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Kintamani dog white.jpg
3-month old white puppy with apricot-tipped ears
Country of origin Indonesia

The Kintamani is a dog breed native to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Kintamani dog is an evolving breed indigenous to the Kintamani region of Bali. Kintamani dogs cohabitate with feral Bali street dogs, although folklore has the breed originating 600 years ago from a Chinese Chow Chow. The physical and personality characteristics of the Kintamani dog make it a popular pet for the Balinese, and efforts are currently under way to have the dog accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale as a recognized breed. To study the genetic background of the Kintamani dog, 31 highly polymorphic short tandem repeat markers were analyzed in Kintamani dogs, Bali street dogs, Australian dingoes, and nine American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeds of Asian or European origin. 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 and distantly related to AKC recognized breeds of Asian but not European origin. Therefore, the Kintamani dog has evolved from Balinese feral dogs with little loss of genetic diversity.

Kintamani Dogs have a distinctive form and character which sets them apart from the average village dog. Whilst they live much the same kind of life as an average village dog, Kintamani dogs have longer hair and dig holes in which to nest their young. Some even live in small caves among the boulders around Kintamani. Nowadays, these good-looking dogs are increasingly sought after as pets. They have a broad face, a flat forehead and flat cheeks. In this way, they resemble the Chinese mountain dog, the Chow Chow, to which recent genetic studies have confirmed; the Kintamani Dog is distantly related.[1]





One year old black Kintamani

Common fur colors include white, beige, and black. Now officially recognized as a separate canine breed, the Kintamani looks something like a mix between the Samoyed and a solid white Malamute. Breeders often confine the dogs to cold dark caves near the Kintamani volcano, insisting it an essential step in developing the thick white coat of Bali's only official breed.

The typical physical appearances of Kintamani and Bali street dogs. The withers height of the female Kintamani dog is 40–50 cm, 45–55 cm for the male. The stature of the Bali street dog is similar. 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. The most desired coat color is white with apricot-tipped ears. However, other coat colors, such as black, are accepted. 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, 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.


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.


Genetic studies of the breed have shown that has probably evolved from local Balinese feral dogs, and is distantly related to other Asian breeds.[1] Folklore indicates that the Kintamani began with a Chow Chow around 600 years ago. The Kintamani achieved national recognition as a distinct dog breed in April 2006.

It is also possible that the Kintamani Dog came with the Javanese invaders from the kingdom of Majapahit in 1343 or with the Javanese refugees of the civil war in the 15th century. But of all the hypotheses, about the origins of the Kintamani Dog, only one is really plausible: that sometime between the 12th and the 16th century a Chinese trader named Lee landed in Singaraja in Northern Bali, bringing with him a Chow Chow dog which bred with the local Balinese feral dogs. Lee later in settled in the Kintamani region and raised his family there. Evidence that the Lee family lived in Kintamani exists in the form of a Chinese temple in which people of the Confucian faith still worship.

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