Unfairly still considered by some as being “lesser” than purebreds, our beloved Apin or “asong Pinoy” actually have much to offer!
In fact, the Philippine Army currently has at least 40 members of this breed deployed in different field units all over the country. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also shows preference for the Aspin, acknowledging that the breed is a better choice for K-9 duty, thanks to their endurance and weather tolerance. In 2011, an Aspin named Kabang was recognized internationally for her bravery, after she jumped in front of a motorcycle to save two girls.
With the right owners and under the right care, Aspins are just as amazing companions as any other dog breed! If you’re interested in adopting one or simply curious to know more about our native dogs, we’ve laid out all the basic information to get you started.
Origins of the Breed
Aspins were formally called “askals,” a combination of the Filipino words for dog (aso) and street (kalye). This was because members of this breed were typically seen roaming on the streets.
However, in the early 2000s, several organizations and passionate dog lovers instigated a movement to raise the position of these native dogs in our society. Thus, the term askal was replaced with a more appropriate and loving name such as asong Pinoy or Aspin.
Notable physical characteristics
Given that these native dogs are a genetic mix of different breeds, it’s hard to identify their exact lineage and trace back their attributes. But all the same, Apins have some distinct features that distinguish them from other dogs present today.
Most Aspins are medium-sized in build, standing no more than two feet in height. Their coats are typically short, rough in texture, and come in various colors such as brown, black, white, or even brindled and spotted. Their ears can either be pointed or floppy, and their snouts generally protrude.
What to expect for owners
Aspins are one of the most low-maintenance breeds, as they are well-adapted to the Philippine climate, have relatively high immunity, and require only basic grooming. Though typically used as guard dogs in Filipino households, the Aspins’ loving nature means that they get along nicely with people and even other pets.
Because Aspins weren’t bred for specific characteristics or purposes, they share many different traits with other dogs. But generally, most Aspins are relaxed, street-smart, playful, and friendly. Fun-loving as they are though, these native dogs don’t require high levels of exercise and will be perfectly content with regular walks.
This breed is also known to be quite independent, as they’re used to surviving out in the streets. This makes the Aspin an ideal choice for families who are looking for a more “manageable” breed of dog to care for.
Aspins have come a long way in being just “street dogs.” Good-natured and intelligent, these native dogs deserve all our love and recognition. If you’re looking to adopt an Aspin, keep all this information in mind or do extra research, to ensure a happy home life together!