1) Street dog
The Aspin is an ancient indigenous street dog from Phillipines. It is not a purebred breed and they can wary quite a bit in their appearance, but Askals definitely share a lot of similarities as well. They are all low maintenance, very resilient, adaptable and loyal. It is believed, that the Askal is one of the oldest type of a dog in the world.
The words Askal and Aspin are describing the same Phillipino dogs, but the meanings are different. The name Askal comes from Filipino word Asong Kalye, which can be translated as Street dog. But later, another name started to be used and that is Aspin, which comes from Asong Pinoy and can be translated as Filipino dog.
Traditionally the Askals are seen as reliable guard dogs, and they have good temperamental traits for protection. Most of them are alert and suspicious towards strangers, loyal to its family and they will most likely protect the family if needed. Those dogs are also pretty brave and courageous, but they should not be agressive without a reason.
It is common to see Aspins roaming the streets of Phillipines, but many of them are companion dogs. And Aspins can easily adapt for family life, especially due to their extremely friendly nature. These dogs are also very intelligent, although because of their independent mind, they need patient and consistent trainer. These dogs will quickly create a strong bond with its owner and family, and they are totally devoted to them. They are also pretty patient with kids, they can live with other dogs and they can even tolerate cats, but they should be raised with them from the puppyhood.
There are several studies that claim, that Aspin is one of the ancestors of majority of modern breeds we have today. For example a study from 2011 made by University of California say, it was found that American and European dogs have genes originating from askals or village dogs from the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand. This would suggest that Askals migrated from Southeast Asia to Middle East and then spread to Africa and Europe, but this would have happen thousands years ago.
6) Working dogs
Today, Askals are not only companion dogs or street dogs, but they found a work in Philippine Army, who currently uses dozens of dogs to help them with various tasks. Askals have been also trained by the Coast Guard to identify bombs and drugs by scent. They are becoming more and more popular by the army, especially because of their high endurance and weather tolerance, especially in comparsion to foreign breeds.
Probably the most internationally famous Askal dog is Kabang, who rescued two children from a potentially fatal motorcycle crash. She jumped at the motorcycle, knocking it over and prevented two young people from a potentially deadly crash! When people around the world heard that the dog badly injured it’s face, donations from over 45 countries were collected for the dogs recovery funds.
There is no official breed standard for Askals and they can vary quite a lot in appearance. Normally, this is medium sized dog breed with average around 60 cm which is 23 inch and weight around 20 kg, which is 44 pounds. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males. Almost all the Askals have very long legs. This is very athletic breed which can have short or rough hair which comes in many different colors, commonly in brown, black, white and brindle.
Askals are amazing dogs, but they are often times overlooked, because people want purebred dogs. But there is nothing wrong with Askals and if you will decide to adopt this dog from some shelter in Phillipines, they will repay your kindness with endless loyalty, devotion and a lot of love.
Askal dogs have great genetic diversity, which si probably a reason why they are usually extremely healthy dogs. Most of the time, they do not suffer from any genetic health issues, but of course, they can ocassionally sufer from typical doggy issues like allergies or some eye problems. It is not uncommon for them to live well over 15 years.