Indigenous vs. Exotic Dog Breeds: Whom do you Choose?

Exotic dogs like German Shepard, Labrador, Pug, St. Bernard, have one thing in common: they are furry, adorable, and super intelligent canine companions with huge fan bases all over the world. But what about our natural, aboriginal dogs?

They are skilled, sturdy, and well-adapted to the country’s climate, which makes them an ideal choice to be kept as pets. Also, they are cute and excellent companions. Despite all these, people prefer foreign breeds like Labradors or German Shepherds over local dogs.

Indigenous vs. Exotic Dogs

Unfortunately, we are losing our aboriginal dogs to the exotic ones who cannot even adapt to a particular climate. The result is that about half of the known breeds have ceased to exist while others are at risk of dying out. This is mostly because of the ignorance and negligence of indigenous dogs. In the last few decades, the fad for foreign dog breeds has caught the attention of animal lovers.

Natural breeds do exist in some parts of the world. They are more robust than foreign breeds, especially in India and the U.S.

While reading a book titled ‘Dog Body, Dog Mind and The Dog, Its Domestication and Behavior’ by well-known veterinarian Michael W. Fox, I came across one such example.

The Carolina dog, also known as American Dingo, is an indigenous breed living mostly in the Southeastern United States. It is known to be a wild and free-roaming dog. Today, a breed standard to it has been developed with similar appearances found in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

The dingo-pariah type village dogs of Asia and Africa are a faithful companion, good watchdog, and excellent assistance in many field sports, even though general dog breed fans largely overlook it.

The Sad Story of Indigenous Dogs

The indigenous or aboriginal dog breed numbers are drastically decreasing by various means, including humane and inhumane. It is done mostly for public health reasons like rabies control, leading to the disappearance of landraces and loss of genetic diversity in regional canine populations.

It’s Time to Save Indigenous Dogs!

Indigenous dogs like the Nilgiris native dogs and others around the world are on the verge of extinction with the increase of exotic European dogs. The purebred dogs are deliberately crossed with foreign breeds to help them adapt better to local conditions, which dilutes or contaminates the genetic lineage of the indigenous dogs.

For example: The German Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, Terriers, Labrador Retriever, and Hounds were brought in India by the Britishers. Today, it’s found in every household.

Did you know that extreme breeding can lead to genetic health problems?

Yes! A study revealed that breed dogs had 22% more cases of genes that were inherited by the parents. The study included 46 dogs from 34 distinct breeds and compared them with 19 wolves, 25 village dogs, and a golden jackal.

It was found that as compared to wolves, breed dogs had around 115 more harmful mutations that were dangerous for their well-being.

It’s time we save our indigenous dog breeds before their numbers turn into single digits. This is a sad way to treat our best friends. I repeat myself again- Indigenous dogs vs. Exotic Dogs: What is your choice?

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Nancie Howell works for Five Star Canine and has a special love towards animals, especially dogs. She believes that we need to become the voice of our pets and help them during all the stages of their life.

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