So you’ve been thinking about getting a dog for sometime and cannot figure out which one to bring home. Add to your woes the harsh climate of the Indian subcontinent, your increasingly hectic lifestyle and space constraints and you start wondering whether you are at all in a position to get one.
However if you are sure you want to bring home a Dog and can provide for him the nourishment, shelter, healthcare and love he needs, we will help you pick up the right one. To get you started, here is a list of Top 10 Dog Breeds that are popular in India and why:
With a Powerful, muscular and stout built and a no-nonsense temperament, Rottweilers are regarded as one of the best guard Dogs in India. They can grow up to weigh 40-60 Kgs (88-132 Lbs) with a height of 24-27 inches at the withers and are incredibly good looking with a Tan Black coat that’s also quite easy to maintain.
Incredibly friendly to family and friends and highly suspicious of strangers, they seem to have an uncanny ability to sense bad intentions and keep such people away from you.
However due to their incredible strength, its important to train them from the beginning to obey family members and friends. If raised well, with careful training and socialization, they are incredibly good family dogs while still being protective and guarding from strangers.
Rottweilers have the second strongest Bite force after Mastiffs, measuring a strong 328 pounds per square inch and are considered the second most dangerous dogs in US
“A calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog”
They however, thanks to their history as guard dog and herding Dogs before that, need a LOT of exercise to thrive. Basically, you can simply not tire a Rottweiler. They have incredible endurance and strength and thus a long run everyday is recommended. They are however excellent apartment dwellers due to their laid back attitude at home.
The Dachshund, meaning “badger dog” in German, is a lively breed with a friendly personality and keen sense of smell. Known for their long and low bodies, they are eager hunters that excel in both above- and below-ground work.
There are three varieties of Dachshund, the shorthaired, the wirehaired, and the longhaired. With each of these varieties there are three sizes. According to AKC standard, there are only two sizes, Standard and Miniature. But Europe also recognizes the Toy variety called a kaninchen, which is the German word for rabbit.
Dachshunds are often used in dog races.A healthy Dachshund can run up to 20 mph
Dachshund is curious, clever, affectionate, proud, brave and amusing. Devoted to its family, it can be slightly difficult to train but not impossible. It doesn’t need a lot of vigorous activity to remain healthy and happy, though it should be walked daily and allowed to get out and run once in a while as it has a tendency to become overweight and lazy. This is a serious health risk, putting added strain on the already stretched back.
A ‘Gentle Giant’ , a Saint Bernard contrasts its powerful muscular stature with its gentle and dignified personality, friendliness and an amazing tolerance for children. They are slow moving, patient, obedient, extremely loyal, eager and willing to please.
A full grown Saint Bernard stands somewhere between 25-30 inches at the withers and can weight a healthy 60-90 Kgs ( 132 -198 Lbs). Given their size, its very important to train them from an early age, when they are still of a manageable size and they are indeed quite easy to train.
Barry, a famous Saint Bernard, rescued somewhere between 45-100 people trapped in avalanches in Swiss Alps during his career
Given their lineage and genetics, Saint Bernards are amazing watch Dogs (frankly, who would ever want to confront a Dog this size) with incredible sense of smell and seem to have an amazing sense of impending dangers and therefore have been used for rescues worldwide.
However they are also prone to a host of health issues ranging from “wobbler” syndrome, heart problems, skin problems, hip dysplasia, tumors and extropion—a folding outward of the eyelid rim, usually on the lower lid.
Saint Bernards thrive well with a bit of exercise, preferably a long walk everyday, and a cool climate to live in. If you live in a warm/hot climate, Saint Bernards must be kept indoors and in cooled environments. Don’t forget that they were bred in the Italian and Swiss Alps and used to climate much colder than most of India provides.
They shed twice a year so a regular grooming with a soft brush and a bath when necessary with a mild soap or shampoo should be sufficient. Special care needs to be taken to keep their eyes clean. They are also prone to drooling, wheezing and snoring.
