From Mudhol hounds to Combai: A look at some of the lesser known Indian dog breeds
New Delhi, Sep 03: Indian Dog Breeds are found everywhere in India, from a village to the busiest streets of cities. However, the most popular Indian dog breed is known as Pariah Dog, which is found all over Continent.
However, in the modern age, there is a general lack of awareness or preference for Indian dog breeds with rich histories and a puzzling preference for foreign ones.
As the country continues to steer towards imported breeds, India's very own indigenous canines have been slowly dying out. While they have been historically associated with hunting and herding activities, they've nevertheless made for the best of companions.
Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio address, he encouraged Indians to adopt Indian breeds if planning for pets as he said no area should be left behind when 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' is "becoming the mantra of the masses".
"I have been told that Indian breed dogs are very good and capable. Among the Indian breeds, Mudhol hound and Himachali hound are of excellent pedigree. Rajapalayam, Kanni, Chippiparai and Combai are also fabulous Indian breeds. They cost less to raise and are better adapted to the Indian environment and surroundings," Modi said.
Here's all you need to know about them:
The Mudhol Hound, also known variously as the Maratha Hound, the Pashmi Hound and the Kathewar Dog, is found in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Mudhol Hound is known for its elegant gait and sharp muscular appearance. The breed is popular in and around Mudhol Taluk of Karnataka and thus the breed got the name.
Named after an erstwhile princely state Mudhon that was once a part of Bombay Presidency in British India, this dog is said to be bred by the 17th century Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji, to be used in his army.
Locally called as 'Gaddi' dog. 'Gaddi' in Urdu means shepherd. Usually black and tan or solid black with some markings on toes,chest and neck, they have small drooped ears and heavily plumed tail that is curled over their back.
The Rajapalayam also known as the Polygar Hound or Indian Ghost Hound is one of the few bred pedigree dogs that were popularised to hunt for wild boars and other small prey.
Believed to have originated in Tamil Nadu, the royal Rajapalayam breed is named after the state's Rajapalayam city of Virudhunagar district and was historically used to guard palaces and even fight wars.
Primarily used to hunt wild boar indipendant of the handler, the Rajapalayam is unique in two ways. Firstly it fulfils the functions of a bay dog as well as a catch dog, secondly the Rajapalayam can hunt by sight as well as track by scent.
Lean, muscular with a thin white coat, these dogs were often used as hound dogs and have been recorded in history for being trained to fight alongside soldiers in Polygar and Carnatic wars against the East India Company from during 1799 to 1805.
Kanni and Chippiparai
Tamil Nadu's native dog breed 'Chippiparai' could run very fast and jump upto 10 feet at one go with ease.
A sighthound breed, Chippiparai, or kanni (which means pure) is a breed known for its fierce loyalty and hunting prowess. Since the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, these grey-hound lookalikes are now used as guard dogs.
Besides it, all the three other Tamil Nadu breeds -- Kombai, Kanni and Rajapalayam -- are fearless and loyal to their masters
With a face that strikes the perfect balance between freakishly adorable and terrifyingly fierce, these hounds were named after the city they were bred in - Kombai, Tamil Nadu.
Combais are known for their perseverance and loyalty. Although lack of awareness and demand for domestication has pushed it to the brink of extinction like Rajapalayam and other rare breeds, Combai dogs are extremely intelligent, sharp and powerful.
Excellent as guard dogs, this breed were also historically used for boar hunting and guarding needs. Recently, the CRPF recruited Combai dogs for their Dog Breeding and Training School.