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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Himalayan dogs and lamas...

I love these pictures posted by Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad in my Facebook INDog Club recently, so I asked him if I could post them here too. These are not INDogs/Indian Pariah Dogs, but ancient Himalayan livestock guarding breeds the Bhutia dog and Gaddi kutta. Thanks Ravi!

The second and third photos show a Lama with his Bhutia/Gaddi dog at the parking lot of the famous Rumtek monastery near Gangtok, Sikkim. His dog bears a strong resemblance to my females Miu and Tashi, and even some resemblance to my Doberman-Rottweiler Isha. I asked the Lama if I could pet him, but he warned me that he was too ferocious.

Dogs hold a sacred place in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism due to their virtues of loyalty, faithfulness and unconditional love. There are several references to dogs in the Jatakas. The Buddha himself had saved a pack of stray dogs from being poisoned by a king.

If a Lama has performed a minor transgression, or has not been able to live up to the high standards expected of him, then he is reborn as a dog in his next birth. And the dog, in its next birth, is reborn as a Lama.

On a practical level, since monasteries contained a lot of gold artifacts and were prone to looting by bandits, dogs provided protection during the days of the Silk Route.

The Buddhist priests believe that the tan pips over a dog's eyes give it the power to sense danger up to three days in advance. A dog with a white patch on its chest is believed to be valorous and fearless. Dogs with these features - tan pips over the eyes and white patches on the chest and neck - are highly prized by the Lamas.

Photos and text: Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad


More on chaturaksh or "four-eyed" dogs here.


Sonal Panse said...

Hi Rajashree,

I have a Bhutia, named Meijin. I got him from Nepal. He's beautiful and extremely intelligent, a wonderful breed. Very fierce too - that Lama was right to tell you to be careful - Meijin is well-socialized, but will not allow strangers close. Yet very sweet and gentle within the family. He gets along really well with our three Indian dogs too

Rajashree Khalap said...

They really are a lovely breed. I met a lovely family of 4 Bhutias at the camp we stayed at in Corbett this year and I am quite in love with them now. But those ones are very friendly towards their owners' guests. Do you have pictures of Meijin with your INDogs? Do email them to me if you have the time. I'd love to post them here if it's okay with you.

wandereress said...

The belief about fearlessness and the white patch caught my eye. Sammy has a white chest and during Diwali (now that he's had 2), he runs out to see where the fire crackers are! We were prepared to see him go all scared and timid during that time but he sits unperturbed! Instead runs out to see where the action is really happening. Strange!

Anonymous said...

I had a dog which passed away 12 days back i need to come her as my daughter in her next birth. please let me know how can it be possible

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am also a big fan of Bhutia...wonder if I can keep it in Delhi, due to summers. Also I have seen fabulous dogs on gurgaon streets...is there any way to figure out their pedigree..what Indian breed they belong to

Rajashree Khalap said...

Bhutias will suffer in Delhi in summer, I think. The street dogs of Gurgaon and Delhi all seem to be mixed with Eurobreeds. They're cute and good-looking though :)

Abhishek Salani said...


I have a Bhutia and since I am in Uttarakhand, it is suitable here. One of my cousins got a bhutia in Delhi and it died within 3 months due to heat. Not suitable for Delhi!!

Anuja Budukh said...

I have a Bhutia female dog Mili.She is 4 months old now.we will be moving out of Uttarakhand. Is it safe to take her with us? Heard from local people here that Bhutia dogs face lot of difficulties surviving in plane areas like Maharashtra coz it's a mountain dog. Any suggestions..

Ramesh Bhandari said...

Dear Anuja,
I'm so flabbergasted to note that you intend to take a mountain dog which has been habitated for a cold weather. Do not keep pets for your own selfishness. They are also a lifeform and you've no right to take it away from them. you can consider giving them away for adoption in UK itself rather than bringing it to the harsh summer of maharashtra and killing it. If only pets had a choice to choose their owners rather than the other way around.

Anuja Budukh said...

Dear Ramesh,
Thanks for the reply but after reading your message I have noticed that you have not understood my as. It sounds stupid to jump into conclusion without reading properly. One should be mature enough to understand that if someone is asking online suggestions about moving pet to different place,the only reason behind it can b love n care for the pet anyways I hope next time u ll read qs carefully before labelling someone.

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