• Telomian Dog Breed
  • Telomian Dog Breed information
  • Telomian Dogs
  • Telomian Dog
  • Telomian Dogs in UK
  • Telomian Dogs Pets in the UK
  • Telomian Dog Dogs
  • Telomian Dog Dog
  • Telomian Dog Pet in the UK
  • Telomian Dog Dog Breed
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 43 - 48cm M | 41 - 46cm F
Weight: 10 - 12kg M | 10 - 12kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 Years

Searching for a Telomian Dog?


The Telomian Dog is one of the rarest breeds of canines in the world. He was first developed in Malaysia and remained in his country of origin for most of his existence. His main purpose was to be a canine companion. Later on, he served as a hunting dog and guard dog.

Telomian Dogs are not as domesticated as other breeds. They have a big heart for their family but are extremely watchful of strangers. Their high prey drive gives them a strong instinct to go after small animals.

Telomian Dogs need a good amount of training and socialisation to mould them into well-behaved pets.

The Telomian Dog sheds moderately; thus, regular brushing is a must. He has high energy levels that should be expanded to keep him calm and satisfied. The Telomian Dog is a hardy breed with a lifespan of about 12–14 years.

book icon


What is the rarest type of dog? One of the rarest dog breeds, the Telomian Dog is scarcely found in other countries other than his homeland, Malaysia. He has garnered a few nicknames from the natives including Malaysian Telomian or Anjing Kampung Malaysia, which translates to Malaysian Village Dog.

Much like most Borneo dog breeds, the lineage of the Telomian is obscure. However, he is believed to be a descendant of wild dogs. Some experts speculate that this rare breed is a close cousin to the Basenji and the Dingo.

What is a Malaysian Dog? The Malaysian Telomian Dog began his origins as a long-standing canine companion for the Orang Asli, a semi-nomadic indigenous people of Malaysia. His purpose does not end there as he was trained to become a reliable hunting dog too.

As some people of the tribe lived nearby or in the jungle, their houses tended to be a good hiding place for small rodents, snakes, and other vermin.

It is the Telomian dog's duty to eliminate these animals before his owners enter the house. He also proved to be good at hunting game, fishing, as well as guarding his family.

Aside from being trusty companions of the Orang Asli tribe, Telomian Dogs were popularly known for their amazing ladder-climbing ability and their talent on deftly opening doors. They naturally honed these skills as their masters' huts sit atop trees with only rickety stilts for access.

It was in 1963 when Telomian Dogs were on their way to becoming internationally known after anthropologist Dr. Orville Elliot discovered them. He named the rare dogs after the Telom River where he first spotted them.

In 1970, Dr. Orville was given a pair of Telomians, which were brought to the United States. In the same year, the Telomian Dog Club was established. Another pair of Telomians were sent to the USA in 1973. It is speculated that these 2 domesticated pairs were the progenitors of the Telomians in the West.

The Telomian Dog breed is yet to be recognised by major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club. However, he was successfully registered in the American Pet Registry, Inc. and Dog Registry of America, Inc.

comb icon

Appearance and Grooming

The appearance of Telomian Dogs often varies due to the lack of breed standards, but they are often small- to medium-sized canines.

Males can grow around 43–48 centimetres (17–19 inches) tall and weigh approximately 10–12 kilograms (22–26 pounds). Females have a slightly smaller frame with a height of 41–46 centimetres (16–18 inches) and a weight of 8–10 kilograms (18–22 pounds).

The Telomian Dog shares a close physical resemblance with the Basenji and other pariah dog breeds. He has a wide head, a strong neck with light skin folds, and a compact and well-muscled body. His brown eyes are almond-shaped whilst his pointed ears are large and forward-facing.

One way to tell apart Telomian vs Basenji is by looking at the tail that the dog sports. A Telomian Dog possesses an arched tail pointing toward his head. On the other hand, a Basenji will have a curled tail held flat to the back.

Telomian Dogs have straight legs with rounded feet that are well-arched and suited for climbing. Some Telomian Dogs have a blue tongue that is similar to the Chow Chow. Others sport black masks around their eyes.

The Telomian Dog can either have a short coat or a wiry coat. His coat colours come in wide varieties including black and white and tan and white. Moreover, large patches of colour usually adorn his fur.

Telomian Dogs are moderate shedders, but their grooming requirements depend on their coats. Those with short coats will only need once a week for brushing. Wiry coats need to be brushed at least twice or thrice a week to prevent matting.

