Q&A Sunday: Fu Dogs

I found one male fu dog at a store and bought him, thinking of him as a rescue dog because he was alone without a partner. Now I hear he is bad luck. What should I do?

Rhonda T., Flagstaff, AZ

Rhonda, thanks for the question. I am not an expert on Fu Dogs so I reached out to my teachers Steven Post, Katherine Metz and a fellow feng shui consultant Gwynne Warner to help answer your question regarding these traditional guardian lions from China. 

To answer your question: Steven, Katherine and I agree that “it depends”.

Fu Dogs in China and their predecessors in the ancient Near East have a very long history. They are mythical creatures, heavenly guardians believed to have the ultimate protection and power to ward off evil spirits, silently watching over homes, temples and businesses.

Fu Dogs are usually are placed in pairs, male and female and, historically, they come in twos as protectors around the world. As for your question, whether one is bad luck, it depends. If you feel concern that your Fu Dog might be lonely or unbalanced, that feeling might make you unlucky. If you feel that your Fu Dog is a strong protector, that Fu Dog, especially if empowered with that thinking, would not be an unlucky influence. But in general, I would suggest you do not use the single Fu Dog as you would the pair. It does not have the same effect on its own.

As a note, Fu Dogs are generally seen as outdoor feng shui adjustments. If you choose to place a pair indoors, opt for a location near your entry, most especially if your door faces stairs or an elevator.

by Anjie Cho


Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Q&A Sunday: Disposing of Sacred Ritual Objects

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I had two ceramic small decorative fu dogs in my kitchen near main entrance. A worker in the house broke one, and I tried to fix it, but it is terribly ruined. How do I "dispose" of or store these so as not to bring bad luck?

Sarah B., Portland, OR

Dear Sarah,

Thank you so much for submitting your question about Fu Dogs to the Holistic Spaces blog. It’s quite interesting that this is the third question I’ve received about Fu Dogs--maybe I’ve received more, but this is the third one I’ve answered on Q&A Sundays. (You can read the other two articles here and here.) In BTB feng shui, I never learned about Fu Dogs from my teachers, and I really don’t know all that much about them, so in the other two cases I deferred to others who know more about them. I asked two of my mentors and a colleague who is more familiar with more traditional Chinese objects. What I do know is that Fu Dogs are mythical creatures believed to offer protection from evil spirits and harmful people. They are usually placed in pairs, one female and one male, at the front door or main gate of a home, temple, or business.

Since the Fu Dogs were in your main entrance, it sounds like you were using them as protectors, and because one was broken, it is correct that it’s time for you to let go of the Fu Dogs and bring something else in. Interestingly, when you’ve made a feng shui adjustment and something is damaged, it’s actually a positive sign that the adjustment is doing its job. In a sense, it absorbed some negative chi. For instance, say you put up a crystal and it falls and breaks. This is actually a sign that you should replace it with a higher quality (a.k.a. more expensive) version of the same item. If the string breaks, you want to get a stronger, higher quality string. If a crystal breaks, you would want to get a higher quality crystal. It did its job and was strong enough to hold back any negative chi for a while, but now you need to get something stronger. In this case, your small decorative Fu Dogs served their purpose in your kitchen, and now would be a good time to replace them with larger, higher quality, more expensive Fu Dogs in the same location.

To answer your question of how to store them so as not to bring bad luck, I would suggest that you dispose of them, because it’s not recommended that you use that one alone. (we have another blog post that addresses that). However, not everything needs to be a feng shui adjustment. If you love the one that you have and you have some sentimental connection to it, you can keep it in that sense and place that single one somewhere else.

If you do want to dispose of it, here’s a good way to do that, and this goes for a lot of feng shui ritual objects: you can store it on your altar or at your shrine wrapped in red cloth. That’s what I do with a lot of my feng shui ritual objects that are not in use, since that’s a sacred space and it keeps the object sacred.

If you’re going to dispose of both Fu Dogs, you can also wrap the intact Fu Dog and the remains of the broken Fu Dog in the red cloth, thank the Fu Dogs for the service that they provided, and then bury them or dispose of them in the trash. But I wouldn’t just throw them into the trash without any kind of ceremony, as in thanking them and wrapping them in a red cloth. It’s very similar in other disciplines--I practice Ikebana, flower arranging, and in the contemplative form, you wouldn’t dispose of all your cuttings into the trash directly. In Japan they actually have shrines for used needles and flower cuttings. When I do flower arranging, I wrap my cuttings in a piece of paper and then put it in the garbage, and I treat it as a sacred offering.

Another possibility is to donate the one Fu Dog that is intact, and it might end up in a secondhand store. Then another person would find themselves with the question of what to do with one Fu Dog like in our earlier Q&A. Even if you give away the Fu Dog, be sure to thank the object for supporting and protecting you, and you may want to keep it wrapped in a red cloth when you transport it or give it away.

Thank you so much for your question! This is a helpful topic, because my suggestions above are not just about how to dispose of Fu Dogs, but how to dispose of any kind of ritual objects.

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Q&A Sunday: Fu Dogs or Qi Lin?

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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


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!