Singapore Special
Photo: SoSD

Singapore Special

FCI Group

The Singapore Special is not classified under the FCI grouping system.

AKC Group

The Singapore Special is classified under the Miscellaneous group in the AKC grouping.

Is the Singapore Special allowed as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Singapore. The Singapore Special, sometimes referred to as mongrels, descended from free-breeding village or kampong/farm dogs. Belonging to the larger group of dogs that aren't pets, village dogs are the closest living things to the dogs that first emerged thousands of years ago. The rapid urbanisation of Singapore over the last few decades significantly altered their habitat.

Original Purpose

Singapore Specials aren't bred for a specific purpose. Unlike other dogs that were purposefully bred, Singapore Specials remained as dogs that continued to hang around humans scavenging for leftovers. Villages, kampongs, farms, factories, construction sites and whatever we name it, these dogs scavenged near humans. Some got domesticated and were thought to help humans 'guard' these sites.

Behaviour and Temperament

Most observed behaviour and temperaments of the Singapore Special are not genetic, but reflects the environment in which they grew up. Street dogs are often shy and curious at the same time, shy because they do not encounter humans on a daily basis, yet curious because they know being near humans derives food. Frequently fed strays may appear more comfortable around their regular community feeders.

Breed Characteristics

Superbly adapted scavengers. Most possess a natural superpower: They can convince a human to feed them.

What are some Physical Features of the Singapore Special?

Non-specific. The Singapore Special being free-breeding, takes after the features found on either of its parents.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

The Singapore Special comes in all sorts of coat types, commonly sporting short, stiff, shiny, dense outercoat and light undercoat. Low maintenance. Light shedding.

Life Expectancy

15 years and more.

The Oldest Singapore Special in the Community

No pups found

Help us find the oldest living Singapore Special in Singapore. If you have at least one Singapore Special,

Health Concerns

Little concerns here. The natural breeding cycles over many generations meant that the Singapore Special is derived from a more diversified gene pool, where in the theory of the survival of the fittest (healthiest), defective (weak) genes are naturally weeded out. Throughout the world, street dogs like the Singapore Special requires less veterinary attention across their lifespan.


Free ranging Singapore Specials get their exercise needs roaming their habitat. For one that is re-homed, long and brisk daily walks are highly recommended.


Being highly adaptable, the Singapore Special can thrive in an apartment life, but be sure to take him on daily long walks or jogs. Under Project ADORE, Singapore Specials up to 15 kg in weight and 50cm may be housed in Singapore HDB flats, subject to stringent ownership conditions.


They have remarkably varied connections to human beings. Some survive completely on their own at dumps. Some are neighbourhood dogs, recognised and given handouts by people who live around the area. Others may feed and breed on their own, but spend nights near homes of people.


Dogs that are out on the streets for a longer time will require more effort and patience to adapt to life in a house. Wilful, but definitely trainable. If the starting line is the same for a Singapore Special and a pure breed dog, we'd place our money on the Singapore Special.

Recommended Activities

Being street dogs, they do best when left on their own. If spotted injured or at risk to traffic, contact one of the animal welfare groups in Singapore. (SoSD, CAS, ALL, OSCAS, ASD).
Rehabilitated Singapore Specials thrive in agility.

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