About Me

My photo
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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Isn't Brownie adorable? He's a lovely, cuddly little INDog-mix living with Prapti Sarmalkar and her family. 
I love those expressive Indy eyes!

Read his story sent in by Prapti:

This is Brownie, a seven-month old pup who came into my life this January. Rani, my old female dog had recently passed away due to old age. 

This little pup crossed the road with my friend, who was completely unaware that he was following her. After a while she realized that this small puppy was following her and trying to keep up with her long strides. He seemed just two months old. She picked him up and took him straight home.

She already had a big dog and was trying to figure out how to find a better home for him, since she could not leave the little one back on the streets. She told me about him, and I asked her to get him to me as soon as possible!

So he came to me all of a sudden one fine day, and gave me a shock as he looked exactly the same as my old dog! 

He is tough, strong, very smart, and understands everything.


I'm so happy to have him!

And this is a picture of Rani!

Text and photos: Prapti Sarmalkar

Please do not use images or content from this site without permission and acknowledgement

Thursday, June 25, 2015

INDogs and Not-INDogs: Village dogs of India

If you've been following this blog for some time, you may remember some of my earlier rants, er, posts, trying to clear up misconceptions about pariah dogs and village dogs...? 

Like this one? And this?

Another huge misconception I come across all the time is this - INDogs are the predominant village dog in India.

After eight years of observing village dogs, and considerable travel around the subcontinent, I've come to the same conclusion any dog person would:

INDogs are by no means the only type or the most common type in this country. 

They do however have a wider distribution than any other type, and they may well have been the ancestral stock of all other Indian dogs. 

But they are uncommon today for two reasons. Mongrelization with Eurobreeds is now widespread in many rural areas as well as cities; and there are numerous regional native types that are NOT INDogs.

The truth about INDogs is, location is as important as type.

They are only found in rural regions meeting these criteria:

1. Plains areas, excluding grasslands.  That's because mountains and plateaux have their own landraces; and grasslands almost always have locally-developed sighthounds.

2. Relatively remote areas that are hard to access. Villages, of course, but not every village. Only those that are poorly connected with the outside world. Villages in forested areas; in the Sundarbans mangroves - these are typical 'INDog' sites.

3. Areas with impoverished human communities. Because as soon as villagers become prosperous, they acquire 'English' dogs as status symbols, and the local dog population gets mongrelized. 

4. Areas where no other breeds have been developed or introduced. Some parts of India, notably the state of Tamil Nadu, have a strong tradition of creating their own regional breeds. INDog-type dogs are a minority there.

These conditions narrow down the INDog geographical range considerably. In fact they rule out large swathes of the country!

Here's a beautiful INDog in the Sundarbans, still one of my favourite photos. From 2008.

And our breed description of the INDog, from our website, for those who haven't read it before.

And this is a nice article on INDogs and other pariah breeds, by Jaymi Heimbuch in Mother Nature Network last year. (Incidentally the photo was clicked by me in a Gond tribal village in Mandla district; we contributed the picture to Wiki Commons). 

And now, here are some of the many village dogs that are not INDogs!

Himalayan dogs - Himalayan mastiffs and mastiff-mixes:
Typical dog in Uttarakhand. This one was at a forest rest house.

Eastern Himalayan mix-breeds:
Mix-breed dog at Hilley-Barsey, West Sikkim

Mix-breed dog, Tenga Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
Typical stocky thick-coated village dogs of North Bengal, many possibly mixed with apso. These were in Lava near the Sikkim border.

Dhangar Dogs and mixes, in the Western Ghats and Deccan Plateau:
Dhangar sheepdogs traveling with the Dhangar tribe; they are semi-nomadic. Western Ghats.

Livestock-guarding dog near Solapur, west Deccan Plateau

Sighthounds and sighthound-mixes, in grasslands and other regions where they have been developed: 
Dogs like this are very common in the scrub and grassland areas near Ajmer, Rajasthan. Probably used for poaching hare.

Typical village dog of grassland around Solapur, western Deccan; the mix seems to include Karwani (Caravan Hound)

Eurobreed-mixes in prosperous villages: these are exactly the same as the free-ranging dogs on city streets! 
Livestock-guardian dog, seems mixed with German Shepherd Dog from the shaded coat; near Chandrapur, Maharashtra. His name was 'Tommy'!

Spitz-mix village dog with his owner, Raigad district. This village is very prosperous and there are several labradors and spitz kept by villagers.

I'll be doing some posts on 'Not-INDog' village dogs soon. Drop by in a few days and have a look! And thanks so much for reading my blog!

Please do not use images or content from this site without permission and acknowledgment

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King Tommy in Devon, Part 2

More from Tommy's Devon album! Have you seen Part 1?

But first, here's a photo of him and Monique with the award he won recently: second place in the 'Most Beautiful Eyes' contest!

And this one above is Tommy at a lovely old dog-friendly pub near where they stay. Wearing his raincoat on a rainy day.

And here are some stunning beach photos from South Devon. Incidentally, this is the beach where the Allies trained for D-Day in World War II. 

Modelling Monique's designs!

'The whole feel about Devon is that it's miles away from busy city life and quite rural,' writes Monique. 'Overall it's nice to be in a place where dogs are allowed long walks and in general are quite well looked-after. There are a lot of working dogs here that help with sheep and cows. There are sheep everywhere, hence when we walk on the country roads Tommy has to be on leash.'

Photos: Monique G Nerman

Tommy's Facebook page: King Tommy and the God of Beginnings

Please do not use images or content from this site without permission and acknowledgment

King Tommy in Devon

Time for a Tommy update! It's been a while!

This beautiful INDog-mix is one of my favourite dogs, and he's been the perfect Indy ambassador for several years now. If you're new here, have a look at all his earlier posts:

Now there's a book based on his life, written by Monique! Just launched!

And he continues to travel and explore the world, winning new friends and fans wherever he goes. 

He and Monique are currently in Devon. 

I'm posting some of their photos here, and more in a day or two. Enjoy the album! 

Wonderful walks in the Devon parks
Lots of squirrels...
Helping with Monique's new business - at the market where the designs are displayed
Sneaking behind the counter at a pet store. They love giving dogs biscuits here!
A dog waiting for his owner outside a local pub

Watch this space for the next Tommy update!

Photos: Monique G Nerman

Tommy's Facebook page: King Tommy and the God of Beginnings

Please do not use images or content from this site without permission and acknowledgement