Pet Advisor Blog

Telomian – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small to Medium
Weight: 18 to 28 pounds
Height: 15 to 19 inches
Longevity: 14
Bark Tendency: Low
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Telomian, Dog Breed Guide


The Telomian dog breed is Malaysia’s native dog but also considered by some as a type of Dingo. They are rare dogs. This Malaysian dog breed is also the only native Malaysian breed that is bred outside of the country.

Official Name

Malaysian Telomian


Date – Considered as an ancient breed in Malaysia. Recognized by Western canine organizations in 1963.
Country – Malaysia
Family / Group – Primitive, Southern


The Telomian dog breed originated in Malaysia and is considered in its native country as an ancient breed. It was only recognized by Westerners as a distinct breed during the 1960’s. This Malaysian dog was originally bred by Malaysia’s indigenous Orang Asli tribe as a vermin hunter. The Telomian dogs were prized for their unique climbing capabilities, adapting to the native homes of the Orang Asli people who built their houses with stilt foundations and built to be several feet above ground. This is done to prevent unwanted attacks from wild animals. A number of dog historians believed that the Telomian is the so-called missing link between the modern Basenji dog breed and the Dingo. Malaysian indigenous tribes often keep these dogs as watchdogs but Malaysian urbanites consider them as very unlucky animals that are full of treachery, often wishing for the demise of their master. This breed was named by Western anthropologist Dr. Orville Elliot who named them after the Telom River where he first sighted this Malaysian dog breed.


The Telomian dog has a very evil reputation among Malaysian city dwellers but this is a breed that is very lovable. They are intelligent dogs that will display their loving, affectionate and protective nature to their family. The Telomian is as passionate as a hunter as they are as a family companion. They are tireless during play and even so when on the job. These are dogs known to be excellent guard and watchdogs, known for their natural instinct to be alert in any situation and leery when strangers are near.

Bred For

The indigenous Malaysian tribe Osang Asli keep these dogs as vermin hunters, guard dogs of livestock and people as well as watchdogs of homes


The Telomian is a dog that is ideally suited in rural or suburban homes with a large yard. They can be kept as apartment pets but is only recommended to do by very experienced dog owners.


The Telomian dog breed only requires weekly brushing of their coat to satisfy their grooming needs.


The Malaysian Telomians are very intelligent dogs known for their eagerness to please their family. This makes the breed highly trainable and is advisable to be trained using a consistent and positive method.


This is one of Southeast Asia’s healthiest dog breed.


Telomian dogs are naturally very energetic and their high activity levels require lots of vigorous exercise. Taking these dogs on long walks every day is required. They should also be given ample time to play and run about in wide open spaces.