About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, I worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a spider enthusiast and amateur arachnologist.

This blog is for aboriginal dog enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah Dog) and INDog-mixes (Indies) 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 landrace village dog of the Indian subcontinent. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too. Also see padsociety.org

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Santal Hound

The Santals are among the many aboriginal peoples in India who have a very ancient and strong bond with the primitive pariah-type dog. The Santals of the Hazaribagh district of northern Jharkhand traditionally used their dogs for hunting. A lot of research and documentation has been done on these dogs (called Santal Hounds) by cultural conservationist Bulu Imam, director of the Sanskriti Centre and Regional Convenor of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The Santal Hound is a perfect example of the Indian pariah dog and displays the "long-term pariah morphotype."

Some excerpts from Mr Imam's notes which he very kindly sent me:

The Santals call the dog seuta and kukur, and sometimes affectionately tuio which means jackal.

A video film was made by National Geographic in 2003 titled
In Search of the First Dog in which the Santal Hound featured prominently in its natural environment. The film was produced by Lloyd Fales of Working Dog Productions (NY) for National Geographic, and after being premiered in the USA in 2003 was shown in India on National Geographic Channel in March 2004. It went on to win the Explorer's Club film festival award in New York.

DNA testing was facilitated through the efforts of Janice Koler-Matznick of the Primitive and Aboriginal Dogs Society (PADS, USA). The DNA tests of samples of hair from the Santal Hound collected by the Author were done at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm by Dr.Peter Savolainen in 2000, and confirmed that the Santal Hound is representative of the indigenous Indian dog, has no Nordic/Spitz in it, and that it is similar to the New Guinea Singing Dog and Dingo of Australia, belonging to the so-called Indo-Polynesian Group.

The Breed Standard by the Author with photos and description of the dog appears in Muriel Landers-Cooke’s work Dogs of All Nations, Vol. II “Wild and Semi-Wild Varieties.”

Photo and notes: Bulu Imam
Hazaribagh, Jharkhand


Anonymous said...

Hi!My name is Angela and I love dogs (pariah) I have one myself.I wanted to tell u ur doing an excellent job!!and would need to know if there is any kind of a emergency number that can help to get help for the dogs on streetwho are beaten etc because Karuna doesnt help they always have some excuse.Yesterday again i found a dog on the street in marol who was wimping with pain and was filled with maggets,he was lying there since 3 days,Karuna said they do not work after six in the evening.I was helpless and i had to take the dog in the rick to Malad Ahimsa myself they tried their best to help him but this morning he died.I feel really helpless at these time and this has happened to me the 3rd time.Can you please suggest?where can i get ambulances or help after 6 in evenings so that I can do more for those doggies who need help.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Hi Angela, sorry, I don't know of any 24 hour helpline other than the SPCA. Welfare of Stray Dogs has a helpline from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on weekdays, the numbers are 022 64222838 and 23733433. You could call them and ask for other emergency numbers. WSD also has first-aid personnel including volunteers, perhaps some of them would be available in the evening.

tattu said...

Hi Angela,
I am from Kolkata and this problem is even more serious here. In fact, here you have no good hygienic shelter for dogs, leave aside other urban animals. Even if you take an injured or sick dog to some shelter, the dog will be left unattended till the next day. This is from my practical experience. So, the best option is to consult a good vet known to you and give him the emergency care. You'll need to have a little training in administering medicines and describing the condition of the dog to the vet. Ideally, the vet should check the dog first hand but often they refuse to come over even if the dog is too sick to be transported. One has to do with the best possible care that one can personally offer even if it is ridiculously insufficient.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Sadly I've also heard mostly depressing things about medical facilities for street dogs in Kolkata. If a few dog lovers would get together and form a first aid team, it would help a lot. Here the NGOs can't always help each and every dog, but there are many animal lovers who do first aid on their own or in groups. When animals need to be hospitalized they arrange it with one of the NGOs, otherwise they treat dogs independently for things like wounds and skin problems.

Rajarshi said...

hi, I want a santal hound breed, where can I get this, please help me..

Anonymous said...

Here in some remote places of West Bengal where I spot Santal tribes and free ranging Santal hound around tea gardens, but I have doubts they mate with mongrels and loose their physical charactaris day by day.. Still you can identify them by moderately deep chest, small belly, almost looking like malnarishe but their appearance is far sharper than mongrels.