About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. I'm also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. I worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai for 14 years.

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.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

INDogs of the Soliga tribe

















The first seven photos are of pet INDogs who live in a Soliga settlement I visited recently, in the Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka. All are good examples of the long-term pariah morphotype, showing the generalized appearance of primitive dogs around the world (see my May 11, 2008 post on the type).

As in most or all tribal societies dogs seem to be an integral part of community life, with many families owning one or two. In the second picture (from the top) the dog even has a black "tika" on his head, showing that he is held in respect. I like the elderly one in the third picture, with his scars and weathered look.


I was barked at by many of these dogs as I passed their homes, including by the gang in the fourth picture. I've mentioned elsewhere that they probably think my camera lens is a huge eye, and I seem to be making too much eye contact which of course is seen as a threat. INDogs are naturally great watchdogs (though most city folk don't seem to realize that) and in places like this I tread gingerly, hoping I won't get a piece taken out of my leg for my intrusive ways...But this has never happened, either because of non-threatening body language on my part, or simply because they know where to draw the line.

By now you may have noticed that the dog in the last photo is no INDog. That's right, it's what people all over India refer to as a "pom," and I was quite dismayed to see at least two in this remote village. I also saw a few INDogs who look hybridized, with the tips of their ears dropped. Then there was Bollywood music being played in some of the houses...

Obviously city ways and city aspirations have spread to this community, deep in the heart of this lovely forest. Inevitable, I suppose, and I try not to be judgmental about it...though it means that the INDog will eventually vanish from here as well, unnoticed and unmourned.

Biligiri Rangana Hills,
Karnataka

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