The ubiquitous Pomeranian, also lovingly called Pom or Pom Pom, are a toy breed of the Spitz classification and a direct descendants of the German Spitz type.
Pomeranians are small dogs weighing 1.9–3.5 kilograms (4.2–7.7 lb) and standing 5 to 11 inches high at the withers They are compact but sturdy dogs with an abundant textured coat with a highly plumed tail set high and flat The top coat forms a ruff of fur on the neck, which Poms are well known for, and they also have a fringe of feathery hair on the hindquarters.
Around 19th century Queen Victoria adopted a small red Pomeranian and founded a kennel club to exhibit this breed
However they are heavy shedders given their coat density and do require regular grooming to prevent matting and shedding.
Dobermans are popularly called the ‘Cadillacs of the dog world‘ & ‘Dogs with a human brain‘ and for good reason.
Weighing a healthy 35-40 Kgs ( 80-90 lbs) on a slender frame thats almost 30-34 inches tall they are capable of amazing speed, agility and endurance and are considered the second best guard dogs in the world. Their fierce looks and penetrating gaze is enough to ward off most intruders and their extreme loyalty and protective instincts are coveted around the world.
Doberman Pinscher is the only dog breed named after it’s creator, Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann
They are minimal shedders and a once a week quick brushing is all it takes to keep them clean and prim. However they are prone to eye boogers and therefore require frequent cleaning of the eyes.
From being a relatively rare breed in India, Pugs have gone on to become a hot favourite of Indian Dog Lovers, thanks to the immensely successful Vodafone campaign that brought the breed to limelight.
With their adorable wrinkly faces and bulgy eyes, friendliness and loyalty coupled with a small frame that can weigh anywhere between 6-8 Kgs (13-17 Lbs) and measuring up to 15 inches tall, Pugs make ideal pets for people who live in apartments or families with children. They also do well with little exercise and are incredibly low maintenance.
The vertical wrinkle on their forehead is said to resemble the Chinese character for “prince” and thus known as the “prince mark”
German Shepherds ( also called Alsatians and Alsatian wolf dogs) are probably the most Ubiquitous dogs in India. You will find them everywhere for a few very unique traits of theirs. They are excellent Guard Dogs and a great asset to the police and military for their strong loyalty to their master, curiosity and a general distrust towards strangers.
In 1929, Rin Tin Tin, a very popular GSD with 27 film appearance may have won the Academy award for Best Actor but the Academy determined that a human should win
German Shepherds, if trained and well socialized, are generally considered very safe companions and are great with children if, of course, raised together. This is very important as a poorly socialised German Shepherd can be nervous in presence of strangers and therefore aggressive and over protective.
They are also heavy shedders and require regular grooming for the same.
The Golden Retriever is a beautiful, sturdy, well-proportioned dog with a feathered, medium-length, cream to golden-colored coat. The outer coat is water-repellent and the undercoat is dense. The head is broad, with a tapering, but wide, powerful muzzle. It has a scissors bite and a clear frontal stop. The nose is black and the kindly eyes are brown with dark rims. The ears are medium-sized and pendant. Its neck and thighs are muscular and the chest is broad. The tail is long, but never curled and it can grow up to be 24 inches tall weighing a healthy 32-36 Kgs (80 lbs) and at an average, live up to 12 years of age.
Golden Retrievers are bird dogs at heart, so they love a good game of fetch or a swim. If exercise is provided daily, golden retrievers can adapt to any type of home, even if it is a city apartment
Their friendly and gentle temperament means they are not the best suited as guard dogs but the same ensures they also one of the the most popular family dogs. They are incredibly friendly and tolerant with children, very energetic and require 1-2 hours of exercise a day to stay healthy.
Despite the dense coat, they are not the heaviest of shedders and are fairly easy to groom due to the smooth, dense coat. A weekly brush should keep their coat clean and matt-free. We recommend them for homes with children that provides a playful environment or adults who can provide them the necessary physical activity needed for their well being.
