Cat or dog? A ‘dat’ or ‘cog’.

This is a Vietnamese Hmong dog, a breed that first belonged to the Hmong tribe, an ethnic group living primarily in China and south-east Asia. The 13-second clip comes from the Twitter page of @Buitengebieden, a Dutch user, and it has been viewed 225,000 times and rising I suspect. People have been debating whether this is a cat or dog. An amusing debate because it is clearly a dog but with some distinct feline features, I think you will agree. Although I think they are accidental to the breeding process.

Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Hmong dog

Hmong dog. Pic in public domain.

The Hmong dog is an ancient breed of dogs that originated, as mentioned, from the Hmong people. They live in the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam. It is said that the breed is very adaptable and flexible to the environment. One of its unique characteristics is its taillessness. It is mainly bred without a tail. If there is one it is usually very short from about 3-5 cm in length (1-2 inches in length). There is one breed described as the Hmong Docked Tail Dog. Personally, I am against any form of alteration to an animal’s natural anatomy. Is this the same breed? I think not as but it is similar.

One website says that the Hmong dog breed are born with naturally “docked short tails, long straight muscular legs and a thick coat of fur in the shades of black, brownish red, black-and-white and brindle”. The phrase ‘naturally docked’ is an oxymoron as it is contradictory. ‘Docking’ involves human intervention to cut off the tail or shorten it. An unnecessary mutilation to please people.

Useful links
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FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

My research on this breed shows individual dogs that are not as feline as you are seeing in the picture on this page. This must be due to selective breeding. Clearly, the people who breed these dogs are not looking to create a dog which has facial features which merge cat and dog. That was never the intention. I suspect, therefore, that it depends upon the individual breeder and the pedigree of the dogs and the appearance of the foundation dog.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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5 Responses

  1. tamara beinlich says:

    Mike I only know about AKC standards to enter a new breed because we tried for decades to get the deer face Chihuahua recognized apart from the apple head but the stuck up people at Chihuahua club of America refused to let the deer face be recognized as a chihuahua. But greedy AKC still registers the deer face as a Chihuahua but it’s not allowed in the show ring. But the dacshund can have 3 types in the ring and the poodle too.

  2. tamara beinlich says:

    How cute and not to big, very nice looking dog. Is this a full grown dog or a puppy?

    • Full grown I believe. The breed has caused a bit of an internet sensation. A viral video. People are fascinated with cat/dog hybrid appearances.

      • tamara beinlich says:

        After posting I went to duck duck go the Hmong Dog and this is a puppy. When full grown they can look much like a Labrador/Chow. And they are also born with tails some are short some are long and some are big and fluffy. Some can look like a golden retriever, the Hmong dog comes in all colors and various sizes medium to large. Because of the huge variety is probably why AKC hasn’t accepted them yet. If and when they have the breed all looking the same for years of generations, various colors are acceptable AKC will add them. But for now it’s a mutt. LOL.

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