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:
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.