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Aspin Breed Guide


When you roam the streets of the Philippines for the first time, you may wonder why dogs seem to be everywhere, free and unbothered.

It’s baffling at first, and curiosity floods your mind with one question: “What kind of dogs are these?”
Well, dogs come in diverse races, just as humans do. They have colors that vary from one after another. Sizes also range depending on their roots.

But here, we’re going to talk about a one-of-a-kind breed that spontaneously wins the hearts of passersby and tourists from all places.

girl with dog

We popularly know this breed as the Askal, which locally means “asong kalye,” or literally the street dog. Aspin stands for what we call the “asong Pinoy,” or the Filipino dog/native dog
Is the Askal or Aspin an acknowledged breed? As you know, there are 339 recognized breeds of dogs in the world classified by The World Canine Organization, or best known as Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), its French name.

(Coren, S., 2013) Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 195 breeds, with 79 others pending recognition. (Gould, W.R., 2020) When you look at the Aspin’s physical characteristics, their origin is discernible.

That is why people were led to believe that they are just plain dogs, invaluable to society. But let’s evaluate our choices before we judge the book by its cover. Is it really just what it seems?


What do they look like?


In truth, one Aspin may look slightly different from another Aspin. But they share some standard features that make the people immediately recognize an Aspin when they see one.
First of all, they are medium-sized canines with slender bodies. They have short, textured furry coats in many colors like white, brown, black, beige, or spotted with one or two color variations.

Their ears can be pointed or drooping, and their snouts are elongated. All in all, they are a lovely kind!

Why are Aspin dogs unique?


An Aspin can live up to around 15-20 years. They are mixed-breeds, but their roots up to the present day, cannot be determined. Today, the Aspin dogs on the streets diverge in appearance.
These dogs are bred naturally because, whether you believe it or not, most of them march around sidewalks, storefronts, and parks with no leash on their necks at all! If they happen to see another dog.

And out of sheer “love at first sight” (figuratively), they perform the call of nature as they wish. This breeding style makes it healthier than others since they reproduce according to their specific time frame, inartificial and candid.
Also, Aspin dogs are remarkably resilient. They sleep on the streets and even feast on leftover food near the trash bins!

These dogs can go around with very little food and water. Plus they aren’t picky eaters; they don’t need high-end dog food.

Aspins can appreciate leftover food of rice, meat, or fish, unlike other breeds.


Are they good companions?

Definitely, they are! Aspin dogs are intelligent. Since they are a mix of breeds, they apparently have different personality types.

Yet, in general, they are happy and playful dogs you can have a good time with. Most of them are tasked to guard the houses.

They bark eagerly whenever an unfamiliar scent comes into the picture.
They are loyal dogs and a favorite of many in the Philippines. These dogs symbolize the free-spirited Filipinos. Fun-filled dogs like the Aspin can get along with children and adults alike.

They always look out for their owners and treat them like their own kind.
Aspin dogs are obedient. They are trainable dogs that are born to be stars of the show. They can follow verbal commands and hand gestures and are always attentive when their owners need assistance.

Aspin dogs are often seen assisting the blind, sniffing drugs and bombs, or cancer cells. They are also acknowledged for finding missing people and animals or tracking down criminals for a case.

Below are some of the notable acts of Aspin dogs:


Note-worthy Aspin Dogs

  • Kabang – She is an Aspin who gained instant fame nationwide after saving two children from a fatal motorcycle crash. In the story, two children were about to cross the street, unaware of an approaching motorcycle. When Kabang saw the incident, she jumped over, knocking the motorbike down before it got to the children. Because of this, she lost the upper portion of her snout during the accident. She is a hero. For Kabang’s story, click here: 7 Incredible Stories Of Heroic Dogs.
  • Buboy – He is renowned as the Filipino version of Hachiko, who waited for his owner, oblivious of his death. Buboy waited for his owner, a college professor who passed away, in front of the faculty office. This poor fur-baby died in 2019 in a hit-and-run accident.
  • Boonrod – He was rescued along the shores of Thailand. No one exactly knows how this dog came to the water, but it was believed that he probably had jumped out or fallen off of a ship and swam all the way to dry land, Thailand. At present, Boonrod is in great shape. He is a miracle survivor in the open sea.

More dogs like them are possibly not taken into the limelight but have done such extraordinary and heroic acts that deserve to be applauded.

In other words, an Aspin isn’t inferior to the foreign breeds. They are just as valuable and worthy of a title for their kind.


Let’s Give Aspin Dogs Recognition they Deserve

Hopefully, these natives of the Philippines, these pooches, either stray or kept inside, shall one day be given the recognition they deserve.

Aspin dogs are every bit as unique as the other international breeds. After all, they can shine their brightest if only the world takes a peek.


Gina SaradorGina Sarador

I’m a family woman, a loving wife to my husband, and a dedicated mother of two. I’m an elementary school teacher who loves to write about many things. My kids, Kate and Krei, also love literature as I do.


Jace Sinclair
Jace Sinclair
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