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Adopting an Indie Dog: Should You Adopt a Street Dog?

by Vetic Editorial

Demystifying the Indie breed. Just kidding! The Indie dogs are so diverse in appearance and nature that “demystifying” them in one post is next to impossible. 

However, we can promise that you will learn quite a few new facts about the Indies in this article. 

What are Indie dogs?

Indies are one of the native dog “breeds” of India. They are definitely not the same as the Indian purebred dogs such as the Mudhol Hound, Rajapalayam and Pariah dog. 

The Indies are the results of thousands of years of evolution, adaptation and natural selection. So, the Indies we see on the streets today have ancestors who were strong enough to beat bad weather, scarcity of resources and diseases. 

If you want a definition for an Indie dog, you can think of it as this – 

A four-legged, furry floof that has inherited the best of every ancestor possible without any human intervention so far. 

What are the personality traits of Indie dogs?

Anyone looking to adopt Indies is going to ask, “What’s the nature of Indies?” The answer is not as simple.

For hundreds of years, people have used Indies as guard and companion dogs. 

Just like any other breed, the personality traits of one dog depends on both nature and nurture. 

Indies are highly trainable and adaptable dogs with an even temperament. So, even if their ancestors were once used as guard dogs or watchdogs, you can train them to be your plushies. 

How big are the Indies?

A cute light brown Indie dog pup with folded ears and white patches looking directly at the camera. the pup is standing on a rugged rocky surface with some greenery visible in the background.

Oh! This one is kind of difficult. We have seen siblings from the same litter grow into lilliputs and giants. 

We have treated a tiny baby (4-year-old, neutered male) who weighed a mere 12 kgs. And we have also treated a big good boy (8-year-old, intact male) who was 32 kgs. 

Indies can be between 14 inches to 25 inches in height (shoulder). 

So, as you can understand, the mix of genetics can lead to quite unpredictable heights, sizes and weights. Then again, it is impossible for all dogs to conform to their breed standards. 

What’s the energy level of the Indies?

We have seen hundreds of couch potatoes and Beyblades, just as we have seen superbly energetic Labradors and lethargic beagles

Not all Indies are the same and an average-weight Indie, who’s in good health should be pretty athletic. 

Indies typically do not like to compromise on their playtime. You must have seen numerous indie puppies and adults play together beside the busy streets. They like being social, playful and active. 

Daily playtime and exercising also keep their temperament even. A pleased Indie is always easy to train. 

How intelligent are Indies?

Well, they had to survive thunderstorms, heatwaves, cold waves, accidents, and other aggressive dogs and humans. Of course, they are superbly intelligent!

And before you begin fawning over their intelligence, let’s remind you that it’s a double-edged sword. While an intelligent dog is easier to train, they also have a mind and will of their own. 

An untrained or ill-trained indie is a hurricane in the house. If you are thinking about getting an Indie, their intelligence should be your last concern. Plan for training, training and more training. 

Are Indies loud?

Some Indies are as loud as the mother-in-law from the popular Hindi family dramas and others are quieter than a mouse.

However, given a reason (read: from a stranger to a bird on the window sill) they will make their opinion known. 

Indies are social and they will share a bark or two when they are amongst friends. 

Loud or not, they know all the ways to communicate. 

What are an Indie’s grooming needs?

Photo of an dog mom scratching the lower jowl of her Indie dog. the dog is brown with a white muzzle and underside. he is wearing a bright yellow harness. the indie dog and pet parent are inside a vet's chamber as we can see the vet working on their computer in the background.

Typically, Indie dogs have a double coat. Their top coat is coarse and medium-short. Their undercoat is soft and short. It protects them from the extreme heat or cold. 

They do shed, but not as much as Labradors or Golden Retrievers. However, you need to brush them frequently to keep their skin and coat healthy. 

Occasional professional dog grooming is recommended for avoiding skin issues, dental cleaning and expressing anal glands. 

Are Indies good watchdogs?

The great-great grandparents of the pup you are looking at right now may have been a guard dog, but there’s no guarantee that your pup will not befriend a stranger at first sight. 

They can be superbly protective or super-duper easy-going. It all depends on how you train them. 

If you train an Indie to be a family dog who’s also a watchdog, that’s fine too! Indie dogs are smart enough to distinguish between friends-family, and strangers. 

What are some common myths about Indie dogs?

Photo of a kid around 10 years old. wearing a cap backwards, a blue-light blue striped polo neck t-shirt with a white collar and deep blue pants, holding an Indie dog by the muzzle. the streetie baby is light brown in colour. the photo may be taken in a downtrodden area since the door in the background is part broken wood and part tin.

While several groups and individuals are trying to popularise Indie dog adoptions, several myths are making matters more challenging. These common myths include –

  • They will be grateful and obedient simply because they have a home now. 
  • Indies do not require any training. 
  • Indie dogs have natural immunity so they don’t need vaccines. 
  • Since Indies have short fur they don’t need any grooming. 
  • Indies do not require preventive healthcare or checkups. 
  • Indies do not require special diets since they are not picky about food. 

Should you adopt an Indie dog or pup?

You should only adopt an indie pup if you are ready for a pup. The responsibility of an indie pup is in no way lesser than that of a purebred puppy. Your pup will need timely deworming, vaccinations, grooming, proper diet and training irrespective of their pedigree and breed. 

If you are getting an indie dog from a shelter, consider their history before adopting them. A history of abandonment and trauma, or shelter living demands behaviour modification training. It is strictly not recommended for first-time pet parents. 

In case you have a particular puppy in mind, take them to the veterinary clinic near you first for a consultation. Make sure they are free from parasites and common canine illnesses. 

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