Misunderstood, misjudged and most often mistreated, our Indian Pariah dogs or Indies as we’ve come to call them, find themselves the unfair target of prejudice across the country. These lovable creatures are forced to fend for themselves daily, searching for food, shelter and some stray human kindness.
But why do so many Indians look down upon Indies?
A misunderstood breed
Most people are too quick to jump to conclusions about Indies. Our society harbours all kinds of negative assumptions about them – from their aggressive nature to their supposed disease-carrying tendencies and less-than-optimal hygiene.
While this may hold true for a few, it’s certainly not a generalisation that can be applied to tens of millions of these dogs. Like any of us, they are a product of their circumstances, which have been anything but ideal. Having faced the brunt of human nature at its absolute worst, Indies have been forced to develop their own defence mechanisms and are right to be initially distrustful and wary of us as a race. Yet, even after being met with such cruelty, you’ll still find them willing to trust us again, tails wagging and hearts wide open.
But the narrative remains…
And this just couldn’t be further from the truth!
The pedigree bias
If the situation wasn’t bad enough, the demand for ‘pure-bred’ pedigree dogs meant a widespread influx of foreign dog breeds, further distancing indies from potential adopters and homes. These unethical, inhumane and frankly illegal breeders feed into the notion held by a majority of people that pedigree dogs are the ideal domestic pets and the public perception of Indies further declines.
Only in recent years — through the tireless efforts of animal welfare organisations and individual advocates to raise awareness and bust misconceptions — have Indies got a chance to be a part of the conversation. Many people are opening their homes and hearts to these angels.
So what make Indies such great pets?
❖ For starters, Indies, as the name suggests, are indigenous dogs and, therefore, native to the Indian climate, making them fit to survive the warmer temperatures
❖ Since their existence is a result of evolution and natural selection, they are not only an extremely resilient breed but also significantly less prone to develop health conditions as compared to pedigree dogs
❖ With a hardy immune and digestive system, Indies are fuss-free when it comes to their diet – inexpensive, home-cooked and well-balanced meals are sufficient
❖ An extremely intelligent and alert breed, Indies are impressively quick to learn and easy to train
❖ Their active lifestyle ensures that as a pet parent, you too will be getting your daily dose of exercise
❖ They are highly adaptable to different surroundings and environments
❖ With a short coat, they are very easy to groom and shed less hair
❖ While personalities of pedigree breeds tend to be fairly uniform across each breed, nearly every Indie has a truly unique and quirky personality of their own, and it is a treat to discover
❖ Being playful and full of energy means they’re great with children and other pets too
❖ But perhaps most importantly, they are capable of an overwhelming amount of love and only need to be given a chance to show their gentle, goofy and endearing side
The simple truth is that the only contagious thing about them is the love, happiness and pure joy they can spread!
Giving an Indie a new lease on life
If you or anyone you know is actively looking to take home an Indie, start by approaching a shelter like ours. If you’re a match with one of our dogs, our staff can help walk you through the adoption process and guide you with any information you might need as a first-time pet parent. It makes for a much more seamless experience for you and your new fur baby to settle in! If you’re already a pet parent and are moving towards adoption for the first time, we urge you to consider these desi darlings – we promise you won’t ever come to regret it!