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Mumbai, India
I am an animal lover. I own two lovely dogs and two gorgeous cats. I work with the wildlife conservation NGO Satpuda Foundation in the tiger reserves of central India. Before that I worked for 14 years with the street dogs of Mumbai. I created and manage the INDog Project www.indog.co.in and the INDog Club.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts and for the INDog/Indian Pariah Dog Club. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Membership of the Club is restricted to Pariah Dogs and mongrels (mix-breeds) only. 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 cynologists call the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. The Club is an informal group with over 200 members.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The 'mating season'


This is a good time to share what I've observed and read about the INDog reproductive cycle. 

Like other aboriginal breeds, female INDogs come into oestrus once a year. INDog-watchers (including me) have observed that the reproductive cycle seems to be seasonal and synchronized. 

For more about their reproductive cycle, read the paper 'The Indian Native Dog' by Gautam Das. Research by Dr Sunil K Pal and by Reece and Chawla also points to a seasonal breeding cycle. Late monsoon seems to be the peak mating time, with puppies born in the dry cool season that follows. 

In our part of India, late monsoon starts now. And far away in the US, a young adopted INDog female, not yet neutered, has come into her first oestrus. Interesting that she's on 'Indian time', though she's a hemisphere away from her birthplace, Chennai. 

In Indian tradition, the monsoon has long been considered the 'mating season' for dogs. Strangely many urban dog lovers dismiss this as a myth. Not that strange on second thoughts...since urban people usually get to observe only Eurobreeds at home. And the street dogs they get to see are often mix-breeds. 

This is a young female INDog I saw on the Mumbai-Alibag highway last week. This village is called Pezari. 
























The female is a pet, with a collar and a healthy, clean coat. The male's coat wasn't in good condition; he had hairless patches possibly caused by flea-bites, a common problem. Almost definitely not a pet. Even when village pet dogs don't have collars, I've found one can usually tell the owned ones from the ownerless from the condition of the coat. 






















The black female had a scar on the back of her head. She must definitely have had human help for healing that wound. Dogs can't reach there to lick and heal themselves. That's why head and neck wounds are common sites for maggot infestations in street dogs. 

In cities I'm told black dogs rarely get adopted, because they are considered unlucky or some such rubbish. But I've known of villagers who prefer black dogs, because apparently they look more intimidating and so make better security dogs. Lucky for this dog that her owner doesn't have the urban colour bias, nor the usual gender bias.
























Two more dogs were sitting at this construction site nearby.

We saw the same black dog two days later, accompanied by four male INDogs. So we'll probably see some lovely INpuppies there in a couple of months. I hope at least a few get adopted!






















This is a mating group I clicked on Nagaon beach last year. Second from the left is the female in oestrus (white with brown patches). The black dog is her son from a previous litter, quite correctly looking the other way! The other four are her 'suitors' come from far and wide. They aren't permanent residents of this part of the beach.






















And this is a mating fight I clicked in a different part of the state, Vidarbha (Central India). It was in a small tribal village. 

Males fight frequently during this time, and I believe this is a common reason for bites to humans. We all know that in the heat of a fight, dogs can redirect their aggression on to anyone passing by. In villages people stay at a distance, but that's not always possible for pedestrians on our congested city streets. 

It would be interesting to know whether dog bites shoot up at this time of year. Public health officials and spay-neuter organizations could easily compile this data if they are serious about reducing dog bites. If it turns out there IS a link to dogs mating, the solution is pretty obvious.

Pezari, Nagaon, Vidarbha
Maharashtra

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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