Stray dogs of Sri Lanka with possible Portuguese DNA

Standard non pedigreed, stray dog in Sri LankaThis is a line of thought with reference to a ‘somewhat humorous’ newspaper report published on the ‘Srilankan island’ newspaper of 7th February 2020 by which a stray dog had carried a pistol concealed in a bag to a policeman thereby preventing a murder!

Stray dogs without a known pedigreee in Srilanka have long being considered a menace and a health hazard, with few animals taken in as pets and those too often by the lesser fortunate. It is however by no means stupid but well known for its alertness, despite their mangy appearances and the constant rummaging for food.

The healthier of these are often of smooth brown body supported by muscular legs sporting a noticeably curly ‘murrukku’ tail.

The Portuguese language refers to the famous Greyhound breed as ‘Galgo’ which sounds close to the Srilankan meaning for dog - ‘Balloe’.  What is however most intriguing is that the Portuguese animal has some very noticeable similarities to the ‘non pedigreed’ canines of Srilanka .The former too are described as being of ‘reddish brown skin with a white patch on their chests, sleek and muscular'. Their exception is the taller and the larger stature, against which our local stray hounds differ, being exposed to the elements of nature for centuries, with little or no nutrition in a notably vegetarian country.

It could hence be argued that our ‘paraya’, meaning alien dogs, are the decedents of an important high breed that were once imported for the purpose of security of their masters.

Ironically the word dog in Portuguese is referred as ‘cachorro’, a close similarity to Sinhala colloquial word ‘Cachada’, used to describe persons and acts of decipherable nature.

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