About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Are these traits common to all pariahs/INDogs?

Surprisingly, both my pet pariahs easily make friends with any kind of stray dog, but the moment Tommy sees a purebreed or pedigreed dog, that too on a leash with an owner, he becomes aggressive, and Blacky submissive! Do you find this in all pariah dogs?

My second question is, are pariah dogs fussy about eating vegetables? I have to mix vegetable puree in Tommy's chicken meal, and Blacky likes it mixed with 'Rex' supplement. I tried vegetables for Chinky but she has no interest in any kind of veggies. I have heard stories about labradors and other purebreed dogs eating cucumbers, carrots, cabbage et cetera. (As for Blacky, he eats all kinds of icecreams, litchi, butterscotch, mango, strawberry, tender coconut, any icecream you give him, but Tommy loves only and only vanilla!!)

Tommy has an independent nature. Although he came in contact with me at a very early age, he will do things only if he likes or wants to do them. He even refuses chicken treats at times. But surprisingly Blacky is a mama's boy and will do all that I ask him to, even biscuits as treats will do. In fact he loves Parle G biscuits so much that he leaves chicken for biscuits. We tease him saying he was born in a Parle biscuit factory compound!!

So my query is, what have other pariah dog owners experienced? Do their dogs make friends with stray dogs easily? Do they eat vegetables with reluctance? Do let me know, I’m asking just out of curiosity.

Manik Godbole

Rajashree's note: Please post your comments here, or if you prefer mail them to me at rajashree.khalap@gmail.com and I will put them up as a separate post.


Aditya said...

Dear Manik,

Dogs, like us humans (or for that matter most animals), have all got very different personalities and preferences. Two dogs of the same breed might or might not like a particular food item... thats got very little to do with the dog's breed. I have noticed though, that INDogs are rather picky eaters. Some dogs will eat every thing and anything... be it carrots or golf balls! My rottweiler Rex will at least taste any new morsel sized thing he comes across. Robin, my INDog, has to be coaxed even to try treats given to him! I've always fed both of them on 'Nutripet', a dog food brand I have great faith in. I mix this with a little bit diluted milk just to get the consistency to their taste. I don't feed them anything else. I don't give them ice cream and stuff so I cant comment on that. I had tried home cooked veggies long back and found that both of them hated it. Good quality dog food is the best.

Regarding INDogs being 'friends' with other INDogs and hating/fearing western breeds, I don't think there is a logical explanation to that... a dog doesn't understand the concept of 'breeds' per se. But yes, if your dogs were adopted after they had already experienced life as strays, they might have developed this 'thing' against dogs on leashes accompanied by humans, 'coz those dogs are more often than not always growling and snapping at them, unlike their fellow strays. So, may be that makes them find leashed dogs more intimidating than strays. Hope I have been able to answer your questions adequately.


Rajashree Khalap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajashree Khalap said...

I agree, Aditya – I think the way dogs behave with each other has little to do with breed and everything to do with their history. They also react to each other’s behaviour. If dogs have lived with other dogs for a while (many of our pet INDogs have) they naturally respect pack hierarchies and territorial boundaries and give the right “vibes” to other dogs. I notice that if Lalee is walked on the street, the local strays may run up and bark but there is rarely a real attack. To elaborate on what Aditya said - pure breeds in India are often poorly trained and not socialized – most often in a crowded city they are the only pet in the family – so they have no experience of interacting with other dogs. Lalee is nervous of most randomly met purebreds because they are usually straining at the leash trying to lunge at her. However she is great friends with a neighbour’s Basset Hound and has even been to his house. She is friendly with a French poodle and one of the building Pekingese, but dislikes another Pekingese who snarls and yaps at her. The dog she fears most is actually a pet INDog owned by one of my neighbours, because this dog tried to attack her many times when I first adopted her. It’s clear that all these relationships come about because of each dog’s nature and training (or lack of training!) rather than breed. Purebreds brought up with other dogs – such as Aditya’s rottweiler? - would probably be more friendly with dogs in general and would get friendly reactions in return.

