I like to share information about wildlife, animals and pets—dogs in particular.
What Makes the Indian Pariah Dog a Great Companion?
Seniors benefit from and appreciate the company of a dog more than any other demographic. According to St. Andrews University research, "[People] who have a pet dog, they are not only more active, they are also mentally fitter." It is said that dog owners act ten years younger than their actual age.
When selecting a dog breed for seniors, we have to keep certain constraints in mind. Though all dogs are excellent and make great companions, each breed has its own unique attributes, and not all dog breeds may be the best recommendation for seniors. Dogs that are stubborn, dominant, or require steady exercise and attention are not suitable. However, there are many dog breeds available that are well-suited for a senior lifestyle.
While selecting a dog for a senior citizen, you need to consider certain factors like a dog's physical strength and energy level, along with care and attention requirements. Senior people need a healthy, independent, friendly, and moderately active dog—not one that is dominant, aggressive, or hyperactive.
Pariah dogs, also known as the Indian native dog, the INDog, or the "desi dog," can be one of the best options for senior citizens. One must be careful, however, because not all stray dogs on the streets are pariah dogs.
1. Pariah Dogs Are Widely Available
The pariah dog is one of the oldest dog breeds, and according to National Geographic, Egyptian and Indian dogs were the first to be domesticated. As per recent DNA test reports, pariah dogs are the genetic source for the Australian dingo. Years back, pariah dogs were brought to Australia by Indian seafarers.
The Indian native dog is available all over India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and is easy to acquire compared to other popular breeds. You may adopt the pariah dog without cost from NGOs and rescue centres.
2. They Are Adapted to Tropical Climates
The pariah dog is a natural dog breed, and for this reason, they are particularly suited for Indian and Asian climates, where temperatures can vary from -10 to 50 degrees Celsius.
Many breeds cannot adapt to this climate and require extra care. Examples of breeds that are not well-suited for Indian and Asian climates include the Saint Bernard, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, and Cocker Spaniel. These breeds don’t do well in the summer when temperatures are greater than 40 degrees. Breeds like the Dalmatian and Doberman can't tolerate cold. Pariah dogs, on the other hand, have the advantage of being well-adapted to the extreme weather of the Indian subcontinent.
3. They Are Independent and Adjusted to City Life
Although these dogs have the reputation of a village or farm dog, if they receive sufficient, regular exercise, they adapt well to apartment living. In recent years, they’ve gained popularity as a great house pet for city dwellers.
Pariah dogs are intelligent, quick learners, and need to be socialized at an early age. Like other breeds, they also love human companionship and being close to family members. If they are left alone for some time, they do not react anxiously.
4. Pariah Dogs Are Known for Their Good Health
Pariah dogs are not prone to major health issues and only require routine veterinary visits. Their good health is a big plus for owners who are not capable of taking their pets in for frequent grooming or additional health checks. Pariah dogs are bred from an athletic gene pool. They are moderate eaters, rarely overeat, and do not drool or snore (as some brachycephalic breeds do).
5. They Make Incredible Watchdogs
In past years, the Malinois or Belgian Shepherd gained huge popularity when a trained member of the breed participated in a successful strike on Osama bin Laden. In India, the Indian anti-Naxal task force sent trained pariah dogs in to counter terrorism in Naxal-affected regions. These dogs were trained to work twenty-four hours a day in dense forest, extreme weather, and tropical climates.
The native pariah dog has an edge over the pedigree dogs—they do not tire as easily in the hot weather and rough terrain. Their alertness, intelligence, and sturdiness make them superb watchdogs. You may find pariah dogs in Indian villages and rural areas where people are using them as guard dogs to protect their livestock.
A Pariah Dog Chases a Leopard Away From a Housing Complex
6. They Are Loyal and Devoted Family Dogs
Pariah dogs have a long history of human companionship. Ancient stories describe their faithful and devoted nature. Many people are often confused and use pariah as a generic term for all stray or feral dogs, but the pariah dog is not to be confused with stray dogs.
Pariah dogs make loyal, loving companions, and are very protective of their family.
