Ever wondered why whenever we Indians look for a pet, the first thing that crosses our mind is dogs? That is simply because we have a way more profound relationship with dogs as pets. While in India many owners prefer owning foreign breeds it is equally important to encourage and adopt/own Indian dog breeds. It is interesting to know that some of these most popular Indian dog breeds were earlier exported and owned by people outside India.
In India such is the love for dogs that they are actually worshipped in many places. Don’t believe us? Well, you can simply google the Channapatna Dog Temple in the city of Channapatna in Karnataka.
One thing about the Indian Dog breed is that they are more loyal than Kattapa himself. With that said, we have got several reasons why one should adopt an Indian breed.
In 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the opportunity in his Maan Ki Baat and mentioned a few Indian Dog breeds that Indians should be proud of adopting. Here’s what he said:
“I’ve heard that Indian breed dogs are excellent and capable. The Mudhol hound and Himachali hound are high pedigree dogs among Indian breeds. Rajapalayam, Kanni, Chippiparai, and Combai are also excellent Indian breeds.“
So, would you like to know a thing or two regarding Indian dog breeds? If so, we have got this article just for you!
The Top 14 Most Popular Indian Dog Breeds
The Poligar Hound, also known as the Rajapalayam. The Rajapalayam, mostly located in the center of Tamil Nadu, was bred to be a full hunter and estate guardian, with qualities that allow it to excel. The Rajapalayam is distinctive in two aspects. It is primarily employed to hunt wild boar independently of the handler.
Rajapalayams are larger boned and more muscular than other sighthounds, but they feature the deep chest and basic body form that radiates speed and physical aptitude. Its facial structure differs significantly from that of a Caravan Hound, with a somewhat larger head and stronger jaws. It has a slightly curved tail.
Rajapalayam is quite headstrong, making them a bit difficult to train all by yourself. Moreover, these dogs listen to one master for which you must train them for obedience. These dogs are one of the best watchdogs, but if you are looking for a pet and nothing more, just train them a few basic things like not to bark, how to eat, etc.
Apart from training, a Rajapalayam will need plenty of exercises, making it crystal clear that a daily walk should be no exception. Talking about its life span, the Rajapalayam can live from 10-12 years if taken care of properly.
|Life Expectancy||7-11 years|
The Kanni originated in Southern India and played an important role in local rituals. This dog was usually given to the new bride during a wedding ceremony to defend her because the Kanni is a possessive breed with strong loyalty to its master.
Widely referred to as the Maiden’s Beastmaster, Kanni translates to “pure” in Tamil. They were recognized for centuries for their devotion and purity of heart in demonstrating their devotion to their master. Historically, Kannis were utilized as hunting and guarding dogs for homeowners. The Kanni is a significant dog breed exclusively found in Southern India.
You can train your Kanni for hunting; however, get started with socializing training.
The nutritional requirement of a Kanni is minimal. They need balanced food. Typically Kaani is fed with ragi porridge, milk, etc., and meat either monthly or weekly. However, if you need a fit Kanni at your place, try to feed adult dog formulas. Having a life span of 14-16 years, this breed can be loyal throughout its life.
|Group||Not applicable Group|
|Life Expectancy||14-16 years|
The Kombai is a slim, long, strong, robust, and athletic dog. They have a short, smooth coat that is typically reddish-brown, with a somewhat lighter saddle and a black snout.
Kombai features dark eyes, the mid-length ears with curved ends that sighthounds are known for, and a superb nose. The tail of the breed is long and tapering, and it is carried coiled over their back.
The Kombai was formerly used for game coursing by zamindars and others. It is especially muscular and athletic when hunting, effortlessly clearing hedges and other obstacles.
The best part of having a Kombai as a pet is that they can easily adapt to any environment and place in India. Whether you are living in an apartment or a large villa. You need to keep a check on their daily activity and nutrition.
Kombai can live from 9-13 years. However, their life expectancy depends upon several factors, including activity, nutrition, grooming, etc.
|Height||Male 40 – 52 cm; Female 38 – 48 cm|
|Weight||Male 25 – 32 kg; Female 20 – 25 kg|
|Life Expectancy||9 – 13 years|
|Temperament||Sweet and tolerant|
4. The Rampur Hound
The Rampur Greyhound, another name, one of the more famous names on the list, is endemic to the Rampur region of Northern India, which sits between Delhi and Bareilly.
