The term “Askal” might be new to you, and that’s okay. Askal is a term used in the Philippines to describe a street dog or a mixed-breed dog. It’s an acronym for “asong kalye,” which translates to “street dog” in English. This term has been embraced by many Filipinos as a source of pride, representing the hardiness and tenacity of the native dogs.
History and Origin of Askal
Askals have been an integral part of Philippine society for centuries. Historians and canine experts believe they descend from primitive dogs that migrated across land bridges from neighboring countries, such as Taiwan. Their lineage has been shaped by the influence of various foreign breeds introduced by trade, colonization, and immigration.
Characteristics of an Askal
An Askal’s physical attributes are quite diverse due to their mixed-breed lineage. Generally, they are medium-sized dogs with short coats and an athletic build. Their color, size, and shape can significantly differ from one Askal to another, reflecting their rich and varied heritage.
The Lifestyle of an Askal
Askals are incredibly adaptable, thriving in various environments across the Philippines, from bustling city streets to rural provinces. They’re street-savvy, known for their intelligence and resourcefulness in finding food and shelter.
Askal’s Typical Behavior
Askals are friendly, loyal, and protective. Despite their hardships on the streets, many still demonstrate a loving nature when treated with kindness. Known for their survival instincts and agility, they’re also commonly trained as rescue or service dogs in their communities.
Health and Lifespan of an Askal
Due to their diverse genetic background, Askals are generally robust and less prone to breed-specific health issues. However, like all dogs, they can still be susceptible to common diseases such as heartworm, ticks and fleas, and rabies, especially when living on the streets.
The life expectancy of an Askal is typically around 10-15 years, but with proper care and a loving home, they can live longer healthier lives.
Askal and the Community
Askals symbolize the resilience and adaptability of the Filipino people. They feature in local folklore and are increasingly celebrated in popular culture. Initiatives like the “Aspin Club” aim to improve the image and welfare of Askals, promoting them as equals to purebred dogs.
Current Status and Conservation
Despite their significance, many Askals face challenges, including overpopulation, neglect, and mistreatment. Many organizations now focus on rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming Askals while encouraging responsible pet ownership and spaying and neutering.
Adopting an Askal: What to Consider
Askals can make excellent pets for those who appreciate their resilience, intelligence, and loyalty. Their adaptable nature makes them suited for both apartments and houses. However, like all dogs, they need regular exercise, mental stimulation, and, most importantly, love and care.
How to Care for an Askal
Caring for an Askal involves regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercise. Investing time in training and socialization from a young age is vital to ensure they become well-adjusted, happy pets.
In essence, the Askal is more than just a street dog—it’s a testament to resilience and adaptability, representing the spirit of the Philippines. Whether you’re considering adopting an Askal or simply interested in knowing more about these incredible dogs, remember that they deserve love, respect, and care, like all animals.
What is the meaning of ‘Askal’?
Askal is an acronym for “asong kalye,” meaning “street dog” in English.
What does an Askal look like?
Askals are typically medium-sized dogs with short coats. Their physical characteristics can significantly vary due to their mixed breed lineage.
What is the typical lifespan of an Askal?
The average lifespan of an Askal is around 10-15 years. With proper care and a loving home, they can live longer.
How can I care for an Askal?
Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, training, and socialization are all crucial for Askal’s health and happiness.
Where can I adopt an Askal?
Various organizations rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome Askals. It’s always recommended to adopt and not shop for pets.