Indian pariah dog
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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|
|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".
The terms Indian pariah dog and INDog are often erroneously used to refer to all free-ranging dogs. Some free-ranging dogs in India do not match the 'pariah type' and may not be pure indigenous dogs but mix-breeds.
India's pariah dog, the dominant village breed in plains areas, 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. However the place of origin has not been determined.
Urban Indian street dogs are usually Indian pariah dogs, but sometimes admixed with other breeds.
The Indian Native Dog (INDog) is an ancient autochthonous landrace 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 human 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 humans' 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. 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, in the Sighthound & Pariah Group. It has been recognized by the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society (PADS), a worldwide grouping of enthusiasts which is based in the USA.
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.
Being a naturally evolved, hardy 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.
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, mainly Kannimaasam (September-October) and the pups are whelped in winter from October to December.
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. Shaded coats, brindles, solid white and dalmatian-type spotting are never seen in pure village INDog populations. These may be a sign of mixing with modern breeds as they are only seen in dogs in cities and other sites where non-native dogs have been introduced.
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
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.
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.
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- "Indian stray dog article".
- Pathak, Arun (1995). Handicrafts in the Indus Valley Civilization. Janaki Prakashan. ISBN 8185078874.
- "INDog, The Indian Pariah Dog Project". October 2010.
- Pal, S. K.; Ghosh, B.; Roy, S. (1998a). "Agonistic behaviour of free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris) in relation to season, sex and age". Applied Animal Behaviour Science 59 (4): 331–348. doi:10.1016/S0168-1591(98)00108-7.
- Pal, S. K.; Ghosh, B.; Roy, S. (1998b). "Dispersal behaviour of free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris) in relation to age, sex, season and dispersal distance". Applied Animal Behaviour Science 62 (2): 123–132. doi:10.1016/S0168-1591(98)00185-3.
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