The Maharajas of this region preferred this breed to kill the big game and defend against ferocious animals such as tigers, leopards, panthers, etc.
The Rampur Hound is notable for its stamina and it can run for long distances at high speeds.
Rampur Hound should be fed a proper amount of dry dog food that includes all the nutrition. Moreover, these dogs require playtime every day along with a long walk.
|Weight||27 – 30 kgs|
|Life Expectancy||13- 14 years|
|Temperament||Loyal and curious|
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5. Gull Terrier
The Gull Terrier can be dated back to the British Raj period in India. When the British arrived, they brought a slew of foreign dogs, considerably the Bull Terrier.
Bull Terriers have been crossed with native landrace breeds to create the Gull Terriers, an extremely loved dog breed in India. Like a pit bull, the Gull terrain is extremely active fighting dogs. They always crave affection. Hence leaving them alone can turn them destructive.
It is quite easy to train a Gull Terrain as a puppy. Mostly, Gull Terriers or, as a matter of fact, most dogs do not respond well to punishment. For Gull Terrier, you need to adapt to methods like positive reinforcement, recall training, clicker training, etc.
The average lifespan of a Gull Terrain is around 8-28 years. So, if you want a friend for a long time, Gull Terrain can be the breed you are looking for.
|Height||21 inches (female), 22 inches (male|
|Weight||28– 38 kgs|
|Life Expectancy||10–14 years|
|Temperament||Gentle and Affectionate|
6. Mahratta Greyhound:
They are frequently compared to the Saluki dog, which has a sleek coat. Mahratta Greyhounds, on the other hand, are slightly smaller, standing roughly 21 inches tall.
The Mahrattas, like other sighthounds, are tough, having a robust physique and a narrow chest. Though the coat is short, it is sufficient to shield the dog from the harsh elements of the Indian environment.
The legs are tiny but surprisingly robust, providing the speed and agility required to pursue the game. They were obviously excellent hunters.
|Life Expectancy||10 to 14 years|
7. Gull Dong:
The Gull Dong is not your average Indian dog. Because of their strong personalities, they are not suitable for most households. Despite their loyal nature, they tend to acquire aggressive tendencies if not properly trained and socialized.
Their personality makes them suitable for those households that can offer proper training. These canines require a dominant alpha. And, given their intimidating stature, compliance is required for coexistence.
They have a medium to a low density of coat. Hence, you will need to groom Dongs once a week. Although these dogs are active, compared to some other dogs on our list, Dongs will need a medium activity level that can be achieved with 10-14 miles of walking every week.
Like any other breed, Gull dongs might get affected by health issues. However, as long as you take proper care of them, they can have a happy life for up to 12 years.
|Height||30 inches to 38 inches|
|Weight||(35 – 45 kg)kgs|
|Life Expectancy||7-10 years|
|Temperament||Very energetic breed|
8. Kumaon Mastiff:
The Kumaon Mastiff, as its name suggests, was developed in the Indian hamlet of Kumaon. It is an Indian rare dog breed developed as a guard dog in the mountainous Kumaon region. It is also known as Cypro Kukur (Uttarakhand, India).
Even in the region of its origin, about 150–200 specimens of this dog are left today. They have a great amount of strength and a lean, muscular frame. The almond-shaped eyes and drooping ears are on a broad, black nose with a big head. The skin is slightly sloppy, especially around the neck area, and the tail is lengthy.
This dog’s true origins and history is still a mystery. Many academics think that these Kumaon watchdogs were originally developed by Indian tribesmen in the Cyprus region but were introduced by European explorers. As a result, this breed has acquired the alternative name “Cypro Kukur” in the Kumaoni language. Character and Behaviour.
Kumaon Mastiffs are very devoted to their owners and loved ones. It has a strong instinct to protect its home from strangers and intruders, which frequently manifests as aggression. This instinct also makes it a good guard and watchdog.
This dog could become destructive if it becomes bored too frequently. But when properly trained and frequently socialized, it is quite pleasant around children and other animals.
|Life expectancy||10- 12 years|
|Temperament||Aggressive in nature and need training|
9. Sinhala Hound
The Sinhala Hound is a Sri Lankan native canine that frequently inhabits semi-wild areas in quest of food. According to legend, the origin of these songs dates back to Prince Vijaya’s arrival in Sri Lanka in the sixth century BC. These dogs have many different hues, but dark brown or brown brindles are the most prevalent. They resemble the African Basenji, New Guinea singing dog, Carolina Dog, and Australian Dingo in form.
