The ASKAL, also known as the Aspin dog, is a native of the Philippines and one of the most popular dog breeds in the country.
It has become part of the landscape in large areas of the Philippines. They aren’t very well known worldwide overall, which is what this page will aim to remedy.
What Is The Meaning Of ASKAL?
ASKAL comes from the Filipino word Asong Kalye in Tagalog, meaning “street dog.” They are historically known as Philippine street dogs and vary in appearance.
Despite the variance in appearance, this Philippine dog shares similar sizes, generally a medium-sized breed.
Askal Dog Breed History:
The ASKALS are considered a mongrel breed of dogs and are commonly found roaming around Philippine streets.
The breed is extremely resilient because they are well adapted to the street way of life.
The breed’s exact origins are unknown, but because they have been bred from a variety of mixed breeds and “mutts,” there are no specific ancestors to which they can be traced.
As we have mentioned before, the name “ASKAL” is derived from the term “asong kalye,” which translates to “street dog. ”
It also shows how liberal the Filipinos are and how free these dogs are most of the time.
A Change From Askal To Aspin
Because of the popularity of this native Filipino dog as a well-tempered house pooch, actions have been taken to erase the idea of the breed being little more than a street wandering nomad.
Early in the 2000s, efforts were made to change the dog’s name from Askal to ASPIN (Asong Pinoy), meaning “Filipino Dog.”
The change in its name changes the meaning behind the dog’s name to influence people away from thinking of it as an opportunistic nuisance rather than a well-mannered, loyal dog.
Aspin Dog Physical Features
Interestingly, an ASKAL puppy and an adult dog don’t have a specific appearance.
The reason is simple. They crossed bred with multiple breeds, making it difficult to pinpoint their looks.
If mixed with another breed, they usually retain the elements from that breed, which can be very different from one dog to the other.
The regular height of an ASKAL dog is around 64 to 70 cm. however, you can expect females to be anywhere from 58 to 64 cm, so a tad smaller.
Regarding weight, females are lighter at 16-20 kg, and males can be anywhere from 18 to 29 kg or even 30 at times.
Eyes can have a variety of shapes and colors; the same happens with ears too. In the case of ears, you can find rose or droopy ears; others have pricked ears. So the options here are all over the place.
The tail is always long and thick as it starts at the root and then tapers to a point.
Mostly all the ASKALs have very long and relatively thin legs, which is quite an interesting thing to note about this breed in the first place.
The Askal has fur that is described as short, dense, and rough and can come in various colors. ASKALS come in the colors brown, white, black, or brindle.
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Askals Temperament & Personality
Askals are predictably independent. Such is easy to understand when remembering their heritage as dogs from the street.
At the same time, this mixed-breed dog wouldn’t last very long if it were nasty toward people. They are people-friendly unless trained or raised to be otherwise.
They are devoted to their owners, protective, playful, and friendly with their owners, family members, and other dogs. They make for an affectionate family dog and have proven good with young children.
They love being outdoors and remain competent in handling themselves outside.
Are Askals Smart?
Generally speaking, Askals are intelligent dogs.
As an example of the capability of Askal’s smarts, there have been entries that have competed against other dogs in agility competitions and other shows and given them a run for their money.
Is it Possible to Train an Askal?
Askal is intelligent enough to be well-trained. As alluded to above, Askals or Aspins lend their services to several police forces in the Philippines and are employed by the Philippine military.
If the Askal weren’t dependably trainable, this wouldn’t be the case, and other dogs would be employed in their stead. They are mainly used to sniff out drugs, bomb detection, and guard dogs but are also recognized as great search and rescue dogs.
They are smart as house canines and have proven themselves effective workers. Unintelligent dogs never make it too far when holding any police force or military jobs.
Askal Dog Lifespan
As a rule of thumb, smaller to midsized dogs age slower than big to large-sized dogs. Thus, smaller dogs tend to have longer lives.
This is true with the Askal, who typically enjoys a lifespan between 15 to 20 years. In the world of canines, this is a good long life.
How To Take Care Of Askal Dogs
Many dogs tend to have health problems, which mostly come down to genetics.
They have great genetic diversity, making them powerful dogs without any major genetic issues.
They aren’t immune to dog diseases but are more resistant to most common dog illnesses.
That’s the most important aspect you want to pursue. Results can be among some of the best every time; all you have to do is consider it.
There are no major requirements in the Philippines regarding vaccinations, which you have to consider.
You can go to the vet, who will recommend the standard vaccinations, nothing too crazy.
But this shows the true nature of Askal and how impressive and unique this is as a breed.
It’s very different, and that shows the true value and uniqueness provided by this dog in the first place.
The Askal is a low-maintenance dog that does not require much brushing or grooming.
These dogs have short coats that do not require much bathing or trimming. Their fur is short and doesn’t shed a lot.
Finding the right dog food for the Askal dog will not be many chores. These pets have a varied diet, so they will eat just about anything they can.
They are unlike most purebreds, meaning their stomach is much more powerful.
They won’t have organisms messing up their stomachs. As a result, they will be ok even with lower-quality food and some leftover scraps.
Of course, you want to ensure that your “best friend” eats fresh food. Otherwise, he might get sick.
Since we are talking about a dog in the Philippines, you will notice that you can easily offer him rice, home-cooked food, meat, and veggies, and it will be just fine.
Feeding your Askal all comes down to the budget. It can work very well, and it will undoubtedly give you a super rewarding and impressive experience which is always an excellent thing.
The Modern Day Askal
1. Askal Dog’s Role in Military and Police Work
Today, the ASKALS (sometimes AZKALS) or ASPINS are becoming more popular in Philippine homes and the workforce.
Military and police forces in the country have begun to choose the Askal for working purposes over other canines. The reason is how versatile and resilient Aspins are and how easily they can handle transitions from place to place, climate to climate, within the Philippine Archipelago.
They’ve noticed where other K9s, such as the Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Labrador Retrievers, or the Chinese Red Dog, would begin to fatigue and lay down; wary of the day’s heat, and the Aspin would still be ready to go. They thrive in the climate they know and are not affected by the heat and humidity as other, more popular dogs are.
Their history of being a wandering dog has engrained a “street smart” element in their instincts, giving them the ability to adapt to their surroundings quickly. They are also more resilient to diseases than other breeds out there.
Currently, the Philippine Army employs over 40 Aspins to help them with various tasks.
While they are popular among Pinoys, the ASKALS remains uncommon in other world parts.
2. The Askal as a Beloved and Loyal Pet
Askals have mixed themselves to such an extent within the Philippines that owners would protest that they should be viewed as their breed, with predictable results in nearly every way except for the variances in appearance.
Be it a purebred or a mongrel- it’s all semantics.
A great dog is a great dog, and the Askal or Aspin is deeply beloved by those who have enjoyed owning them.
As we mentioned earlier, he is very loving and faithful to the entire family and shows the true, unique approach being brought to the table.
The most important aspect is that he also has a lot of energy, so he will play around with kids quite a bit.
When it comes to mutts or “mongrel,” dogs, like the Aspins or Askals purists, tend to look down their noses at them and are often viewed as inferior to the more purpose-driven purebreds. But are they inferior?
For the most part, no, not at all. In some cases, mixed breeds are healthier, suffer from fewer genetic or hereditary issues, and can live just as long, if not longer, than purebreds of the same size and activity levels.
Purebreds are more predictable regarding what one would expect of the breed. In that sense, predictability leads to an informed decision to make such a long-term commitment.
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1. Is there an Aspin dog in the USA?
As it is a Philippine dog, there are no reports that Aspin dogs have been imported to the USA.