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ASKAL: The Philippines’ Native Dog (a.k.a. Aspin Dog Breed)

Highlights: Independent, Smart, Loyal

The ASKAL, sometimes referred to as the Aspin dog, is a native to the Philippines, and it’s one of the most popular dog breeds in the country.

It’s a domesticated pet, but owners tend to leave them to roam freely without forcing them to stay in a single place.

Want to know more about this breed?

Keep reading…

What Is The Meaning Of ASKAL?

The name ASKAL comes from the Filipino word “asong kalye or “dog of the street” in English.

Because these dogs are seen as more than just a “street dog”, several organizations rallied around in the early 2000s to discard this term.

They renamed the dog “ASPIN” or Asong Pinoy (a Filipino phrase meaning “Filipino dog” in English).

What makes them different from ordinary street dogs?

Did You Know?

  • Several Askal dogs have been deemed “heroes”. In 2016, an Askal named Roy aided in a search and rescue mission in a landslide.
  • Kabang, became internationally famous and was described as a “hero dog” when she jumped at the motorcycle, knocking it over and prevented two young people from a potentially deadly crash!
  • Buboy, the Filipino version of the Japanese dog breed, Hachiko became viral for waiting for his owner who had already died, a few days before.

Askal Dog Breed Overview:

Askal dog breed lying in the beach sand The interesting thing about the ASKAL dog puppy and an adult dog is that they don’t really have a specific appearance.

The reason is simple, they crossed bred with multiple breeds, and that makes it difficult to pinpoint their looks.

If they are mixed with another breed, they usually retain the elements from that breed and that can be very different from one pet 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.

When it comes to weight, females are lighter at 16-20 kg and males can be anywhere from 18 up 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.

That being said, the tail is always long, thick as it starts at the root and then it becomes taper to a point.

Mostly all the ASKAL dogs have very long and rather thin legs, which is quite an interesting thing to note about this breed in the first place.

The Askal has a fur that is described as short, dense, and rough, and can come in a variety of colors. ASKALS come in colors of brown, white, black, or brindle.

Askal Temperament:

Askal dog from Candon, Ilocos Sur, Philiippines

One of the most important things to note about the ASKAL dog, in general, is that this is one of the nicest types of pets you can have out there.

They are very lovable and they love being around with people and socializing.

Most of the time, the ASKAL or Aspin has a lot of patience and he can be a lot of fun to hang out with.

They tend to be outdoor dogs, so while they can stay indoors, it’s an excellent idea to let them go outside and just do their thing.

They are ok with other dogs, and they tolerate most animals too, especially cats.

Aspin Dog History:

Askal dog lying on a cemented ground from Quezon City, Philiippines

The ASKALS are considered as a mongrel breed of dogs in the Philippines and are commonly found on the streets.

Because they are so well adapted to the street way of life, the breed is extremely resilient.

The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but because they have been bred from a variety of mixed breeds and “mutts”, there are no specific ancestors that they can be traced back to.

As we have mentioned before, the name “ASKAL” is derived from the term “asong kalye”, which translates to “street dog“.

This also shows how liberal the people from the Philippines are and how free these dogs tend to be most of the time.

Today, the ASKALS (sometimes AZKALS) or ASPINS are becoming more popular in homes and the workforce in the Philippines.

Currently, the Philippine Army employs over 40 Aspin dogs to help them with various tasks.

While they are popular in the Philippines, the ASKALS remain uncommon in other parts of the world.

Askal Dogs Health Issues:

Two Askal dog breeds on the floor

Many pets tend to have health problems, and this mostly comes down to genetics.

That being said, they have great genetic diversity and that makes the ASKAL a very powerful breed without any major genetic issues to begin with.

They aren’t immune to dog diseases; however, they do have a higher resistance to most of the regular dog illnesses.

That’s the most important aspect you want to pursue. Results can be among some of the best every time because of that, all you have to do is to consider it.

When it comes to vaccinations, there are no major requirements in the Philippines, and that’s something you have to take into consideration.

You can go to the vet and he will just recommend the standard vaccinations, nothing too crazy.

But this goes to show the true nature of the ASKAL and how impressive and unique this really is as a breed.

It’s very different and that on its own shows the true value and uniqueness provided by this breed in the first place.


The ASKAL is a low-maintenance breed of dog that does not require a lot of brushing or grooming.

These dogs have short coats that do not require much in terms of bathing or trimming. Their fur is short and doesn’t shed a lot.

Food Requirements

Black Askal dog breeds on leash outside a house

Finding the right dog food for ASKAL is not going to be that much of a chore. These pets are known to have a varied diet, so they will eat just about anything they can.

They are unlike most pure breeds and that means their stomach is a lot more powerful.

They won’t have organisms messing up their stomachs. As a result, they will be ok even with a bit lower quality food and some leftover scraps.

Of course, you want to make sure that the foods your pet eats are fresh. Otherwise, he might get sick.

Since we are talking about a dog that lives 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.

Basically, feeding your ASKAL all comes down to the budget. It can work very well and it will certainly give you a super rewarding and impressive experience which is always a very good thing.

Aspin Lifespan

That will vary based on how much care you take of him. But normally you can expect a life span of around 12 to 15 years.

That’s quite exciting and it clearly shows the true focus that you can have and the tremendous experience coming from all of this.

You want to make sure that you know how to tackle it correctly, and that means having a good idea of how you need to take care of the ASKAL dog.

How Do You Train An ASKAL Dog?

Brown Askal dog from Zambales, Philippines

ASKAL dog training isn’t really a huge topic here. They do tend to be very active and energetic.

However, they don’t need a lot of exercises and regular walks are more than ok all the time.

With that in mind, traditional dog training methods and fetch exercises will do just fine.

You can try something a bit more complex, but remember that ASKALs tend to have their energy wear off rather often, so you have to figure out how to deal with all of that.

The ASKAL dog training process needs to take place in a remote environment, closed one if possible.

While they are ok with people they know, they can be aloof to strangers like most dogs and that’s something you may want to avoid.


Should You Own An ASKAL Puppy?

Brown Askal dog

The ASKAL puppy is a great pet for your home and the most important aspect is that he is smart, friendly and lovable.

It might take a little bit to find the right ASKAL puppy for you, but it’s an incredible pet to begin with and you will surely love it.

Rest assured that once you own an ASKAL, you will fall in love with the loyalty and support this type of pet can provide, so check it out!


Are ASKALS good with kids?

The ASKAL does a very good job with kids.
As we mentioned earlier, he is very loving and loyal with the entire family and he really 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.

Are Aspin Dogs Smart?

Because of the time they have spent on the streets,

ASPIN Dogs have become extremely resilient, and are often seen as more street-smart than other purebreds.

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About the author: Pablo Pascua created dogbreedsfaq.com because of his interest in all the different breeds, and his desire to learn more. His inspiration comes from the many dogs he has owned throughout his life.

1 comment… add one
  • Zanzan Renegade Jun 11, 2021 @ 22:49

    We have aspin puppy and yes all of this are true . He’s sweet , kind and playful. But when we remove his leash, he just bolts away full speed and try to find ways to go outside the neighborhood but my father don’t like our Aspin roaming around because one of our good neighbors throw stones at roaming dogs :/ So we don’t let him go outside anymore to make him safe from nasty vile weirdos. I will try to walk him out instead in the morning when im not feeling lazy 😛 LoL

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