Make Indian Dogs Great Again: 13 Forgotten Dog Breeds of India

Before we begin, a message from all the dogs barking at us to relay to you, our readers…

Woof – woofwoof – woooooooooof…woo-woofwoof!

– Dogs

Is it a threat? A promise? A deal? Or just a goodbye?

We will perhaps never know, we don’t know dog language here in our office, one did, but she was let go!

People are only taking up the foreign breed, which hurts all of us.

How? The many foreign breeds like the Siberian Huskies and Saint Bernard, ARE NOT MADE FOR THE HOT INDIAN ENVIRONMENT!

The tropical climate of ours, the humid atmosphere and the myriads of singing competition programs – are causing a great deal of health problems in these foreign breeds!

This is why we are here to show you the equally appealing majesticity of our own Indian dog breeds that don’t have any problems with our climate, humidity and singing competition programs!

1. Rajapalayam Dogs

This is a hound. What’s a hound? Well they are not to be kept as your usual home mascot. They need to be moved around, given orders and require strict masters.

They are guard dogs, developed in the town of Rajyapalam of Tamil Nadu, they were only accompanied by royalties, back when royalties were a thing.

And boy, it is a huge dog, measuring around 25 to 30 inches towards the withers (dogs’ height is measured by the distance of their shoulder blades from the ground, any ground.)

It is a heavy boned dog with Milky White body and Pink Nose, lovely innit? However the whiter mutations of dogs usually have a higher tendency to be deaf!

But that doesn’t matter to a dog, especially this one, it’s a site hound, relies on eyes for all the hunting and fun however it can be turned into a scent hound as well with little training!

Currently, a favorite of our Indian army to patrol around Kashmir borders, this is for the tough guys in uniform.

2. Rampur Greyhound

A photo of an Indian breed Rampur Greyhound

The Rampur Greyhound is a native breed from the Rampur region falling between Delhi and Bareily in Northern India.

It’s a sight hound, and these particular animals are the superheroes of dogs, built with exceptional endurances and able to cross great distances. It was a test of courage and honor among royalties if their Rampur hound could take down a Golden jackal all on its own. They were used to control the jackal population back in the days and were even used to hunt for lions, tigers and panthers – wow.

They are human friendly, in fact too friendly, so much so they can hurt the uninitiated in their play fun.

They are one person dog, so if you are a lumberjack living alone in a jungle fighting off the rampaging monsters and invading aliens to protect your garden and unknowingly thus, our planet.

Get this dog man!

3. Chippiparai

A photo of an Indian breed Chippiparai dog

Another royalty favored dog breed, good lord, there are so many loved dogs out there, and so less loved of us…

Shudder at that, puny mortals.

Anyway, discomforting laws of realties aside we must say this dog has earned the love it has got, bred by the royal families of Chippiparai of the Madurai district in Tamil Nadu – this is a sighthound.

A hunting dog used to go after hares, deers and boars. It’s a tough middle sized dog with a length of 65 cm at withers. It has a small coat of fur which makes it less prone to fleas and ticks.

A good dog for Indian homes and families with a little training, it loves human companionship, loves exercising and moving around a lot.

A very intelligent breed and a very good watch dog, it needs less to no vet care. Although cold weather does make it a bit slow and a bit ill.

Fun Fact: Indian dog breeds have been honored with postal stamps

Four Indian dog breeds were given the immortality status on 9th January 2005 by the Indian Postal Services as they were etched in some cool looking stamps! These are The Himalayan Sheepdog, The Rampur Hound, The Mudhol Hound (Face Value 5 INR each) and The Rajapalayam (Face Value 15 INR)!

4. Indian Mastiff aka The Bully Dog

Also known as Indian Mastiff or Pakistani Mastiff or The Bully Kutta, shares its origin from the Punjab region. A breed which is good for guarding but unfortunately still used in dog fights.

Bully here doesn’t mean the school jerk you may imagine but it comes from Bohli, a very old native Hindi-Urdu-Punjabi mix word which means – lots of wrinkles.

Even King Akbar, yes that one – the one with Birbal along, had a Bully Dog for hunting!

It is very smart and intelligent and responsive however it is not for everyone, only experienced pet owners should think of getting this bad boy.

5. Mudhol Hound

Aka the Caravan Hound has many names among many regions in India. Known as ‘Karwani” around the Deccan Plateau region, ‘Caravan Hound’ is the name given to it by the Kennel Club of India and the Indian National Kennel Club likes it by the name of ‘Mudhol Hound’.

The love for this dog is TOO DAMN HIGH!!!

However they are not made for a small home of Indian families, they are also not very friendly and tend to be left alone. A true lone woof!

