Indian pariah dog

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Indian Pariah Dog
The Indian Pariah Dog.jpg
INDog/Indian pariah dog photographed in a village in Central India, June 2008. The dog belonged to a farmer
Other names Pye dog, Pie dog or Pi dog.
Traits
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Indian Pariah Dog (also pye dog, pie dog, or pi dog) is the aboriginal landrace, or naturally selected "breed" of the Indian sub-continent. It is also called the Indian Native Dog and is nowadays referred to as the INDog by experts and enthusiasts. The term "pariah dog" is not derogatory in the canine context and refers to a class of primitive dogs of a specific appearance known as the "long-term pariah morph."

India's Pariah Dog, the dominant village and street breed, is thought to be a descendant of an early Chinese immigrant according to Peter Savolainen, a professor of evolutionary genetics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.[1] However the place of origin has not been determined so far.

Traits[edit]

Pet INDog/Indian Pariah Dog with his owners who belong to the Gond tribe. This picture was taken near Pench Tiger Reserve, Central India.

The Indian Native Dog (INDog) is an ancient autochthonous (landrace) type of dog that is found all over India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even beyond South Asia. It was featured on National Geographic Channel's film, 'Search for the First Dog' along with the other related ancient types such as the Canaan Dog of Israel and the Australian Dingo. This is the original breed of the country, found free-living as a commensal of man all over the Indian subcontinent. Where not mixed with the blood of European dogs or other breeds and types, it is similar in appearance all across the entire country. The type represents one of the few remaining examples of mankind's original domestic dog and its physical features are the same as those of the dogs whose fossil remains have been found in various parts of the world, from very early remains in Israel and China to later ones such as those found in the volcanic lava at Pompeii, near Naples in Italy.[citation needed] In India these were the hunting partners and companion animals of the aboriginal peoples of India. They are still found with the aboriginal communities who live in forested areas. Since these dogs have never been selectively bred, their appearance, physical features and mental characteristics are created by the process of natural selection alone. The INDog has not been recognized by any kennel club although similarly ancient or 'primitive' dogs have been recognized such as the Azawakh and the Basenji both of which are also sighthound and Pariah. It has been recognized by the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society (PADS), a worldwide grouping of enthusiasts which is based in the USA.[2]

Temperament[edit]

It is an extremely alert, very social dog. Its rural evolution, often close to forests where predators like tigers and leopards were common, has made it an extremely cautious breed and this caution is not to be mistaken for a lack of courage. They make excellent watch dogs and are very territorial and defensive of their pack/family. They need good socializing as pups and do well with families and children if provided with such socialization. They are highly intelligent and easily trainable, but can get bored equally easily and not want to play typical, repetitive dog games like "fetch".

They are modest eaters and will rarely overeat. They are a very active breed and thrive with regular exercise and very long walks, several times a day. They bark at the slightest doubt or provocation and can hence be noisy.

Health[edit]

Being a naturally evolved and perfected breed, they have very few health concerns and thrive with minimal "maintenance", especially in tropical weather.

The skin needs very little grooming and the dogs themselves are relatively clean. They have no body odour. Genetic health ailments like hip dysplasia etc. are extremely rare since in a naturally evolved race only the fittest individuals breed and the flaws are bred out.

They are generally very healthy and average life expectancy is over 15 years under good care.[2]

Unlike modern breeds, the pariah group of dogs, including the INDog, breeds only once a year. The female come into season corresponding with the Indian South-West Monsoon, around July to October, and the pups are whelped in winter from October to December

Appearance[edit]

It is a medium sized dog of square to slightly rectangular build and short coat. The dog has a double coat, a coarse upper coat and a soft undercoat. The most commonly observed colours are brown, range from dark to reddish-brown, with or without white markings. Solid blacks are rare but some dogs are pied. Spotted, brindle and white are considered faults. Spots are seen in the undercoat of pied dogs. White markings at the ends of limbs and tip of tail are common. Red/fawn dogs frequently have dark muzzles. The jaws have a clean, scissor bite.

The head is medium sized, wedge shaped. The muzzle is pointed and is of equal or slightly greater length than the head. The neck is noble and the forequarters are erect. Hind quarters are minimally angled. The trot is short. The eyes are almond shaped and dark brown in colour. The ears are held erect and are pointed at the tips, with a broad base, set low on the head and the tail is curled and held high, when excited.

Adult Dogs: Height: 20 - 25 inches high at the withers Weight: 20 - 30 kilograms

Adult Female: Height: 18 - 23 inches at the withers Weight: 15 - 25 kilograms

Behaviour[edit]

INDogs are found throughout the Indian subcontinent, often kept as pets in remote villages and many are ownerless scavengers found in cities. However the ones in large cities and towns are no longer pure indigenous dogs but are often mongrelized with modern breeds.

They are territorial to a particular area, though a certain amount of immigration occurs to maintain population levels and also for the purpose of mating. They are more active and engage in play during mornings and evenings. But during breeding season they become more aggressive during the evening and late night hours to prevent the stranger male dogs and also to protect the pups from other animals including humans. Territorial aggressions are common in free-ranging dogs mostly during breeding season (August to January). On some occasions some males enter into another’s territory for extra-group mating.[3]

The pariah group of dogs, including the INDog, breeds once a year. During the mating season the oestrous female may mate with several males. Most of the aggression from the alpha male is directed to the young males, but they are not driven away. When the young males fail in the mating competition, they disperse. As a result the pack size is maintained.[4]

A typical INDog or Indian Pariah Dog, Bangalore, India

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