Indian pariah dogs, desi dogs, street/stray dogs or simply indie dogs are hugely popular as they have a presence in neighbourhoods across the country. And while they are just as cute, loving and friendly as pedigree dogs, they are not popular as pets. This could be due to the fact that they have gained a reputation for being aggressive and erratic. But if we all stopped for a minute to think about their living conditions, we might understand why. Generations of indie dogs have experienced hunger (sometimes starvation), injuries that go untreated, risk of road accidents, abuse from unfriendly humans, etc. over the years, which has left them scared and untrusting, with a strong will to fight for survival. This also means they are stronger, tougher and more resilient—a combination that makes them ideal, if not perfect pets. If there’s one thing indie dog parents can attest to, it is that once an indie dog learns that they can trust you, they will love you for life!
Unfortunately, the notion that indie dogs are aggressive is only one of the many misconceptions that stop people from adopting indie dogs. So let’s bust a few more myths…
MYTH: They fall sick often and are more prone to rabies
FACT: They are actually very healthy
They have strong immune systems and thrive on a basic combination of nutritious food, daily exercise and regular vet check-ups. They also rarely suffer from issues like obesity, hip dysplasia and genetic conditions which are common with pedigree dogs. As for rabies, they are just as prone to it as any other breed. If you decide to adopt an indie from a shelter/NGO, they will most likely be vaccinated. If not, make sure to get them vaccinated duly.
MYTH: They might run back onto the street
FACT: They develop a strong bond of loyalty over time
Indie dogs are loyal and are not known to abandon their families once they have settled in. However, it is important to sterilize them as they tend to wander in search of a mate during mating season.
MYTH: They are difficult to train
FACT: They are adaptable and quick learners
Once they have settled into a controlled environment, they can be trained and domesticated. All it takes is patience, consistency, praise and treats. However, make sure not to scold/yell/threaten them if they slip up.
MYTH: They aren’t as smart as pedigree dogs
FACT: They are extremely alert and intelligent
Indie dogs are alert, energetic, street smart and territorial. They are known to be very intelligent—mentally and emotionally. These traits make them great guard dogs.
A few other facts that prove indie dogs make wonderful pets:
If you’d like to give an indie dog a place in your home and family, check out our initiative where you will find information about the adoption process, contacts of NGOs and shelters in your city as well as an indie care guide. Because when you adopt an indie, not only have you saved a life, but you’ve also made a friend for life!
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