In Alibagh, when Lalee encounters pet purebreds or stray dogs in what she considers her part of the beach, she chases them off with a complete absence of discrimination.

Regarding food preferences, again I think this varies from dog to dog and has little to do with breed. INDogs living free as scavengers make do with whatever they get from garbage dumps, and this is unlikely to be exclusively non-vegetarian.
I know of a street dog who loves raw tomatoes. Greedier breeds like Labradors probably wolf down all kinds of food, but I know many purebreds who refuse veggies just like Manik’s Tommy. I believe most dogs given a choice would pick non-veg or dairy over veg, but if brought up to eat fruit and vegetables from an early age they do accept it readily. Lalee is given an apple mixed with her chicken and rice and she doesn’t fuss at all, though she definitely wouldn’t eat it without the chicken.

Btw, I don’t think there is any harm in the occasional snack or treat, as long as the dog doesn’t have problems with digestion, liver, allergies or obesity. Having descended from generations of scavengers, most INDogs would be accustomed to variety. Of course the treats shouldn’t be harmful products or given in excess.

Aditya said...

Thanks for elaborating my point Rajashree.

Yes, Rex, my Rottie is a polar opposite of the disrepute the breed has earned. He is an excellent guard dog, but a boisterous six month old pup at heart- friendly with other dogs and completely trustworthy with kids. He's as docile and friendly as any Labrador (and equally greedy!) and has great respect for Robin. I trashed all the non-sense people tried to force into my head about Rex growing up and tearing Robin apart some day. Rex turns his head away if Robin drinks from his bowl and always raises a submissive paw at him. Two male dogs, happily co-existing in the same house and ironically the INDog has to be controlled from bullying the 60 kg Rott whom the entire neighborhood fear. The bottomline is, no matter what breed your dog is, good training, socialization and a nice friendly environment are paramount for the development of their characters and temperament. A well brought up Rottweiler/Pit Bull can be docile enough to be trusted with your toddler and an abused Labrador/Golden Retriever can be ill tempered and 'vicious' enough to be positively dangerous.

Reena said...

hi Manik,
Wanted to tell you about my dog Mopes who had many breeds in his lineage. He used to have this strange , rude side glance and growl which would simply enrage any dog he met. They would start barking their heads off and Mopes would simply stroll through them exuding some doggie abuse which I just could not decipher. He was particularly allergic to poms. But, on the other hand, he helped me bring up all the kittens I picked off the street, protected a baby crow from other dogs and saved a baby bat from my cat by sitting with his forelegs around it till i picked it up!He was such an angel with every other animal except dogs!!


Ashvina said...

Hi! Read about your dog, I have to tell u about my li'l fellow Benji whom I adopted from the streets in July. He is a very friendly fellow & just adores my Elsa. When I take him for his walks he meets my street dogs too & just ignores them now there is one huge fellow Ramu he plays with him. Manik as soon I leave my lane & enter this another lane at the enterence of this lane there are a few dogs staying there as I dont see these dogs anywhere else,My Benji as soon as he see's tese dogs just looses it & turns aggressive only my brother & me can barely control him. By telling you this I just want to explain it all depends on the dogs,maybe your dogs had some bad experience or maybe it is their nature. My Benji came with a bad bite wound onhis neck,so I feel one of these dogs could have bitten him.
About eating habits again depends from dog to dog. Try adding gingergarlic paste & a little dhaniajeera powder to their vegetables when cooking & cook them with the chicken, maybe then they will eat. Try this out.

siddhartha roy said...

Our dogs are no less than a purebreed,they are 1 of the oldest purebreeds

siddhartha roy said...

how can i upload photos of my dog?

Rajashree Khalap said...

Hi Siddharta, you can't upload directly but if you email your dog's pics to me I'll be happy to post them here. rajashree.khalap@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Ginger garlic paste can cause kidney problems to the dogs. Clear warning mentioned in the pedigree. I also did some research and figure out that's it's really not good for them.