Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024













Scientific name


Canis lupus familiaris Linn


Common name


Domestic Dog












Throughout India


Religious association
















Indra’s divine dog Sarama is mentioned in Rig Veda. Bhairava, the wandering sanyasi, a form of Lord Shiva, is usually accompanied by a dog or rides a dog that is his vehicle.














Dattatreya was the sixth (out of twenty-four) incarnations of Vishnu. He is usually accompanied by four dogs, which symbolize the four Vedas and his complete mastery over them. Khandoba is another incarnation of Lord Shiva rides a bull or a horse and is accompanied by a dog.














Several Bodhisattvas were believed to have been born as dogs.



Ahura Mazda declared, ‘No house would stand firmly founded for me on the Ahura-created earth were there not my herd dog or house dog’.



The Koran calls the saluki, a Yemenese dog, a ‘gift of Allah’, ‘alhor’ (the noble one) and ‘al-baraha’ (the blessed one).











Source: “Sacred Animals Of India” by  Nanditha Krishna,  (Penguin Book India, 2010)

Image: http://bit.ly/2BLp60N