Collage of indie dogs i've come across during my travels

                 Collage of indie dogs I’ve come across during my travels

You might be someone who loves dogs and has always dreamt of having one at home. With all the #adoptdontshop posts doing the rounds, you might be leaning towards adopting an India. Yayy for you! That is an amazing thought and 1st step. But, yes there is a but, not one or two but quite a few. Am not deterring you from adopting an India, am just here to give you a heads-up on what to expect from them. 

I have had Indie dogs at home for a while now, infact my uncle in Delhi also has one indie senior at home [she came home as a pup and is now 12yrs old]. Floppy was an Indie, who found me one day when I was walking towards the grocery store. He was hiding under a lorry, taking refuge and yelped out as I walked by. He lived with us for a good 15yrs before passing on. 

We have an indie at home now, he came home when he was 45 days old [ was in a friend’s apartment complex with his 2 siblings and mom, but then mom passed away & the friend found them all good loving homes]. Chewy is his name & he has quite the personality. He is now 1.5 years old and quite a social boy, but does have boundaries and is clear on when you can touch/play etc. Recently, a friend her husband and their 7-month-old indie girl pup came over and stayed with us for a few days. We saw a totally different side to Chewy – he was crazy playful with her, maybe even romantically interested, was clear in his priorities, and infact got to a point where he didn’t let her parents come near her. That’s how possessive he got of her and after they left, sulked for 3-4 days before slowly getting back to his routine. One evening we were all having a mini birthday party at home and it was quite late, past midnight. He began growling at the friends who were home, almost snapping at them, and was cranky. We figured it was cos he was beyond tired & sleepy. He did calm down after we sat & had a long chat with him, and decided to wind up the party as well. 



My partner’s family has always had dogs at home, but only pedigree or breeds like golden retrievers & labs. Infact even now there are 2 golden retriever girls [ sisters]. They are quite calm most of the time and low on energy[hyper] as well. So when we visit, his mom gets all worked up cos Chewy is ready to do zoomies and run around all day and night.  In our apartment complex, there are quite a few dogs- most of them breeds – GSD, Husky, Shih Tzu, retrievers and others. Most of them are almost zen-like, even when Chewy is barking at their face calling them to come play. We have an Indie as well, Nutty, who’s one of Chewy’s friends and she is pretty much like him in terms of temperament. 

When I asked my Partner, about the things he learnt with an indie, here’s what he said –
1. don’t have expectations, 2. be ready to be patient, 3. put in time & effort to train, 4. spend time playing with them, 5. understand that everything they do has a reason & 6. be prepared for surprises [ change in behaviour, moods etc]

So, how and why are indie dogs different? Well, Indie dogs, also known as street dogs or Indian pariah dogs, are a diverse group of canines that are native to India. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and adaptability, and make wonderful pets. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when adopting an Indie dog.

1. They may have behavioural issues.

Indie dogs have had to survive on the streets for generations, and as a result, they may have some behavioural issues. They may be skittish or fearful of strangers, and they may not be used to being around other animals. It is important to be patient and understanding with an Indie dog and to provide them with plenty of positive reinforcement. With time and training, most Indie dogs can overcome their behavioural issues and become loving and well-adjusted pets.

2. They may have health problems.

Indie dogs are generally healthy and have a strong metabolism but they may be more susceptible to certain health problems than purebred dogs. These problems can include skin allergies, ear infections, and parasites. It is important to take your Indie dog to the vet for regular checkups and to be on the lookout for any signs of illness.

3. They may not be housebroken.

Indie dogs that have been living on the streets may not be housebroken. Or even if you were adopting one from a litter, you might have to take it one day at a time with them.  They can be trained, but it will take time and patience. Be consistent with your training, and be sure to reward your dog for good behaviour. Be patient~

4. They may be/are territorial.

Indie dogs are pack animals, and they may be territorial of their home and their family. This can lead to aggression towards strangers or other animals. It is important to socialize your Indie dog from a young age, and to teach them how to interact with other people and animals in a positive way.

5. They may be/are high-energy.

Indie dogs are typically high-energy dogs, and they need plenty of exercise. This can be a challenge if you live in a small apartment or do not have a lot of time for walks. However, there are ways to tire out an Indie dog without having to spend hours at the park. Some fun activities for Indie dogs include playing fetch, going for hikes, and swimming.

If you are considering adopting an Indie dog, be sure to do your research and be prepared for the challenges. With time and patience, you can give an Indie dog a loving home and a happy life.

Here are some additional tips for adopting an Indie dog:

  • Adopt from a reputable shelter or rescue organization or a friend whose dog has had a litter. This will help ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-socialized dog.
  • Meet the dog in person before you adopt. This will give you a chance to see their personality and temperament and to make sure that they are a good fit for your lifestyle.
  • Be prepared to provide your dog with plenty of love, attention, and exercise. Indie dogs are loyal and loving companions, but they need a lot of stimulation to be happy.
  • Be ready for some surprises – how they react to someone new, or even with someone familiar, with dogs of the opposite sex, when in a new surrounding, or trying something new. 

Adopting an Indie dog is a wonderful way to give a homeless animal a loving home. With time and patience, you can give an Indie dog a happy and fulfilling life.

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