7 reasons why the Indian pariah dog is best for Indian home?

  • By: Abhishek Joshi
  • Apr 09, 2020

Indian Pariah Dog
indian pariah dog breed best for India
Indian pariah dog

So you are ready to welcome the bundle of happiness that’s a dog!

Now comes the tricky part —  are you ready for a dog? And which is the best dog for an Indian home?

Before we tread any further it is worth reiterating, what we so often say here: Please choose to adopt a dog against buying one. When you choose to adopt, and not shop, you help rescue a less fortunate pup to a way better life.

What’s more rewarding than that?

Indian pariah dog – best dog for Indian home

The absolute best dog for an Indian home is an Indian pariah dog. Also referred to as desi, mixed breed, mutt or an indie dog, almost interchangeably.

This native dog breed is also called Desi DogDesi KuttaIndian Feral DogIndian Pariah DogIndian Pye Dog as well as South Asian Pariah Dog.  The most common dog breed found in India, they got their name during the pre-independence British era. 

‘Pariah’ means an outcast – a more misfitting travesty couldn’t have been there — unlike all other exotic breeds, these dogs are native to the Indian subcontinent and make an excellent pet or guard dog. 

1. Indian street dogs (Indian pariah dogs) are extremely alert & social.

Highly intelligent, and amicable, they’re one of the most versatile and adaptable dog breeds found in India. Desi dogs are loyal, loving, and street-smart.

Indian Pariah dogs make for loving family pets and are great with kids and adults. They are high on energy and complement kids with an active lifestyle.

adopt an indie dog
Sonal chose to look beyond the breeds and adopted an indie for her daughter.

2. Desi dogs have incredible Immunity

The immunity level of indie dogs is far better than foreign breeds, they’ve perhaps the best gene pool for Indian conditions. Having evolved through the generations to suit themselves to sub-continent conditions, Indian pariah dogs are least susceptible to the diseases that the pedigree often fall prey to.

3. Indian pariah dogs have minimal grooming needs

Indie dogs are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming and vet visits. Most of them have a short coat which helps withstand India’s tropical climate. Although they do shed through the seasons, the absence of an undercoat ensures there’s no hair all over the household.

Since they have a short coat, regular brushing is good enough to keep them groomed thus not taking much of your time or effort. Pariah dogs have significantly fewer oil glands on the coat, which helps prevent odour. 

Indian dogs or pedigree dogs?

Purebred or pedigree dogs are either bred for a specific purpose – Newfoundlands as water rescue dogs or are native to a specific location – Tibetan mastiff who thrives in the Himalayas but not so in the humidity of Mumbai or summers of Delhi.

Indian street dog

“Hankie, my dog, is a native Indian dog. I found him on the streets as a puppy. When she was a puppy I thought she was a guy so named her Hank Bukowski. (That changed to Hankie) Never like the people who buy specific breeds of dogs just because they think it looks good without thinking if the dog is suitable for living where they are. A lot of people don’t even take care of those dogs once they realize you have to put in the effort every day.” ~Suranjan Das

Indian pariah dogs are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence today. 

Archaeological findings indicate that this dog was in existence some 4500 years ago. Excavations in the Mohenjo-Daro site found in the Sindh region of Pakistan (Indus Valley civilisation) revealed a Pariah dog skull dating to 2500 BCE. Also, there are various cave paintings across the Indian subcontinent that hints at pariah dogs to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

“I wish to say a word or two on behalf of the common dog of the country, the unjustly despised Pariah…the true Indian Pariah Dog, mostly red in colour. That we have neglected this animal as a faithful companion, good watchdog, and excellent assistant in many field sports there is no doubt…”

– Lieut. General W. Osborn, in the Bombay Natural History Society Journal, 1903

Why adopt an Indian pariah dog/desi dog?

4. Indian Pariah dog is the all-rounder for the Indian conditions – temperature to temperament to training. You’d be surprised how smart they are with real-life scenarios, a skill that comes to them by surviving on the mean streets.

