Telomians: A Complete Guide

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The Telomian is a rare purebred dog which is the only native Malaysian dog that has been outside of Malaysia.

These dogs are small, athletic dogs with close-cropped fur coats and they were originally bred to help control village pests such as rats and snakes that plagued small jungle communities.

They have a very interesting heritage and come from a mix of dingoes, coyotes, and other feral dog breeds that are found across Asia.

The early Telomians were likely all mutts. Originally, this dog was called Anjing Kampung by the Malaysians which translates to “Village Dog.”

The first parents of this breed were brought to America in the mid-1900s by an American anthropologist named Dr. Orville Elliot, where they grew into the specific breed that they are today.

There is a special club called the Telomian club that was formed for owners to network, and for their dogs to play together.

Because of their ferrell roots, these dogs are not your typical house pets. They have maintained a very wild nature, and are not known as easy dogs to train.

Their strongest urge is to hunt and chase small prey, even if it is against their owner’s wishes.

If you have any other small household pets like hamsters or rats, it’s not a good idea to bring home a Telomian. They are very intelligent dogs and will find a way to get to their prey no matter what.

One of the most interesting features of this dog is its climbing ability. Since they were originally bred in the mountainous Malaysian villages, they are adept at finding their way to the top of even your largest pieces of furniture.

The Telomian is often most comfortable when they have the high ground. You will often find them sleeping on your top bunk or curled up on a bookshelf.

Unfortunately, these dogs were considered to be bad luck by the Malaysians, and are often the victims of neglect and slaughter in their home country.

This makes them a very rare breed, and they are hard to find anywhere outside of America.

Telomian Puppies – Before You Buy…

Three Telomians on a walk
The Telomians’ fur coat is short.

Although they are prized as exotic pets, the Telomian can be quite a handful to take care of.

Besides this, there are several other things that you should know about this breed before you bring one home.

What Price are Telomian Puppies?

These dogs are the rarest breed on the planet, and if you can find one in America, then you can expect to pay quite a high price for it.

The average cost of one of these dogs is right around $1,400, but they have been known to cost as much as $3,000 if you go to a high-end breeder.

Of course, you can also bring home one of these dogs for next to nothing if you go to Malaysia and find an airline that will let you bring a dog home with you.

By doing this, you will also be potentially saving the dog from a life of neglect and starvation.

However, you will still have to pay the price of a round-trip plane ticket as well as the additional animal transfer fees.

How to Find Reputable Telomian Breeders?

Because this breed is so rare, you won’t have to worry about people trying to fake them. Your biggest problem will be finding the dog in the first place.

They are often bred by specialty exotic animal distributors who cater to wealthy and eccentric clients.

Your best bet to find a Telomian is to search online until you find a small-time breeder advertising. They may even ship the dog straight to your front door.

3 Little-known facts about Telomian puppies

  1. From puppyhood, these dogs can climb ladders and even trees. It is not at all uncommon for them to end up on your roof or chasing a squirrel up a tree.
  2. Telomians have a strong hunting urge that is almost impossible to train out of them. If they see any critters running around, they will immediately stop what they’re doing to give chase.
  3. Telomian puppies are natural escape artists. Although they will almost always come back home, it’s not a good idea to leave them outside unwatched if you don’t want them to run off.

Physical Traits of the Telomian

These are relatively small dogs that have a very lean body, long legs, and keen eyes. Their favorite activity is climbing and hunting.

They love being out in the woods where they can climb trees and chase all of the tiny forest critters around.

One of their most noticeable features is their feet. Their paws are very large and look almost disproportionate in relation to their bodies.

This is for all of the climbing that they do daily. Malaysians would build their homes upon raised stilts to prevent snakes from crawling in during the night, and the Telomian dogs eventually evolved these large paws to make the climbing process easier.

Their fur coat is short and has a smooth, silky texture to it. This makes them very easy animals to groom. Usually, you can get away with a bi-weekly brushing, and their fur will still look great.

If you let your Telomian go outside often, then you will need to be prepared to bath them every few days.

Their ferrell nature means that they don’t care too much about their hygiene and they enjoy rolling around in the mud, running through the bushes and climbing on top of the trash.

It’s very hard to keep these dogs clean.

Their heads are small, and their bodies are lean. They must retain their lightweight frame for all of their climbing activities.

