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The Indian pariah dog or Indian native dog,[4] ,[5]also known as the pye-dog and Desi dog,[2] (Canis lupus familiaris) is the aboriginal landrace of the Indian sub-continent.[2] ,[5]

Indian pariah dog
Dog 00154.JPG
Indian pariah dog photographed in Howrah, India (2004)
Common nicknamesSouth Asian pariah dog[1]
South Asian native dog
Indian native dog
Desi Kutta
Desi Dog
OriginIndian subcontinent[3]
Breed statusNot recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.
Weight Male 20–30 kg (44–66 lb)
Female 15–25 kg (33–55 lb)
Height Male 20–25 in (51–64 cm)
Female 18–23 in (46–58 cm)
Coat Short
Life span 10-13 years
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Dating back to the Neolithic Era,[2] the Indian pye-dog was one of the first breeds of canines to be domesticated by humans.[6] This breed is easily trainable and has been used by humans as a pet, guard dog, police dog, as well as in counterterrorism military operations.[6][7]

Though most street dogs in South Asia are in fact Indian pye-dogs, the names for this breed are often erroneously used to refer to all urban South Asian stray dogs despite the fact that some free-ranging dogs in the Indian subcontinent do not match the "pariah type" and may not be pure indigenous dogs but mixed breeds, especially around locations where European colonists historically settled in India, due to admixtures with European dog breeds.[8][9]



A pet Indian pariah dog in the Western Ghats region of South Asia.

The namesake of this breed was given during the British Raj in India after the Pariah tribe of the Madras Presidency.[10] From the Anglo-Indian word pye or paë and Hindi pāhī meaning 'outsider', the Indian pariah dog is sometimes referred to as the pye-dog (also spelt pie or pi) and the Indian native dog.[11] It is popularly known as Desi Kutta or Desi Dog (which derives from the Hindi-Urdu word Desi, meaning native), as well as the Indi-dog or In-dog (in various spellings).

People in Northern India and Pakistan refer it as "desi kutta" (देसी कुत्ता, دیسی کتا) which means native dog in Hindi-Urdu.[2]

In Bengali they are named as "Neri Kukur" (নেড়ি কুকুর). In Himachali, they are named as "luru". In Assamese language these native dogs are termed as bhotua (ভতুৱা কুকুৰ) kukur.

This breed is known as "naadan"(നാടൻ) in Malayalam (Kerala) and "naatu naai" (country dogs) in Tamil (Tamil Nadu)

This breed is known as "Bhusya Kukkur"(भूसीया कुकुर) in Nepal.

It was referred in the works of Rudyard Kipling as the "yellow pariah dog".[12]


South Asian pye-dogs have been used as guard dogs for centuries.[6]

The pariah dog of India is an ancient autochthonous landrace that is found all over India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and even beyond South Asia.[3][13] Archaeological evidence dates the Indian pye-dog to 15000 BC, with the breed being developed through natural selection rather than through selective breeding.[14] It was featured on National Geographic Channel's film, Search for the First Dog along with the other related ancient types such as the Canaan Dog of Israel and the Australian dingo.

The Indian pye-dog was introduced to the Andaman Islands with the establishment of a penal colony there, dogs having been previously unknown to the native Andamanese.[15]

Despite the Indian pariah dog being highly intelligent and easily trainable, the breed was intentionally downplayed during the British Raj by merchants who wished to sell their foreign breeds within the country.[14][16] Their popularity in the West in recent years, however, has resulted in hundreds of dogs being exported out of the Indian subcontinent.[17]

A breed standard exists with the Indian Kennel Club,[4] and the dog has been recognized by the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society (PADS), a worldwide grouping of enthusiasts based in the USA.[5]


A female Indian pye-dog watches her puppy

Pariah dogs are extremely alert and social.[6] Their rural evolution, often close to forests where predators like tigers and leopards were common, have made them an extremely cautious breed. They make excellent watch dogs and are very territorial and defensive of their pack/family. To this end, the Indian native dog has been used by the military in counterterrorism operations.[6] They need good socializing as pups and do well with families and children if provided with such socialization.[6] They are highly intelligent and easily trainable;[6][18] to this end, veterinarian Premlata Choudhary stated that "desi dogs are much more intelligent and hardy than most pedigreed dogs that people spend so much money on."[17]

