Aspin dog, sometimes known as Askal dog, is a mutt, native to the Philippines. There is no true dog breed, one recognized by The American Kennel Club. These dogs are actually street dogs, but because they have grown so popular in the Philippines, people have begun to show interest.
Aspin dogs love affection from people and are safe around other animals and small children. You can say their personality traits make them ideal family pets.
History Of The Breed
Askals are considered a mongrel breed of dogs, found roaming around Philippine streets. We are talking about an extremely resilient breed that has adapted to the street way of life.
There is no exact history or origin of the breed. They have been bred from a variety of mixed breeds and mutts. This means there is no specific ancestor to which you can trace the history.
The name Askal is derived from the term “asong kalye”, which translates to a street dog.
Is The Dog Breed Recognized?
As we said before, there is no official recognition of the Aspin dog. It is a mutt, so there is no true breed that you can purchase from a breeder or anything like that.
No major Kennel Club recognizes it as an official dog. Basically, these dogs are a mix of different breeds.
The Many Names Of The Dog Breed
As you can see by now, some people recognize it as Aspin dog, others as Askal dog. But there are so many more names attached to these Filipino native dogs. By the 20th century, dogs seen wandering the streets were called Askal, a Tagalog-derived portmanteau of “asong kalye”, a term translating to a street dog.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society, in 2007, suggest the alternative term Aspin, which is short for Asong Pinoy, or Pinoy Dog. It was an effort to avoid the stigma associated with the term Askal.
In Cebuano, dogs are called irong Bisaya, translating to Visayan dog or native dog. These dogs have all shapes, configurations, and sizes. There is no standard or anything like that.
Why Do Filipinos Love Their Native Dog?
The name Aspin dog or Aspin pet is short for Asong Pinoy, which translates to Philippine native dog. Filipinos love their dogs and consider them Philippine Special. So, what is so unique about these local dogs? Well, we have to begin with their stunning good looks and wonderful temperament.
Yet, the scientific answer is that mongrel dogs have the advantage of good genetic diversity. A mongrel, a mutt, or a mixed breed dog, is one who is not the result of intentional breeding by humans.
The genes of this street dog include a little bit of everything, creating the best mix for living in their habitat in the beautiful Philippines. The mongrel dog is a medium-sized dog, growing between 20 and 45 lbs.
Many years ago, Aspins were considered a lesser dog compared to their pedigree and purebred dogs alternative. Yet, in the past few years, they have received more and more recognition and praise within the Philippines.
For example, the Philippine Army has 40 Aspin combat dogs deployed in different field units nationwide. In May 2016, Roy, who was a seven-month-old street dog, was awarded a certificate of recognition by the Bureau of Animal Industry for playing a major role in search and retrieval operations.
Aspins have much more to offer. They have been born on the streets, lost their way for a brief period, and felt abandoned by their owners, but they are as important as any other resident of the islands.
Aspins are faithful companions to those who live and work in the area.
As we said before, there is no clear standard. That is because there is no clear lineages you can contribute to the look of the Aspin dogs. They were bred from a diversity of different breeds and mutts that were roaming around Philippine streets.
Usually, though, their coat is short-haired or rough, with colors ranging from black, brown, white, ginger, brindle, cream, and red merle.
Spots are commonly found at the base of the tail and at the back. Their weight is between 20 and 40 lbs, with males sometimes growing up to 50 lbs. Height, on the other hand, ranges between 24 and 27 inches.
Eyes, ears, and everything in between can take on a variety of shapes and colors. In most cases, they have droopy ears. But the tail is always long and thick.
An interesting feature is their long and relatively thin legs, quite a unique physical trait.
Speaking of their temperament, they are extremely kind and lovable to all people. These native dogs are often seen roaming the streets, but they are more and more becoming a house dog or pet.
Calm and happy, they get along with children and other animals in the household. Generally speaking, you cannot find anything negative about this breed. They are so low maintenance and fun to have around, you will enjoy them.
What Are Some Famous Askals?
As we said before, this mutt has been gaining recognition in the last several years. A large part of that is due to the fact there have been some notable Askals, or Aspins. Here are some examples:
- Kabang, a mutt who lost its snout while saving two young children
- Buboy was a Filipino dog who waited for his owner who had already died several days before
- Boonrod was found paddling near a rig 130 miles off the coast of Thailand
Because of their popularity, the Philippines national football team has been named as The Azkals, an alternate spelling of Askal.