7. Pariah Dogs Are Intelligent and Easily Trained
Pariah dogs are intelligent, quick learners, and train easily. You need to socialize and train them early, otherwise, they can be stubborn, willful, and territorial. They have a pack leader mentality and can be dominant and energetic.
If you are planning to keep them with other pets, they must be introduced to each other at an early age. Comparatively, they are friendly with their family members. They may act aggressively in the late evening, and can't be trusted easily with strangers.
8. They Are Friendly Towards Other Animals
A dog's friendliness towards humans, dogs, and other animals depends on training and socialization. In general, pariah dogs are considered mildly aggressive towards other pets and dogs. However, if familiarised at an early age, they are friendly and caring.
Pariah dogs typically love other pets, but since they are territorial and dominant, they can sometimes become aggressive towards other dogs. They don’t allow other dogs in their territory, especially those of the same sex.
9. Pariah Dogs Don't Shed or Drool
Pariah dogs have a short, coarse coat, and no undercoat, so they shed very little. You will rarely find fur in their living space. They do not require regular brushing or grooming either. Bathing and brushing once a week or every two weeks is sufficient.
10. They Are Unique in Appearance
Pariah dogs are medium-sized dogs, with an average height of 20-25 inches, and an average weight of 14 to 32 kgs, although height and weight comparisons are not constant. Some pariah dogs are tall, up to 28 inches, and weigh around 34 kgs.
They have a pointed muzzle, a long, curved tail over the back, and a short, thick, single-layered coat. They tend to have a short coat in warm climates and medium-length coat in regions with colder temperatures.
Their usual coat colours are light tan, dark tan, reddish-brown, white, black, piebald, and spotted. Some rare pariah dogs receive attention because of their natural and unique colours.
Pariah Dogs Are Deserving of Love, Care, and Attention
Overall, pariah dogs are one of the best dogs for retired or senior persons. Unfortunately, these dogs are often ignored just because they are very common and look similar in appearance to many strays. These loyal, alert, and intelligent dogs deserve our love, care, and attention.
Amazing Pariah Dog Footage
Contacts for Pariah Dog Adoption
© 2014 ARADHYA
Charlie on July 24, 2020:
First of all stop calling them pariah dogs. The title is disgusting.There are several varieties of Indian dogs, all are simply adorable.
Mrs Saee on July 16, 2020:
Absolutely. They r most intelligent loving protective swadeshi breed. B always proud to have Indian dog. Adopt Pet ..... Dont Shop / Buy
ARADHYA (author) on June 06, 2020:
No Doubt Pariah dogs are one of the best companion. They are healthiest and best suitable dogs for Indian subcontinent.
Anjali on May 22, 2020:
I have a pariah, he is almost 7 years old, and he is absolutely amazing. he is extremely protective of our entire family, he is mildly aggressive with other unknown people/dogs. but the way he behaves with unknown children is so beautiful. my cousin was 2 years old when she first met him, and he let her pet him, kiss him on his head and sleep by him
ARADHYA (author) on December 23, 2019:
Dear Krishna Prakash,
You can check above adoption links to find one in your city.
Krishna prakash rout on December 22, 2019:
I love dogs but I don't have a dog if you give me a dog than I am very thankful to you
Rajiv on October 01, 2019:
I have adopted a Indian pariah dog
I love to keep dogs but not of any breed
gilles on May 21, 2018:
Don't forget Thaïland ! I have been feeding these guys each time I go around. They are medium dog, grooming free, easy going, courageous, quite independant, territorial (especially in group) and bark only to defend it from a stranger. Males need a leader to trust. Females are more reserved. They often have this foxy look with great surviving skills. Indeed, life is not easy for them. They are tolerated, if not poisoned to clean hotels area for tourists or traded as meat in neighboring countries. You won't find this "breed" in any book, since it is not considered as one. Big mistake, 'cause this ancient primitive makes a great companion with a bit of education. Just make sure to get the one that suits your stamina and time to deserve his trust. they are exceptonnally loyal, smart and caring when you decide to built trust. It is not given like some of our tailored dogs, but extremely rewarding when you earn it. I cannot think of a more versatile dog.
