About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier and birder. 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, February 7, 2009

Daddy dear

Parental behaviour in INDogs is rarely a topic of interest for dog lovers, and with good reason. Most of us are city-dwellers and the sight of puppies usually makes our hearts sink - so sad and unnatural when you think about it. I mean, babies are usually a source of joy aren't they? It's such a pity that these babies are a source of worry instead..."How do we prevent them from being run over, how do we find homes for them, how do we get the parents neutered?"

Apart from the overpopulation problem, city dogs are also almost always mongrelized, so their behaviour may not be that of pure primitive dogs.

In "normal" villages, by which I mean villages which do not have a booming human population, the number of dogs is automatically limited because of the fixed amount of food available. So overpopulation is not an issue and one can study and understand the true natural behaviour of INDogs, including their breeding habits.

One interesting observation is that some male dogs seem to be monogamous and also share in parental duties. Dr Sunil Kumar Pal researches the behaviour of free-roaming dogs in West Bengal (his papers are published in prestigious scientific journals including Elsevier and Applied Animal Behaviour Science). He has documented incidents of male dogs even feeding very young pups with regurgitated food. I've heard similar accounts from Orissa and no doubt this happens elsewhere too. When the pups are older, a few fathers have been observed bringing scavenged food for them to eat.

I took these pictures in two villages near Similipal in Orissa last month.

The tricoloured dog in the two lower pictures is very tolerant of his boisterous offspring.

The handsome brown dog in the top two phot
os is very indulgent with his pups too, and usually stays with his family. Before you get all sentimental I should point out that his mate is also his mother. It helps to remember that dogs are not furry little humans but a different species with rules of their own. We should love and respect them for what they are...in my humble opinion, this sort of love is more genuine than the kind that projects a human personality on to them.


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