"Bangkaew" is a village located in the Bangrakam District, Phitsanulok Province in the central region of Thailand. In this district, near the Yom River, there is a monastery named, Wat Bangkaew. 100 years ago, the land supported a forest plentiful with timber and inhabited by wild animals such as elephants, boars, wild chickens, jackals, and dholes (Asiatic wild dogs). It is believed that Wat Bangkaew is the place of origin of Thai Bangkaew Dogs.
As the story goes, the third Abbot of Wat Bangkaew Temple, long respected Luang Puh Maak Metharee, was known for mercy and care given to all things living. He kept animals of many kinds like bantam hens, doves, cats, and dogs.
He came to receive a native Thai bitch from an old Bang Kaew villager named Tah Nim. That bitch was large with long black hair. As she was pregnant, her mating may have been to a jackal or dhole, the resulting litter produced longhaired puppies of black and dark brown colouration.
During the time that Luang Puh Maak Metharee had raised four bitches from the litter, there were the migrations by the Song, a race of Thai people, into Huay Chan, a village located a little more than a mile away. These people used their dogs to herd the cattle they brought along on the journey to their new homes. After settling in Huay Chan, they began to interact and established trade with the people in Bangkaew village, and of course, their dogs followed along.
Hence, the breedings between the bitches of Luang Puh Maak Metharee and the dogs of the newly arrived inhabitants took place. Residents of the houseboats along the Yom River took these dogs as their pets.
The bitches' seasons occurred at a time most of the land in that area was flooded by the very heavy rains. Secluded by this natural occurring barrier other dogs were excluded from contributing to the gene pool. Thus the inbreeding that took place in 1957 led to the creation of the Purebred Thai Bangkaew Dogs.
In 1983 it was found that the breed was nearing extinction. Dr Nisit Tangtrakarnpong, a veterinarian in Phitsanulok Province, along with a group of villagers in the Chum Saeng Song Karm community formed a liaison that initiated the resurrection of the breed.
The conservation project, “Bang Kaew Khuen Thin" (Bang Kaew Goes Home) was Dr Nisit’s vision. He set out for the Breed’s home village of Bang Kaew. Unfortunately, he found that the inhabitants had no real interest in the mission. Undaunted by this finding, Chum Saeng Song Kream village was his next stop. Dr Nisit discovered a sizable number of purebred Bangkaew in residence. Villagers agreed to participate in a selective breeding program for the Thai Bangkaew.
It was with the cooperation of the village officials & the residents that Dr Nisit’s conservation project was realized
From then on, this charming, beautiful, clever, honest and loyal breed has been selectively bred and has become one of the most favoured varieties of Thai dogs.
It is still a very rare breed outside of Thailand.
Thai Bangkaew Dog FCI Group: 5 fully accepted since 2022
(Section 5: Asian Spitz and Related Breeds) in 2011
LIVING WITH A THAI BANGKAEW DOG:
This playful breed is more suitable for the calm/experienced dog owner that like natural dogs and doesn't expect to train them the same way as the Doberman, BS or GSD, their wariness towards strangers is natural, they are born with this, because of the TBD's primitive nature and wild origins, the TBD must be well socialized, starting at birth, with the breeder handling the newborns and exposing them to new sounds, sights, and people.
It is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT THE NEW OWNER CONTINUE this socialization from the time the TBD comes home as a baby puppy well into adulthood, taking him to (short) training classes and anywhere else possible to expose him to different people, places and situations to have a happy well-adjusted dog.
The TBD is respected in Thailand for its fierce guarding nature and loyalty towards its own family, they need to be trained to accept strangers touching them when you say it's ok, even so, they may not accept all strangers (this includes family/friends/visitors that they don't have much contact with or simply don't like).
I, for example, take mine to the weekly market for dog treats and take them shopping, we live near schools and many children will come up wanting to pet them, this teaches them to be relaxed in different surroundings, it's very important to keep doing these things in raising a stable Thai Bangkaew dog.
The TBD has strong predatory instincts same as many other breeds in group5, and will not accept any critter entering your garden that does not belong to its own family, in Thailand, they also keep the garden clear of cobra and other snakes.
This breed tends to be dominant with their kind and some will fight but when properly socialized from a young age, gets on well with other non-dominant dogs, pets and children who don’t tease or roughhouse it.
The TBD has a very strong memory and won't forget if you've treated him/her wrong and they will become wary of you, they also don't forget people that give them a good experience and will be your friend for life, even when rarely seen with months or years apart.
It's all about trust and they will die for you, give their all when you have their trust and love.
This breed is very adaptable and suitable for city and country living. When my dogs came over from Thailand they were not used to the city or being house dogs, but soon adapted to London city life and now we live in a quiet village in the Netherlands.
The breed has many funny quirks, loves water, some are keen diggers, will scent roll in almost everything, even their toys and chews, and when done eating will most likely try to bury their food or chews. It always makes me smile when we go to the market because they will try and scent roll on all the treats they see, sometimes I buy smelly chews and all they want to do when they get home is roll on it, like a cat drunk on catnip.
When keeping multiple dogs it is not advisable to give your TBD raw bones or feed them a raw diet, this raises their adrenalin and makes them more aggressive. If I give mine the occasional raw marrow bone they will tiptoe around each other for days and will be ready to fight, cooked not a problem and they'll happily share their bone or chew side by side.
They love to be the centre of your world and will try anything they can to direct your attention towards them, this can sometimes lead to separation anxiety and destructive behaviour if left alone for long periods. This breed will do best kept as inside house dogs close to the people he/she loves.
They are a double-coated breed that sheds once or twice a year.
The young Thai Bangkaew Dog is high energy (not hyper) easy to train and thrives on brain work, they quickly learn to respond to your voice commands and hand signals.
A hard hand and long repetitive training will have the opposite effect on them and they will shut down.
This breed has hunting instincts, is a silent stalker and will track.
In the house they are calm and observant of their territory, don't bark often, only when visitors arrive or when needed, nothing passes them by and even though they look calm or asleep, they will spring into action within a split second, if any intruder (animal or human) should try to enter the property.
They are easily housetrained, when mine needs to go to the toilet they will let me know, by staring me in the face or suddenly giving me the best cuddles and begging or putting their paws on me until I get the message.
I think they are very cat-like, touching your face gently with their paw if they want your attention.
This breed keeps themselves clean and also behaves a lot like foxes being just as athletic and clever, walking on a high wall or over beams is normal to them, love to jump on tables and sit on chairs or the window ledge to just calmly observe their environment, they can jump extremely high from standstill and while running, squeeze through the tiniest of gaps, climb trees, learn to open doors, this means a well-fenced garden and secure gate is a must because they will easily scale over a moderate sized fence and go out exploring.
They will catch mice or frogs in the field by suddenly stopping and pouncing like an arctic fox in the snow.
The traits that I love and find fascinating about this breed are their natural primitive instincts are so strong and their loyalty, and devotion towards you.
I love the way that they communicate with you and use different vocals to speak to you, so very in tune with your feelings, their funny antics always make me laugh and yes their naughty streaks give me extra grey hairs, but also make me smile every day.
If all this hasn't discouraged you, then maybe, this is the breed for you.
Life is never boring with a Thai Bangkaew dog.