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Indian Pariah Dog: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Since it isn’t native to the United States, you might not be familiar with the Indian Pariah Dog. This dog breed is one of the few pure breeds originating in India, meaning they’ve not been selectively bred by humans, but have evolved naturally. And no one knows quite where they came from; they’ve just always been around in India.

These pups can make wonderful pets, as they crave human affection and are incredibly sweet, but finding one in America could prove challenging. Want to learn more about this dog breed from India? Then, read on!

Height: 18–25 inches
Weight: 30–50 pounds
Lifespan: 13–14 years
Colors: Most commonly browns (from reddish-brown to dark), occasionally black or pied
Suitable for: Families, those who are active
Temperament: Loyal, intelligent, sweet, loving

Though the Indian Pariah Dog isn’t technically a domestic dog (as this breed is a free-living one in India), they are quite friendly with humans (because they’ve grown up beside them) 1. The breed is incredibly loyal and sweet to the people it loves and can be quite territorial and protective, making them good guard dogs. The Indian Pariah Dog is also incredibly intelligent, on par with wolves and foxes.

Indian Pariah Dog Characteristics


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Indian Pariah Puppies

Indian pariah
Indian pariah (Image Credit: Heba Aisha, Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0 International )

Since Indian Pariah Dogs are primarily found in India, you’ll probably have a difficult time finding one in the United States. There are a few rescue groups 2 or adoption centers 3 you could look at that might have them, but the odds are fairly low (and even lower to find an actual puppy). If you do happen to chance across one, though, you should find that well-socialized Indian Pariah puppies are sweet and highly energetic.

And if you are in India, you only need to walk outside to find a dog!

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Indian Pariah Dog

So, how does the Indian Pariah Dog stack up in terms of temperament and intelligence? As mentioned, this wild breed is known for being incredibly intelligent, on par with wolves. And this can make them easier to train (though their fierce independent streak makes training more challenging). But the breed is smart and capable of reasoning.

When it comes to temperament, this street dog is quite social (which makes sense considering it grows up around humans). The breed is known for being generally cheerful and fond of hanging out with people and other dogs. They also tend to be alert and cautious, making them excellent watchdogs (though this watchdog tendency translates to much barking!). Because of their intelligence and active natures, the Indian Pariah Dog thrives in environments with a lot of exercise and varied mental stimulation. These pups can get easily bored!

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

They can be, provided enough exercise and mental stimulation is given. The breed definitely likes to be around people and is fond of receiving affection from its family. But because the breed in its natural habitat would be living outside with a variety of ways to be active and mentally stimulated, you’ll have to work hard to do the same in your home. The Indian Pariah Dog isn’t a breed that will be content lying around on the sofa all the time.

And because the breed isn’t known to be aggressive (except sometimes to other dogs during mating season), they should be okay around children as long as they’ve been properly socialized. However, this is a medium-sized breed, so between their size and high energy levels, they might not be best suited for life with small children.

Indian Pariah dog with the tongue out walking in the park
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Indian Pariah Dogs do get along with other dogs. But if you’re introducing a new pup to a home already containing an Indian Pariah Dog, you’ll want to go slowly. Because of their territorial natures, an Indian Pariah Dog will be wary of strange dogs encroaching upon its perceived territory.

For pets other than dogs, it’s difficult to say how they would do. Because the breed naturally lives on its own outdoors, it might have a higher prey drive due to hunting for food, which could be dangerous for smaller animals.

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Things to Know When Owning an Indian Pariah Dog

There are always some things you should know before adopting a dog, such as how to properly care for it. Here are a handful of those things to know when owning Indian Pariah Dogs.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like all dog breeds, the Indian Pariah Dog will need to be fed a high-quality dog food with plenty of protein from an excellent source. Any dog food you feed this dog should also include all the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy. You’ll likely want to speak with your vet about the exact nutrients the breed needs for maintenance, as well as how much to feed the dog. These pups are moderate eaters, so be careful not to overfeed them!

Exercise 🐕

Indian Pariah Dogs in their natural habitat are used to being active; this breed is definitely a high-energy one! As such, you’ll need to take your dog on long walks every day, as well as engage in plenty of playtime. You’re likely looking at an hour or more of exercise per day. These dogs are also fond of climbing high places, so activities such as hiking should please them greatly!

Training 🎾

When training an Indian Pariah Dog, you might have a bit of a challenging time. We’ve mentioned a couple of times that this breed is highly intelligent; this is a plus for training. However, the breed is also wildly independent, and that independence can make them less prone to enjoying training. Plus, being so smart means they get bored easily; this isn’t a breed that will do well with repetitive training exercises. That means you’ll need to tailor training sessions to your dog and mix things up to keep your pup interested.

If you’re not having much luck training your Indian Pariah Dog, getting a professional trainer would be wise.

Grooming ✂️

Good news on the grooming front—Indian Pariah Dogs barely need any! Though these dogs shed year-round, their lack of an undercoat means you won’t find much hair lying around. It also means all you really need to do for this pup is brush it regularly.

You’ll also want to keep their nails trimmed and neat, brush their teeth regularly, and bathe them when dirty.

Health and Conditions 🏥

And there’s excellent news when it comes to Indian Pariah Dogs and health—because this is a naturally evolved breed, there really are no health conditions they are prone to. Natural selection has done a good job of weeding out the genes that could cause genetic health conditions, so the Indian Pariah Dog is an exceptionally hardy breed. And because they are street dogs, there’s little information on causes of death for the breed, but it seems that in most cases for the dogs living in India, deaths occur due to accidents or harm from humans.

Male vs Female

There’s not much difference between male and female Indian Pariah Dogs other than the fact females are a few inches shorter and just a few pounds lighter. When it comes to personality, both males and females will have similar traits—intelligent, active, protective, and sometimes a bit on the barky side.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Indian Pariah Dog

You want to know even more about the Indian Pariah Dog, you say? Well, here are three lesser-known facts about the breed!

1. This breed has not been recognized by any kennel club.

Although this breed is an ancient one (and probably the most prolific of the ancient breeds) and other ancient breeds have been recognized by kennel clubs, the Indian Pariah Dog still has not. However, it has been recognized by the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society (PADS), a group based in America.

2. Indian Pariah Dogs only breed once a year.

Unlike most domestic dog breeds, this one only has a single mating season a year, with the peak being late September to early October.

3. These dogs don’t really have a scent.

Dog owners everywhere are familiar with the smell of dogs, but the Indian Pariah Dog doesn’t really have much of a scent. It’s possible this is because they have fewer oil glands in their coat, which helps them stay cleaner.

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Final Thoughts

Though you’ll probably need to be in India to adopt an Indian Pariah Dog, there is a slight chance you can find one in the U.S. If you do manage to locate one for adoption, you’ll find that you have a sweet, protective, intelligent, and independent dog on your hands. Your dog will need lots of activity and mental stimulation to avoid becoming bored, so be prepared for that. And because these dogs have little to no genetic health issues, you can expect your new pup to be around for quite a while!

Featured Image Credit:  Indian pariah dog  (Image credit: Sarbjit Bahga, Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0 International)

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