We call them mankind’s best friend, 4-legged companion, or just a dog. Whatever you call them I want to tell you about the Dogs of Bali because they deserve special attention and love!
Currently, I own 2 Balinese dogs and both of them are rescue dogs from the street. Today 19th June 2020 I actually adopted a rescue dog in Ubud. Both my dogs are females. They tend to be abandoned next to the road, beach, parking lot. This breaks my heart and it’s a reason why I have been rescuing dogs (and cats) in the last decade.
Bali dogs play an important role in our society and the ecological environment. They keep us safe from snakes, keep rodent populations under control, and eat a lot of the organic waste. Their main purpose is to protect the property, family compound, where they live by barking at strangers.
Most people are not aware that it is possible to sterilize dogs. So when some dogs become pregnant or suddenly deliver a bunch of puppies, the females are seen as a burden.
What a burden?!
Females get pregnant! within a year after birth they can become pregnant and deliver another handful of pops. Before several years have passed you can get have 20 puppies. There are people that cannot afford to feed extra mouths.
The unfortunate consequence is that these lovely innocent (often female) pups get abandoned at some places. Some places even have signs of “Do not dump your dog here”.
A lot of locals have never heard of sterilization. Because many of the owned dogs roam free, they sometimes return pregnant. Sterilization prevents dogs from becoming pregnant. The procedure requires a vet (doctor hewan). Inform more over there or if you know someone tell them about it.
What is so special about indigenous dogs from Bali?
Inbetween 2000-2003 a study was done by research scientists about the Bali Dogs. There were an estimated of 800,000 primarily feral dogs back then and DNA samples were collected from random street dogs of Bali.
The results were amazing: There are total known alleles 366 alleles, the bali street dog has 239. These alleles are displayable traits for everything how a dog looks like: fur, paws, bodily structure eyes, tail etc.
Their DNA proves that the Bali Street Dog are one of the oldest breed canine species compared to all others! Amazing right. They have been undisturbed for an estimated 12,000 – 15,000 years.
sources: Genetic variation analysis of the Bali street dog using microsatellites published at NCBI and BMC Genetics
From the picture you can see a brown dog, this is my very own one sunbathing. This type and color can only be found in Bali. The white one is a Kintamani dog. It looks a lot like the Akita and mix and reading the official research studies, it makes me think they originate from Bali.
Bali Hindu’s and dogs
I used to live in a Balinese community where my dog was considered a friend of theirs as well. They would let her in let her sniff around and bark at strangers. They were happy to keep unwanted strangers out.
Besides doing fulfilling their functionality in social communities they are also important to the predominant religion of Bali: Hinduism. I also got an explanation that dogs are important to their religion as one of their deities called Bhairava uses a dog as a (best) friend and warrior.
Dog Meat trade banned in Bali but still found
In 2017 Dog meat trade was banned in Bali (Source: onegreenplanet.org) after a 4-month long of exposing the cruelty. It was a big win that it got banned. Unfortunatly it is still practised as plenty of food stalls were found in 2019 (source: Coconuts.co)
I want to help our 4-legged friends in Bali
There are many organizations that help out the dogs of Bali by rescuing, nurturing, and finding them a home. Unfortunately, this does cost a lot of money and I know. I have been doing it myself and the cost of vets and medicine quickly pile up.
An example of one of the organizations you can help remotely is The Bali Dog halfway house. You can help them feed the dogs they rescue.
My very own 2 Balinese rescue dogs
These are both rescue dogs. Cookie is the older one I found her in Kuta. The puppy, called Oreo, was found in Ubud.
Browsing through Instagram I saw this puppy and I have been talking with my husband that in our new place we can take a new dog in. His preference was a rescue dog so we could save a life that way.
If you are in Bali in a hotel or some accommodation and you feel like rescuing a dog, please do check with the owner first. Some of them don’t allow pets inside, and others are happy to help take care of the dog (but you got to pay for it)
I hope I’ve enlightened you by telling a bit about the dogs of Bali. I myself learned a bit and before I thought my doggies were just some random mix. Instead, I am a proud owner of 2 very old breeds!
Hi I am Dwik. I am a blogger, travel agent and a mom of a lovely baby daughter and wife to a supportive husband. I customize and plan tours in Bali and islands nearby for a living and have been doing this for more than 10 years. I started now to blog about handy information and things you can do while abroad or traveling. Get in touch via [email protected]