The Foo Dog is not only an interesting creature, but has been seen in numerous tattoos and tattoo designs for many years. While many may choose to obtain a foo dog tattoo, they may not know the history that surrounds this wondrous creature. These strong, yet beautiful, tattoo designs provide the wearer with not only an awe inspiring work of art, but also a piece of chinese history. Even though these creatures are known as foo dogs in western cultures and countries, the chinese call them Shi which translates to lion. In essence they are part lion, part dog guardians of imperial China as well as other asian countries.
Foo Dog and the Lotus
This tattoo of a foo dog with a lotus could have a great deal of meaning to the wearer, such as peace, strength, or bravery. While it possesses an obvious beauty, foo dog tattoos may not have an obvious meaning while this one certainly possesses a strength and femininity.
More Lion than Dog
While this beautiful back peace possesses many gorgeous details, the center of the image is that of a foo dog who appears to be waring with a pair of birds while protecting an orb of some kind. This particular tattoo has a great many details, though the foo dog is far more lion like in this example.
The Stone Foo Dog
There are many representations of the foo dog in Asian culture, however it is common to see the foo dog in either stone or bronze. While some stay true to the stone appearance of these guardians, others tend to provide their own personal interpretation of how these lion dogs appear.
Foo Dog Head
Though this example of a foo dog is that of only its head, it possesses the strength and beauty that can be found in many other well done foo dog tattoos. In this particular example the foo dog is engulfed in smoke and cherry blossoms, however the ferocity of the creature is still very obvious in the tattoo.
Golden Foo Dog and the Rose
While many examples of the foo dog may be seen sitting, sitting and clutching an orb, or lying down, there are many tattoos that portray the guardian pacing or standing. In this tattoo the foo dog is accompanied by a rose and could possess the meaning of protecting beauty or innocence, however the design doesn’t leave out a single majestic detail.
Powerful Foo Dog
Many foo dog tattoos exude a powerful presence that is incredibly prevalent in the art work in the tattoo. This particular tattoo embodies the strength and power that the foo dog possesses as well as the best example of some traditional art style seen in these tattoos.
Traditional Japanese Styled Foo Dog
While China is the most common place to find statues and examples of the foo dog, Japan also possesses its own mythology for these guardians. You can see in this colorful work of art, not only the traditional Japanese style of art, but the Japanese example of a foo dog in that particular culture.
Pinyin Shi or Stone Foo Dog
You can see that the wearer has chosen to obtain a more traditional example of a stone foo dog in this particular tattoo. These stone figures can be found all around China, however this tattoo possesses a lot of the more traditional design style of the Stone Shi than of an artistic foo dog design, including the orb that he rests his paw.
Foo Dog Outline
In this particular example, this image is that of only the outline of a foo dog. While part of the tattoo is that of a finished chest, it is possible that the wearer will have this tattoo finished at a later date. However it is difficult to discern exactly what the finished tattoo with look like once completed.
Foo Dog tattoos come in many different colors, and different wearers may choose from any color that they wish. This red foo dog appears to be steaming which could mean that the wearer intended for it to represent fire or some source of heat.
Red Foo Dog
While there are many other colors to choose from for your foo dog tattoo, red appears the most followed by blue. This is due to the strong presence of the color red in Chinese culture as well as the brightness that the color offers to the art work of the tattoo.
Water Foo Dog
In some tattoos, foo dogs seem to embody a specific element within the piece. This tattoo for instance appears to show the foo dog as a type of water guardian. While it is wearer chosen, the mythology behind the foo dog changes from country to country and isn’t too far-fetched.
Air Foo Dog
This air element foo dog is beautifully designed and provides yet another example of an element focused design featuring the foo dog. It possesses the traditional stylization that you would see more in Japanese traditional tattoos.
Foo Dog versus Dragon
In many foo dog tattoos, the foo dog is depicted fighting another mythical creature such as a dragon or Oni. While many of these tattoos are seen as sleeves or full back and chest pieces, some smaller pieces can be done that take up less space than a larger piece.
It is possible to get more ornate foo dog tattoos as they can possess numerous other elements such as the two warriors in this chest piece. However the various other additions to the design are completely up to the wearer like the warriors on either side of the foo dog.
Foo Dogs and Flowers
Many foo dog tattoos are accompanied with the feminine addition of flowers to the design itself as it enhances not only the look of the tattoo, but the artwork as well. It isn’t uncommon to find flowers in Chinese designs as well as throughout the Chinese culture.
God like Foo Dog Tattoos
In many foo dog tattoos the art work is intended to present a more god like appearance as seen in this example. The art exudes an almost ethereal appearance which suits many foo dog designs due to their history as protective gods.
Buddha and Foo Dogs
The foo dog is not only a Chinese figure, but has been linked with Buddhism as guardians of Buddhist temples. Some choose to obtain foo dog tattoos where the foo dog is portrayed alongside Buddha and other Asian gods.
Mischievous Foo Dogs
Some wearers choose to obtain a more mischievous foo dog design that is not only of a more traditional Asian style, but also possessing more mischievous features. Foo dogs have a mythological history of being mischievous and can be paired together to accentuate that particular characteristic.
Crouching Foo Dog
There are many different designs that feature foo dogs in a variety of positions including standing, sitting, and crouching. This provides the ability to place the foo dog design in more places as well as open up more placement options for the wearer.
Foo Dog Outline Designs
There are some designs that possess a great deal of detail through various lines. While these styles are more wearer specific, they provide the same look of wonder that far more detailed and colored designs offer. This particular tattoo can be filled with color and shading, however the wearer may intend to leave it as a simple outline due to the level of detail surrounding the piece.
In choosing your own foo dog tattoo designs, placement will play a huge part in making your choice of tattoo design. This sleeve is a perfect example of choosing a foo dog design as well as surrounding it with complimentary designs to create a singular breathtaking piece.
Ferocious Foo Dogs
Many designs possess a ferocity to them in which the elements of the tattoo can provide interpretation of the occurrences in the design. It could be said that the wearer chose this design as it features the elements of wind, water, and air with the foo dog representing fire.
Black and Grey Foo Dog
In some foo dog tattoos black and grey are the majority used, with the exception of a single vibrant color such as the red used in this tattoo. Some say that the use of a singular color in a black and grey tattoo is to enhance the art while others find it to be more unique than simply leaving it without color.
Cracked Stone Foo Dog
This crackled stone foo dog tattoo is remarkably well done, though the intended background to the piece hasn’t yet been finished. The level of detail in the foo dog very closely resembles that of the stone statues found outside government offices, temples, and other places around imperial China. While it seems as though the wearer will be adding hints of color in the background of this piece, it will certainly be a breathtaking piece of art once it is completed.