They usually have long tails which help them maintain their balance when they are in precarious positions.

How Big is a Full-Grown Telomian?

A Telomian dog with its ears pointed up
The Telomians can climb ladders and trees.

The Telomian is a very small, lightweight dog. The biggest Telomian recorded weighed only 28 pounds.

However, it is incredibly rare to find them this big, and if you do, it is probably because they were crossed with another dog at some point in their breeding history.

Usually, they will weight right around 20 pounds.

They make up for their lightweight in height, however. They have long legs for their body and usually stand about 19 inches tall.

Their long legs allow them to easily leap from tree branch to tree branch when they are out in the wild.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Telomian?

These dogs had to be hardy to survive the harsh environments of the Malaysian jungle. As a result, they have a fairly long life expectancy of around 15 years.

Even though you’ll be paying a good amount of money upfront for them, you can be sure that they will stick around for a long time.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Telomian

These dogs are highly intelligent creatures. One doesn’t survive the environment where they are from without wits.

They sense when danger is near and tend to be skittish around bigger animals and strange humans, and will hide in some hard-to-reach corner of the house.

This is just their natural survival instinct kicking in and is nothing to worry about.

Their temperament is usually quite reserved. They stick to themselves and are very independent dogs.

This makes them a great option for people who have busy lifestyles and aren’t able to be home as often as they would like.

The Telomian will always find something to occupy themselves with and are not easily bored.

When they aren’t finding something new to climb, they enjoy lounging around the house and relaxing on the sofa.

This is one of the few times that they seem to enjoy human company. When they are tired and tuckered out at the end of the day, they will curl up next to you and watch television until they fall asleep.

The Telomian’s Diet

A cute baby Telomian lying on the floor
The Telomian is a really rare breed.

The Telomian usually does not need more than 1 cup of food per day. If they are on the larger end of the scale, they may need a cup-and-a-half, but that is rare.

You mustn’t overfeed these dogs. It can be detrimental to their health if they become overweight.

When they are overweight, they will not be able to climb very well, and a Telomian who can’t climb will become very depressed.

How Much Exercise Does a Telomian Need?

These dogs require a moderate amount of exercise, but nothing extreme. They can usually get most of their exercise by running and climbing around the house.

However, they do love the outdoors and will become depressed if they are made to stay inside all of the time.

Their ferrell nature means that they will need to have plenty of time in the backyard exploring.

Telomian Health and Conditions

These dogs are incredibly hardy, and you will usually never have to worry about them contracting diseases.

Their rough breeding history meant that only the strongest were able to survive, and they have maintained their durability over the years.

In their old age, they can sometimes develop joint pain from all of the high-impact jumping activities that they do, but this is easily treated with an anti-inflammatory from the vet’s office.

A Good Guard Dog?

If you’re opting for the Telomian then you already know that this dog is meant for hunting and isn’t the right fit for a family.

If you are living alone, however, or have very few roommates, the Telomian might be the perfect dog breed for you and if you’re specifically looking for a guard dog then you’ve definitely made the right choice.

The Telomian is a very active dog that is very alert at all times, so much so that you’d need to have it on a leash whenever you go out on a walk.

This alertness, however, helps make the Telomian a very excellent guard dog as it is always aware of its surroundings and hence can react according to any situation.

It should also be noted that the Telomian doesn’t exactly bark like normal dogs and if it is never in the company of other dogs growing up then it might never learn how to bark and instead would only howl.

Due to its hunting instincts, the Telomian will always make you aware if there’s any danger and will often do its best to protect you from harm if it’s trained properly.

The Telomian, due to its exceptional paw control, can maneuver its way around the house with a lot of finesse and precision.

It can also open doors when needed, an ability that can come in very handy in times of great need and troublesome situations.

A sturdy build also allows the Telomian to back up its courage with enough strength to overwhelm its opponents which is also a very welcomed trait in a guard dog.

All in all, the Telomian is a very alert guard dog that will not fail you in times of need and all you need to ensure this is to train it properly.

Final Thoughts on the TelomianA purebred Telomian dog

The Telomian is a very hard dog to find and can be very expensive, but they certainly make for an interesting pet!

They behave far more like a ferrell coyote than a traditional house dog, so they don’t make great companions.

They will, however, constantly amuse you with their high-altitude hijinks, and can be very fun to watch.

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