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Old 02-26-2014, 07:55 PM
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straw straw is offline
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Default Pariah dogs or mixed breed strays from abroad...

At work, we've been tasked with learning a little bit more about the basic breed groups of dogs. I wanted to go a little further and ask about something we're seeing more and more often at the school - total mutts from foreign countries. We have had several dogs now from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. It seems like imported rescues are the next big thing here, people go gaga over them.

Obviously this is a huge, varied demographic, and I don't think many (if any) generalizations can be made about these dogs. Each one I have met has been very, very unique. But I want to hear about your individual experiences with them, whether you own one, know one, or what. I'm looking specifically for dogs of indeterminate breed (whether you call them Pariah dogs, village dogs, feral, etc) or lineage who were living as a stray or homeless dog in a non-Western society.

My questions are...

What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?

What was their adjustment to their new life?

Would you consider them independent?

What is their play style like with other dogs?

Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?

Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?

What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?

I pretty much just want to hear about individual experiences. If you know a dog like this but not that intimately, I'd love to hear whatever input you can offer.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:40 PM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?
Talla was abandoned by her mom at 3 weeks of age, then hand-raised by a Chazzer in Mexico until she came up here at 12 weeks old.

What was their adjustment to their new life?
She adjusted quickly, but she was a puppy who had had a great upbringing in Mexico.

Would you consider them independent?
Yes and no. She craves to be with her family (people and dogs) but prefers to do her own thing, and do things at her own speed. I wouldn't call her a big people-pleaser.

What is their play style like with other dogs?
Growly but not overly aggressive. She likes to rough-house but is quite vocal about it.

Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?
Absolutely not. She will alert bark whenever ANYONE comes in the house, even if she knows them. It takes her awhile to get comfortable with strangers, but once she does she is stupid-giddy playful.

Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?
Yes, an average person would consider them drivey. Sports folk would probably consider them medium to medium-high drive, but there's a lot of situational timidness that would be a pain to work through. I wouldn't say a Mexidog would be a great sports dog, purely because they worry an awful lot about everything. Talla doesn't like wide open spaces, so I can't do lure coursing with her.

What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?
Basically what I mentioned before - she's not a dog that does well with strangers, and isn't a dog I can easily do sports with. She doesn't trust people she doesn't live with.

However, she's a great little house dog for us hermits who don't have guests very often. She's warm and affectionate and goofy, and she makes silly noises.


IMG_9358 by sizzzle_dog, on Flickr


IMG_9288 by sizzzle_dog, on Flickr


IMG_9209 by sizzzle_dog, on Flickr
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:02 AM
cellardoor cellardoor is offline
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I've been prowling these forums for awhile, and just had to make an account to reply to this!

What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?
Chalo came into my life while I was serving in the Peace Corps in Malawi. I had just moved to the rural village where I would be living and working, I was the only native English speaker for 50 miles in every direction, and I wanted -- no, needed -- a dog. When I went to look at a local litter, this little mud-brown guy crawled in my lap and completely relaxed in my arms, and that was it. I bought him for the equivalent of a dollar and my entire village believed that I had OVERpaid for him. But he went on to become a beautiful adult, the envy of everyone who met him, the tallest (read: least malnourished) dog in the village, and an irreplaceable ray of light through all the challenges of my work there. He was quite literally my best friend in-country, and the thought of leaving him behind was unbearable. So I didn't. He has been in the U.S. for about three months now.

What was their adjustment to their new life?
In his first few days, his reactions to new things were comically unpredictable. Snow = surprisingly, zero reaction. Sirens = no problem. Busy highways = ain't no thang. An all-white tile bathroom = OMG TERRIFYING. Total refusal to enter. He did require a house-training refresher course when he encountered carpet for the first time, and he also needed an entirely new crate because of the negative associations with his airline kennel (totally understandable). But overall, the transition has been simple. He has definitely wholeheartedly embraced the privileged pillow-filled life of a first world dog. He is an enthusiastic connoisseur of soft things.

Would you consider them independent?
Not really. He tends to follow me from room to room, he craves close physical contact, he looks to me for guidance when unsure, and he has some slight separation anxiety.

What is their play style like with other dogs?
Very floppy. He's super lanky, so there are lots of legs flailing around. Generally quiet, but sometimes does some basenji-like roo-ing.

Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?
He generally just ignores strangers, but he will greet them in a calm, reserved way if he is approached. He is still pretty suspicious of white men (in Malawi he met very very few).

Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?
No. At least not by my definition of drivey. He is a pretty soft, mellow, adaptable guy -- happy to go hiking or running, but definitely content if he doesn't get that. He likes toys only when the mood strikes him, and retrieving holds minimal interest.

