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Rajapalayam, Kanni, Combai — all about Indian dog breeds PM Modi talked about in Mann ki Baat

In his Mann ki Baat radio address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to adopt dogs of Indian breeds as he emphasised the need to be self-reliant in all areas.

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address Sunday urged people of the country to adopt dogs of Indian breeds if they planned to keep them as 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 competent. Among the Indian breeds, Mudhol hound and Himachali hound are high pedigree dogs. Rajapalayam, Kanni, Chippiparai and Combai are also very good Indian breeds,” the prime minister said.

These lesser known breeds of dogs are found in various parts of the country. Here’s all you need to know about them:

Mudhol hounds

The Mudhol hounds come from the region bordering Karnataka and Maharashtra. According to a popular legend, seventeenth century Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji, bred and used these dogs in his army.

The breed was named after the erstwhile princely state of Mudhol, which was part of the Bombay Presidency in British India. The last king of the state, King Malojirao Ghorpade, presented a pair of these puppies to King George V when he visited the UK and it was the English emperor who christened the dogs as Mudhol hounds.

They are also called the Caravan hounds, for their association with travellers from various parts of Asia

Mudhol hounds have narrow heads that are disproportionately smaller to their bodies, but are tall in height.

Also read: PM Modi praises Sophie, Vida, Balram. Here’s what the brave canine soldiers did for country

Himachali hounds

The Himachali hounds are locally known as the ‘Gaddi’ dog, and come from the Himalayan region. They are massive, mastiff-like dogs with thick fur to protect them from the cold.

They look similar to the Tibetan mastiff but are less bulky.

‘Gaddi’ means shepherd in Urdu, and these dogs are primarily guard livestock.

Himachal hound | Credits:


The breed Rajapalayam is believed to have originated from Tamil Nadu, and named after the state’s Rajapalayam city in the Virudhunagar district.

A rare breed, these dogs are only found in certain pockets of the state.

These dogs are white, lean, muscular, and have historically made good hunters.

They are believed to have fought alongside the Polygar soldiers against the British East India Company during the Polygar wars from 1799 to 1805.

This is why the Rajapalayam dogs are also known as ‘Polygar hounds’.

A Rajapalayam | Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Kanni and Chippiparai

The Kanni dog is another breed from Tamil Nadu, and its name translates to “pure” in Tamil after its fierce loyalty.

Like the Rajapalayam, Kanni dogs specialise in hunting hares, wild boars, and blackbucks.

However, since the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was passed, these dogs have been acting as guard dogs.

The Kennel Club of India, which maintains a registry of purebred dogs in India, has registered this dog under two names — Kanni and Chippiparai.

Kanni dogs | Credit: Wikimedia commons


The Combai dogs also originate from Tamil Nadu. They are tan-coloured with a black snout, and appear shorter and stouter than the Rajapalayam. They are classified as terriers.

Like the Kanni and Rajapalayam, these dogs are rare and a dying breed, and were historically used for boar hunting and guarding purposes.

The CRPF recently recruited Combai dogs into their Dog Breeding and Training School.

A Combai or Kombai dog | Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Also read: Bring home dogs of Indian breed, create Indian games for computers — PM Modi on Mann ki Baat


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  1. Indian Dog breeds can be given for adoption to foreign nationals as well like Indian import foreign breeds. Petbutty #adoptdontshop

  2. #adoptdontshop Why are people obsessed with breeds? There are enough stray dogs that deserve care and affection and will remain loyal to you. So many rescue organisations are trying to find homes for these dogs. Instead, we focus on breeds – which leads to a thriving industry of “breeders”. People spend thousands of rupees to get that perfect breed home, when they could be adopting from rescue organisations or donating to the cause!

    • Modi never had a mind.

      We have no shortage of native dogs. And most of the dogs in India are stray and are a menace !

      In 2015, a southern state had a problem with stray dogs biting people, they wanted to cull them, but the BJP’s Maneka Gandhi intervened and blocked it.

      Make in India, Self Reliant India are empty slogans and his attempts to get these going are pathetic. China is where it is because it emerged as a manufacturing powerhouse. India spends its time claiming it is a superpower, but when you look at the reality, it claims trivia.


    • I have one tang khul hui flown in from Manipur almost 2 years ago. Very alert, active, loyal, vigilant, fearless dog. He is very low maintenance companion. Eats very less, alerts on every suspicious motion. Moreover, being hunting dog, has wiped out rats and mouse from the garden and house area. Lovely boy DOOBY.

