The Foo Dog has also been called the "Lion of Buddha" and that name is actually much more accurate, since it is a lion and not a dog at all.
(Grauman's Chinese Theatre)
They are used extensively in Asian art & sculpture.
The Foo Dog is protective, strong, and courageous.
"Many times, Foo Dogs occur in pairs, placed at gated entrances, seated and yet always ready. The Foo Dog to the right is typically thought of as male, with the mouth open a bit, one front paw resting on a sphere, which is often carved as open latticework and represents both heaven and the totality of Buddhist law. On the left is the female, mouth closed, paw resting on a small cub, typically shown upside down on its back, which represents the earth."
"With their pointed ears and their curly but subdued manes of hair, there is certainly a resemblance to dogs. More than likely it is that resemblance which has caused widespread confusion about these animals, also known as Chinese Lions and even Lion Dogs. But the resemblance is accidental and due to the fact that virtually all knowledge of actual lions was second hand to the Asian artists who initially created them. Their knowledge was second hand because, although dogs abound the world over, lions have never been native to the orient."
Many people were first exposed to Buddhist art when feng shui - the Chinese art and science of arranging space in harmony with the environment - first became popular.
They measure approx. 6" across x 4" high
SHOP LA DOLFINA
*Quoted text from here
*All images via Google & La Dolfina