I live in India where there are significant numbers of local dogs in need of adoption into loving homes. However many of the people looking to get a dog are instead more focused on purchasing Labradors, Golden retrievers and German shepherds.

Are there any strategies I can employ to encourage people to consider adopting a local dog instead?

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    What is the difference? Is it called "buying" if it's a popular breed and "adopting" if it's less popular? Or is it the age? Or where they come from? Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 16:30
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    @Fabian Buying is by giving money to breeders who force mothers to breed in puppy mills. Adopting is adopting stray dogs who live in the street. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 17:43
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    Our dog used to belong to someone else and we ended up becoming his humans by accident. Not all adoptions are street dogs...
    – Journeyman Geek
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 2:24
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    Hence marketing - our local street dogs had the same issues . Their snob appeal was improved by expatriates adopting them, and that used in marketing and said rebranding
    – Journeyman Geek
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 10:55
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    "Buying" a dog does not always mean that it is coming from a "puppy mill", puppy mills are bad no argument there - but there is such a thing as a responsible breeder. Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


Buying dogs is a "new" thing in India - most of my grandmother's dogs in the past have been street dogs. They've all been awesome in their own way.

In the modern context - Its all about networking, and marketing. In singapore, we have a handful of organisations - like ASD and SOSD, who run programs to help "Singapore Specials" on the street, help do trap/neuter/release programs for humane population control (so fewer stray puppies), and generally create a framework for the things you need to get people to adopt dogs.

You noticed I used the term "Singapore Special" - its not a street dog. Its a uniquely local canine - and quite often expatriates adopted them. In singapore, there's other reasons, but its a selling point for more bougious folks. "Look, even the foreigners are adopting local dogs".

And of course, the power of social networking to get folks and dogs together. I believe SOSD runs training classes. They get people to foster dogs, and find homes for them were possible. They tell stories and use ..

Well - you advertise. And you don't play fair. Look at that widdle face.

death by cute

I think that facebook post speaks for itself. Its really a process - build awareness, build a brand, replace the prejudices people have with pride in our dogs, and people will be more likely to adopt.

You also make sure the animal's taken care of - and not turned out onto thr street(and there's no shame if it really dosen't work out and the dog's forever home is elsewhere) and that fostering, training and such is handled. In a sense - you need a certain degree of infrastructure in place.

By actually working to humanely reduce the population of strays - we're also solving a bigger problem.

Its also worth remembering many purebred and "designer" crossbreeds need rehoming too, as owners with the same mindset as yours get "tired" of their dogs. On the other hand, there's a dog run regular who tends to adopt senior breeds that are usually hard to adopt out. Every dog matters, but finding the right forever home isn't easy.

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    I disagree.I don't know about buying or adoption . But it has always been popular breeds getting adopted by people. Rarely anyone adopted the common street dog
    – Sonevol
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 8:43

You have to get the word out (advertising or equivalent as in the previous answer).

I'd emphasize the advantages of adopting and disadvantages of buying (partially discussed by the previous post)

adopting advantages:

  • gives homeless animals a home
  • encourages healthier genetics of the species in question (because places selling often use breeders that have a tendency to inbreed for standards of looks)
  • probably a friendlier and longer lived pet for the owner (inbred or partially inbred animals from breeders are probably less friendly and healthy than a normal genetic mix owing to genetic defects)
  • reduces the population of stray animals
  • more humane (breeders aren't always nice to their animals)
  • saves the new owner money (adopting costs less)
  • There are animal organizations coming up. When I tell my friend (who will buy a dog soon) these things, they all just reply with stupid answers. When I say look at their conditions, they say they are adopted to it and its common for them to eat garbage. When I say thousand of them die in accidents everyday, they say adopting one wont make a change. It really hurts when the so called educated speak these. India needs alot of work. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 17:50
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    All of the cats I've had (6) have been adopted. I've been adopting pre-shelter (two of my cats were lost/abandoned; and four others came from owners who gave them up). I've been very happy with the quality of them. Breeders can give you a good looking animal, but you'll probably get a healthier and friendlier animal if it isn't from a breeder, and you'll be helping animals and the environment.
    – Dan S
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 18:14

Let me at the outset state that I strongly support adoption of strays, and I have adopted strays off the street myself.

The first thing to consider whether the Indian pariah breed (most strays in India) is appropriate for the typical pet-household. The breed has evolved naturally over hundreds/thousands of years and is very hardy and uniquely suited to the Indian climate. It is also loyal and protective.

However, it has also evolved to

  • live in dog-packs (likely to go back to stray-life if given the chance)
  • be more sociable with other dogs than with humans
  • be highly territorial and nervous outside its territory
  • scavenge relentlessly
  • be high energy (not suitable for the average pet owner)
  • be strong-willed and have a mind of its own = recall is hard and it cannot be trusted off-leash.
  • exploratory (hard to get it to walk with the human in a straight line because it constantly wants to sniff around).
  • alert/responsive to other dogs barking and joining the chorus

All these behaviors are also present in other breeds, but to lesser extents. All of these undesirable behaviors can also be trained out of a dog, but it really requires an experienced handler. It also implies that this breed of dog is best suited to live on a "farm" kind of house with some area to own and guard - not the typical urban house.

People buy breeds based on 1) what they expect out of a breed and 2) what the breed has been bred (naturally or by human-selection) to do best.

Retrievers/labradors are uniquely suited to be average household pets. GSDs/dobermans not so much - they have specific needs, and are indeed less commonly owned than retrievers/labradors. Indian dogs are excellent for what they are, but the owner need to be suitable for their unique qualities.

For our country-house (large private acreage) in India we have the Indian pariah breed, and it is basically perfect. But in the city (still an independent house, not an apartment), I had tried it once (and again right now, with a pup), but it is/was not so great.

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