Southeast Asian Village Dog

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

Dogs inhabit the forests, mountains, and beaches of Southeast Asia, living among the hundreds of civilizations found in that region. These dogs are as diverse as the region, showing a wide range of shapes and sizes, as well as harboring very high genetic diversity. Each Southeast Asian dog is a remarkable and unique pup!

Fun Fact

Ridgeback, brindled, and rear dew-clawed village dogs are common in Vietnam, making these dogs some of the most diverse-looking dogs in the world!

  • About the Southeast Asian Village Dog

    Southeast Asian village dogs are some of the most genetically diverse dogs on earth. Dogs spread from their original in Central Asia 15,000 years ago through East Asia and into Southeast Asia. Studies show that all of those populations retain very high levels of diversity, making them very interesting to study and learn more about the history and genetics of the dog generally.

    Very little is known about the history of dogs in Southeast Asia. Due to genetic similarity, we know that they came from East Asia and further spread into the islands of far Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania starting over 5,000 years ago. These dogs have not had much recent interbreeding with European dogs, retaining their distinct nature.

    Several local, ancient races or breeds of dog have formed in this region. For example, the H’mong people in northern Vietnam have a distinct breed with a docked tail that is used for hunting and guarding. Some dogs in the region have also been bred for meat, although this practice is waning in many areas.

    As Embark gets more samples of Southeast Asian village dogs, we may be able to learn even more about their role in the history and evolution of the dog. Your unique pup can help us advance science!

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