Other grooming needs that have to be carried out are weekly ear cleaning and nail trimming. Daily toothbrushing is recommended to prevent periodontal diseases. However, if this is not feasible, brushing the Telomian Dog’s teeth 2–3 times a week is okay.

bulb icon

Temperament and Intelligence

Originally bred as a companion dog of the Orang Asli tribe, the Telomian quickly forms a deep attachment with his owners.

As the rare breed is less domesticated than other dogs, his guard dog instincts can lead him to become very wary or aggressive toward strangers. He needs early and intensive socialisation and training to prevent these unwanted behaviours from surfacing.

Housing the Telomian Dog with toddlers is not recommended since he can be nippy if roughly handled. He is more suitable for a home with older children who can be taught to respect his boundaries.

Telomians might not live harmoniously with small pets due to their high prey drive. Since little is known about these rare dogs, it is not unclear if they can get on well with other canines. Early socialisation and slow introduction help Telomians form friendships with other pooches.

Training the Telomian Dog can be quite a challenge. Whilst he is highly intelligent and eager to please, his attention span is short.

Retain his focus by keeping training sessions short but fun. Give him praises and treats every time he nails a command. Always choose positive reinforcement over harsh training methods to build a strong bond with your dog whilst training.

food icon

Nutrition and Feeding

An athletic dog with high energy levels, the Telomian requires high-quality dog food containing nutrient-dense fats and lean proteins, which help replenish his energy.

Essential vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, calcium, choline, and iron must be present too to ensure proper organ, bone, and muscle development.

The Telomian dog should be given 2 cups of dog food per day. Divide his meals into smaller portions to prevent him from gaining extra pounds.

Make sure he does not miss his meal times. Otherwise, the Telomian Dog will take it upon himself to hunt for food and might prey on small critters inside your home.

stethoscope icon

Health and Exercise

The Telomian Dog has a lifespan of about 12–14 years. Due to the breed’s rarity, there is insufficient information about any hereditary diseases it may carry or pass on to its offspring.

Generally, the Telomian Dog is viewed as a very hardy canine since he has unlikely undergone selective breeding. However, this should not be used as an excuse to not provide him with proper vet care.

The Telomian Dog needs to have regular vaccinations as well as the administration of parasite preventatives. Routine vet check-ups must be done to ensure that he is in good health.

Telomians have a history as hunting dogs, making them highly active pets. They quickly get bored when kept indoors for long periods and might develop destructive behaviours such as incessant howling. These dogs are unsuitable for apartment living or people with sedentary lifestyles.

Taking the Telomian Dog for daily long walks is a simple yet great way to expend his energy. If you want to expose him to more fun activities, consider signing him up for dog sports such as agility courses.

Keeping the Telomian Dog on a lead is advised when he goes on outdoor excursions. It is a good precautionary measure to prevent him from suddenly running off and hunting animals like squirrels and rats.

pound icon

Cost of Ownership

Making an accurate estimated Telomian price is difficult because of the breed’s rarity. If you do find a Telomian dog for sale, expect him to be steeply priced since scarcity usually drives the cost higher for any rare dog.

Beware as shady breeders might trick you into buying a Telomian Dog look-alike. Avoid getting scammed by asking for referrals from trustworthy sources like the vet or family members.

Making inquiries at local dog shows can also lead you to find a reputable breeder with a purebred Telomian dog for sale.

The Telomian breed is a small to medium dog, so he will not require large quantities of food. His monthly food expenses may fall by around £25.

Furnishing your house with basic dog supplies such as a dog bed and dog toys will help your new pooch adjust to his new home. The overall cost for these items runs between £100–£400.

Your Telomian Dog requires vaccinations to ensure he is not vulnerable to contagious canine diseases. Initial vaccine shots will set you back £100–£150 whilst £50–£60 for annual boosters.

Caring for your Telomian Dog also entails bringing him to the vet regularly for check-ups. Each session will cost you about £30–£60.

Avoid accumulating expensive vet bills by signing up for pet insurance. A lifetime package has a monthly fee of approximately £18–£80 whilst a time-limited package costs £15–20 a month.

Telomian Dog Breed Highlights

  • The Telomian Dog is a moderate shedder that needs occasional brushing.
  • The Telomian Dog is protective of his owners and requires proper socialisation.
  • The Telomian Dog is more suited for older children than toddlers.
  • The Telomian Dog is highly intelligent but can be challenging to train.
  • The Telomian Dog requires daily exercise due to his high energy.

Are you sure the Telomian Dog is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz
The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.