About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mia needs a home in the UK





This beautiful INDog was rescued in India and has been living with owner Rebecca Dobson in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Sadly, Rebecca needs to find a new home for her now. She can take Mia back for holidays and if the new home is near her place, she is willing to help out regularly with Mia's care. Please spread the word about this gorgeous dog and help find a good home for her. You can write to Rebecca on office@vision21.org.uk

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
UK

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jerry needs a home







This tiny pup lives in Delhi. He was abandoned by his mother and was found with a bad wound on his paw. Malleka Gupta has been looking after him and now needs to find him a good home. If you'd like to adopt him, please call her on +91 9810964228 or email her on guptamalleka@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

For dogs scared of firecrackers

Diwali will soon be here...and again most of us dog-owners have that sinking feeling.

Last year I had posted tips on dealing with dogs who are scared of firecrackers. Click here to read them. Canine behaviour consultant Shirin Merchant gives some excellent advice and there is also my post about the homeopathic remedy Borax 1M, which seems to work well on many dogs (cats too).

Playing soothing classical music seems to help. Last year my aunt played Pavarotti for her little INDog-mix Lucy, with very good results. Lata Bajaj also reported that Carnatic music helped calm down her Sandy and Myra.

Always the optimist, I'm looking forward to the day when our fellow Indians will be able to celebrate this festival without turning the country into something resembling a war zone.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

INDogs of the Vidarbha region



Above: An INDog surveys his realm in Navegaon




Above: INDogs have a seasonal breeding cycle (like many other primitive breeds). This brown bitch was getting a lot of attention from the male dogs of Bamangaon at the time of my visit. The black dog was her favourite beau.



Above: Two INDogs in Bamangaon - what a pity the brown one had lost half his tail



Above: This male got bitten on his paw in a mating fight in Bamangaon



Above: Bamangaon - a cool spot for a siesta



Above: A young livestock-guardian dog on the Moharli-Chandrapur road



Above: A perfect INDog in Jamni. It was the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, and pink colour (and alcohol) seemed to have flowed freely in the village. A few of the dogs had also been smeared with colour; not this one though.



Above: Jamni. Two village lads strike a pose, unfortunately obscuring part of this INDog from view



Above: Jamni - an INDog stands amid signs of the morning's revelry



Above: Jamni - we had lunch at the home of the Sarpanch (elected village head) and his dog Raju modelled for me later



Above: A rather nervous bitch in Moharli. Village dogs aren't used to people staring at them, and it took this dog a long time to raise her ears and tail from a submissive position.


These pictures were taken on a recent trip to the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, in the beautiful Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra. I had the opportunity to spend time in six remote villages in and around the forest. The seventh village I visited was Moharli, not so remote but also on the periphery of the forest. (The presence of villages and domestic dogs in forests is highly controversial but this is not the right forum for discussing that topic).

One thing that intrigued me was that at least 50% of the dogs in the villages were mongrels (with dropped ears and longer fur than the norm). All the more odd as the highway between the forest and the nearest town, Chandrapur, had only pure INDogs, all conforming to the "long-term pariah morphotype" (see my May 11, 2008 post). It seems that at some point of time, mix-breeds or breeds other than INDogs must have been brought into the villages from some distance away, as the pure INDogs from the immediate neighbourhood could not have caused this hybridization.

I was told by someone from Moharli that there used to be many more dogs in the village earlier, before hunting was banned. Unpalatable as this may be to us modern Indian animal-lovers, the use of dogs for hunting goes back to the dawn of our history, and forest tribes and communities have always valued dogs for this purpose. After the ban, dog ownership has dropped a lot in the area, for which I can only be thankful. The dogs are now used as watchdogs and livestock -guardian dogs.

In areas where wildlife is understandably the centre of attention, my pursuit of dogs arouses much amused curiosity. This sometimes seriously hampers my progress, with villagers wanting to be included in photographs, even dragging out their own dogs for me to shoot. But then that's all part of the deal when you go "dogwatching" in rural India. Of course I use the opportunity to tell everybody that desi dogs are the best!

Chandrapur district,
Vidarbha region,
Maharashtra

The Indy and the cat, Part 2











Alas, my Lalee is no cat lover, and on the subject of felines she and I will forever disagree.

Right from the start I taught her that trying to kill the house cats was a Very Bad Thing. I did this by roaring in a sergeant-major tone of voice every time she snarled at them. She has now stopped trying to eradicate this species from the planet but that's as far as it goes. Left to herself she wouldn't be seen dead sitting so close to any of them. So I have to confess that these photos were completely set up. Lalee was merely obeying my instructions. Note her expression of dignified restraint.

As for my little tabby-and-white MiniPini, she is famed more for her beauty than her brains and is also marginally more obedient than the rest of her kind. She sat still for several minutes before recalling some more important business and scampering off. (If you're wondering about her tail, I'm afraid I have no explanation - she was stumpy-tailed even as a tiny kitten, when we first found her).
I'm really very proud of Lalee...if she could learn not to attack cats, I think it proves that any kind of canine aggression can be controlled or cured, as long as the owner is willing to take some trouble over it (using more sophisticated training methods than mine, perhaps!)

Mumbai/Nagaon

Click here for The Indy and the cat, Part 1 - now this dog and cat really do love each other!