Due to the Sinhala Hound’s alert, attentive, friendly, and submissive disposition and excellent scenting skills, the Vedda people frequently utilized it for hunting. Only lately has the Sri Lankan Kennel Club been urged to acknowledge the landrace as a breed, having long been disregarded by authorities in favor of foreign dog breeds.
They frequently gather in semi-wild or feral bands and are capable of attacking people. In regions where there are plenty of dogs, in the evenings or at night, they switch from barking to howling, which might startle individuals unfamiliar with it. The hound is now regarded as a nuisance, but because Sri Lankans have Buddhist solid beliefs, they are not routinely hunted down.
|Group||Hunting Dogs Group|
|Weight||Male: 22-26 pounds; Female- 20- 25 pounds|
|Height||Male: 14- 16 inches; Female: 13- 15 inches|
|Temperament||Alert, Watchful, Amiable and obedient|
10. Tangkhul Hui
The Tangkhul Hui is a hunting dog in India’s Urkhul District of Manipur state. It is a scarce dog breed that evolved centuries ago, perhaps with the amalgamation of Mayanmaar dog breeds around the Indo-Burma border.
It specializes in hunting wild boars and other wild animals in and around the jungle areas. Folklore says that the dogs have evolved from an Asiatic black bear. The dog’s muzzle has little resemblance to an Asiatic black bear. The Tangkhul Hui is in an endangered state, but many villages of the Urkhul district have come together to save this rare breed.
The short double coat is always solid black or black with some white on the muzzle, legs, and underparts. Dogs with white color on the bases and legs are usually bigger than solid black dogs. The almond-shaped eyes are a dark yellow color. Ears are erect in a right-left direction at around 45 degrees and are sometimes cropped. The tail is medium in length in a flying position and is sometimes docked. The Tangkhul Hui is a very intelligent and obedient yet fierce dog. This breed learns quickly and is friendly to family members but aloof to strangers.
|Height||Male: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) Female: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)|
|Weight||Male: 62-71 pounds (28-32 kg) Female: 55-62 pounds (25-28 kg)|
|Life Expectancy||About 12 to 15 years|
|Temperament||intelligent and obedient yet fierce dog|
11. The Chippiparai
The State of Tamil Nadu in southern India is home to the sighthound breed known as the Chippiparai. The Chippiparai has long legs and a slim, lithe build designed for speed, characteristic of streamlined sighthounds. Other colors can be encountered, although the breed is mostly white. It stands 61 centimeters (24 in) tall at the withers on average, with dogs being 63 centimeters (25 in) tall and fawns being 56 centimeters (22 in). They come in many hues, including Fawn and White, Brindle and White, Fawn, Grey Brindle, and Red.
The native dog breed of India, the Chippiparai, is frequently recognized as the most intelligent and friendly. The Chippiparai breed, considered descended from Salukis, was historically kept by royalty in southern India. Its name is derived from the village name Sippiparai in the Vembakottai Taluk of the Virudhunagar District.
The Chippiparai is most frequently found in Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Thenkasi, Thoothukudi, and Madurai. Small game, primarily hare, was traditionally hunted using the Chippiparai. The breed has been successfully trained as police dogs because of its intelligence and agreeable temperament.
The Chippiparai, a robust breed, is said to prefer one master and reject food and pats from others outside its handler. The native dog breed of India, the Chippiparai, is frequently recognized as the most intelligent and friendly.
|Height||Male: 72cm Female: 68 cm|
|Weight||13.6 – 32.5|
|Life Expectancy||13-14 years|
|Temperament||Intelligent and biddable nature|
12. Himalayan Bhutia:
The Bhutia dog breed originated in India and Nepal and is often referred to as the Himalayan Sheepdog. From Kashmir to Eastern Nepal, the Himalayan foothills are home to the Himalayan Sheepdog. They aid the villagers and locals in herding sheep and protecting them from wolves.
The slightly larger Tibetan mastiff and the Himalayan Sheepdog are relatives. They typically have a thick double coat that is black and tan or entirely black with some white markings on the neck, chest, and toes. They are well known for their bravery, ferocity, and commitment to guarding the herd. They can even defend cattle in villages and rival the ferocity of a leopard, among other things.
