q&A Sunday: Fu Dogs or Qi Lin?

Fu Dogs or Qi Lin?.jpg

What is the meaning of the fu dogs that are just standing on all fours or just laying stretched out with nothing under their paws like the others?

Wanda B., Lexington, SC

Hi Wanda,

Thanks for your question. I am not an expert on fu dogs, so I asked around…

One colleague told me that she had never seen a fu dog in this position. We suspect that the Chinese statues described here as an animal standing on all fours, or stretched out with nothing under their paws are typically Qi Lin (chi lin). They look similar.

Fu Dogs and Qi Lin are mythical creatures and heavenly guardians believed to have the ultimate protection and power to ward off evil spirits and keep harmful people at bay (such as robbers)—silently watching over homes, temples and businesses. They also bring in more good fortune (happy chi, good business) by improving the Feng Shui of the entrance.

Fu dogs come in pairs, a male and female. The male is depicted playing with a ball (symbolizing authority and command of the householder) while the female has its claws on its cub (symbolizing loyalty and maternal protection). These Feng Shui guardians are usually placed at the front door facing outwards at ground level or on shelves at either side of the front door. Or, they can be raised high up on both sides of your main gate. The male is placed on the left side (from standing inside the doorway of your building looking outside) and the female on the right. Ideally, you’d have them activated by your Feng Shui consultant performing the traditional “Opening the Eyes” Ceremony.

Qi Lin can be single or in pairs, and is a dragon-like figure. Typically it has the head of a dragon and a horse-like body. They can be used outside or inside of a home. Did you see these statues inside or outside? Hopefully this provides a little clarity around fu dogs! Send in a photo if you see them again. We’d love to share!

by Anjie Cho

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