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?
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 Dog, Desi Kutta, Indian Feral Dog, Indian Pariah Dog, Indian 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The desi dogs are a versatile breed – skilled, sturdy, and well adapted to India’s tropical climate, these dogs make for excellent companions.
Adjusted to rural or city life, desi dogs can adapt to farmhouse or apartment living with equal ease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.