The Kintamani is a dog breed native to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Kintamani dog is an evolving breed indigenous to the Kintamani region of Bali. Kintamani dogs cohabitate with feral Bali street dogs, although folklore has the breed originating 600 years ago from a Chinese Chow Chow. The physical and personality characteristics of the Kintamani dog make it a popular pet for the Balinese, and efforts are currently under way to have the dog accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale as a recognized breed. To study the genetic background of the Kintamani dog, 31 highly polymorphic short tandem repeat markers were analyzed in Kintamani dogs, Bali street dogs, Australian dingoes, and nine American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeds of Asian or European origin. The Kintamani dog was identical to the Bali street dog at all but three loci. The Bali street dog and Kintamani dog were most closely aligned with the Australian dingo and distantly related to AKC recognized breeds of Asian but not European origin. Therefore, the Kintamani dog has evolved from Balinese feral dogs with little loss of genetic diversity.
Kintamani Dogs have a distinctive form and character which sets them apart from the average village dog. Whilst they live much the same kind of life as an average village dog, Kintamani dogs have longer hair and dig holes in which to nest their young. Some even live in small caves among the boulders around Kintamani. Nowadays, these good-looking dogs are increasingly sought after as pets. They have a broad face, a flat forehead and flat cheeks. In this way, they resemble the Chinese mountain dog, the Chow Chow, to which recent genetic studies have confirmed; the Kintamani Dog is distantly related.
It is also possible that the Kintamani Dog came with the Javanese invaders from the kingdom of Majapahit in 1343 or with the Javanese refugees of the civil war in the 15th century. But of all the hypotheses, about the origins of the Kintamani Dog, only one is really plausible: that sometime between the 12th and the 16th century a Chinese trader named Lee landed in Singaraja in Northern Bali, bringing with him a Chow Chow dog which bred with the local Balinese feral dogs. Lee later in settled in the Kintamani region and raised his family there. Evidence that the Lee family lived in Kintamani exists in the form of a Chinese temple in which people of the Confucian faith still worship.