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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

INDog Site Record

My INDog Project partners have pooled our observations and created a chart recording sites where we have seen pure, unmongrelized INDog populations.

We are only listing villages and very small towns. Although one can find pure INDogs in cities, there are many mix-breeds as well, and one cannot consider big city populations unmongrelized.

There seems to be a clear connection between new money and dog mongrelization. In both urban and rural communities that have recently become affluent, modern breed dogs are probably acquired as status symbols, but allowed to roam unsupervised in 'village dog' style. We see mix-breed dog populations in such areas.

Obviously there are millions more sites around our subcontinent. We have listed only those we have visited personally.

Click here to view the list.

Here's the link to an earlier blog post about the distinct genetic profile of INDogs.

This is an ongoing project. We hope many more people will contribute their observations to the list. If you would like to contribute your records, please email me at rajashree.khalap@gmail.com with details and photographs of the dogs. 

Do read the criteria for listing.


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

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Walking on water

Nagaon beach last saturday evening. We all got drenched because this lovely sunlight was interrupted by sudden showers - three times - but the dogs had half an hour of fun anyway! And we got to see this surreal merger of sky, water, sand and dogs. 

Can you see the rainbow? It became a complete circle soon after this, and we had the strange feeling of walking through it!

And see those specks in the distance? That's something a bit uglier: a crowd of noisy tourists. This year there are tourists even at this season, at least on weekends. Last monsoon we had the beach all to ourselves...This lot were playing cricket (a common tourist activity here, actually). I find it funny that people want to do that on a beach, instead of swimming or walking or just looking at the sea. But that's just my opinion. They really didn't bother us that far away.

Clicked with my phone!

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Native dogs of Myanmar

These gorgeous pictures were clicked by Jura Cullen on Ngapali Beach, Myanmar. Thanks for letting me post them, Jura!

'I was in Burma a few months ago where I saw some lovely pariah dogs who generally seemed quite loved and well cared for. This lovely one - affiliated with a little restaurant - adopted us whenever we were on the beach.'

More dog pictures in this slideshow in Jura's blog.

This seems the typical village dog lifestyle one sees in India and other parts of Asia. Dogs have their own territories, are often befriended by humans there, and are often pets, but they roam and breed without restriction.

Have you seen Jura's pictures of her own stunning pariah dog Tala? Tala was adopted in Sudan but now lives with her owners in Hanoi. Here's a post in this blog about her. And many more in Jura's blog (link at the bottom of this post.) 

Photos: Jura Cullen

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