The desi dogs are a versatile breed – skilled, sturdy, and well adapted to India’s tropical climate, these dogs make for excellent companions.

adopt indian pariah dog stray dog India

There is no good or bad breed; unfortunately the same can’t be said of the pet parent. If you are looking for a companion in the truest sense, please consider a pariah dog. They may not have an exotic name to call for their breed but then you are getting a best friend, not a handbag.

5. Indian pariah dogs are extremely adaptable

Adjusted to rural or city life, desi dogs can adapt to farmhouse or apartment living with equal ease.

6. Indian pariah dogs make for great companions for senior citizens

Senior citizens need dogs who are moderately active and not temperamental. Indian pariah dogs with their friendly demeanour and independent lifestyle make for excellent companions.

7. Stray dogs are easily trainable.

Uttarakhand Police adopted a stray dog and trained him alongside other foreign breeds – the Indian pariah dog proved out to be the top-performing member of the dog squad!

Proving once again that all that the stray dogs need, is a chance.

Uttarakhand police stray dog
Image courtesy: Uttarakhand Police

Earlier, a stray dog named Asha (meaning ‘Hope’) was rescued from the stone-pelting children by West Bengal police. She was bleeding when she was taken inside the campus. 18-months later, she has emerged as the top dog in an elite bomb- and drug-sniffing squad.

She proved out to be a match to the police German Shepherds and Labradors, sniffing out drugs and explosives like TNT. 

West bengal police stray dog
West Bengal police dog ‘Asha’
Before you adopt…

Adopting a dog is a full-time responsibility. You’d have often heard people drawing parallels like having a dog is like having a child and yet so many new pet parents don’t realize how much work a dog is until they get their first dog.

Unfortunately, what goes wrong, so often is the fact that most people who get a dog don’t really anticipate the dog’s needs. They get a breed that is completely inappropriate for their lifestyle, accommodation or climate. Hence you’d see someone watching Beethoven and opting for a Saint Bernard in a Delhi apartment.

Roll over a few months and you wouldn’t be surprised to see these exotic breeds left tethered to a chain at the gates of the house, their exercise routine soon becomes a pain-point – delegated to kids (who may get bored after some time), then relegated to maids and in worst cases abandoned at shelter homes.

Pictured it? Probably you’d have come across such cases too which aren’t just abjectly inconsiderate but downright cruel.

See: Dog adoption Guide



We hope you’ll choose to adopt and be a hero to the homeless. Please ensure that whichever dog you get, you take care of them and don’t leave her ever, neither in the face of Armageddon nor coronavirus.

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7 Replies to “7 reasons why the Indian pariah dog is best for Indian home?”

  1. Hi team.

    Sorry if this looks like pestering, but I recently found out about one of your internships through internshala. I am an Architect Journalist as well as a researcher currently working with animals in Nashik (small city, west of Maharashtra). If you guys are still accepting applications, I’d love to be onboard with you guys and write for you.

    Hope this reaches you!

    1. Can we please call our Indies, HighBreed Indies?! Just a true take on Hybrid! With so many crazily obsessed with “breeds” We need to remember that our own Indies are a super HighBreed (hybrid!), loving, loyal and bursting with healthy hybrid vigour!! HighBreed Indies have a wonderful way of adopting their humans with all their heart and soul.
      Just pronounce the “hybrid” as “HighBreed”!!!

  2. I do have an Indian pariah dog and I can vouch that she’s the best dog ever. Desi breed is extremely friendly and loyal. It amuses me how she can communicate with us in her dog gibberish language, literally. Recently she gave birth to three adorable pups who are really fluffy and naughty ( in a healthy way). I feel fortunate that I could befriend this little bundle of Joy! Couldn’t want more!

  3. I would like to adopt an Indian pup( refuse to call it pariah). Just want him to look cute. That matters to me. Can you help?

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