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Hmong Dog: A Complete Guide to the “Cat Dog Hybrid”

Hmong dog the popular cat dog hybrid on the Internet
Height:18 – 22 inches 
Weight:35 – 55 pounds
Lifespan:15 – 20 years
Coat Colors:White, black, gray, brown, yellow, brindle, brownish red
Temperament: Loyal, agile, active
Suitable for:Homes with large yards; active singles; active families without smaller pets 

Have you ever heard of the Hmong dog breed? If not, then you are not alone. The Hmong dog is one of the rarest breeds in the canine arena. It is an ancient breed native to northern Vietnam.

The medium-sized Vietnamese Hmong dog is known for its remarkable intelligence and appetite for work. It is also included in the Vietnam Kennel Association’s list of national dog breeds.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the Vietnam Hmong dog. From its history, appearance, and health issues down to the most frequently asked questions, we got it here.

What Is a Hmong Dog? 

A Hmong Dog or Hmong Dock Tailed Dog native breed in North Vietnam

A Hmong dog is a rare breed commonly found in Southeast Asia, usually China and Vietnam. It was considered a guardian dog and a symbol of pride by the Hmong ethnic group in Northern Vietnam. This breed is also called the Hmong Docked Tail dog because of its naturally docked tail.

The Hmong dog is a medium-sized breed with a sturdy body. It is a natural hunter and a companion to its family.

The Hmong dog breed is slowly gaining popularity because of its unique personality, good looks, and high trainability. However, it is still very rare in the United States.

Is a Hmong Dog a Cat Dog Hybrid?

Happy Hmong dog also known as cat dog hybrid
Image credit: gaumeobacmy / Instagram

The Hmong dog is not a cat dog hybrid but a mix of the native dog and the jungle wolf. This explains its high prey drive and amazing physical capabilities. It also has the perfect combination of a wolf’s agility and a dog’s intelligence.

The Vietnamese Hmong dog is often mistaken for a cat dog mix because of its looks and innate hunting instincts. Its upright ears and distinct squished face resemble the face of a cat.

Here is a video of a Hmong dog that is getting lots of attention on social media because of its cute antics and lovable looks!

Guess Who I Am? A Dog - A Cat - Or Both Of Them

Hmong Dog Origin and History

Little is known about the history of the Hmong dog breed. But this ancient breed from northern Vietnam is believed to come from the Spitz family and is a descendant of the native dogs of China and the jungle wolf.

The Hmong tribe originally lived near the Yellow River in China. The native dogs accompanied this group when they migrated to Vietnam, and during this time, the dogs were crossed with the Vietnamese jungle wolf.

The tribe settled in the northern part of Vietnam, where they had the Hmong dogs as companions when hunting in the mountains. The Hmong dog is known for its exceptional recall of complicated routes in the mountains.

Today, the Hmong dog breed is used by border guards and military police. Some dog enthusiasts were also able to domesticate the Vietnamese Hmong dog breed and raise it as a household pet.

Although this breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Hmong dog is considered a gem by the Vietnam Kennel Association. It is one of the four national dog breeds of Vietnam.

Hmong Dog Appearance

Hmong dog sitting outside
Image credit: gaumeobacmy / Instagram

The Hmong dog breed is a medium-sized muscular dog with a compact body. It has upright ears, alert eyes, and a narrow, slightly elongated muzzle which makes it look like a cat.

The Hmong dog is a bobtail dog which means that its tail is naturally short, usually one to six inches in length. You may also find some Vietnam Hmong dogs which do not have a tail.

This breed also has a prominent and wide back which gives it a balanced and strong posture. Since the Hmong bobtail dog was crossed with the wolf, it also has a notable chest, ribs, and strong legs.

Its coat is thick and long, and the breed can have different coat colors such as white, black, gray, brown, yellow, brindle, and brownish red.

Hmong Dog Size and Weight

A Hmong dog weighs around 35 to 55 pounds and stands 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder. It is a medium-sized breed but sometimes looks large because of its compact body structure.

One must also consider that the size and weight of a Hmong dog will still vary depending on its gender, health status, and age. Male Hmong dogs are usually two to three inches bigger than their female counterparts.

Because of their size, dog enthusiasts consider their size and weight ideal. They are not too big nor too small. This makes the Hmong dog an ideal pet, guardian, and companion for any household size.

Hmong Dog Temperament and Personality

A Hmong dog has the hunting and herding instincts of a wolf. It is highly energetic with great enthusiasm for work. It is also known for its intelligence and courage when it comes to defending its territory.

This breed is known to be notorious when it comes to chasing smaller animals. Keeping it on a leash during walks is advised to prevent accidents.

Since the Hmong dog is a cross with the jungle wolf, its wild side may kick in from time to time. It tends to bark a lot, so this breed is recommended in homes with large yards where they can freely play.

Although the Vietnam Hmong dog may seem to be a great task to handle, it can be a great family pet and a loyal furry friend if socialized and trained early.

Hmong Dog Lifespan and Health Issues

The Hmong dog is a healthy breed with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. However, this range is not set in stone because it will still vary on the dog’s health condition, diet, and daily activities.