The Bhutia breed has a long history of being utilized for hunting, particularly in the region’s challenging hilly environment. Currently, only inside the borders of India is the Bhutia breed widespread. It is thought to have traveled with the Pandavas on their northern excursions. Bhutia breed was reportedly present under Gautam Buddha’s rule as well. The Indian Postal Service also created a unique stamp to honor Bhutia and other Himalayan dogs.
These breeds can also be found in Himachal Pradesh, Nainital, Walkeshwar, Ghamsali, Badrinath, Uttarkashi, Malam Glacier, and Ralam Glacier, Pindari Glacier, and other places, in addition to Uttarakhand. In many places, it goes by different names. For instance, it is referred to as Bhote Kukkur or Bhutia Gaddi Leopardhund in Nepal and Himachal Pradesh, respectively.
|Group||Sheepdog, Herding Dog, Companion Dog|
|Height||Large; 26-32 inches|
|Weight||62-84 pounds (full grown male/female)|
|Life Expectancy||About 10 years|
|Temperament||Loyal, Intelligent and Courageous|
13. Indian Pariah Dog
An Indian pariah dog is the ideal canine companion for an Indian household. Alternate names for the breed include desi, mixed breed, mutt, or independent dog. It is also known as South Asian Pariah Dog, Desi Dog, Desi Kutta, Indian Feral Dog, Indian Pye Dog, Street Dog Breed, and Indian Pariah Dog.
They acquired their moniker during the British era prior to India’s independence and are the most widespread dog breed there. Since these dogs are native to the Indian subcontinent, unlike all other exotic breeds, they make excellent pets or guard dogs.
The word “Pariah” refers to an outcast, so there couldn’t be a more befitting irony. Indian Pariah dogs make wonderful companions for families and get along well with both children and adults.
They complement kids who lead active lifestyles because they have lots of energy. One of the oldest canine breeds still in existence is the Indian pariah dog. Archaeological discoveries suggest that this dog existed around 4500 years ago.
A Pariah dog skull from 2500 BCE was discovered during excavations at the Mohenjo-Daro site in the Sindh region of Pakistan (home to the Indus Valley civilization). Pariah dogs may be among the world’s oldest canine breeds, according to numerous cave drawings found throughout the Indian subcontinent.
|Height||Male – 1.6 feet to 2 feet, Female – 1.3 feet to 1.9 feet.|
|Weight||Male – 33 to 77 pounds, Female – 33 to 55 pounds.|
|Life Expectancy||Over 14 years|
|Temperament||Gentle, Loyal, Cheerful, Going, Responsive, Alert|
14. The Bakharwal dog
In northern India, you can find the Bakharwal dog. The Bakarwal and Gujjar nomadic tribes have been breeding this historic working Indian dog breed for many decades as a livestock guardian dog and settlement defender in Ladakh and throughout the Pir Panjal Range of India. Although the Bakharwal Dog is primarily found in India, it is also present in Afghanistan and Pakistan, albeit in smaller numbers.
According to a recent study, this breed is at risk of going extinct, and the Bakerwal community has petitioned to have this animal listed as an endangered species. In recent years, numerous reports of this mountain dog breed either dying from rabies or being shot by violent separatists.
The Bakharwal Dog is indigenous to Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh and has its origins in Ladakh in northern India. It has been bred for years by members of the Gujjar and Bakerwal castes and other indigenous people in Jammu, Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh to protect their herds of goats, sheep, and cattle as well as their homes.
Other researchers claim that the Bakharwal Dog is the “oldest Indian Dog that has been surviving with the Gujjar people for generations,” despite the possibility that it is descended from a crossbreeding of the Tibetan Mastiff and the Indian pariah dog.
|Height||24 to 30 inches (2 – 2.5 Feet)|
|Weight||60 to 79 pounds (27.2 Kgs – 35.8 Kgs)|
|Life Expectancy||8 to 12 years|
|Temperament||Loyal, alert, polite, responsive, protective|
India is a home to about 20 different Indian dog breeds and these dogs have served their purpose faithfully since long time. While there has always been a high demand for foreign breeds, our desi breeds are getting rarer with each passing day. Its time we must encourage and advertise Indian dog breeds not only in India but also abroad.