All About the Breed Formosan

Have you recently fallen for the Formosan or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Formosan Mountain Dog, Taiwan Dog, and the Native Taiwan Dog, the Formosan is an intelligent and friendly breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


While the exact origin of the Formosan has not been well documented, enthusiasts believe that the breed dates back as far as 17th century Taiwan, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Formosan has been most commonly used for hunting, tracking, and retrieving game such as duck and raccoon and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work while providing gentle companionship.

Today, while the Formosan has attained an underground popularity as a dog nearly impossible to obtain, the breed remains extremely rare outside of its native Taiwan.

Personality Traits

Best known for its friendly and outgoing nature, the Formosan is a genuinely happy breed. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and often look to their owner for guidance and support. The Formosan is highly intelligent and generally very easy to train. As a pet, the Formosan is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate.

This breed is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as it enjoys spending time outdoors, playing games such as fetch and tug-of-war, and having plenty of room to roam, run, and play.


Due to its eagerness to please and impress its owner and willingness to learn, the Formosan generally responds well to basic training and commands. These bright dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Formosan. This breed can be somewhat sensitive to criticism and respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Formosan, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. These intelligent dogs are easy to train, obedient by nature, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Formosan gets along well with small children and other pets.

This breed is alert and aware of its surroundings, making an incredible watch and guard dog by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The Formosan is obedient, loyal, loving, and highly affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Formosan. This energetic and athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors, especially when under two years of age.

Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Formosan not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Formosan has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are very quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Formosan must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

As previously mentioned, the Formosan remains extremely rare outside of its native Taiwan and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, very high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Formosan is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, likeliness to develop cancer, entropian - folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian - folding outward of the eye lid, cryptorchidism - failure of one or both of the testicles to fully descend, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Formosan?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.