The Telomian is a very old pariah dog breed, originally bred by Malaysian aborigines and it has similar appearance to other primitive pariah dogs around the world. These appearance characteristics include erect ears, curled tail or relatively dense coat.
The Telomian has a squared build and the height is typically between 15-19 inch, which is 38-48 cm and weight is usually between 18-28 lbs, which is 8-13 kg. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males. And even though it is not the largest breed, this is definitely very strongly built and athletic dog.
The head is well proportioned to the body. Sometimes, these dogs have wrinkled head, which is another typical characteristic of pariah dogs. The ears are in medium size and should always be erect and the eyes are almond shaped and dark colored.
The coat of Telomian is smooth and rather short and the most common colors are tan and white, black and white or any form of sable. Some Telomians are piebald in colour, and occasionally some have a black mask.
For a long time, this breed was used to protect the habitats of the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia from rats and snakes. Thanks to that, the breed has pretty high prey drive and is capable of hunting all kinds of smaller game. They are very independent, but also extremely intelligent and very good problem solvers, they are also quite athletic, tireless and they have great senses, all very important characteristics for a hunter.
But the Telomian was not only popular as protector, but also for its affectionate, playful, cheerful, loyal and obedient personality. These dogs just make wonderful companions. The Telomian can live with other dogs in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood.
Even though very affectionate and loyal to its family, this dog is also very protective over its family and is quite alert and suspicious towards strangers. It can také a while before a stranger will gain a trust of a Telomian.
Telomians are adaptable dogs and few daily longer walks might be enough to satisfy their exercise needs, but they love running and will be always ready for long outdoor adventure or jog. These dogs typically also love different dog puzzle toys where they can use their intelligence, fun training sessions or some playtime. It is important to provide the dog with some mental stimulation as well, so it is not bored.
The Telomian has a very skillful paws and they are very often using them similarly as we do, for example when they holding their toys or when they are trying to open the door.
Telomians are typically excellent climbers. To understand, why they developed this climbing skill, it is important to look at their history. The Malay people lived in huts raised from the forest floor with access by primitive ladders and if the dog wanted to enter the hut, he needed to learn how to climb the ladder. And they have this climbing skill to this day.
The Telomian is a very old breed, native to Malaysian jungle, where they lived with the aborigines of Malaysia, known as Orang Ali. They were protecting their huts and they were helping with providing the food for the family they have become an integral part of their lives. But there are not many historical records about the breed, so their history is very mysterious.
The breed lived in isolation for centuries, until the 1963, when it was discovered by Dr. Orville Elliot and his wife, who found specimens kept by the aborigines. Elliot received a second pair in 1973 and most of the Telomians in the US are descended from these 4 dogs.
The Telomian is named after the Telom River in Sungai Telom Valley, where the breed was discovered by Dr. Elliot.
Health and grooming
The Telomian is a low maintenance breed, who will keep its coat clean and in good condition even without any grooming at all. Of course, regular brushing is only beneficial as it will remove loose hair and dirt from the coat. No other grooming needs are necessary. You should also regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
There are no scientific studies about Telomians health, but it seems this is usually very healthy dog breed, with long lifespan and it is not uncommon for these dogs to live a healthy live well into their later teens. But of course, they may suffer from the typical doggy health issues such as some eye problems, allergies or joint problems, but they should not be prone to any health issues very much.