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Sunday
Feb192012

The Indian Native Dog

'Daddy Long-Legs', half-Mudhol and half INDogThere is a different pack of hounds for every street in my neighbourhood

Black ones in my street. Rust - coloured ones in most other streets.

They are amazingly alert and slender. Greeting me warmly upon my arrival, they realized quickly that I was going to stay for more than a couple of days and integrated me in their routine.

 

Daddy and Honey

By quietly ignoring me while they doze in the dust on mornings when I go jogging around 'their' side of the park. By friendly wagging their tails in the afternoon and checking on me when I leave work and arrive at home. By howling under my windows sometimes in the night.

 

Hero, the leader of the pack, escaped unclipped

Some of them seem to chase cats quite efficiently – I've never known so many cats being caught in such a short timespan: it's been three of Tillu's cats already killed since I arrived - which was only three weeks ago.

I was told  Indian Mudhol dogs - and Daddy Long-Legs is half such one - where used in battle in the past – they were trained to sneak into stables and tear off horses' hind legs tendons -which is an amazing achievement, knowing how good horses can see -350°-sight - and how fast they can kick out. But Daddy wasn't one of the killers, as he knows to which house the cats belonged to - one in his territory.

 

 

 

 

With all these contradicting attributes, I decided to find out more about the so-called 'Indian Pariah dog'.

This term is used nowadays to define a primitive natural breed of dogs which have the same physical appearance in all parts of the world in which they are found (when not mixed with other modern breeds). Some researchers believe they are a transitional link between wolves and domestic dogs, as they reproduce only once a year, like wolves, whereas domestic dogs mate twice a year. They are related to Dingoes, but unlike these, Indian Pariah Dogs can bark.


Although they live and roam in packs, people often see them as pets, feeding them and giving them names. As they have evolved for survival, they are adaptable, healthy, highly intelligent and trainable. Friendly natures, they're independent and have a highly developed territorial instinct, they're also loyal and devoted to their family.


'Honey'Height: average 51-64 cm at the shoulder.
Weight: generally about 12 – 20 kg.

Life expectancy: 12-16 years under benign circumstances, free roaming ones assumed to live considerably less, estimated 4-6 years (no research data)

 

 

They make excellent watch dogs due to their territorial instincts. Their rural evolution, close to forests where predators were common has made them extremely cautious and this caution is not to be mistaken for lack of courage. They bark at the slightest doubt or provocation and hence can be very noisy.

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.

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.(...)When the young males fail in the mating competition, they disperse. As a result the pack size in maintained.©wikipedia

 

Clipping them is disputed:

By sterilising them - or removing them from the streets altogether - usually the friendlier specimens get caught, this resulting in the increased passing on of genes of more aggressive individuals.

I noticed that most of them had clipped ear tips - and was told that this was the standard way of marking them as 'sterilised'. But some of them had both ear tips clipped! Sadly, this seems to be a money-making habit for some organisations responsible for the clipping: one gets get money for the amount of ear-tips reported, not the number of dogs...

 

Reader Comments (1)

I have adopted one of those Pariah dogs in Myanmar. He looks exactly the same. I found him as a puppy under a bush near Naypyitaw. He was so sick he couldn't walk for a month. Now he is a all big and bouncy and the smartest, most playful dog I ever had. In the article it says they can be noisy, but mine hardly ever barks. He just makes some cute sounds when he is excited or bored.
They are amazing companions.

February 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKaty in Myanmar

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