About the Dogs

Historically Indonesia appears to be a human genetic melting pot with genetic influences over tens of thousands of years.

The dog on the island of Bali may also be a parallel “canine genetic melting pot.” While the domestication date of the dog is in much dispute, approximately 14,000 years ago is accepted as a late date. During the earliest human migrations through Indonesia however, it is highly possible that wolf packs or feral dogs traveled the same routes, establishing a feral population on Bali in the process. Even if humans were not capable of taming the dog at that time, dogs could still have benefited from close proximity to humans.

migration route bsdThis map shows a superimposition of the proposed geographic origin for five Asian and four non-Asian dog subpopulations presented herein and the major theorized human migration routes. It is noteworthy that the Bali Street Dog (BSD), Chow Chow and Australian dingo, related breeds by genetic analysis, all share one proposed human migration route.(source:www.biomedcentral.com)

The Bali Street Dog is more phenotypically diverse than the Kintamani dog, but all Kintamani traits are present among the much larger population of feral Bali dogs. Bali street dogs are generally short haired, come in a large variety of colours, upright (hooded) ears, and have sickle tails (carried upwards in a semi circle). That being said, because the BSD is so genetically diverse, they can have many variations of tail and ear types ( corkscrew tail or folded ear are common).

Genetic studies of the Bali street dogs (BSD) indicate that a viable and diverse population of dogs existed on the island of Bali prior to its geographic isolation approximately 12,000 years ago and has been little influenced by domesticated European dogs since that time.

The Bali street dog and Kintamani dog were most closely aligned with the Australian dingo, more distantly related to American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeds of Chinese origin, and most distantly related to AKC breeds from of western Eurasia.

The Balinese Dog had the important job of keeping the balance of garbage, organic waste and consequently the rat populations on the Island in check until the introduction of plastics in the 1960’s, thus making them a valuable part of the health and ecosystem in Bali.

Bali Street Dogs make excellent guard dogs due to their fierce loyalty to their owner and the fact that typically the Bali Dog would never obey someone who has not first earned their trust.

Ute's dogsThe false belief that they cannot be trained may stem from their uneasiness of humans.

If a person has not gained their trust, the Bali Dog will not obey them.

The Balinese Dog is extremely intelligent and once their trust is gained they can be trained to do anything that they are asked to do.



The Balinese Dog is extremely adaptable to many situations and climates. For example when brought to a cooler climate country often their coats fill in and become thicker to fend off the cold. This may be due to their vast genetic diversity, which contributes to their heartiness and lack of genetic disorders and diseases compared to most other pure breeds.



A Balinese high priest from Besakih temple complex on the slopes of Mount Agung, where thousands of dogs live, is quoted as saying: ‘From ancient times until now the dogs and the people of Bali are life partners.’

“About 500 000 of them, one to every six people, have been roaming the island for over 2000 years living by their own laws. With their short hair, erect ears and semi or tightly curved tails they appear in black, white, brown or a variation of these colours. The solid brown dog is relatively rare and is sought after for sacrifice at certain ceremonies.”

Because more than 90% of the residents of Bali are Hindu with myth and ritual playing a vital part of daily life. The dog is also an important part of Balinese mythology. A popular tale from the Mahabharata describes King Yudisthira’s journey to Heaven’s Gate, and his love for a dog that he befriended along the journey, refusing to leave the dog behind while he continued on to Heaven. http://www.wmblake.com/stories/mahabharata/journey.html