It’s a slow day at this pet shop in Connaught Place and the customers trickling in have been few and far between. The pet shop has birds, fishes and a few hamsters. Yet the owner isn’t too bothered with the flow.
Over the last 2 days, business has been brisk with the sale of pure breed huskies and Rottweilers he reiterates. The demand for them throughout the year never abates and he’s constantly having to source such purebred dogs.
In the way things move, native Indian dog breeds aren’t in demand as much as exotic breeds and the trends only show how the demand is set to increase further.
The love of an animal is like none other; unrestrained, all encompassing and with no pre-conditions. Given how much they mean to us at a basic level, especially dogs who are the most gentle, loving creatures, it is astounding to find how many people actually buy exotic breeds.
Pedigree is a term associated with dogs, especially the pure-bred kind whose origins can be traced. People and especially Indians go to great lengths to own pedigreed or purebred dogs, often coughing up huge sums for animals that may not be native, that may not be suitable for our country and its climes and will need a huge investment to maintain and keep.
Yet visit any dog kennel or animal store, and there are breeders who put up purebred dogs for sale for huge sums that are totally disproportionate to the purchase, with people going to great lengths and spend huge sums to own.
This phenomenon of discarding local breeds as something ‘less than’ in favor of foreign ones as akin to a ’pure pool’ has been rampant since several decades. Let us examine some of the reasons responsible for this, and why people traverse any lengths to fulfill their need for one.
- Pure breeds signify social status – For people who are careful about appearances and what that signifies, pure breeds epitomize a better class. They take pride in where the breeds come from, what it means to them and their societal worth.This has a very personal, psychological connect and popular culture has only strives to underline this even further. The 2003 Vodafone ad is a case in point, that prompted the search and sale of pugs across the country. Pure breeds were originally brought from outside the country, but today many are bred here or they can be adopted. Their choice depends on the size of the house, care that they need and other factors.
- Purebreds look good with the family – Because of their breed and specific traits, such dogs have a certain look that is very distinctive. Dalmatians, Saint Bernard, Beagles, German Shepherds and Pugs are some of the most popular breeds that look a certain way and when well fed and looked after, have glossier coats, better personalities and on the basis of that are admired. Purebred puppies of St.Bernard and Dalmatians look glorious even when little.
- Pure breeds have specific known traits – Pure breeds are bought for very specific known traits; guarding, managing a homestead etc. A very popular misconception among Indians is that native Indian dogs or streets aren’t guard dogs or cannot be anything except uncouth or ‘junglee’.That prompts the buying of pure breeds for specific purposes, as a house pet, a guard dog or to be stationed at a farmhouse. Native dogs are less preferred as a pet because they are available everywhere. Although purebred dogs have certain traits, it also works against them. Pit bulls are considered extremely ferocious but in reality can be docile and home bound too.
Indians have a wide variety of dogs to choose from, yet we are often swayed by looks and influenced by others and social status. Purebreds have their own beauty and inherent traits but native Indian dogs are acclimated to our weather and climate, and are more hardy and versatile. They also possess similar traits and can be depended upon just as much as foreign breeds.
When it comes to purebred v/s mixed breed and their choices, a dog is a dog, giving unconditional love. As much as we make conscious choices, adoption of purebreds is a better option than animals that are bought and sold.
Your dog is unique and whether it is a mixed breed or purebred, give them a doggy social profile.
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