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The Bali Heritage Dog 
The beautiful and unique-looking Bali Heritage Dog is widely misunderstood as being a mutt or mongrel, but are actually incredibly special, pristine dogs, that are considered the oldest dog breed in the world. Characterised by their long pointed ears, high hind legs and short hair, they are commonly seen on the streets of Bali. 

Scientists at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California (UC) Davis, have explored the history of the Bali dog, and discovered that about 7,000 years ago, the dog of today was born in Southeast Asia, descended from the grey wolf. Other studies show the Bali dog itself dates back 12,000 years, meaning it predates the Australian Dingo, the New Guinea singing dog, and the African wild dog. 

A truly unique breed backed by research

Between 2000 and 2003, the DNA of 3,000 indigenous dogs from all over Bali was tested in the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis. The research revealed that Bali’s indigenous dogs also hold one of the richest pools of genetic diversity of all the dogs in the world, and as such, meaning it's genome is hugely valuable to science. The Bali Dog is truly one of the few remaining indigenous dog populations in the world.

Bali hosts two unique indigenous dogs—the Bali Heritage Dog and the Highland Kintamani. The Bali heritage dog has lived on the island in its pure form for at least 2,500 years (possibly much, much longer) and the Kintamani most-likely evolved as a sub-type.  Because of its very rich DNA, the Bali heritage dog presents a wide range of colours and markings. But not only that, The Bali Heritage Dog is a beautiful and affectionate breed, with tons of personality.

By nature, they hate to be confined and like to roam free in groups. They are also very territorial, highly intelligent and easy to train.

The current situation

The integrity of the Bali dog was protected for centuries, but since 2004, when a ban on importing breed dogs was lifted, the pure Bali Heritage Dog population has declined by 80%, and breed dogs have become fashionable for the Balinese to own. Sadly, Bali’s heritage dog is now threatened with extinction as a unique breed, thanks to a combination of crossbreeding, mass culling and the terrible dog meat trade.

That's why at Little Steps Matter we are committed to sharing the unique and incredible history of the Bali Heritage Dog, and protecting the species in whichever ways we can, from crossbreeding, culling and the dog meat trade, but we can only do this with your kind support. 

Donate or Fundraise

We are severely underfunded for the work we do. Each and every single donation makes a huge difference to the animals we support.

Just €8 will pay for 1 dog to eat for a week, and €10 will pay for a cats annual vaccinations.

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