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.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I've been rather lazy about posting pictures of my own puppy Kimaya, though I adopted her over a month ago. Anyway, here she is at last. Yvonne de Kock (owner of Leela in NYC) spotted her with her mother and brother outside the international airport in Mumbai. She took the male pup (Rishi) back to NYC. I wanted a pup for our seaside house in Nagaon and Kimaya's temperament seemed perfect for my household. It's also a good idea to take away dogs from near the airport as the authorities shoot dogs who stray onto the runway.

Kimaya means "magic."

Kimaya's mother has a pure pariah-type appearance with erect ears, but there's no telling who her father was and her family tree seems to include some kind of Indian sighthound, most probably one of the smooth-haired saluki type dogs which are common in the Deccan Plateau and have become crossed with the INDog in some parts of Maharashtra (click here for my earlier post on Indian mix-breeds of the Deccan). Her long narrow face and flop ears are very different from the pariah type.

Lalee and Bandra were adults when I adopted them and were not interested in toys. Kimaya's enthusiasm about her toys and her habit of collecting them all in one place is something quite new to me, and very cute I think. Incidentally, her collection here includes some of the cat toys and one of my sandals. Luckily she is past the teething destructive-chewing phase and doesn't chomp anything for long.

Working to enter the "pack." Kimaya lives with the dog Lucy and two cats, MiniPini and Tabbyrani. Lalee and Bandra are frequent visitors. This is a very clever pup with advanced social skills, adept at flattery and submissive displays. She approaches all the other animals with ears pressed behind and tail down and tucked in. The slightest hint of annoyance on the part of a "senior" member and Kimaya drops flat on the ground, rolling over and exposing her stomach. Above and below: a fine display of her wheedling technique. Bandra decided to roll on the grass too.

Below: Trying to deflect aggression from a suspicious Lalee. Every now and then one of the big dogs snaps at her and when she immediately flips over, they hold her down with their teeth for a few seconds. This is something I've often seen in dog packs and I don't interfere as it seems to be their way of maintaining their hierarchy. Nobody gets injured and in a few seconds Kimaya approaches the dominant dog again. More harm than good is done by well-intentioned human interference and I prefer to leave my dogs to sort these issues out on their own. INDogs are highly gregarious and their natural ability to adapt to canine and human groups has not been tampered with in any way since aggressive traits have not been heightened as in the case of some breeds. One of the things that make them such easy dogs to live with and go out with. (Of course, if they are never allowed to mix with other dogs they can become aggressive towards them).

Below: The cat Tabbyrani is the undisputed queen of this house and my top requirement in a dog is that s/he should be respectful of cats. Two months ago we had a terrible tragedy when the neighbour's dogs teamed up with an ownerless dog, entered my garden and killed my tom cat. We fenced in the open side of our garden completely after that but Tabbyrani has naturally developed a fierce hatred of dogs and for the first week didn't allow Kimaya into the living room. However both cats are intelligent enough to understand that Lalee, Bandra and Lucy are harmless, and Tabbyrani has now realized that Kimaya is the most harmless of the lot and allows her to approach quite close, though she slaps her once in a way as a disciplinary measure. Again, Kimaya never gets discouraged by all the hissing, spitting and slapping and goes right back to Tabby within a few seconds with the correct slavish posture. Her reactions are superfast and she always manages to keep her long nose out of reach of those sharp claws.

Below: Lalee and Kimaya on the beach with friends the Rustomjis. Peggy Rustomji lives in Kodaikanal with three rescued dogs, including Kuttiboy who was featured in this blog - click here. Kimaya is a big pup and didn't take readily to the leash, but walking her with Lalee solved that problem. Pups seem to learn everything better if they have an older dog as a role model.

Below: Chomping...


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