Homes and gardens

The unsung pooches

The Indian breeds of man’s best friend make great pets too. Here’s how you can shake a paw

While the possibility of finding an Indian Pariah or a Chippiparai as a pet today is low, the advantages of having these native dogs are plenty according to vets in the city. Dr. Hema Rudrappa, consultant at Dr. Pampapathi’s Veterinary Clinic, JP Nagar, says, “Indian dog breeds are sturdy, skilled and are well known for their great hunting finesse. Mostly with a thin and slender body, these dogs are fast movers.” The advantage of having our own breed is that they evolve and can adapt well to our conditions, be it the weather or food. In fact, they can be the best when bred well and taken care of, she adds.

Sharing a similar school of thought, Dr. Nagesh Reddy, veterinary consultant at Jeeva Pet Hospital, points out that these breeds usually are less hairy and have great immunity, which makes it easy to maintain them. They were once prized across the globe and were used by many kings of India for their outstanding qualities. The condition however is not the same at present.

There is a rapid decline in their numbers and they are the most neglected breeds.

“The reason is that people usually don’t find the appearance of these dogs very appealing. Further, there is a misconception among the public that Indian dogs are usually very ferocious and wild. On the contrary, they can be as friendly and kind as any other breeds under proper training,” he says.

Hema, who owns an 11-year-old Mudhol Hound (a native breed of Karnataka), says, “The best thing about having an Indian dog is that they are very agile and are great protectors. They get tuned to any kind of diet and my pet is as hyper as he was when he was a few months old.”

Another reason for the decline according to Dr. Rudrappa is the improper maintenance of breeding stock.

“Selling dogs has become a fast growing business and the absence of a strict breeding law in India has given everyone a chance to breed a male and a female dog without genetic screening. This in turn paves way for health complications and also mixes pure Indian breeds with other breeds. Hence, the more the number of such improper breeding, the more the loss of pure breeds.”

Speaking about the state of these indigenous breeds being ignored at home, Dr. Reddy explains: “The fact that Indian breeds are now being drafted by the defence forces shows their eminence. KVAFSU (The Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries University) under its Canine Research and Information Center, is taking a lot of effort to preserve native breeds, especially Mudhol Hounds. In addition, The Silicon City Kennel Club hosts dog shows every year where the entry for native breeds is free.”

Such measures will stop them from dying out, but not in the absence of our support, Dr. Rudrappa says. “One effective way for preserving our native breeds is to stop buying pets and start adopting. This will control improper breeding and give life to many needy Indian dogs. It is high time we give these canine companions a chance. After all they are man's best friend.”

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 2:53:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/native-dogs-make-great-pets/article22403791.ece

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