At least 50 Kintamani dogs were competing with dozens of other breeds during the Bali Dog Show held at Denpasar’s city park on Sunday.
Held by the Indonesian Cynologist Association (Perkin), the two-day event presented the appearance and agility of well-trained dogs in Bali from various breeds, including Dobermans, English Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Chihuahuas, Malteses, Pugs, Poodles and Shih Tzus.
The performance of Bali’s native dog, which was declared an Indonesian purebred in 2012 by the Asian Kennel Union (AKU), impressed the audience with its adorable brownish-white fur and free, light footed movement around the show ring.
Most of the Kintamani dog owners taking part in the contest were young people. “I think Kintamani dogs now have been acknowledged as being at the same status level as imported breeds,” said Nilam Mustika, one of the owners.
Clad neatly in a brown blazer, she confidently walked her dog Chiko in front of the jury.
She bought Chiko from a dog breeder in Klungkung and registered it with Perkin to get certified. She also joined HTAKB, an organization of Kintamani dog owners that seeks to enhance their image at the global level through various competitions.
“We often hold gatherings in the park to share experiences and to attract more people to love local dogs,” said Nilam, who is also the organization’s spokesperson.
Putu Ricang Kusumajaya, chairman of Perkin’s Bali chapter, said that the annual event had seen rising participation by Kintamani dogs.
“Last year, we had 20 Kintamani dogs join this contest. This year, there were 50,” he said.
With more people attracted to keeping these dogs as pets, the price had increased from only Rp 200,000 (US$17) several years ago to millions rupiah now, he said.
He also appreciated local breeders in Kintamani who were improving their knowledge on how to maintain the quality and purity of the dog.
“The threat of rabies does not affect people’s enthusiasm to have dogs as pets. In fact, it has helped improve their awareness of how to take better care of their pets, including vaccinating them regularly,” he said.
“Bali indeed has a high dog population, but the spread of rabies could be controlled through regular vaccinations and sterilization,” he said.
Kintamani dogs have been acknowledged by the AKU as a native Indonesian dog, particularly those from Sukawana and Paketan villages in Kintamani. They most commonly have white fur, but other coat colors, such as black, beige and brindle, exist.
Kintamani dogs have hairy “collars” that local people call badong. The more overgrown the badong is, the more expensive the dog will be.