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

Monday, May 9, 2016


This is Diya, an elegant INDog from Delhi, now living in Minnesota with Michelle Orcutt. 
Isn't she superb?


Michelle's description of her is very interesting, especially the results of her DNA test, which show some Eurobreed admixture (like most urban free-roamers). *

'I recently adopted this INDog-mix from Gurgaon through the International Street Dog Foundation. She turns a year old on May 15 (or thereabouts). 

Her history is, she was found as a solitary, approximately six week old puppy, with a broken leg, dragging herself through a parking lot in Gurgaon. The attendants at the lot alerted a local animal rescuer to the pup's plight. The pup (then called Chutki) was taken to a skilled vet who set her tiny leg. She was allowed to sleep in the lot attendants' hut at night, and the rescuer Joyita visited her daily and took her for all her vaccinations on schedule. 

The parking lot where Chutki/Diya was found

She was flown from New Delhi to Chicago in October 2015, and on November 2 I brought her to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she now lives with me, my dog Wiley, and cats Cecil and Simone.

She has been doing really well since I adopted her. I now know, from a tissue sample sent for histopathological examination by the vet who did her spay, that Diya also must have had a partial spleen rupture and a good amount of internal bleeding when her leg was broken, making it even more remarkable that she survived and thrived. She was in really good physical shape when I got her and now has a glossy coat and lots of energy and spunk. Wiley and Diya are best friends, and her relationship with the cats continues to improve.

With Wiley, an Australian Cattle Dog

First neighbourhood stroll 

Wiley, Diya and the Mississippi

It is so interesting how native/primitive/pariah dogs in many different countries resemble each other. My other dog Wiley is an Australian Cattle Dog, so has some Dingo way back there, and maybe those Dingo ancestors had INDog progenitors themselves. I did the Mars Wisdom Panel DNA test on Diya and her results came back with German Shepherd and Saluki each at 12.5%, some Asian group and Middle Eastern/African group ancestry, and a smaller set of wild canid markers. I think the Saluki in her DNA results is quite likely just Middle Eastern/North Indian common genetic material. Since Salukis are one of the only dogs from that region in the Mars Wisdom breed data base, this could be what the test picked up. *

Some of her traits that seem different than European breed dogs include her characteristic use of her front legs, and the flexibility of her long neck. She cleans her face like a cat, covers her eyes when she is sleepy, and paws me (often in the face - ow!) when she wants something or is happy. She points her nose straight up to the sky when she gets a scent, and can look almost directly behind her by turning her head. She's hyper-vigilant, and has amazing physical/spatial intelligence. She loves to play with other dogs, especially larger dogs who don't hesitate to play rough and tumble. She's still wary of strangers, but less likely to bark at them now, and very cuddly with me and people she knows well.'

* 4 October 2016: An update on Diya's genetic profile: She was also tested by Embark Veterinary and her results came out as 100% indigenous dog with no Eurobreed admixture (in contrast to the Mars Wisdom test that showed 12% Eurobreed admixture).

Text and photos: Michelle Orcutt

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Saturday, May 7, 2016


'Our own weak olfactory sense has, no doubt, limited our curiosity about what the world smells like. A growing coalition of scientists is working to change that, and what they have found about olfactory animals, dogs included, is enough to make us envy those nose-creatures. As we see the world, the dog smells it. The dog's universe is a stratum of complex odors. The world of scents is at least as rich as the world of sight.' - Alexandra Horowitz,  Inside of a Dog.

Which is why the K Gang are allowed to spend as much time as they like sniffing, on every outing. With only very reasonable restrictions on what they sniff. Trash of any kind is a strict no-no. 

A word of caution: was your Indy ever a free-roaming dog? Because free-roamers almost always have the scavenging habit, and they don't give it up no matter how much gourmet food you may give them at home. 

Under the guise of just following scents, Kimaya sometimes tries to snatch up a piece of bone or rotten fish dropped by crows. So I check the ground as we walk, to see whether any such 'goodies' are lying around, and I watch her very closely at all times. Kiba never scavenges by the way. I adopted him when he was just four weeks old and had never eaten solid food. 

Some of our sniff-walking pictures:

And sometimes we just walk

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