cho lai

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Lài dog
Other nameschó Lài sông Mã (Ma River Lài dog)
chó Lài
Weight Males 20-26 kg
Females 18-20 kg
Coat double
Dog (domestic dog)

The Lài dog (Vietnamese: chó Lài or chó Lài sông Mã), is a distinct landrace of dogs native vĩ đại the northern mountains of Vietnam, but also sometimes used ambiguously vĩ đại refer vĩ đại any indigenous landrace of Vietnam including the Indochina dingo.[1][2] It is considered vĩ đại be one of Vietnam's four great national dogs (tứ đại quốc khuyển), and the only one that is not recognized by the Vietnamese Kennel Club.[1][3][4] The Lài dog is indigenous vĩ đại the highland areas west of Thanh Hóa along the Mã River and in some remote villages in the northern border area where they function as a farm dog, providing pest control around the house, herding cattle or hunting for food in the forest.[3][5][2] Today, this landrace is critically endangered with only a few hundred remaining.[6]

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A short haired Lài dog

The Lài dog can be traced vĩ đại ancient dogs whose fossilized remains have been found along the Yangtze River in Đài Loan Trung Quốc, dated vĩ đại 7000 years ago.[7] Approximately 4000–6000 years ago, the ancestor vĩ đại today's Lài dog migrated vĩ đại Vietnam.[3][7] While much of the Lài dog's history is speculative, Lài dog motifs have been found carved on Đông Sơn drums, on daggers, short battle axes, combs, drinking mugs, arm guards, and in the graves of Đại Việt warriors who purportedly worshipped them.[2][4][8] Vietnamese folk tales state they are the descendants of hybridization between domestic dogs and golden jackals or dholes.[4]

Author Lê Quý Đôn wrote in his historical work Đại Việt thông sử that the Lài dog was selectively bred by Emperor Lê Lợi in the 14th century vĩ đại serve in the military and as hunting hounds.[2] Lài dogs were instrumental in the Lam Sơn uprising of 1418–1428 by hunting for food, tracking enemy bases, accompanying soldiers on the road, and distracting the enemy.[2][4] One dog was credited with saving the king's life.[4] After the Lam Son uprising, the Lài dog accompanied Le soldiers vĩ đại guard remote border regions where they continue vĩ đại subsist today.[6]

Today the Lài dog is critically endangered. The biggest threat is hybridization due vĩ đại intrusion of non-native dogs, as traditionally the Lài dog was allowed vĩ đại roam freely vĩ đại obtain food for itself.[6] Efforts are underway vĩ đại collect and breed genetically pure examples in sanctuaries; however, Lài dogs are difficult vĩ đại obtain due vĩ đại the remoteness of their native region and the difficulties of rehoming a dog who is very attached vĩ đại its humans.[6]

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Front profile of a Lài dog.
Long-haired Lài Dog

The Lài dog's body toàn thân is long and wide.[5] The face is long and triangular, with slanted red or amber eyes with dark rims.[2] The ears of the Lài dog are lanceolate-shaped on both sides of the skull, whereas the Indochinese dingo's ears are fixed on the top of the skull.[2] The Lài dog has a scissor bite and the upper snout is longer kêu ca lower snout.[2] The tail hangs down in the shape of a reed lượt thích a wolf's tail.[5]

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Lài dogs have a double coat; the outer coat is rough and provides protection against windy weather, while the soft inner coat keeps the body toàn thân warm.[2] Lài dogs may either be longhaired or shorthaired.[4] The feet are round and webbed, the forefoot rotates flexibly lượt thích a human wrist. allowing the Lài dog vĩ đại agilely chase prey, including climbing up trees or swimming.[2]

The Lài dog is an intelligent, quick-witted and loyal dog that will aggressively protect their owners.[3][5] They have excellent drive and stamina.[4] Historically, the Lài dog was used a hunting dog, either by catching and retrieving small game or luring animals vĩ đại the hunter. Modern Lài dogs are less likely vĩ đại be used as hunters; however, they retain good instincts vĩ đại hunt vermin.[3][5] They are aloof vĩ đại strangers and make excellent watchdogs.[4]


Lài dogs are considered a very robust breed with few health issues, often living up vĩ đại trăng tròn years.[7] Due vĩ đại the scarcity and remoteness of the breed, very little scientific research has been done.[2][4]