The Kintamani Dog Breed: Everything You Need to Know

The Kintamani, also known as the Kintamani-Bali dog, is an affectionate breed developed from free-roaming local Bali street dogs

In this article, we will talk about the history, origins, physical traits, personality, and health of the unusual Kintamani dog breed. 

History and Origin of the Kintamani Dog Breed

Native to the Indonesian island of Bali, the Kintamani is considered to be an ancient breed that was probably developed around 1400. However, it was not until recently that the breed was officially recognized. 

The Development of the Breed

The Kintamani breed was developed from local street dogs. Stories suggest that a Chinese merchant brought his Chow Chow to the island. The Chow Chow mixed with local dogs, eventually creating a new breed. 

The new breed, the Kintamani dog, was originally called kuluk gembron, meaning bushy dog. Interestingly, from a genetic standpoint, the Kintamani is very similar to the Australian wild dog, the Dingo. 

The Breed in Modern Times

In 2019, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognized the Kintamani as a distinct breed. However, it remains rare outside Bali, where it is kept as a beloved companion. 

Balinese people appreciate the breed’s loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature. The breed is a common sight on the streets of Bali, but the dogs are not strays; they are simply allowed to roam freely. 

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

Size and Weight

The Kintamani is a medium-sized breed, with males standing at around 19 to 22 inches and females at 17 to 20 inches at the shoulders. Males weigh between 33 and 40 pounds, while females weigh between 29 and 35 pounds. 

Coat and Colors

The Kintamani has a medium-length, harsh double-layered coat that provides excellent protection against Bali’s warm and humid climate. The breed’s coat comes in a range of colors, including white, fawn (or beige), red, brindle, or black. 

Distinctive Features

The Kintamani dog breed is known for its distinctive appearance. Its ears have a unique, curled shape that’s on full display whenever the dog is alert and attentive. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown.

The high-set tail is another unique feature that makes the Kintamani stand out from other breeds. The tail is carried over the back, and it adds to the dog’s overall elegance.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Intelligence and Trainability

The Kintamani is highly intelligent and trainable, making it ideal for owners who want a dog that’s easy to teach new tricks and commands. They are quick learners but get bored if the sessions are not entertaining.

Therefore, it is important to keep the training sessions short, fun, and rewarding. In addition to basic obedience training, Kintamani dogs excel in advanced training such as agility, rally, and even search and rescue. 

Socialization and Friendliness

With the right socialization, the Kintamani is friendly and affectionate with its owners and other pets. It is loyal and protective of its family. However, they are reserved around strangers and extremely territorial. 

Early socialization and training can help reduce the breed’s natural suspiciousness and prevent any unwanted behaviors. When properly socialized, breed members distinguish between normal situations and danger. 

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Kintamani is an energetic breed that requires daily exercise in the form of regular walks, running, and playing. They also enjoy hiking and swimming, making them great companions for outdoor enthusiasts.

Owners must provide ample mental stimulation to keep the Kintamani from getting bored, as this can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing and digging. Puzzle toys and interactive games challenge the dog’s mind.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Kintamani is prone to several health issues, such as:

  • Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: Common conditions that occur when the joints don’t develop properly, causing pain, discomfort, and mobility issues
  • Ear Infections: Breed members are prone to ear infections because their erect ears can easily trap moisture and dirt, triggering painful infections 
  • Skin Allergies: Food, pollen, and other environmental irritants are frequent allergens causing severe itchiness, skin redness, and skin irritation

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential to keeping your Kintamani healthy. This includes regular checkups with a veterinarian, as well as preventative measures such as flea & tick control, vaccinations, and deworming. 

In addition to preventative care, providing your Kintamani with a healthy diet, daily exercise, and mental stimulation can also go a long way in preventing health issues. 

Expected Lifespan

The Kintamani dog breed has a relatively long lifespan, with an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.  With proper care and attention, your Kintamani can live a long, happy, and healthy life.


The Kintamani is a loyal, intelligent, and strikingly beautiful dog that’s well-suited for owners who want a highly energetic and somewhat independent companion.

With proper care, socialization, and training, the Kintamani makes a great canine friend. Research the breed carefully and keep in mind that it is relatively rare outside its native Bali. 

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