THE PHILIPPINE ASO PROJECT - INTRODUCTION The native dog of the Philippines has long been a loyal and loving companion to the Filipino family. This canine species has bravely served as watchdog and guard, warning his family of approaching strangers even deep into the night. The native dog has been used in hunting for food and has protected the home against wild animals. Our ancestors have indeed found them to be of great value, and this is evidenced by the fact that most Filipino families always had a dog. Filipinos are known throughout the world to be a dog-loving country. Many foreigners are amazed by the love that the Filipinos have for dogs. It seems that Filipinos are naturally attracted and attached to these creatures. As a matter of fact, even our country is shaped like a dog! Where else in the world can you see such a love for dogs? Nowhere! Unfortunately, most Filipinos nowadays look lowly at these very same dogs that have been their best friends since time immemorial in comparison to the imported dog breeds. The pedigreed dog owners have grown in numbers quite awesomely in the past few decades for the prestige these bring as the status symbols. Dog owners boast of having a German this and an American that, a Chinese this, and a Mexican that... Owners can talk all day about red marks and Championship titles and trophies. Of course, they are dogs, too, and deserve love and affection. There is nothing wrong with that but as these are enjoying the adoration and affection of the Filipino, Bantay, Tagpi and Brownie are put in the background. Many see them as not even deserving of expensive dog food, vitamins and vaccines! Of course not all ‘Philippine Aso’ are treated bad, some are treated very well indeed. But the general perception is pretty poor. The Philippine Aso Project aims to change this. Filipinos should not be caught in the marketing strategies of the dog importers. But the group cannot do it by telling them "Hey you should love aspins as much as the purebred dogs because they deserve respect too!" It would take more than a finger-wagging to change this negative perception we see. The goal of the Philippine Aso Project is to get this breed to the level of recognition that it truly deserves. The Philippine Aso is in fact, a National Treasure of the Philippines, although only very few sees them as such. This will change, and that change is the reason the Project was born. This Project aims to document and register as many Aso as we could and enroll as many people as possible to be the protectors and promoters of the breed. Dr. Abel Manalo want to use our kababayan Charisse Pempengco as analogy. She was largely just another Filipina singer before she was discovered on youtube and given the recognition she deserved. She is now an international superstar! Establishing a purebred dog requires selective breeding, which is genetic engineering. For the benefit of the non-scientists, the group does not want to use confusing jargon here. It is quite simple: The first phase of the Project is documenting the dogs, and classifying them into varieties, as there are quite some differences in size and coat in the Aso we all know. We all know what a "native dog" of the Philippines looks like. The group have seen breed standards of the Askal and Aspin in websites. The project can use these as bases. It would be best if the project got more people involved and aware of the

program nationwide. So that more and more people can help in the establishment phase. Then the project would be able to go to the next phases while the group has started to do the first phase. The ‘Philippine Aso’ is something we can all be proud of. Let's develop and showcase them to the world! HISTORY The group and project was borne on the 29th of August 2011 out of a discussion in Dr. Abel Manalo’s status in facebook: . Its purpose is to create and protect a purebred strain of dogs that are native to the Philippines, that Filipinos call the Native Dog or simply "Aso". All who are willing to support this advocacy are welcome. The group want to create a breed that we can be proud of as Filipinos. PHILIPPINE ASO The ‘Philippine Aso’, however, is now the term being used to denote the natural and formal breed of native dogs of the Philippines. There is NO certified purebred Philippine dog yet as there never had been a registering body until now. Creation of a purebred ‘Philippine Aso’ will take some years to establish. The creation, development, establishment, preservation and promotion of the purebred ‘Philippine Aso’ is the mandate of the Philippine Aso Project. However, for the time being, the term "Philippine Aso" shall be used to mean ANY dog that is thought to be a native to the Philippines: • Dogs that are obvious members of an established breed cannot be labeled "Philippine Aso". • Dogs in the landrace population that are offspring of a sire or dam that are obvious, known members of an established breed cannot be labeled "Philippine Aso". WHY "PHILIPPINE ASO"? The term puts the name of the country of origin, Philippines/ Philippine, plainly and directly upfront (as compared to the shortened "Pinoy" = "Pin" in "Aspin" which wouldn't really accomplish anything of the sort). This is a direct and very obvious branding effort to connect the dog breed with everything else that is Filipino - in identity and heritage: The Philippine Aso is the Philippines' own dog, and the Philippines is the ‘Philippine Aso’ home, and the Filipinos and the Philippine Aso are best friends. "Aso", plainly, means "dog" in the Filipino language. "Aso" has been used by the Tagalogs from time immemorial to pertain to their dogs, the native dogs the early Filipino ancestors brought into the country or were given them. MATERIAL FOR THE PHILIPPINE ASO What the group knows is that ALL dogs in the Philippines have been imported, as the country has no indigenous wolf population. What we consider our native dogs are from those dogs that our earliest ancestors had. Those early imported dogs most probably originated from Malaysia and India and thus must be related to the Pariah Dogs. OUR OWN ADAPTED DOGS However, those dogs, over centuries, adapted to our particular climate, natural and man-made conditions, diseases/ parasites that are present in our soils, with only the strong and fit surviving and breeding and those that are weal and unfit dying off as early as puppyhood; and what was left, adaptations of them, is what we see, what we have. This is the material for the Philippine Aso Project to work on. This material is what will be documented, registered, selectively and exclusively bred, guarded, and protected. WHAT THE GROUP HAVE TO DO To have a natural or traditional breed that the group can speak of, the members will have to register all the dogs that the group can get on hand. The group will then also document breeding activity and also

