Chandi Heffner is the president and founder of CDH International Foundation (CDHIF), a US-based organization that supports humanitarian, medical, and animal service projects for the private nonprofit society CDHIF India. Under Chandi Heffner’s leadership, CDHIF provides funding and support to a number of animal programs that benefit work animals, beloved pets, and stray dogs. India’s stray dog populations largely consists of individuals descended from an indigenous breed known as the Indian pariah dog.
Also known as the Indian Native dog or INDog for short, the Indian pariah is found throughout India and Bangladesh and possesses a history that dates back thousands of years. The dogs appear in numerous mythology stories and local folklore, and are generally regarded as one of the first domesticated breeds to serve as human companions. Additionally, some researchers consider the Indian pariah as the ancestors of the Australian dingo, the Israeli Canaan dog, and the New Guinea singing dog. Their traditional roles include hunting cohorts and companion animals to the people of India. Explicit details concerning the breed’s initial domestication, however, remain unknown.
Indian pariah dogs typically demonstrate even temperaments that make them sociable and friendly with people and other dogs, although they do not always tolerant pets of other species. Adaptable and easygoing, they do well in a variety of home environments provided they receive proper socialization and training as puppies. They also require a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation due to their high energy level and intelligence. Appearance-wise, Indian pariah dogs resemble short-haired spitz breeds with pointed ears, a curled tail, almond-shaped eyes, and double-coat fur that ranges from brown to reddish-brown.