Looking for an eligible girlfriend for a handsome four-year-old golden retriever. For a one-night stand if not a long-term relationship.” These are lines from one of the many advertisements placed outside popular pet shops in Delhi. Finding a mate for a male dog in the city has become a big problems for pet owners.
“It took me more than a year to find a mate for King Julian, and then, too, I could only find two females. But then he was just not interested in being with them,” said the pug’s owner Vidushi Sinha.
Poonam Singh, owner of a year-old Labrador, has also been on the lookout for a prospective match for her pooch, Figo, since a month now. “I haven’t got any responses after I put up an ad. I have also asked my friends but to no avail. All the ads looking for mates are those put up by owners of male dogs looking for female mates,” she says.
The city’s obsession with the male dog is on the rise. “If in a week I sell 10 pups, 9 are males. Males are costlier because of their high demand. The difference between the price of a male pup and a female pup is Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000,” says Jatin of Khan Market’s Bittoo The Pet Shop.
The female pups that are not adopted are often sent back to kennels for breeding purposes or are dispatched to homes for dogs. “We hardly get requests for female dogs. The reason is that females have a long heat period which comes twice in a year. They also have a tendency to spot. People don’t know that the female dog can be neutered and spayed,” says Sonya Kochhar of Canine Elite, a dog kennel.
To curb excessive breeding that leads to several ailments among pedigree dogs, PETA India has recently launched the “Be Indian, Bark Indian, Adopt, Never Buy” campaign to encourage people to rescue homeless Indian dogs, and take pride in adopting them.