Also, even though this breed is known to be healthy and strong, it can still be prone to certain diseases, just like other dogs. The following are the common health issues encountered by the Hmong dog:

  • Colds: The Hmong dog originated in the mountains of Vietnam, where the weather is cold. This breed cannot do well in warm climates and cannot adapt easily to temperature changes. This makes it susceptible to colds.
  • Tick-Borne diseases: The Hmong dog breed is a natural hunter and loves outdoor adventures. However, it may catch ticks that cause different diseases such as Lyme disease, canine Bartonella, and Ehrlichia.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: The Hmong dog may be strong and dominant, but its weakness is its gut. This breed has a sensitive stomach, especially during the puppy stage. Keeping an eye on its diet can help prevent gastrointestinal problems.

Aside from regular health checks, getting pet insurance for your Hmong dog can help assure your pet gets the best medical care when it is sick. You may check out our list for the best pet insurance to know more!

How to Take Care of a Hmong Docked Tail Dog

Hmong bobtail puppy from Vietnam
Image credit: gaumeobacmy / Instagram

As a Hmong dog owner, your primary responsibility is to know how to properly feed, groom, train, and exercise it. Doing all of these correctly will surely make your Hmong dog happy and have a great quality of life.

Food and Diet

Although the Hmong dog breed was originally bred to hunt in the mountains and is used to scavenge its food, it must be fed with 2 to 3 cups of dry food per day.

This active breed must have at least 22.5% of proteins and 8.5% of fats in its diet to keep up with its active lifestyle. Micronutrients and water are also important to keep this breed healthy.

Giving it treats as a form of reward during training may also be done. Make sure to choose the best dog treats for your Hmong dog so that you are still feeding it healthy snacks.

Cleaning and Grooming

Since this breed lives in cold regions, it is not used to getting a bath. But bathing is necessary if the Hmong dog’s coat gets dirty while playing or it accidentally rolls on dirt or pee.

Its hair is long and coarse, so brushing it every day can help maintain the shine of its coat.

Also, it is important to check its coat for ticks after each walk, and combing it every day will help you easily check for any parasites.

Trimming its nails when they are already touching the floor will keep your Hmong dog comfortable and prevent the nails from separating from the quick

Cleaning its ears and brushing its teeth are also important to prevent your Hmong dog from getting infections.

Training and Exercise

A Hmong dog is undeniably an intelligent breed which makes training easier for owners. It has a very good memory. That’s why you can teach commands a few times, and the Hmong dog can easily master them.

It is particularly excellent in memorizing routes and sniffing. This is the same reason why this breed is being used as a sniffing dog by the Vietnamese police.

This breed is a loving and loyal companion to its family. However, it may become territorial and aggressive towards other pets and strangers.

The Hmong dog breed is also very active, and it is not used to being confined inside a kennel or a house. It needs at least 40 minutes to an hour of physical activity to release its pent-up energy.

How Much Does a Hmong Dog Cost? 

The price of a Hmong dog ranges between $500 and $3,000. Nonetheless, the price of each Hmong dog will still depend on the breeder, the gender of the puppy, and its pedigree.

The Hmong dog breed is a rare breed, so it may be hard for you to find one, especially in the United States. You may have luck finding this breed in your area but expect its price to be higher.

A Hmong dog with an incredibly low price may come from a puppy mill, or it could be a scam. To prevent this from happening, you can check out our ultimate guide to buying puppies online.

Places to Find Hmong Dogs for Sale and Adoption

As mentioned before, Hmong dogs are rare to find in the United States. Some dog enthusiasts who are really into this breed fly their Hmong dogs from Southeast Asia to the United States. 

If you find this strategy very expensive, you may also try looking at a local shelter near you. If you find it hard getting approved for a puppy, you may check out our ultimate guide to dog adoption

Some shelters may require fees if you plan to adopt from one of their rescues. If you find them expensive and would like a free puppy instead, try our 13 ways to find free puppies in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vietnamese Hmong bobtail dog close up with effects
Image credit: gaumeobacmy / Instagram

Are Hmong Dogs Rare?

According to experts, there are only about 1,000 Hmong dogs in the world, and at least one-third of its population are purebred. The Hmong dog breed is primitive, meaning its traits were not altered by breeders.

Do Hmong Dogs Make Good Pets? 

Hmong dogs can be good pets as long as they are socialized and trained early as a puppy. Although this breed is a half-wolf, it is an affectionate and protective family pet.

Final Thoughts

The Hmong dog is a rare ancient breed native to Asia. It resembles the face of a cat but is a mix of the native dog and the Vietnamese wolf.

Although it has the dominance of the wolf, the Hmong dog can be a loving and loyal pet.

This active breed requires a lot of exercise because it is used to hunt outdoors. Hence, the Vietnam Hmong dog is best for individuals with active lifestyles and a fenced yard where it can play.

Did you find everything you wanted to know about the Hmong dog in this article? Tell us your opinion and questions in the comment section below!