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What Is a Lai Dog? (3 Common Health Issues)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Lài dog

The Lai Dog is a fascinating breed of dog that has a long and intriguing history. With origins that date back to ancient China, it’s actually been bred as a companion animal for centuries. It’s said that the Lai dog was even a favorite of emperors and used as a guard dog. And even today, these peculiar pups are known for their loyalty and protective nature.

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The Earliest Records of Lai Dogs in History

As mentioned, the origins of the Lai Dog are believed to date back to ancient China. The breed was first mentioned in writing in the 800s, when a Chinese emperor wrote of the Lai Dog as being a favorite of his and a loyal guard dog. While the exact origin of the breed is pretty unknown, it’s believed that the Lai Dog is a descendant of the ancient Mastiff-type dogs that were used by Chinese emperors and nobles for protection and hunting.

The Lai Dog is also believed to have been used by the military during the Warring States period in China. During this period, the Lai Dog gained a reputation for being a loyal and brave guard dog, and it’s said that the breed was highly valued by the ruling class of China.

Lài Dog
Lài Dog 3 (Image Credit: Stephanie See, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)

How Lai Dogs Gained Popularity

In the centuries since, the Lai Dog has continued to be prized as a companion animal. The breed is believed to have been brought to Europe by Chinese traders in the 1600s and was further developed in England. The breed then made its way to the United States in the late 1800s, where it was used as a guard dog and companion animal.

Formal Recognition of Lai Dogs

The Lai Dog was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in the late 1800s, and since then, it’s gained popularity in the United States and abroad. The breed is known for its loyalty and courage, and it’s often used as a guard dog or companion animal. The breed is also known for its gentle and loving nature, which makes it a popular choice for families.

In recent years, the Lai Dog has also gained popularity as a show dog. The breed is often seen at dog shows around the world and has gained recognition for its intelligence and athleticism. The breed is also popular in the agility and obedience arenas, where its agility and intelligence shine.

Top 5 Unique Facts About Lai Dogs

  1. Because of the remoteness of their homeland, Lai Dogs can be difficult to find.
  2. The ancestors of today’s Lai Dogs migrated to Vietnam approximately 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.
  3. The Lai Dog is currently in critical danger and has been for some time now.
  4. Lai Dog motifs were found on battle axes, combs, daggers, and drinking mugs in China.
  5. The average lifespan of a Lai Dog is 10-14 years, but many owners report that their dogs have lived for much longer.

Lài Dog
Lài Dog 2 (Image Credit: Stephanie See, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)

Do Lai Dogs Make a Good Pet?

The Lai Dog was originally bred as a guard dog, and it’s still well known for its protective nature. The breed is known for its loyalty and courage, and it is not afraid to stand up to an intruder or other perceived threat. The breed is also known for its intelligence and keen sense of smell, which makes it an excellent guard dog.

The Lai is also known for its strong bond with its owners, and it’s highly attuned to its family’s emotions. These dogs are loyal and have a very independent nature. This makes them the ideal guard dog, as they’re not so easily swayed or influenced by their surroundings.

Physical Characteristics of the Lai Dog

The Lai Dog is a medium-sized breed that stands between 15 and 25 inches tall and can weigh between 40 and 90 pounds. The breed has a short, thick coat that is either black or brown in color and is known for its noble past in China. This breed has a broad head, triangular wolf-like ears, a medium-length muzzle and dark, almond-shaped eyes. It also has a strong, muscular body, with long legs and a long, thick tail.

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The 3 Common Health Issues with Lai Dogs

The Lai Dog is generally a healthy breed, but there are some health issues to consider. Let’s look at the most common ones:

Lài Dog
Lài Dog 6 (Image Credit: Stephanie See, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)

1. Hip Dysplasia

The breed is prone to hip dysplasia, a condition that causes the hip joint to become malformed. It can lead to pain, stiffness, and lameness – and it’s more common in older dogs.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia can include difficulty getting up, limping, and reluctance to move. If left untreated, hip dysplasia can become more severe and cause more pain and mobility issues in your Lai pup.

And treating it can be tricky, as it can be caused by a variety of factors. Your veterinarian may recommend lifestyle changes such as providing a soft bed, avoiding stairs, and limiting exercise. Additionally, your veterinarian may recommend medications to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as supplements to support joint health. Surgery may also be an option for severe cases of hip dysplasia.

2. Bloat

The Lai is also prone to bloat, a condition that can be fatal if not treated quickly. Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in any breed of dog, and Lai dogs are no exception unfortunately. It’s characterized by a rapid swelling of the abdomen due to the accumulation of gas and fluid. This can cause the stomach to twist and cut off the blood supply to the organs.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the risk of bloating in your Lai Dog. One of the most important is to feed them two or three small meals per day, as opposed to one large meal (a common feeding misconception). Also, make sure that your Lai has access to plenty of fresh water throughout the day. Avoid exercising your pup shortly after eating, as this can actually increase their risk of bloating.

Lastly, be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s weight. Being overweight can increase the risk of bloat, as can certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism. If you notice any signs of bloat in your dog, like a swollen abdomen, restlessness, or a rapid heartbeat, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

And if your dog is diagnosed with bloat, your vet may recommend a variety of treatments including medications to reduce the accumulation of gas, decompression of the stomach with a needle, or surgery to prevent the stomach from twisting again.

3. Allergies and Ear Infections

Allergies and ear infections are two of the most common minor health issues facing these dogs, though they’re usually the most minor. Allergies can range from mild to severe, and can cause a range of symptoms, including itchiness, redness, and scabbing of the skin.

They can be caused by environmental factors such as pollen, mold, and dust mites, as well as certain foods and medications. Ear infections in these pups are typically caused by bacteria or yeast, and can cause pain, discharge, and an unpleasant odor. Symptoms of an ear infection include redness, itching, head shaking, and an unpleasant odor.

The good thing is that these issues are usually fairly easy to treat, with medication such as topical or oral antibiotics and antifungals (followed by allergy and other diagnostic tests) being the go-to choice for vets.

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Overall, the Lai Dog is a loyal and devoted companion that is sure to bring years of joy and companionship to its family. With its ancient history and modern popularity, the Lai Dog is sure to remain a beloved companion for many years to come. However, the thing is that these dogs are super rare to find. And if you do happen to find a breeder, it’ll likely be overseas, and you can expect to pay a pretty penny for your pup.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A0i_dog
  • https://vietnamnet.vn/en/revive-the-rare-and-famous-vietnamese-hunting-dog-breed-695256.html
  • https://vtc.vn/bi-an-khuyen-binh-thien-chien-tung-giup-vua-le-danh-duoi-giac-minh-ar582477.html (link requires translation)
  • https://danviet.vn/tu-dai-quoc-khuyen-cua-viet-nam-gom-nhung-giong-cho-quy-hiem-nao-20200827153608611.htm (link requires translation)
  • https://danviet.vn/chiem-nguong-chu-cho-lai-duoc-tra-12-ty-dong-nhung-chu-nhan-nhat-quyet-khong-ban-5020223114599729.htm (link requires translation)
  • https://vietnamtrips.com/vietnamese-dogs
  • https://saigoneer.com/natural-selection/20652-ch%C3%B3-the-four-national-breeds-of-vietnamese-doggos

Related Read: 4 Vietnamese Dog Breeds You Need to See

Featured Image Credit: Lài Dog (Image Credit: Stephanie See, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)

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