Dr. Syed Nesar Ahmad Rumy
The dog is a very faithful animal and it is also playmate of the children. It can give security to the people and the person who is its master. But in our country the native dogs are always being neglected and the usefulness of this animal is ignored and rather it gets hurt everywhere. In the city areas we see dogs are wandering in every street and they are always looking for food for their survival. People hurt them at stray.
But these dogs are not harmful animal rather they are very useful to the people. People of urban areas of our country are not that much interested to foster or rear these sorts of native dogs. But they have every quality to be very useful pet animal.
In our country, so far it is known that there are two/three species of dogs are seen. Some dogs are from the cross-breeding from some foreign dogs. But those are not familiar with our ecology and environment.
Among those different species we can mention Sarail hound (Sarail dog) and Monpura dog. It is widely assumed that Sarail dog is originated long before from the cross breeding of native dog of Sarail and with a wolf of a jungle of around Sarail area in Brahmanbaria district.
The Monpura dogs were actually seen with the Portuguese people. It is said that some Portuguese pirates came to Monpura of Bhola long before18thcentury and they stationed there. They brought some dogs with themfrom their home country for security reason. Presently, the Monpura dogs are the descendent of those dogs brought by Portuguese pirates.
Presently, what we see in our country that dogs are wandering in everywhere such as in the bazars, ferry ghats, launch ghats, country restaurant areas, streets of the towns and cities. In rural areas some people are fostering native dogs for security reasons and protecting their open poultry from jackals, foxes and wild cats. But those dogs are not being fostered in a scientific ways. In city area it is very uncommon that people keep native dogs as pet animal. The urban upper class is used to foster foreign dogs in their houses ignoring the potentiality of native dogs of Bangladesh.
In modern world dogs are considered as very useful animal for detecting crime, finding and arresting criminals. Different organizations of the state keep dogs for their various purposes. In our country, army, police and some other organizations have dog squads for their work. We know all the dogs of these dog squads are foreign dogs. Government spends lot of foreign currencies for procuring and rearing those dogs. And special care is taken in these organizations for train-up those dogs.
At present there is no statistics that how many native species of dogs are in Bangladesh. But it is assumed that that there are 2/3 types of dogs in different areas in Bangladesh. Among those types, Sarail hound and Monpura dog might be effective for homestead security and other purposes of different law enforcing agencies.
The Sarail hound has special characteristics which are different from other types of dogs. The salient characteristics of this dog are as follows:
a. It looks like wolf;
b. It is very much devoted to its master than any other dogs;
c. It is longer, taller, and stronger than any other dogs of home and its head-shape is somewhat smaller;
d. It is very ferocious and speedy and its lower lip is about a bit shorter than upper lip;
e. Its smelling sense is very high and its ear shape is medium in size. The ears are very straight like those of rabbits;
f. The ribs of its chest look like a bee-hive;
g. Its eye sight is very keen and sharp especially in night and it is an expert hunter. Its physical structure is suitable for running and hunting.
h. It is expert and competent for security purpose.
The famous writer Nirad C Chaudhury wrote about the usefulness of Sarail hound in his book ‘The Autobiography of an unknown Indian.’
Another kind of famous dog of Bangladesh is Monpura dog but this sort of dogs is not as famous as Sarail hound. It is said that Portuguese pirates came to Monpura Island about 17th century and that time they brought some dogs with them from their home country and the present Monpura dogs are the decedents of those dogs. Monpura dogs are also very sharp and swift and its hunting capacity is very high. The characteristics of Monpura dogs are as follows:
a. It is not very long or tall like Sarail hound but it is short and its height is less than average native dogs;
b. Its tail is puffed and looks like a wolf tail;
c. It is very fast and devoted to its master;
d. It has inherent tendency to chase the stranger and its hunting capacity is commendable.
Apart from those two species there are some hunting dogs fostered by different tribal people of plain and hilly areas and in addition in the vast rural areas a large number of native dogs are fighting for their survival. The well-off families in villages of different religious communities keep native dogs in their homesteads for security reason and protection of their open poultry from wild cats and foxes. Those dogs generally do their duties nicely with full satisfaction of their masters. But in urban areas the situation and condition of native dogs are not good. Everywhere in the streets of the town they are seeking food. Boys and youngsters throw stones and pebbles to them and wound them. But dogs have a right to be in this country too. So we should not be cruel and all of us should stop hurting the animal.
Recently government has taken good decision that no pet dog should be in chain for 24 hours. If it happens and it comes to the notice of the appropriate authority the owner of the dog might be punished or fined. As a human being all of us should be compassionate to them.
With the above discussion in mind the government should take the following steps for protecting our native dogs:
a. Intensive research on native dogs should be started by the public universities and livestock department for improving the species of native dogs and for this government should allocate sufficient budget;
b. Army, Police, RAB should include the Sarail dog and the Monpura dog inr their dog squads;
c. The government should take steps for the protection and fostering our native dogs.
In this way good days will come for our native dogs in future. Every one of us should consider that native dog is also one of the useful creatures. It can be a very useful animal for protecting property, person and security of the house where they are fostered. This is high time for the government to think over this issue.
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Dr. Syed Nesar Ahmad Rumy