  4. Apne man ki nahi logo kai man ki suno gungo andho behro desh kai halat bahut kharab hai pm sahab logo kai man ki suno apne man ki sunana chodo

  5. At the time when people are undergoing tremendous mental agony , our learnt prime minister is talking about dogs and toys. He is taking concerted efforts to divert the attention of the people. Very good trick is playing and these north Indian are easily carried away by his meaningless speeches. There are lot many issues like unemployment , price raise etc. Take migrant issues and most of them are jobless and starving. Border issue with China is another headache. But prime minister is talking about toys and dogs. We Indians are in pathetic situation. If Raghul is called as pappu by Modi bhakts, Modi can be rightly called as senior Pappu.

    • ”’our learnt prime minister ”

      Mani Shankar Aiyar correctly called him an ‘unpad’ and ‘neech aadmi.’.

  6. Those who love dogs, pls comment, your thoughts are welcome…

    Thise who are afraid of us, better keep away..

    I seldom bite, especially when somebody hurts me hard…
    I do that on my own desire and responsibility🐶
    And when I bite I spare no mercy .

    Bhow bhow

  7. So sad to see Indian breeds are dying and rare in their Own Country. Where as Golden Retrievers and Labradors are in abundance.

  8. There are several Indian dog breeds that have been around for centuries but are extremely endangered in addition to the ones this article mentions. The Jonangi in Andhra Pradesh, the Bakharwal, the Marattha Hound, the Gaddi Kutta, Kumaoni, Banjara Hound, Bully Kutta, Bhotia / Bhotey Kukur all are dog breeds that are naturally bred to thrive in Indian conditions in different parts of the country. In some cases, Indian princely houses mixed native breeds with foreign breeds like the Rampur royalty did with the Rampur Hound / Rampur Greyhound. The sad fact is that the “phoren” craze has left these very capable Indian breeds in dire straits. There used to be a native breed preservation program at the Veterinary Hospital in Saidapet in Chennai, but apart from that I am not sure if there has been a concerted effort at preserving these fine breeds.

    Support the Prime Minister or oppose him, the fact is that in this case, he makes a lot of sense. Indians are a nation of animal lovers. Perhaps, with a little education and support from the veterinary community as well as animal welfare groups, Indian dog breeds could become popular and thrive.

  9. Gaddi might have been translation from urdu also but primarily it means “People of gadheran” from where the tribe came. “Gaddi” in both words and as beings have existed way before the advent of is lamic invaders on this land.
    Please do the correction ASAP.

  10. Such a trivial approach to ‘Make in India’ should make even Modi’s Hindu sycophants blanch and wonder about his ability and whether he is serious.

    What can one expect from one who ruined India’s economy to win power in UP ? The one who announced a lockdown and did not care for millions who walked 800 km to their home villages ? His messaging is to the miniscule percentage who can own foreign dog breeds.

    Even Rahul who BJP supporters ridicule as pappu would not make such dumb statements.

      • India needs communism, not communalism.

        Your advice on voting him out is given with dishonesty, as if we have a level playing field. BJP stokes communalism to rally supporters;it has RSS to create riots; it controls social media including Facebook; critics are intimidated with violence or threat of violence.

        Don’t you know this ?

  11. Indian dog breeds are as good as foreign breeds and comes with less maintenance cost.Dog lovers should fo for these breeds to create awareness and likliness among masses

  12. I genuinely only clicked expecting cutthroat satire that the… Thing in question deserves but my my did The Print disillusion. Your fatuity is disgusting.

    • 70% of the articles in The Print extol Modi’s wisdom. It is the worst kind of sycophancy. SG is to blame for allowing this encouragement of stupids.

      To even advise to use Indian dogs to show ‘Make in India’ is the height of pathetic inadequacy – most of the dog population in India is stray. Most Indians cannot afford to feed themselves especially after Modi’s economics and Covid handling.

        • Yes, you are free to speak stupidity. The economy is messed up, then cite dogs as an example of self reliant India, as if that is going to change the fact that India’s economy is 1/5 of China.

    • If you want a satirical description, it is in The Telegraph ‘Modi champions swadeshi dog breeds in Maan ki Baat’.

      70% of the articles in The Print are written by Modi sycophants.

  13. If you want to rescue Indian breeds from extinction, we should stop the import of foreign breeds.

    To put a Newfoundland or Sant Bernard in Indian heat is nothing but a crime.

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