Life of Street Dogs | DogExpress
Saturday , July 20 2024
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Life of Street Dogs

Life of Street Dogs

When you think of dog manners, you may imagine catching a ball or walking on a leash. However, more than 70 percent of the world’s puppies aren’t pets. Instead, they’re free-ranging animals, typically living around people without being part of any human family. So biologists Sreejani Sen Majumder, Ankita Chatterjee, and Anindita Bhadra set out to figure out what these dogs do all day in India.

The researchers report that the Indian Native dog (aka Indian pariah dog) usually lives on the streets, surviving on human charity and garbage. They live singly or in small groups, anywhere from big cities to the edges of woods. They have wolf-like faces, short fur, and patchy coats. The female dogs typically have one litter a year, either in spring or fall, but less than half of the dogs survive to adulthood.

To figure out what these dogs’ days are like, Majumder, Chatterjee, and Bhadra observed street dogs at several events between 2008 and 2011, looking at three different urban areas—the township of Kalyani in West Bengal and college campuses at Mohanpur, West Bengal, and Bangalore, Karnataka.

Street Dogs

They sampled the dogs’ activity during the day when both humans and dogs are typically active—avoiding midday when dogs rest away from the heat and stopping at 7:30 p.m. when it became too dark to see dogs in unlighted spots. Next, observers picked a random road within an assigned area and began walking, marking down the apparent age, sex, activity, and vocalizations of any dog they saw.

They said, “For each dog, only the behavior seen at the instance of the sighting was recorded.” “For example, if a dog was observed to be scratching itself and then sniffing grass, scratching was recorded as the observed behavior.”

The observers recorded 1,941 dog sightings. They found no substantial differences between the dogs’ actions in different locations, of different ages, or different sexes.

Many people in India don’t like street dogs, sensing them as dangerous or irritating. They sometimes fight over food and may carry rabies, a serious health concern in India, where two in every 100,000 people are affected by the virus each year.

But the researchers found little sign of aggression, rather than the dogs spending most of their time relaxing. In fifty-three percent of the sightings, the dogs were inactive (coded as “sleep,” “laze,” or “sit”).

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