Dogs are wonderful creatures. When you keep one as a pet, you find a loyal companion in them. But as dog owners, taking care of your dog is not enough. If we do our bit, we can save a dog’s life. As Indian pet parents, our responsibility doubles to protect and spread awareness on Indian dog breeds.
If there’s a German Shepherd or Labrador going by, you would immediately recognise them, but will you recognise a Chippiparai, Jonangi, or Kombai? Most Indians confuse their very own south Indian breeds with Greyhounds. This is probably why Indian breeds are dying out and saving them isn’t on anyone’s priority list.
More than half of Indian dog breeds such as the Lut are already extinct, and several others are on the verge of extinction. In another decade we may lose so many other Indian breeds. This scenario is the direct result of decades of ignorance and neglect, from the government and the public. It’s almost as if indigenous dogs breeds were considered inferior by our own people.
The same country has no problem showering all its love and affection on foreign dog breeds.
Here’s How You Can Protect Indian Dog Breeds
Now the burning question is that “is it too late to save Indian dog breeds?” No, if we collectively make conscious efforts, we can still improve the situation. Keep reading to find what you can do to save Indian dog breeds. Because trust me, you can do a lot!
1. Do Your Research
We can’t help them if we don’t know about them. So, learn about the majestic Rajapalayams, the loving Rampur hounds and loyal Kombai. You will come across so many Indian breeds you’ve never heard of.
The problem is, apart from our lack of education, Indian breeds are kept in abominable living spaces with poor diet and unhealthy breeding conditions. Many lesser-educated breeders have crossbred Indian pure breeds leading to diluted bloodlines.
As a result, there is very little information available to us. We don’t know how to identify pure bloodlines and there aren’t enough research institutions that recognise Indian breeds as pure breeds.
There are very little initiatives taken by the government to protect our Indian breeds. Yes, the Karnataka state government gifted six Mudhol hounds to the Indian army and they made us proud. A lot more initiatives like this need to be made to protect our Indian pure breeds.
Before trying to solve the problem, we need to learn how grave the situation is.
2. Talk To A Friend
As most social problems go, spreading awareness is the biggest way to help. You should talk to your friends, fellow pet owners and acquaintances about Indian dog breeds.
Encourage people to bring home pure Indian breeds from licensed breeders and spread the information further. Word of mouth is a very strong tool and this is the time to use it. Maybe someday your word will reach a powerful government official.
3. Media Coverage
Media is the third pillar of democracy and for good reason. Everyone watches the news on TV or subscribes to a newspaper or at least has a news app on their phone. Social media has left no one untouched.
Getting media coverage can spread the information on a mass level and that’s exactly what our dying Indian dog breeds need right now.
Share videos and articles related to Indian dogs with friends on social media. Promote organisations fighting for the cause. If you the resources, consider hiring Indian dog models instead of western breeds to show them in a positive light.
Getting attention can help ease their lives by a huge magnitude.
4. Attend Dog Shows
There are many dog shows held in India and other parts of the world. It’s an opportunity for pet owners to train their dogs and showcase them in events full of like-minded people. Few Indian dog shows are starting to recognise Indian breeds as legitimate competitors.
By attending events that showcase Indian dog breeds, you will support Indian breeds and the clubs that organise these events. A portion of the finances generated from Indian dog shows goes back to funding Indian breeds.
5. Funds and Campaigns
India is now seeing a surge of budding startups promoting better pet care. A number of organisations are raising awareness of pure Indian dog breeds. Though they are working very hard to spread awareness, they have many limitations because of budgetary reasons.
You can help them through donations and voluntary work. We do understand that all of us cannot dedicate time and money even if we want to help a cause. You can show your support by sharing and promoting conversations on social media.
6. Keep One
The best way to save Indian dog breeds is to bring one home. Most of our Indian breeds are active by nature and we understand why many of you would want a small, apartment-friendly breed – that is completely fine. But if you want a guard dog breed and are willing to train them and exercise them for 1-2 hours every day, you should consider bringing home a pure Indian breed.
If you provide them with the right environment and enough energy outlets, they will turn into the most loyal respectful beings. You might just inspire someone else to bring home a pure Indian breed.
Most Indian breeds are on the verge of extinction. The situation is grave but we can do our part to change that. If we all gather up and show our patriotism towards our majestic Indian breeds we may have them for longer.
How many Indian breeds do you know of? What are some ways to save them? We would love to hear your thoughts.