10 Reasons Why the Pariah Dog Is the Best Companion for Seniors

Updated on August 19, 2019
srai01 profile image

I like to share information about wildlife, animals and pets—dogs in particular.

The pariah dog, a native dog breed of India, is affectionately known for its great manner, health, and hardiness.
The pariah dog, a native dog breed of India, is affectionately known for its great manner, health, and hardiness.

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.

Pariah dogs are well-adjusted to many environmental factors.
Pariah dogs are well-adjusted to many environmental factors. | Source

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.

Pariah dogs tolerate extreme temperatures comfortably.
Pariah dogs tolerate extreme temperatures comfortably. | Source

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).

An active 7-month-old pariah dog.
An active 7-month-old pariah dog.

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.

Pariah dogs adapt well to changeable environments.
Pariah dogs adapt well to changeable environments.

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.

A natural, unique coloured pariah dog.
A natural, unique coloured pariah dog.

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.

Would you like to adopt a Pariah dog?

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Amazing Pariah Dog Footage

© 2014 ARADHYA


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    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 weeks ago

      Dear Krishna Prakash,

      You can check above adoption links to find one in your city.


    • profile image

      Krishna prakash rout 

      5 weeks ago

      I love dogs but I don't have a dog if you give me a dog than I am very thankful to you

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I have adopted a Indian pariah dog

      I love to keep dogs but not of any breed

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Smita bhankhodia 

      20 months ago

      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..

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      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

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago

      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.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      can i keep indian pariah dog in 2bhk apartment ?? and do they bark a lot?

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      24 months ago

      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.

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      I have also pariah dog

      How to make him strong (male)

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Hi Sugu,

      I replied to your mail. Hope that information will help you.

    • profile image

      Jnanasagar Rai 

      2 years ago

      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


    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      @ 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.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      @ 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.

    • profile image

      Harshit Pathak 

      2 years ago

      I have a Pariah dog and he has a dangerous image in my locality . Everyone keep their dogs away from him

    • profile image

      June Haggar 

      3 years ago

      Can someone please answer this: Are Pariah dogs the same as Indies/Desis that roam the streets of India? They are all so beautiful.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      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.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I have an indian pariah dog and a german shepherd , pariah are the best

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      great and truly respectable feeling of yours thanks dude

    • profile image

      Satyajit Jadhav 

      3 years ago

      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.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hi Juthchyuta,

      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.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      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.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks Anusha15!

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 

      5 years ago from Delhi, India

      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.


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