They are modest eaters and rarely overeat and are a very active breed, thriving on regular exercise. They bark at the slightest doubt or provocation, making them useful as a guard dog.[6]

The pye-dog sheds very little hair as it possesses "a short, coarse coat, and no undercoat".[6]


Being a naturally evolved breed, they have very few health concerns and thrive with minimal "maintenance", especially in tropical weather.[6] The skin needs very little grooming and the dogs themselves are relatively clean.[6] They have no body odour. Genetic health ailments like hip dysplasia and so on are extremely rare since there is no inbreeding and the dominant genes that aid their survival are naturally selected over time. Most of their deaths occur due to accidents on the roads and railway tracks, tumors in the body or being beaten up by humans.


It is a medium-sized dog of square to slightly rectangular build and short coat. The dog has a double coat, a coarse upper coat and a soft undercoat. The most commonly observed colours are browns, ranging from dark to reddish-brown, with or without white markings. Solid blacks are rare, but some dogs are pied. Shaded coats, brindles, solid white and dalmatian-type spotting are never seen in pure populations. These may be a sign of mixing with modern breeds, as they are only seen in dogs in cities and other sites where non-native dogs have been introduced.[19] ,[5]

The head is medium-sized and wedge-shaped. The muzzle is pointed and is of equal or slightly greater length than the head. The neck is noble and the forequarters are erect. Hindquarters are minimally angled. The trot is short. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown in colour. The ears are held erect and are pointed at the tips, with a broad base, set low on the head, and the tail is curled and held high when excited.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ van Asch, B.; Zhang, A.-b.; Oskarsson, M. C. R.; Klutsch, C. F. C.; Amorim, A.; Savolainen, P. (10 July 2013). "Pre-Columbian origins of Native American dog breeds, with only limited replacement by European dogs, confirmed by mtDNA analysis". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 280 (1766): 20131142–20131142. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1142.
  2. ^ a b c d e Agarwal, Abhishek (5 January 2019). "Desi Dogs: Everything about INDogs or the Indian Pariah Dog Breed". DawgieBowl.
  3. ^ a b Vellampalli, Jaya (13 January 2018). "Why the Indian Pariah is a perfect pet". Telangana Today.
  4. ^ a b "Article on the Indian Native Dog in the Kennel Gazette, Kennel Club of India, July 2015 – INDog Project".
  5. ^ a b c d "INDog, The Indian Pariah Dog Project". October 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "10 Reasons Why the Pariah Dog Is the Best Companion for Seniors". PetHelpful. PetHelpful. 30 January 2018.
  7. ^ Sen, Adrija (5 March 2019). "This Rescued Street Pup Is Now A Part Of The City's Elite Canine Squad". Times Internet. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  8. ^ Shannon, Laura M. (2015). "Genetic structure in village dogs reveals a Central Asian domestication origin". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201516215. doi:10.1073/pnas.1516215112. PMC 4640804.
  9. ^ "Dog conservation and the population genetic structure of dogs" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Indian Pariah Dog (INDog)". DogSpot. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  11. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  12. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. (1894) The Jungle Book.
  13. ^ Pathak, Arun (1995). Handicrafts in the Indus Valley Civilization. Janaki Prakashan. ISBN 8185078874.
  14. ^ a b Agarwal, Abhishek (5 January 2019). "Desi Dogs: Everything About Indogs or the Indian pariah Dog Breed". DawgieBowl. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  15. ^ Cipriani, Lidio (1966). The Andaman Islanders. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 81.
  16. ^ Choudhury-Mahajan, Lina (12 July 2011). "Paws for thought". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  17. ^ a b Sharma, Purnima (13 February 2017). "Desi stray dogs are finding loving homes thousands of miles away from the mean streets of India". Quartz. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Life as a pariah sees it". The Times of India. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Indian breed dogs - Indian breed dogs - Indian street dog, dog breed lists". Retrieved 28 November 2018.

External linksEdit