register their puppies through their specific generation. To have a formal breed/ pure breed, the group will be establishing the Breed Standards very soon, as well as if it will include varieties and what kind of varieties will it include. After several generations of careful management of the gene pool, the group shall be breeding true to type. The group would have weeded out as much recent adulteration as possible, as well as detrimental genetic factors that predispose dogs to identified diseases and conditions. GOAL The group will have a natural breed and a purebred ‘Philippine Aso’ for ever Filipino to enjoy, love, protect, and be proud of, probably a decade from the start of the Project.... by August 29, 2021. PROJECT LOGO

TERMINOLOGIES Askal. (from "ASong KALye"; Street Dogs) = Filipino term that means 'stray dog'; It is also used to denote the landrace dog population of the Philippines in general. Aspin. (from "ASong PINoy"; Filipino Dogs) = Any dog that is not purebred, residing in the Philippines or with origins in the Philippines. May be a native dog, crossbred, or mixed. Term coined by animal welfare activists who consider the original "askal" term to be derogatory, hence needing a close replacement. It has been also used to denote the landrace dog population of the Philippines. Askal, Aspin, Native, Philippine Native Dog (PND), Asong Katutubo, Mongrel, Mutt, Mixed breed. These are terms that have been used interchangeably until today. Landrace population. The local dog variety which has developed largely by natural processes, by adaptation to the natural and cultural environment. Landraces are usually more genetically and physically diverse than formal breeds. Distinct from ancestral species of modern stock. Distinct from separate species or subspecies derived from the same ancestor as modern domestic stock. Landraces are not all derived from ancient stock unmodified by human breeding interests. In dogs, it is common to have owned dogs revert to "wild" status by escaping in sufficient numbers in an area to breed feral populations that, through evolutionary pressure, form new landraces in only a few centuries. Natural breed or traditional breed. An animal landrace codified as a pedigree breed without significant selective breeding to alter it. Formal breed. Dogs that were selectively bred purposely to conform to a breed standard. Many of these formal breeds were results of attempts to make landraces more consistent. Sometimes, a particular type has both landrace and formal breed populations.

Draft by: Dr. Abel Manalo, DVM (March 1, 2012) The ‘Philippine Aso’ as a natural breed is composed of dogs of varying appearance with the same essence—that of being the native dog of the Philippines, having adapted for centuries to the environment and conditions, thus possessing all the necessary traits that has helped it survive and thrive in this particular tropical archipelago. It is like no other dog for this reason. To draft a breed standard for the ‘Philippine Aso’ is a serious task. Doing so would be the impetus in creating the formal breed, which would also be called by the same name as the natural breed composed of the landrace population, which obviously is not required to (because it does not have to) subscribe to any breed standard, especially for appearance. In the natural breed, we see dogs with various sizes, shapes, coats, tails, ears, etc. All these are allowed and are naturally bred in or out of the dog population with no human intervention needed. However, to create the formal breed, a certain set of set characteristics seen in the “typical” Aso would be set in writing, regarded as the ideal. And those ideal traits can be identified as those that benefit the dog the most (the most natural traits), the traits that the dog has that makes him superior in performance and function, also keeping the best traits that make these dogs do well in the three fields of their utilization to humans (as companions, guards, and hunters). BREED NAME: ORIGIN: UTILIZATION: APPEARANCE: PHILIPPINE ASO PHILIPPINES COMPANION, GUARD, HUNTING DOG WELL-BALANCED, OF NOBLE-BEARING AND CLEAN-CUT LINES; GRACEFUL YET POWERFUL; FAST AND AGILE, WITH EASY MOVEMENT AND ALERT EXPRESSION. MEDIUM* 18-25 INCHES AT THE WITHERS, MALES GENERALLY TALLER THAN FEMALES* 15-30 KGS, MALES GENERALLY HEAVIER THAN FEMALES SHORT, ANY COLOR. THICKER COATS SEEN IN “BALBON” VARIETY.* NEEDS LITTLE GROOMING. MEDIUM TO RELATIVELY BROAD WITH WEDGE-SHAPED/ POINTED MUZZLE VERY NATURAL, ALERT EXPRESSION, USUALLY BROWN/DARK BROWN ERECT, MEDIUM, POINTED CLEAN, SCISSOR BITE, COMPLETE DENTITION MEDIUM BONED, WELL MUSCLED BUT NOT OVERLY, VERY HIGH FLEXIBILITY AND POWER CURLED OR SABRE-FORMED, HELD HIGH EXTREMELY ALERT AND CAUTIOUS, YET SOCIAL AND LOYAL TO ITS FAMILY.




*A separate breed/variety can be created for the long haired dogs, referred to as “BALBON” in Tagalog, as well as for dogs that are smaller or larger in stature compared to the Typical Aso.

This is a first draft, open for discussion and alterations. The group do not want the standard to be too constricted so as not to overly limit the bloodlines available in the gene pool, which would be detrimental to the long-term health of the breed in general.



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