Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cultural Differences Between American and Indian Dogs

So...for all the cultural differences between people in India and America, one of the most striking differences I noticed was between dogs.

American dogs I've met are almost always curious about new people, either for social or territorial reasons. If you get close to them, they want to sniff you or bark at you or just stand close to you for long enough to make some internal canine judgments.

But the stray dogs I walked past on the streets in Delhi and Dhudike were nothing like that. They seemed perfectly willing to adapt themselves to traffic patterns without worrying about who owned what space and didn't show direct much direct interest in human beings at all. I don't remember a single one sniffing me or barking at me, though I must have walked past a few dozen.

The dogs in Delhi did get loud sometimes at night. They'd howl or bark (probably at each other), though the sounds were different than I'm used to from backyard dogs in my neighborhood.

I don't remember the dogs in Dhudike making much noise at any time. I wonder why that is.


  1. Who else but you would have noticed the difference between American and Indian dogs and written a post about it?

  2. Actually, Nancy and I noticed in Germany that the dogs were much more polite and aloof than American dogs. Perhaps we notice dogs, in our case, because we are terrified of them! American dogs are so in-your-face, barking and jumping and sniffing (and scaring)--German dogs were not. They knew how to mind their own business. Interesting to know that Indian dogs have their own way of being, too.

  3. I noticed a difference, serving in India, between street dogs and pet dogs. The pet dogs tended to be territorial, much like American dogs. Street dogs minded their own business. I think street dogs just aren't spoiled. They know that wherever they are doesn't belong to them, and they let others move around freely while they do the same. It's a live and let live thing.


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