What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?
Overall he has been very easy to train; he is bright and sweet and highly motivated by praise and laughter. However, his strong desire to chase small animals is probably the one thing I have just had to accept as something that will never change. It can only be managed.

Pictures
For some reason when I insert the images they come out gigantically big, so have this imgur album instead!
http://imgur.com/a/5MGxI
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:41 AM
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Emily Emily is offline
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So my best friend's roommate has a dog she got in Malawi while in the Peace Corp. She brought the dog back stateside with her and I'd say I know her pretty well.


What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?

She was born to another street dog in a Peace Corp village. I know that while she was "owned" from the time she was weaned, she was allowed to roam the village pretty regularly as a youngster.

What was their adjustment to their new life?

Apparently she had a minor freak out over being confined to a house/yard and went through a destructive phase, but is now just fine. Her first time in a crate was flying out of Malawi so... she was pretty traumatized by that and can't be crated. Other than that, she's pretty well adjusted.

Would you consider them independent?

Sophie is pretty loving, likes attention and cuddles from people, but has a strong mind of her own.

What is their play style like with other dogs?

Good! Sophie has good social skills. I assume that growing up running around with a group of village dogs will do that for you. I will say she does not want my girls in her house and has let us know it. She can appear pretty aggressive but it's all display. Like I said, good social skills. I don't think she's truly SSA, but would need a gradual introduction to allow another bitch in the house. She's definitely a bitchy bitch, loves to flirt with the boys and can be pissy with other girls.

Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?

She seems to love strangers over to visit. Very social.

Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?

She likes to tug! Definitely enjoys toys and I've tugged with her a few times. She's fun but not a monster. Works well for food too. However, her owner told me she gets bored easily and prefers problem solving to repetitive activities, which could makes sport work more challenging. Not what I would call high drive.

What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?

I'd have to ask her owner more, but other than not being crate-able and the occasional bout of boredom induced destruction, I think she's a pretty easy dog.

The Sophie:

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Old 02-27-2014, 09:37 AM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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Oh duh, I should do this for Selma too!

What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?
Selma was brought home by a soldier. When he soldier was stationed in Afghanistan, the army befriended dogs like Selma because they were excellent watchdogs. The soldier fell on hard times after coming home though, and Selma ended up in rescue.

What was their adjustment to their new life?
I only know about her adjustment after being taken to the shelter. She escaped her pen at the shelter and it took two days to catch her. At my home she settled in very well, but I'm a bit more savvy than a small town pound.


Would you consider them independent?
Yes and no - same as Talla's description above.


What is their play style like with other dogs?
Same as Talla's - growly and rough, but got along with all the dogs for some reason. Selma was very good at reading the other dogs and not pushing too hard.


Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?
Selma - NO. She was not good with strangers, and was ultimately euthanized by her adoptive home because she bit a dogsitter. I was SO angry that they'd mismanaged her like that, even after being told exactly how they'd need to handle her. The mismanagement of Selma has really made me gunshy of fostering/adopting dogs, because I feel like I can't trust adopters anymore.


Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?
Not Selma. The only drive she had was prey drive. She would not have been suitable in a sports home.


What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?
She was very barky outside, which got us reported to the police on one occasion. Stranger danger was the #1 challenge. Selma's temperament was perfect in war-torn Afghanistan, but that same temperament in suburban America wasn't appropriate. I think people need to be very careful bringing adult dogs over to America.... lest they end up like Selma.

Pictures






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  #6  
Old 02-27-2014, 09:47 AM
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AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
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I don't own a mixed breed stray from abroad, but I'm very close with the owner of one, and can answer all of your questions, so hope it helps? She's also not what most people call a "pariah" dog so it's a different perspective. Haha.

What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?

Cammy was found as a matted stray in Mexico. She looks like some sort of poodley mix. I need to find out the exact area of Mexico from Jean - it was a rural area with small villages though, Jean does work with charities down there. She was guessed at around a year old when she was brought to the vet upon returning to Canada.

What was their adjustment to their new life?
Jean is a customer at the pet food store I worked at for two years and has become a good friend, which is how we got to know Cammy so well. She brought Cammy in on her third day home, and Cammy was a bit shakey and nervous. Understandable with all of the huge changes, plus our shop was on a busy street so the noises were all new.

Cammy came in again about a week later and was MUCH more relaxed and starting to show her true self.

Would you consider them independent?
She is very attached to Jean, but even then she has an independant personality. She doesn't have a great recall according to Jean, but I don't know if that's training or what.

