Street Dogs

Warning: rather graphic post below. It might upset some people.

Locals call them street dogs, pariah dogs, and sometimes pye (pi) dogs. They are the feral dogs that live on the streets of India and they are said to have been around for at least 14,000 years.

Some say they are the ancestors of the dingos you find in Australia (citation of a study that shows that dingos are from China), they can be the product of unwanted litters that happen when street dogs mate with domestic dogs, and I would say they’re an incredible example of survival and adaptation.

They have a particular look: light coloured, medium sized, and short haired. The dogs I’ve seen in Bangalore have a bit more diversity in them: shepherd, black lab, and some have longer hair — probably from breeding with domestic breeds. They’re pretty docile and oblivious to the humans and vehicles move around them. But don’t let that fool you… these dogs are both scavengers and hunters.

“There are fears that the body could be stuck in the mounds of silt that have lain uncleared for years or that it has been eaten by the stray dogs that roam the city.” (Story of a little boy who was swept away by the monsoon rains, and whose body hasn’t been found)

Every once in a while you hear of a pariah culling after pye dogs attack a child or toddler. One of my more raw memories was of seeing a pack of dogs pull a dead baby out of the Ganges (babies are generally not cremated in India)… I won’t share the rest of the memory because it’s unnecessary.

There is one interesting behaviour I’ve witnessed with the dogs in Indiranagar (originally pointed out by Rixt): they go to the washroom in the drainage ditches and not on the street like the domesticated dogs; sometimes they go out of their way to do this. Is it because of the smell or were they somehow accidentally trained to do this?

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