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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

INDogs of central India

I clicked these pictures in the last two days, in a village on the periphery of Pench Tiger Reserve. The village is called Sawra.

I visit Sawra nearly every month on work, but the dogs aren't usually outdoors in the hotter part of the day, which typically is when I go there (in between wildlife safaris). Now however it's the height of the "mating season." Like some other aboriginal breeds and unlike modern breeds, INDogs have a seasonal breeding cycle. So the village dogs were much more active and visible than I've seen them so far.

About half of all village dogs I've seen in central Indian villages are INDog-mix, with deviations from the pariah morph such as completely dropped ears or long fur. I'm referring to villages in forest areas because those are the only ones I visit. Pench is not very far from the city of Nagpur, so that would explain mongrelization in village dogs of the area. However even in Melghat Tiger Reserve and deep inside the very remote Satpuda Tiger Reserve, I've seen many mix-breed dogs along with dogs of perfect INDog appearance. Here's my earlier post on dogs of the Satpudas. The villagers (mostly Gond and other tribals) must have brought in dogs of other breeds for some reason, most probably because they felt they would be good at hunting or guarding livestock.

INDogs in central India are often slightly bigger than the ones in eastern India (such as dogs of Bengal and Orissa).

Above, below: This pale male was extremely busy wooing the canine village belles. I saw him many times in my two days there, as he trotted around on the important business of perpetuating his genes and ensuring the survival of his bloodline!

Above: One of the stops of the pale male. The black INDog-mix here is called Rani and belongs to this household. Somewhere in her ancestry there is probably a spitz, a very common pet breed in urban India and occasionally seen in rural India as well.

Above, below: This dog belongs to the family of Vaishali Kumre. They've never named him but he is treated with kindness and affection and sleeps inside the house. Gond tribals are fond of dogs. In fact most aboriginal people in India are respectful of them and allow them in the house, unlike "mainstream" Hindu villagers, who keep them as pets but usually on the porch or in the yard.

Above: Vaishali's dog is aloof with strangers and wasn't very comfortable with my attempts to photograph him. I've come across this suspicion of camera lenses in many village dogs across the country. I suppose the lens looks like a magnified stare to them and they don't know how to react, unlike our city pets who are accustomed to being being clicked every other day (I'm thinking of Lalee's complete boredom with our photo sessions). Here the dog was trying to sneak into the inner room without my noticing him. Vaishali and her friend tried to hold him still for the photo.

Above: As soon as he could, he ran off outside

Above: Waking from a long siesta in the family bedroom

Above: This is one of the INDog-mix dogs I mentioned. Very handsome but quite large and with completely drooping ears.



smita said...

What lovely dogs! Vaishali's dog especially looks quite a character.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Yes he is :-) He came and stood quietly behind Vaishali and suddenly made a funny noise, between a yawn and a yowl, to attract her attention. My dog Puppy does exactly the same thing!

smita said...

My dog CD makes that sound too! In fact he has become very vocal lately,he has a number of different sounds he uses to converse with us!