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

Friday, June 26, 2009


I've written a couple of posts earlier on aggression between dogs. Here's another one.

This is a nasty bite Deepa suffered while playing with a neighbour's pet dogs in Doerflingen, Switzerland.
The biter was a big German Shepherd, known for being jealous around other dogs.

The owner's second dog is Deepa's friend and regular playmate. The GSD is normally leashed during these play sessions, but unfortunately the owner left him off-leash that day.

Owners of aggressive dogs need to be extra-careful not to put other dogs or people at risk. And above all they should invest in some canine behaviour counselling and training!

For earlier posts on this topic, click here and here.

Photo: Nicole Poyyayil

Good homes needed!

An adoption appeal from Charu Shah, Mumbai:

Above: Four cute brown puppies in a building society at Charkop. They are being troubled by the building people. Two girls and two boys, very healthy and extremely playful. If they aren't adopted soon, they will have to live on the road and you never know when a car will crush them!

Above: Six pups born to a street dog at Dombivali. There are three males and three females in the litter, out of which two males and one female have been booked. One male and two females remain to be adopted.

Charu Shah

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flower child

These pictures of INpuppies Raju and Deepa bring to mind my own Kimaya and her dark deeds in our Nagaon garden. Specially the pleased expression on Raju's face.

Our formerly dense fern patch is now a bleak wasteland...

More pictures of Raju and Deepa here.

Photos: Tina and Godfrey D'Souza
Aldona, Bardez

Deepa and the baby

More beautiful pictures of Nicole Poyyayil's Deepa, who has been living with Nicole's parents in Doerflingen, Switzerland, for some time now.

Deepa is a very sociable dog, and she has friends of all species. Here she is with some little humans, including Nicole's nephew Jamie (top).

Click here and here for her earlier pictures.

Photos: Courtesy Nicole Poyyayil
Doerflingen, Switzerland

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bandu, my forest friend

I like the somewhat restless life I lead and my frequent travels here and there...but somehow it's also nice to revisit familiar places and friends I've made along the way.

Here's Bandu, a dear friend and a very special dog.

He lives at a government-run tourist lodge in the village of Moharli, right next to one of my favourite places: Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve.

The name Bandu is pretty common in that region, and I know three men with the same name.

Not everyone finds Bandu as handsome and endearing as I do, perhaps because his cropped ears and tail and brindled coat give him a slightly menacing appearance. But he is actually a very well-mannered and sweet-natured dog and I look forward to meeting him on trips to Tadoba, as much as I look forward to seeing wildlife.

When I first saw him, I asked the resort staff where they had got him from and why his ears and tail had been cropped. They were a bit evasive, and told me his former owner had cropped them.

On later trips around the country I found out that villagers who use dogs for hunting often crop their ears in the belief that they will "hear better," and their tails for some reason I haven't figured out.

Hunting is absolutely illegal in India under our wildlife laws, and in well-managed areas the villagers have largely given it up. My guess is that Bandu's former owner intended him to be a hunting dog, and later when he abandoned the pursuit he abandoned the dog as well. So Bandu, like the clever creature he is, must have found his way to the lodge and scrounged around there until the staff decided to keep him as a pet.

I have seen crop-eared dogs here and there, including in a village near Pench Tiger Reserve - definitely a sign that some villagers are poaching. I wish these poor dogs were not embroiled in illegal activities, but Pariah Dogs were after all the original hounds in this country, and their hunting skills would make them indispensable to these law-breakers. This is what seems to be happening in the forests of Similipal (Orissa) and nearby areas, where rampant poaching by the tribals is common knowledge and has been mentioned in Sanctuary Magazine and elsewhere.

I have no patience with people who mindlessly cling to traditions even when these become irrelevant and damaging. Of course, let's not forget that hunting is not just a tradition but also has a strong profit motive. The wildlife trade seems to be flourishing everywhere.

Above: garbage in Jamni village and Moharli

The impact of dogs on wildlife is a serious problem, but I won't go into that in detail here. To sum it up, apart from the village pet dogs, there are many ownerless scavenging dogs in forest villages thanks to the filthy garbage disposal methods so common all over India. (The term "garbage disposal method" is perhaps too grand a term to describe the careless flinging around of waste).

These scavenging dogs often hunt on the side, and there is also the danger of their transmitting fatal infections like Canine Distemper Virus to wild canids.

Worst of all, there are reports of municipal corporations and village governing bodies taking dogs from their filthy streets and releasing them in wildlife areas. It seems no act is too low or stupid for humans to stoop to, when it comes to the treatment of animals.

And the cause of it all is our famous Indian lack of civic sense. Many Indians will hotly deny that we lack civic sense ("Slumdog Millionnaire shows India in a bad light!"). But there is really no need to discuss this charming national trait, as you can see it clearly demonstrated at practically every street corner.

Well, coming back to my friend Bandu - he leads a blameless life today, and he doesn't have to eat garbage or wild animals (see him slurping over his chapatis in the photo).

This intelligent beast has obviously learned not to trust the "naked ape," which is why he doesn't go bounding up to greet people, even me, but sits some distance away thumping his tail stump on the ground and waiting for me to go and pat him.

He is rather picky about biscuits and if you ever meet him don't bother offering him those salty ones, I forget the name.

One night I tried coaxing him to accompany me on a walk outside the lodge gate, but in his usual polite manner he refused to budge, and with good reason. The lodge is in forest area and sloth bears, wild boar and even tigers have been spotted there. Which is why I gave up my idea of strolling down the lane and decided to remain in the lodge grounds with Bandu and his little pack. Here's one of his girlfriends, below.

I always feel a pang of regret about not being able to adopt him. But I also know it simply wouldn't work. I've seen this type of dog before, and I know that they are stubbornly outdoorsy and will do anything to get out and wander as they please, even if they have to scratch down the front door or leap out of a window.

So Bandu dear - live free, live long, stay out of trouble - and please forgive the stupid humans who treat your tribe so badly.

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

Pups for adoption, New Delhi

A message from Angel Eyes Animal Welfare Foundation, New Delhi:

Hi Friends,

Here's to inform you that 3 adorable 40-days-old Indian breed pups are in urgent need of loving and caring homes.

Attached are images of them.

We request all those who are looking to adopt a pup, to give these innocent little ones a chance, instead of bringing home a foreign breed and supporting the cruel practice of 'breeding for business.'

Indian Breed dogs are as lovable and loyal as any other foreign breed dog and deserve as much love and care. They are by all means beautiful, extremely sturdy, intelligent, friendly and good with children as well. Yet they live miserable lives as a result of being neglected on the streets. Hunger, disease, road accidents, freezing winters and scorching summers take the lives of thousands of stray dogs. Not only do they deserve a better life, but also a chance to prove that they can make excellent pets.

So open your heart and home to an animal in need. Help make the life of a homeless one healthy and happy.

Those interested in adopting, please contact at -

9810560230, 9971984151, 9891619916

9873557170, 011- 65459460

Kindly forward this mail to as many people possible.

The more the number of people who read this mail, the better the chances for these cute pups to find warm, loving families.

Thank You

Angel Eyes Animal Welfare Foundation

New Delhi