September 03, 2017

A Guide to Aspins, the Philippines’ Native Dogs

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  • A Guide to Aspins, the Philippines’ Native Dogs
  • Contrary to what others say that the native dogs in the Philippines have no breed, some people say that in fact they do: they are bred as Filipino dogs, also called Aspins or Asong Pinoy.

    Aspin means Asong Pinoy or Filipino dog. /IMAGE Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Facebook page

    A background on Aspins

    Native dogs in the Philippines used to only be called askal, a combination of the Filipino words “aso” (dog) and “kalye” (street). People designated them such name because these dogs are usually seen roaming on the streets and let outside the house. But they aren’t just street dogs.

    In the early 2000s, several organizations and passionate individuals started raising the position of native dogs in the society and the dog world by discarding the term askal and  giving them a more appropriate and socially acceptable name: Aspin.

    Aspins are lovable dogs who deserve a home. /IMAGE Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Facebook page

    Characteristics of Aspins

    The Philippines’ native dogs are a mixture of different breeds, but it’s not clear what their real ancestors are. Aspins, however, have characteristics that distinctively identify them.

    Most Aspins are medium-sized dogs that stand at no more than two feet in height. Their coat is usually short and rough with varying colors. They can be brown, black, white, brindled or spotted.

    What’s great about Aspins is that they are lovable, resilient, and low-maintenance. They are more resistant to diseases, shed less fur, and are also good companions to children.

    Imported breeds and Aspins can also be best friends! /IMAGE Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Facebook page

    Aspins in the spotlight

    Gone are the days when Aspins are no more than an askal that can’t be on the same league as purebred dogs like Golden Retrievers or Rottweilers. There are Aspins that have proven that they aren’t just street dogs or watch dogs.

    Take Kimchi for example; this Aspin stood out in the purebred and pedigree-dominated Philippine Dog Athletics Association (PDAA) Iron Dog Challenge held in 2015. A survivor of animal cruelty, Kimchi placed second in the Dog Agility and Disc Dog (Frisbee) contests.

    Aspin Kimchi runs with her adopter and trainer. /IMAGE Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Facebook page

    Just recently, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also acknowledged Aspins as a better choice for K-9 duty than imported dogs because of their endurance and weather tolerance.

    Aspins have also proven to be as charming and adorable as expensive breeds in the SM store’s feature of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) shelter Aspins.

    This beautiful model is an Aspin! /IMAGE The SM Store

    How to own an Aspin

    You don’t usually find Aspins in pet stores, but you can find a lot of them in animal shelters—Aspins, unfortunately, are also the usual victims of animal cruelty. But then again, Aspins are resilient, and they are good at repaying kindness with loyalty and a lot of love.

    Some of the advantages of getting an Aspin from a shelter are that it’s cheap, that they are completely vaccinated, and that it’s morally fulfilling because you save a life. Animal shelters can also help you find the right pet that would suit your personality and lifestyle.

    Also read: List of Animal Shelters in Manila

    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño
    Sources: Philippine Animal Welfare Society,
    Images grabbed from: Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Facebook page, The SM Store

    Recent Comments

    I have 14 Aspin and i love them, yes 14… but i also own an island in the Philippines there’s plenty of space for everybody.They are my loyal companions.

    7 days ago

    Aspins are underrated. I had Aspins when I was young and they are the best.

    I don’t want to make foreign dog breeds bad but there is definitely something special with Aspins. Currently, we are raising 5 dogs. 3 of foreign breeds, a half Aspin, and a pure one.

    Those of Aspin lineage have good temperament. They are also sweet because they are the first one to welcome me when I get home. My puppy, a pire Aspin, checks on me every day. He will come to my room at 6 am and wakes me up. He will always come to see me if I am alone in my room. And at midnight, he will come again to see me.

    I wish people will see more how beautiful Aspins are. All dogs deserve to be loved.

    4 weeks ago

    i justt lost my aspin 2 days ago,, its just like lossing one part of the hurt me so much

    2 months ago

    Aspins are very loyal, loving and intelligent. I miss Julie and Blackie. I have Gunner today and an aspin we named Peewee. They light up my life and i love them like they’re my children 😅😅😅. Thank God for man’s best friend 🙏🙏🙏

    4 months ago

    Agreed, aspin are lovable and caring, our family once have aspin that we adopted name whitee, he has a good attitude, back then I’m just 5 years old. He always watch our family especially me and my 2 younger sisters, he even knows how to catch birds and brought it to the house, but sadly time have catched up him, as he became old he can’t do no more his usual stuff so its time for me and my family to watch and care him as he did when me and my sisters are still little. We love him so much that me and my family cried when he died.

    4 months ago

    i also have an aspin,they’re supposed to be two of them.. and i named them gumiho(female)and stephin(male)but the other one died because of poison(that one was gumiho),and i think the one who did that was just our own neighbor who really hate dogs and even puppies.. the one that left on me right now is only stephin,i loved him so much ,i even treat him like a human brother,bathe him every week(my rest day on my work).. i also bought a lot of his hygine,just like powder,shampoo,conditioner,comb,toys,wet food,dry food, his own bed and even his own bath utensils organizer.. and i am hoping that this my little bro(stephin) wont die because of what other did to gumiho… stephin is kind of a very lovable,kind,sweet,charming and cute aspin puppy!! i love him so much !!

    10 months ago

    Aspins are indeed lovable, my unforgettable moment with them was back when I was a child was when I was crying, they followed me into my room to comfort mee. (There was seven of them)

    10 months ago

    we have aspins too i have saved an aspin in the street and named her swertres, we feed and loved her so much until she gave us puppies named drew,bolantoy,snowpee and keeper,. they are very much loyal to our family, so sweet and playful

    one year ago

    i have lots of aspin dogs at home.. they are lovable, loyal and friendly…they can be trained also… love them always..

    one year ago

    Lexie my aspin is the best hands down. I was already given a pure pug, a poo-gle, and an am bully. Ipinamigay ko rin. Kay lexie ako no question.

    one year ago

    I found a female Aspin who gave birth to 6 pups last Dec 10, 2017 on my perimeter house gate, I gave her water and food and pet her. 2 -3 weeks later I observe that they are exposed to sun and rain and so I allowed to get them and put them inside my garage. Bought a 3X3 cage with a constant supply of food and water taken from my allowance. Todate, the female mother pups repay me by guarding our house and the pups are now 11 months old each and help one another in guarding our house away from possible burglers day and night. I managed to maintain their health with vitamins, once a week bath and I fell in love with these dogs. My advocacy to dogs and cats will continue and committed to help them out during their needs.

    one year ago

    I am an owner of 1 loyal aspin. thank you so much for sharingbtbis message to people. And you are right, Aspins are lovable dogs who deserve a home. With ir Without breed, true dog lover will love dogs unconditionally.

    one year ago

    Thank you for advocating for the Aspin. As a person with 12 aspins for friends and companions, thank you for sharing their endearing traits.

    one year ago
    What do you think about this article?
    ★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★


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