Doors, entryways, and gates are considered sacred portals in cultures around the world. In feng shui, doors are important and represent where and how the energy enters your spaces. In China, you can find fu dogs famously located in the Forbidden City. These mythical animals symbolize good luck, safety, and protection for the inhabitants of the spaces they defend.
Learn about what fu dogs mean in feng shui and how to use them to protect your space.
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What Are Fu Dogs?
Fu (or fo) dogs are mythical lion-like animals that are protectors. Fu dog statues can be found in China flanking the entrances and gates to palaces, official buildings, temples, homes, and even tombs. These guard dogs keep watch and were historically placed to ward off any negative energies.
Fu dogs are thought to have originated from the protective symbol of the lion that traveled with Buddhism to China. Many Buddhist temples had guardian lions at their gates. The lion is an animal that is not indigenous to China, so the fu dogs also came to resemble mythical animals that appear with similarities to dogs and lions. You will find them poised with a ferocious stance, up on their front paws or with one up in the air, ready to attack.
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Mythical Door Protectors
If you’d like to use fu dogs as a feng shui addition to your home, you can position them at the front door of your home. Fu dogs are typically placed on each side of a doorway, on the exterior and facing out away from the interior of the home. It’s best to place them in pairs (see below about pairs) and not on the floor. You often see them on platforms, raised above the ground at waist height. They don’t need to be super large, but they do need to be proportionally sized to the building and/or space they are protecting.
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Pairs of Fu Dogs
Fu dogs are typically seen in pairs, on each side of an entryway. They represent yin and yang, masculine and feminine energies. The male (yang) is often depicted with its paw resting atop a ball. The female (yin) fu dog is shown with a young offspring. When you are standing in the doorway looking out the male would be on the right, while the female counterpart is on the left.
A common question that is asked about fu dogs is if you can use one on its own, outside of the pair. In general, if used for a feng shui adjustment, you should definitely work with the pair of fu dogs because that is how they were meant to be used. However, if you procure a lonely fu dog and like it as a decorative item, then it should be OK to use: Just don't use it as a protective feng shui adjustment object.
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Five Element Applications
Fu dogs come in a variety of materials, from bronze to ceramic to stone or wood, as well as an array of colors. We would recommend you go with the one that you enjoy and find attractive, but you can also use the five elements to guide your selection.
Water element: Black or dark colored fu dogs are water element and can be used to enhance your career, wisdom, and social connections.
Wood element: Green or blue toned fu dogs bring in wood element for growth and new beginnings. A pair of green jade fu dogs are especially auspicious and can invite extra good luck.
Earth element: Fu dogs made of ceramic material are earth element, as are those with yellow or brown colors. Earth element supports nourishment and overall wellness for the family.
Metal element: Metallic materials like bronze invite the metal element. Metal element is also the color white and can bring the energies of precision, organization, and clarity into your home.
Fire element: Red or other fiery colors are fire element for inspiration, passion, and improving your reputation.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Keep Your Guardians in Good Condition
When you have a pair of sacred objects sitting outside your home, treat them as such. However, while they're out in the elements, they may fall into disrepair or become damaged. Do your best to keep your guardian fu dogs clean and in good condition. If one of them breaks beyond repair, it's time to replace them.