Honduran Street Dog
Honduran street dogs are free-roaming pups that typically congregate in cities or towns with plentiful resources. They share many basic traits with pet dogs, but they lead primarily independent lives outdoors.
Honduran Street Dog History
Like all dogs, the Honduran street dog is a descendant of the gray wolf. At some point, a number of wolves became domesticated (but experts disagree on exactly when and how). And over time, it became clear that these domesticated canines could perform many useful jobs—from pulling sleds to herding sheep to protecting livestock.
As a result, people began selectively breeding them to strengthen the traits that made them excel in specific areas or conditions. This effort resulted in the many purebred dogs that we know and love today. But the majority of dogs around the world do not belong to a particular breed. This includes Honduran street dogs.
Also known as "Aguacateros," Honduran street dogs live in towns or rural areas. Some locals take them in as pets or use them as guard dogs. But as conditions in Honduras have declined and people flee the country searching for a better life, many dogs have been abandoned. So, animal welfare groups and dedicated individuals are working to help control the population of Honduran street dogs and provide shelter and veterinary care to these needy pups.
Honduran Street Dog Traits
Though typically medium in size, Honduran street dogs come in all shapes and sizes.
Coat and Colouring
Street dogs typically have short, brownish coats. But any combination of coat colors, patterns, and lengths is genetically possible.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Honduran street dogs do not follow a breed standard. So, no shared set of traits links them together. That said, common characteristics of street dogs include prick ears and pointed noses.
Honduran Street Dog Temperament
Street dogs must learn to fend for themselves. As a result, they tend to be scrappy, intelligent, and adaptable—all skills that support independent survival. Because they've never had to rely on humans, they may be fearful or skeptical of people who have not earned their trust.
Honduran Street Dog Care
A Honduran street dog's diet typically consists of whatever they can kill or find—small farm animals, scraps from trash cans, handouts from kind strangers, and so on. If you're leaving food out for a street dog, they'll benefit from commercial diets formulated for pet dogs.
Because they fend for themselves, street dogs aren't usually at risk of becoming overweight. However, if you take a street dog under your roof, keep an eye on their food intake to avoid overfeeding. Guidelines on dog food packages are a good starting point when determining daily portions.
If you've adopted a street dog that's comfortable being handled, regular brushing and nail trims will help them look their best. Good dental hygiene is also important for any dog. Professional cleanings and at-home dental care will keep their mouths healthy and reduce the risk of related health issues.
All dogs need exercise to stay physically and mentally fit, and street dogs are no exception. Honduran street dogs that are on their own will get adequate exercise during their daily roaming. Pet dogs, however, need access to the outdoors to stretch their legs and get mental stimulation. Playing in a fenced yard and going for leashed walks are great ways for your dog to release energy.
Street dogs are not accustomed to obeying commands from people. In fact, many may avoid close contact with humans. Before attempting a training program, start by building trust and respect with your dog. Slow and steady is the best approach to making inroads with a street dog.
Reviewed 16 June 2021 by Laura Inman, DVM