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The Singapore Dog Lifestyle Blog

11 Singapore Special Mongrels of Instagram

collage of mongrel dogs

Mongrel. Mutt. Mixed breed.

Referred to using different names by different cultures, a mongrel is just a dog of mixed or undetermined breeds. Unlike purebred or crossbred dogs, mongrels can often be bred without human intervention or design.

Like mushrooms, mongrel puppies pop out of street dogs that mate. The results can be quite surprising.

Take for instance Donna’s family tree. If there was no record, I wouldn’t have guessed that Donna’s grandmother was a brown dog!

donna mongrel dog's family tree
As far as we can trace, Donna’s family descended from a brown dog three generations back.

Locally, we sometimes call these dogs the Singapore Special and deem them as truly local.

Regardless of what lies in their DNA and how different they look, these dogs seem to have some commonality in terms of the general long muzzles, medium to large sizes and slimmer, short-haired physique. (I’m not an expert so don’t quote me on that HAHA!) But yes, these are very general attributes.

Once you start looking at them as individuals, they start to look like very different mushrooms from one another.

mongrel dog faces and eyesDifferent faces of the Singapore Special

Certainly Trip the dog (left), Chase (top right) and Donna (bottom right) have differences in just their faces alone and I’m not just talking about their eyes. What other differences can you see?

I have never volunteered at a shelter so my scant knowledge of mongrels come from Donna and also aimlessly liking mongrel photos on Instagram, haha :D and of course, chatting with some of the mongrel owners.

The Singapore special is not just limited to tan, and black and tan dogs. They can be black or pale in colour too like Bosco the Mongrel here with his bushy tail. Donna’s tail is not so fluffy-looking.

bosco the mongrel dog
My colour, ears and tail may differentiate me from the other mongrels but the awkward pose we display when asleep may be similar.

And just because I thought them to be short haired, it doesn’t exempt them from having fluffy, furry ears should nature design them so. I adore Zuma’s furry ears.

zuma the mongrel dog
I may seem hairier than the others. That just makes me a furrier and more adorable Singapore Special. 

And certainly nothing is stopping Pebble from showing off his tummy that reminds me somewhat of a marble cake!

pebble the mongrel dog
I don’t know why I look like marble cake but that doesn’t stop me from being comfortable at home. 

I did read that these dogs were more commonly brown previously.

The Singapore Special isn’t a breed, but I would say more a look. Short-haired, brown, skinny, medium-to-large-sized, black-muzzled, pointy ears…

Well then, that would make pretty Leah the bona fide Singapore Special, wouldn’t it?

leah the mongrel dog
So I am short hair, brown, skinny with pointy ears and black muzzle, does that make me royalty among all the Singapore Specials? :P

The truth is that definition seems to have broadened quite a bit. Floppy eared Skippy would agree :P

Regardless of how these dogs have developed, living with a dog sometimes can make one view life differently.

Like how optimistic these dogs can be, forever giving you eyes and hoping to get something :P

skippy and scramble mongrel dogs

How they make you regret how quickly time passes when they sprang so quickly from puppyhood into full grown adults.

How they remind you that despite what they say about the hybrid vigour of mixed-breeds, sometimes there are exceptions that remind you how short life is.

And how life is a big surprise depending on the mongrel dog you bring home.

In Donna’s case, I spent a significant amount of time managing thunder phobia in a dog that is otherwise perfect. I, of course, never even heard of thunder phobia as a condition before I adopted.

In Dara’s case, this girl has a rather consistent and committed love of rolling around in poo and dead animals. I have read some working dogs do exhibit that sort of behaviour, whether it’s to better camouflage themselves when hunting or chasing prey or making the lifestock they are herding feel safer.

It’s genetics and probably a behaviour that will be hard to remove and so Dara’s human has the unexpected “pleasure” of cleaning a stinky dog more often than you and I.

dara the mongrel dog
It is such a pleasure to roll in poo and dead animals, says Dara, an otherwise very good dog at home like Donna! :P

maya the mongrel dog
Maya lives in a flat too, I think. 

Mongrel. Mutt. Mixed breed.

Regardless of how they look like and how they behave, these are the lucky mongrels of Instagram who have found a home.

A video posted by Trip (@tripthedog) on

Many thanks to @tripthedog @boscothemongrel @tshirtdog @pebbletoh @layers_of_leah @skippyandscramble @daradeexplorer @maya_thepup for the use of their photos and stories in this post. :)

Shamelessly copy and pasted the below from Three Legs Good facebook page :P

Three Legs Good is proud to announce our third annual exhibition MONGREL 2014: #mongrelsareawesome from 20-30 Nov 2014, at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Filmmaking (56A Arab St)

In addition, there will be a video installation of selected Instagram photographs submitted by you during our social media campaign promoting the hashtag #mongrelsareawesome!

Mon- Fri 11am-7pm
Sat-Sun 11am-6pm
Free Admission (sorry, no dogs allowed at venue)

mongrel 2014 mongrels are awesome

We’re going because Donna’s photo is in the video installation I think. Haha!



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  1. love this post!

  2. The experience of the humans is that pure breds like me have health issues. Mixed breeds, like Kaci and Kali, have less health complications. We’re all rescues.

    • I’m not technically a rescue but my grandmother was! The human is hoping I will have strong hybrid vigor, but considering my dad was from a dog breeding farm like some pure breds, I have to wonder and say anything is possible!

      Btw, my birth was not planned for I was an accident. – –

  3. dollythedoxie

    They are all adorable dogs but we just wished that they spayed and neutered them so there wouldn’t be so many! Love Dolly

    • From what I understand the ones in the shelters are all spayed and neutered when they reach the age. The ones out free and wild, I guess that can be difficult. I know there are stray feeders but I’m not knowledgeable about any trap, neuter and return programs for dogs. Cats, yes. Thanks, Dolly!

  4. Lye

    My “Buddy” is black and i have no idea who his parents are. I guess they are all black dogs. Buddy is one of the 5 puppies rescue and only he and one of his brother have fluffy coat. Hope his siblings will find their forever home soon.

  5. Hawk aka BrownDog

    Hi Y’all!

    So interesting how you were able to trace part of Donna’s heritage.

    Those pups are so cute.

    Y’all come on by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • The shelter rescued her grandmother, who was already pregnant with puppies. They did not manage to neuter the puppies and the new rescues fast enough, which resulted in my accidental litter and so we have a fuller picture of my family than most resuces. :P

  6. Gosh they are all so cute. Our first dog was a Golden and rolled around in all kinds of smelliness. No idea why! Thanks so much for joining the hop.

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