Information about the Kintamani

The Kintamani is a dog native to the Indonesian island of Bali. It is a popular pet for the Balinese and locally Bali’s only official breed and efforts are currently under way to have the dog accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale as a recognized breed. It is an evolving breed indigenous to the Kintamani region which evolved from the local Bali street dogs, which are rather a feral random-bred landrace distinctive to Bali.

Genetic studies have shown that, despite evidence to the contrary, the Kintamani dog is native to Bali. Thirty-one highly polymorphic short tandem repeat markers from Kintamani dogs, Bali street dogs, Australian dingoes, and nine American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeds of northeast Asian or European origin were compared. The Kintamani dog was identical to the Bali street dog at all but three loci. The Bali street dog and Kintamani dog were most closely aligned with the Australian dingo, more distantly related to AKC recognized breeds of Chinese origin, and most distantly related to AKC breeds from of western Eurasia. Therefore, the Kintamani dog has evolved from Balinese feral dogs with little loss of genetic diversity.

These results come despite observable facts about the Kintamani Dog that make them more similar to breeds from elsewhere and which set them apart from the average village dog; facts which had lent credence to a local folk belief that the breed originated 600 years ago from a Chinese Chow Chow brought from abroad.

The Kintamani looks something like a mix between the Samoyed and a Malamute. They have long hair, a broad face, a flat forehead, and flat cheeks like Chinese dogs such as the Chow Chow and are amenable to life as a pet. Whilst many live much the same kind of life as an average village dog, they dig holes to nest their young and some live in small caves among the boulders around Kintamani. They are locally considered good-looking dogs are more often sought after as good pets, whereas the Bali street dog cannot be reliably tamed, even when taken as a puppy. In contrast, the Kintamani dog is gentle around people, yet retains enough assertive behavior to render it a noteworthy (but not vicious) watchdog.

The most desired coat color is white with apricot-tipped ears. Breeders often confine the dogs to cold dark caves near the Kintamani volcano, insisting it an essential step in developing the thick white coat. However, other coat colors, such as black, are accepted. Other common fur colors include beige.

The withers height of the female Kintamani dog is 40-50 cm, 45-55 cm for the male, about the same as the stature of the Bali street dog. The desired physical traits of the Kintamani dog include erect ears, forwardly curved tail held at the midline, medium to longhaired coat, almond-shaped brown eyes, and black skin pigment.

Bali street dogs come in many colors and coat patterns, and they are almost always shorthaired and straight- to curve- tailed. Both still whelp in burrows dug into the earth, a feral dog trait. However,

A fiercely independent breed, Kintamani’s can be aggressively territorial while at the same tender and affectionate with their own families. While most dog breeds are disinclined to climbing and heights, Kintamani’s will climb across roofs and spend parts of the day happily installed sitting or sleeping atop a garden wall. They are light-footed and move freely, smoothly and lithely, and will bark when confronted with an unfamiliar sound or sight.