What is their play style like with other dogs?
She LOVES other dogs and is quick to initiate play, but gets tired of other dogs rather quickly. When she gets annoyed, she just lightly snarks, nothing intense.

Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?
Cammy loves everyone. Every time she came into the store she would dissolve into wiggles and want to be held by everyone. New people coming through the door were greeted the same way. Jean says she's the same at home.

Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?
Not drivey. Energetic, yes, but typical "young small dog" energy, nothing an average dog owner couldn't handle. Jean is approaching her senior years and walks Cammy twice a day and gives her a bit of playtime each day, and that's all she needs.

What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?
Cammy is not very food or toy motivated, so Jean met some challenges training her. She's learned that simple praise works best for Cammy, but that it makes training her a longer process overall.

Her biggest challenge with Cammy has been her allergies. She discovered pretty quickly that Cammy is essentially allergic to Ontario. All the flora makes her entire body flare up red and welty, and makes her lose hair. Jean has had Cammy on and off all sorts of diets and medications for it, and after a year and a half of trial and error, finally found a mixture of diet, supplements and medication that keeps it controlled (though I forget what the blend is).

Here's a pic of Cammy with my old coworker. I miss seeing her all the time.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:23 AM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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I will post mine when I get home from work tonight. I will say that my dog has a lot of similar answers as Sizzle's regarding Talla.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:50 AM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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These all sound very much like Shiba Inu, at least mine who were closely related to the first Japanese imports.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:51 AM
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Thank you all for contributing! Keep them coming, I love hearing about everybody's dogs.

And of course, I should have mentioned in the OP, PICTURES. They are all gorgeous.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:42 PM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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What situation did your dog come from? How old were they when they were 'rescued', what kind of environment were they living in (city, village, rural)?

Cricket came off the streets of Mexico when she was a little puppy and was raised by the same Chazzer that raised Sizzle's Talla. She and Talla are both from the same general area and there are a lot of similarities between the two though with some differences.

What was their adjustment to their new life?

She actually adjusted fairly easily to living with me since she was still pretty young.

Would you consider them independent?

yes and no. She is very attached to my husband and me. She is ok with most people she meets, but is a little aloof and is content to stay next to me and not have to greet everyone she sees. If she decides she likes you or knows you pretty well then she will wiggle and yodel when she sees you. She will play with other dogs, but she doesn't mind just keeping to herself. While she is attached to us she does tend to be a bit more independent generally. She will entertain herself and doesn't feel like she always has to be in the same room with us.

What is their play style like with other dogs?

She is a bit growly and pretty vocal when she plays, but not aggressive. She has her moments where she can be a bit bitchy, but she is more talk than anything.

Are they welcoming of strangers? Fearful? Just aloof?

She alert barks whenever anyone comes over but usually calms down once everyone has settled. She is more aloof with new people. She's much better with women than men at first, but some of her favorite people are men so once she gets to know them she is fine. She will growl and bark at people in any kind of winter wear... coats, hats, scarves, etc. She was introduced to this stuff as a puppy, but once she matured she started having more issues with people dressed up in a lot of clothing.

Would the average pet owner consider them drivey? What about a sports owner?

I would say she medium drive. She does lure course and she loves agility. I've been trying to build her up to doing disc and she absolutely loves to trick train. She does worry about stuff sometimes, but as long as you work on assuring her there is nothing to worry about she is good to go. I don't necessarily think she would make an amazing sport dog, but she definitely gives it a go. We are getting ready to try barn hunt next and I have a feeling she is really going to enjoy that. As far as toys though it depends... she doesn't play with a lot of toys and she isn't great at retrieving though she has gotten much better at bringing me back tennis balls at the park and sometimes she will find that one toy that she just goes bonkers over. She does like to tug though.

What are your challenges with this dog? What comes easily?

Her prey drive is something I have to keep an eye on when we are out on walks. She sees a squirrel and her brain goes mush. She is pretty easy to train though... loves the clicker and catches on to stuff really fast. She free shapes like no other dog I have ever owned and I wish I was a better trainer because she has so much potential.

One of the biggest challenges we deal with are her awful allergies and really sensitive skin. Most collars end up making her lose hair. Just recently I started her in a gentle leader because she tends to pull when I walk all three dogs together and after a few days she started losing hair on her nose from the gentle leader. She has both food and environmental/seasonal allergies and pretty much lives on chlorpheniramine.

And now for some pics

Here she is the day I got her









cricket1 by Yadalanh Dogs, on Flickr


cricket2 by Yadalanh Dogs, on Flickr
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