Srinagar (PTI): The Bakerwali breed of dogs, an indigenous breed of Jammu and Kashmir kept by the nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals, is in danger of becoming extinct within the next few decades, a survey claimed on Sunday.
According to a survey by the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, the shepherd dog is on the verge of extinction.
“The Bakerwali dog is distinctive with nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals since immemorial. Since 1990, there has been a steep decline in the number of the dogs with hundreds being killed during militancy in the higher reaches of the state.
There are only a few hundred dogs of this particular specie surviving in very difficult conditions. Dozens of dogs die every year due to rabies and other infections,” TRCF secretary Javaid Rahi said.
The dog is an ancient working breed found in the Hindukush and Himalayan belt of the Indian subcontinent, where it has been bred for many centuries by the Gujjar nomadic tribes as a livestock guardian and settlement protector, he said.
Rahi claimed the dogs only eat milk products and bread and avoid meat.
Praising its qualities, he said “the dog is as strong as a Jaguar and at times can fight even a tiger to protect livestock and his master.”
He demanded steps be taken to preserve the breed before it goes extinct.