Some breeds are specific to certain countries, which means they are lesser-known in other parts of the world. One example is the Aspin dog breed, a Filipino native dog breed that is not found elsewhere in the world. It is a dog breed that many people do not know a lot about if they have not lived in or visited the Philippines. If you are interested in learning more about these dogs, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Aspin dog breed.
1. It Is Known by Many Names
The Aspin dog breed was originally called the ‘Asong Kalye,’ which means dog of the street, says Steemit. The term was then abbreviated to Askal. While some people still refer to this breed as the Askal, others found it offensive as many Askins are pets and not strays. People felt so strongly about the matter that they started a petition to change the name. Therefore, the breed then became known as the ‘Asong Pinoy,’ meaning Filipino dog. The term was abbreviated to the Aspin dog breed.
2. There Is No Clear Lineage
The Aspin dog breed is a mixed breed, which means that it has parents of different breeds. Unlike designer dogs that are specifically bred from two breeds to produce a dog that inherits the best traits from both parents, there is no such breeding program that has led to the creation of the Aspin dog breed. Many breeds have potentially contributed to this mixed breed, and each dog has a unique history. Therefore, it is impossible to define a clear lineage.
3. Filipinos Originally Used Them as Guard Dogs
Although some people consider Aspin dogs as stray dogs, they live alongside humans in the Philippines. In addition to being kept as domesticated pets, the Aspin dog breed has traditionally been used as a guard dog. Although they have a friendly nature and do not have an aggressive streak, they have some personality traits that make them ideal for working as a guard dog. For example, they are loyal and protective to their families, fiercely independent, and naturally suspicious of strangers.
4. They Are Partially Domesticated
Western people often describe the Aspin dog breed as strays or street dogs. While some Aspin dogs are living on the streets, many are domesticated. However, people do not domesticate them in the same way as dogs living with families in western societies. In the west, pet dogs are usually kept within the confines of the family home and garden and only taken outside these boundaries on a leash. Filipino families who keep an Aspin dog often allow their dogs to roam freely around the neighborhood during the day, but the dogs are trained to return to their homes at dusk.
5. They Are Medium Sized Dogs
There is no official height and weight range for the Aspin dog breed. As they are mixed-breed dogs and many have varied parentage, the size can vary significantly. However, they are usually medium-sized dogs with a medium build. Unfortunately, many of this breed living on the streets of the Philippines are underweight as food availability can vary. Those dogs that live with families have a better chance of having consistent access to food and being within a healthy weight range, thus living to their full lifespan.
6. They Come in Many Colors
The coats of Aspins varied due to their mixed parentage. However, most have short, coarse coats. Although shades of brown, black, white, gray, cream, and brindle are the most common colors, they also come in red, although this is the rarest coat color. Some Aspin dogs have a spotted area at the base of their tail, and many have a black snout if their coat is brown. Another physical feature of this breed is that they usually hold their tails high. However, their ears can differ, as they are either fully pointing upwards, floppy, or semi-floppy.
7. The Aspin Dog Breed Is Used to Support Coastguards
Throughout history, Filipinos have found many uses and working roles for the Aspin dog breed. One role for which they have become particularly useful is working alongside the Coastguard. Although the Coastguard uses these dogs in various roles, they have been particularly good for identifying bombs and picking up the scent of drugs. Therefore, Aspin dogs have become an important part of this emergency service.
8. Dog Registries Do Not Recognize The Aspin Dog as a Breed
Due to its mixed parentage, the Aspin dog breed is not officially recognized as a dog breed. Therefore, those who keep these dogs as pets cannot register them with any official dog registries. Similarly, they cannot enter their dogs into any events or competitions that these organizations run.
9. There Are Many Aspin Dogs noted for Their Heroism
According to Dog Breeds FAQ, several Aspin dogs are noted for their heroism, and these dogs show the mixed breed’s loyalty to humans. One of the most famous is Kabang, who saved two young children. Unfortunately, Kabang lost his snout during the rescue process. Another dog that showed huge loyalty was Buboy, who waited for his owner despite his owner dying days before. Sadly, Buboy died when he was run over by a vehicle. A further Aspin dog that became famous in the Philippines was Roy, a dog who helped in a search and rescue mission following a 2016 landslide.
10. There Is an Award-Winning Aspin Dog
A characteristic shared by most of the Aspin dog breed is its intelligence, hence why they are used in working roles by the Coastguard. Due to their intelligence, they are easy to train and can learn new tricks. A dog called Saver, also known as The Wonder Dog, was so clever that he learned an array of impressive and entertaining tricks. His talent led to Saver starring in many commercials and films. He also won multiple awards.