Labrador Retrievers or ‘Labs’ as they are popularly called, are Sturdy, solidly built and family friendly dogs and are incredibly popular with Indians for their endearing nature, ease of training and that adorable puppy look they carry well in to their adulthood.
A lab puppy will grow in to a full adult within 12 months of birth growing as tall as 32 inches (thus classified as medium-sized dogs) and weigh between 25-34 Kgs ( 55-75 Lbs) and may continue to add weight till 2 years of age.
The Labrador Retriever gets its name from the Labrador sea in Canada, this was where they were used to retrieve the fisherman nets from the icy water. Their retriever trait gave them the name, Labrador Retriever
Their energy levels are incredibly high and therefore we don’t recommend them for people and families that cannot handle a high energy dog with regular exercise and running needs. You would usually notice your neighbour’s lab to be overweight and suffering from Hip Dysplasia for the same reason so refrain from bringing home one if you cannot provide enough playtime to him. Owing to their energetic nature, Labradors who are left alone or not well exercised can become destructive — chewing, digging and barking to excess. Make sure you have enough toys for them to focus their chewing and energy on.
The wonderful double coat that keeps the Labrador warm while retrieving in icy water also gives this breed top billing as shedders. Normally, their coats do fine with a quick weekly grooming, but at shedding time daily grooming is needed.
The term Indian pariah dog, also called pie dog or primitive dog, originally referred to the wild dogs of India, but has come to refer in common parlance to any population of wild or feral dogs who live near human settlements worldwide.
These were the very first domestic dogs and Man’s earliest animal companions. This ancient race is part of the dingo-pariah group of dogs, which exists across continents. Close relatives include the Australian Dingo,The Canaan Dog in Israel, the New Guinea Singing Dog and the African Basenji.
These dogs known by various names as Deshi Kukur, Deshi Kutra, Deshi Kutta, Deshi Kutro etc are very hardy dogs. They are very social ,highly alert, intelligent, easily trainable and capable of independent thinking. . They make excellent watch dogs and are very territorial and defensive of their pack/family. They need good socializing as pups and do well with families and children.
They are modest eaters and will rarely overeat. They are a very active breed and thrive with regular exercise and very long walks, several times a day. Being a naturally evolved and perfected breed, they have very few health concerns and thrive with minimal “maintenance”.
Their skin needs very little grooming and the dogs themselves are relatively clean. They have no body odour. Genetic health ailments like hip dysplasia etc. are extremely rare since in a naturally evolved race only the fittest individuals breed and the flaws are bred out.
They are generally very healthy and average life expectancy is over 15 years under good care. They are medium sized dogs of square to slightly rectangular build and short coat. Adult Dogs: Height: 20 – 25 inches high at the withers ; Weight: 20 – 30 kilograms . Adult Bitches: Height: 18 – 23 inches at the withers ;Weight: 15 – 25 kilograms.
They have a double coat, a coarse upper coat and a soft undercoat.The most commonly observed colors are brown, range from dark to reddish-brown, with or without white markings. Solid blacks are rare but some dogs are pied. Spotted, brindle and white are considered faults.
However given how recklessly breed dog owners allow their Dogs to mate with the the stray Indidogs, there is a whole diaspora of Mix breeds to choose from.
Frankly, as far as ability to show love and loyalty is concerned, all Dogs are created equal. The choice of one breed over the other is mostly about the ‘looks’. It represents the same vanity we demonstrate in choosing people around us and its unfair.
You can choose to bring an expensive, supposedly better looking dog who was not meant for your climate and struggles everyday or you can bring home a homeless puppy who will thrive in the Indian weather, be easy to maintain and have way lesser health issues. Honestly, its not even a difficult choice if rationale takes the front-seat.
There is always a puppy waiting for you to take home
“No matter how little money or how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you RICH“