Saturday, Dec 16, 2017 | Last Update : 02:56 AM IST

Be Indian, adopt Indian

The author is Union Cabinet minister for women and child development and an animal lover
Published : Nov 20, 2017, 2:37 am IST
Updated : Nov 20, 2017, 6:56 am IST

Most breeders and dog shows hand out C-Class certificates.

John Abraham with his dog
 John Abraham with his dog

The obsession with pedigreed dogs as pets in India leads to millions of natural Indian dogs, which are better suited to our climate, being killed by municipalities or dying of starvation or cruelty on the streets. Many of you look for dogs as pets. Unfortunately, most people go in for pedigreed pups, not because they know anything about them, but because they think that their own status will be enhanced! This must be the only country in the world where the owner of a Pomeranian or Alsatian thinks that he is a superior being, instead of through his own achievements!

What is a pedigreed dog? It is an invented species. Take a perfectly natural dog, what you would refer to as jungli, and then work on it with 20 years of selective breeding to make the end product into a bizarre shape, size and colour. And there, you have a pedigreed dog. Suppose you want a short black longhaired dog. You keep breeding black dogs and killing those that are tall. Keep inter-mating brother and sister of the shorter dogs till they reach the right size. Then kill the ones that have short hair and keep mating the ones that have longer hair till after many years, you will finally get your short, black, long-haired dog. Along the way you would have killed at least 5,000 or more dogs, which did not fit your vision. 

The Indian contribution to the pedigreed field is the Rampur Hound, the ultimate joke played by the Nawab of Rampur on dog breeders. He kept experimenting with strays until he achieved a uniform size and then entered them as breeds in dog shows where they won awards, due more to his status than theirs. And the Rampur Hound was born. As a result of inbreeding, to create and maintain their characteristic appearance, each breed has many genetic defects. The Basset Hound’s short and thick forelegs have chronic elbow dislocation. The standard that demands their eyes be soft, sad, and sunken, creates a large gap between the lower eyelid and eye which catches dust and debris.

Then there is the breeder’s cruelty to deal with. Every city has a slum area where these dogs, most of whom have been stolen, are kept in the most wretched of conditions, repeatedly inbred and sold for fantastic prices. Thousands are killed because they are born with deformities due to inbreeding, or else they become shy or aggressive. So they are killed even before they turn a year. Is it their fault or that of those who have turned beautifully made living creatures into toys?

Pedigree certificates also do not count for much. Most breeders and dog shows hand out C-Class certificates. It means that they think the dog is pedigreed, but they don’t know who the parents are as the owners want to own a paper that says that the dog is pedigreed. Of such foolishness is a pure breed made.

Do not keep pedigreed dogs. Be Indian. Keep Indian. It is kinder on both the pedigrees as well as our own dogs to discourage breeding. If you already have a pedigreed pet, feed the dog on the street and put a collar on it. If you are looking for a dog, you need, go no further than your own street corner. I have 15 in my house and they are intelligent, clean and very faithful.

Once upon a time, it used to be very fashionable to wear Japanese and Swiss nylon, even though it was hot and sticky and made you itch. Now, Indian cotton is so fashionable and the rich wear designer khadi! It’s the same with dogs. So many fashionable people I know only keep Indian dogs in their house, from government ministers and top industrialists to singers, dancers, fashion designers and trendsetters like Rohit Bal, Shaan, Shiamak Davar, Cyrus Broacha, Aamir Khan, Kajol, Nagarjuna, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, and Mahesh Manjrekar among others.

Every day, my shelter has so many people coming in to adopt dogs that we have taken from the streets, cleaned up and vaccinated. Be fashionable: Adopt an Indian dog and you will be rewarded with a loving and loyal best friend forever.  P.S. The environment ministry has made unlicensed dog breeding illegal so if you know of a breeder let us know.

Deformities pedigreed dogs are prone to

  •  Dalmatians & Pomeranians | Deafness.
  •  Poodles | Epilepsy
  •  Lhasa Aphsos |  Fatal kidney failure and cataracts
  •  Bull dogs | Heart disease
  •  Alsatians | Hip dysplasia
  •  Dachshund | Back injury
  •  Basset Hound | Chronic elbow dislocation

Celebrities who have adopted street dogs include Rohit Bal, Shaan, Shiamak Davar, Cyrus Broacha, Aamir Khan, Kajol, Nagarjuna, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, and Mahesh Manjrekar among others.

Koena Mitra has an army of Terriers, Poodles, Pekingese — all of them being toy breeds from exotic countries.Koena Mitra has an army of Terriers, Poodles, Pekingese — all of them being toy breeds from exotic countries.

Raj Thackery owns Great Dane (German breed) and Pugs (originally from China) and Pitbulls (North American breed).Raj Thackery owns Great Dane (German breed) and Pugs (originally from China) and Pitbulls (North American breed).

Salman Khan owns Mowgli (Labrador Retriever), Saint (St. Bernard), Mylove (Neapolitan Mastiff), & Veer (French Mastiff, who died).Salman Khan owns Mowgli (Labrador Retriever), Saint (St. Bernard), Mylove (Neapolitan Mastiff), & Veer (French Mastiff, who died).

Once upon a time, it used to be very fashionable to wear Japanese and Swiss nylon, even though it was hot and sticky and made you itch. Now, Indian cotton is so fashionable and the rich wear designer khadi! It’s the same with dogs. So many fashionable people I know only keep Indian dogs in their house, from government ministers and top industrialists to singers, dancers, fashion designers and trendsetters like Rohit Bal, Shaan, Shiamak Davar, Cyrus Broacha, Aamir Khan, Kajol, Nagarjuna, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, and Mahesh Manjrekar among others.

Tags: basset hound, pedigree certificates, rampur hound