Rez dog

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A dog at Canyon de Chelly

Rez dog (or reservation dog) is usually a term for outdoor, stray, and feral dogs living on Indian reservations in the United States and Canada.[1][2] The term has taken on many connotations, and has to some extent become an emblem of and metaphor for reservations, reservation life, and Native Americans in general. For example, a "rez dog" may refer to a Native American resident of a reservation.[3]

The distinction between a reservation dog and American dogs in general is often seen as emblematic as the difference between First Nation and majority culture way of life.[4] Untended dogs roaming First Nation reservations and other rural First Nation communities cause problems that the communities must deal with.[5][6] They are generally thought of as mixed-breed and unsupervised.[7]

In commerce and literature[edit]

A clothing company, "rez dog clothing", has adopted the persona of reservation dogs.[8][9]

The narrator of two chapters of Antelope Wife, by novelist Louise Erdrich, is described as being part Ojibwe reservation dog, part Lakota dog, and part coyote.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SmammalRanch Rez Dog Fund & Rescue". Adoptapet. 
  2. ^ Winona Laduke (2007). The Nature of Dogs:Ishkoniganiisimoog:the rez dogs. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-4287-2. 
  3. ^ Bruce Elliott Johansen (2007). The Praeger Handbook on Contemporary Issues in Native America: Linguistic, ethnic, and economic revival. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-275-99139-5. 
  4. ^ Mary Annette Pember. "Rez Vignettes: The Good Life of a Reservation Dog". Daily Yonder. 
  5. ^ Linda Thornton (2006-08-14). "UNM-Gallup Professor Copyrights Plans for 'Rez Dog-Proof' Solar Oven". University of New Mexico. 
  6. ^ Miles Morrisseau (2000-02-09). "From the editor's desk...No tears for the Rez Dog Maggie". Indian Country Today. 
  7. ^ Jeff Horwich, (2003-02-06). "Cultural broadcasting: Radio show a rare outlet for Indian voices and music". Minnesota Public Radio. 
  8. ^ Elizabeth Camacho Wiley (2003-01-31). "Norman, Okla.-Based Clothing Entrepreneur Logs Miles, Hours to Push Line". The Daily Oklahoman. 
  9. ^ "Rez Dog Clothing Company Takes Bite of American Indian Apparel Industry". Indian Country Today. 2003-02-12. 
  10. ^ Peter G. Beidler and Gay Barton (2006). A reader's guide to the novels of Louise Erdrich. University of Missouri Press. ISBN 978-0-8262-1671-7.