Smita bhankhodia on May 19, 2018:
I have three pariah dog..neutered and spayed..one female two male..they have liberty to go outside and come back but before some days,my female dog went somewhere else and missed for 4 days..on fourth day i got her from near by area.now i scared and close my gate..i go for walk with them.But my innerself feels guilty for not giving freedom as compare with past..now what to do?i am so tense and worried..
Goyeah on May 11, 2018:
The statement that dna testing shows dingos are descended from Indian pariah dog she is completely false that was a previously held THEORY that has been disproven by mitochondrial DNA testing showing that dingo she are in fact descended from dogs brought from eastern china
ARADHYA (author) on May 01, 2018:
Yes you can keep, but they need lot of exercise and outdoor activity. And yes they are moderate barker but quick learner and if properly trained then barking should not be the issue.
nihar99 on April 27, 2018:
can i keep indian pariah dog in 2bhk apartment ?? and do they bark a lot?
ARADHYA (author) on January 27, 2018:
It's depend on dog's age and your expertise and experience, also the purpose of training.
1st- Desi dogs are comparatively, naturally healthy dog and can be fit to get physically trained at age of 5-6 months.
2nd: Daily running, and playing with other dogs since age of 8 months is normal training, and after 10-12 moths you can go for lil hard exercises like climbing on hill (slope), and weight pulling can be a good. And at this time you must care for healthy diet.
Jaskarn on January 27, 2018:
I have also pariah dog
How to make him strong (male)
ARADHYA (author) on October 15, 2017:
I replied to your mail. Hope that information will help you.
Jnanasagar Rai on September 25, 2017:
I have a 20 months old male Pariah, equivalent of a family member, up-to-date on inoculations against Rabies & Distemper, De-worming, weekly bathing, etc..
I was concerned that while we "take care" of him with all this possessiveness, we are also responsible to get him to mate and not just deal with a "live stuffed toy".
1. I need some enlightenment on the above
2. If some one has a female Pariah with similar concerns, I'm on 9880468223
ARADHYA (author) on March 21, 2017:
@ June Haggar
Usually Pariah dogs are territorial and aggressive towards other dogs. But they do well if trained and socialized at early stage.
Also, your experience seems exceptional and rare.
ARADHYA (author) on March 21, 2017:
@ June Haggar ,
No all the stray and free roaming dogs are not the Pariah dog. Most of the dogs in Metros and tire2 cities are cross breed or mutts.
But most of the dogs in villages and urban areas are Pariah dogs.
Harshit Pathak on March 21, 2017:
I have a Pariah dog and he has a dangerous image in my locality . Everyone keep their dogs away from him
June Haggar on January 17, 2017:
Can someone please answer this: Are Pariah dogs the same as Indies/Desis that roam the streets of India? They are all so beautiful.
ARADHYA (author) on January 15, 2017:
I agree they are naturally healthy, self managed and moderate eaters. That need less care and grooming.
And they can perform as well as any pedigree dog.
Derth on January 14, 2017:
I have an indian pariah dog and a german shepherd , pariah are the best
JUGAL DEKA on December 21, 2016:
great and truly respectable feeling of yours thanks dude
Satyajit Jadhav on August 15, 2016:
Yes, they get easily train and this breed is loyal and courageous.
All the foreign breed dogs get scared of my dog (street/pahari) , and I feel proud of my Sheru.
ARADHYA (author) on June 06, 2016:
Its great to know.
Let me know if you have puppies and looking a good home for them, sometime people ask me "from where they can get Indian Spitz"? I will refer you.
Juthchyuta on June 06, 2016:
I currently have four dogs. one spitz, one pariah, and two cross breeds. They provide me and my family with unmeasurable amount of joy and love. God bless the animal lovers.
ARADHYA (author) on August 07, 2014:
Anusha Jain from Delhi, India on August 06, 2014:
You've raised some valid and actually should-be-considered points in this hub. Senior Citizens, more than any other age group, face loneliness and depression rising due to lack of companionship, and having a pet - specially making the right choice when the breed is concerned - can be a life changer for them. Great hub.