6. Combai

A photo of an Indian breed Combai dog

Combai or Kombai is a native terrier like dog from southern India. A very intelligent, loyal and powerful breed, is found usually with red brown or tan fur. These tough nail eaters used to safeguard cattle from tigers and leopards back in the 9th century.

Very much like a Rottweiler, it radiates a calm dog energy, yes that’s a thing, and is always ready to please its master and the family members.

They can sense sharply, from welcome strangers from the unwelcome ones and can even fight till death to protect La Familia! They are also good with family children.

Did you know? Zanjeer, a dog with the Mumbai Police was given a state funeral in the year 2000

Zanjeer (7 January 1993 – 16 November 2000) a detection dog helped the Mumbai Police avert three attacks during the 1993 Mumbai Bombings.

Not only that but he also helped detect 11 Military bombs, 57 Country made bombs, 175 Petrol bombs and 600 Detonators!

He died due to bone cancer and received the honor of a full state funeral.

RIP Good Boy.

7. Kanni

A photo of an Indian breed Kanni dog

Kanni by Crkuberan / CC BY-SA 3.0

Kanni are those dogs that have two spots over their eyes, a very rare breed of hunting dogs.

Very fast and agile, they were used to hunt deers. A very close relative to the Chippaparai and possible descendants of the Saluki breed, they were bred and developed in Tamil Nadu as well.

The word Kanni is Tamil for pure. They are loyal and intelligent but while hunting tend to go on their own decisions.

Medium sized dogs, Kanni has a height of usually 26 inches from the withers. And weighs around 20 kgs. These dogs are very shy in nature but rise suddenly to attack when the need be, they are good with human presence and are good for family pets, they are not made for city life and instead are good with rural atmosphere!

8. Gull Terrier

Gull terriers are headstrong dogs and NOT GOOD WITH CHILDREN. They are primarily used for protecting and guarding and require experienced handlers.

They are small to medium sized dogs and have been in existence for over hundreds of years.

Sadly, they usually are prone to either deafness or blindness which is said to be common among all white dogs.

9. Indian Spitz

A photo of an Indian breed Spitz dog

Indian Spitz by Utkarshsingh / CC BY-SA 3.0

It’s an Indian breed of the German Spitz types of Utility dogs. They measure and weigh a little less from their German counterparts.

They are often confused with being Pomeranian, since they almost look the same. They are a very bright and active breed, fun for family, it can live in small houses and large areas quite well equally.

It’s an overall great dog for a family to have since their maintenance and feeding is very lenient in nature.

10. Indian Pariah AKA Desi Dog

A photo of an Indian breed pariah dog

The most ancient of all dog breeds from the Indian origins, this is a native to Indian subcontinent only and shares great similarities with the Australian dingos.

They are very social, intelligent and highly trainable. They are good for families, but still need a practice to recognize family members from their pup stage. They are excellent watch dogs and they require little maintenance.

Fun Fact: Street gogs have learned to follow Street lights, use the crosswalks and commute in Metros

Around 20 stray dogs in Moscow, Russia have been regularly using Metros like us people!

They know which train comes when and for where and they just sit courteously till they reach their destination.

Scientists think it’s because of the co-evolution of the humans and canines. But we know better, we just finished Cujo. Stephen King is a prophet and savior.

11. Pandikona

From the pattikonda of Andhra Pradesh, India. The pandikona dogs are very loyal guard dogs. They are usually small to medium sized and are found in fawn to grey shades of colors.

They are ok around children but they aren’t too playful. They have been known to kill snakes and rodents.

12. Jonangi

A photo of an Indian breed Jonangi dog

Jonangi by Vedichunt / CC BY-SA 3.0

This breed of dogs is also known as Jagilam or Kolleti Jagilam and generally found on the East coast of India and in some parts of Karnataka.

These are very loyal dogs and are friendly with most people, kids included. These dogs have a ton of energy and wouldn’t do well in small enclosures. A big yard with plenty room to dig is ideal for these dogs as they love to dig holes and even stay in them!

These dogs were once used by duck farmers in herding their ducks around Kolleru Lake. However, when the farmers moved on to more profitable professions they abandoned these dogs and left them on their own. To survive, these dogs developed a fish hunting habit that caused losses to the local fishing industry which then set out on a killing spree that very nearly wiped out this breed 😔

13. Gaddi Kutta

Also called the Himalayan Sheepdog, another mastiff dog type, they were bred by the Himalayan tribes of the same name.

They are exceptional guard dogs but intelligent enough to protect the cattle too. However, these aren’t for the average home owner. They are made for higher altitude terrains wherein storms and twisters come together to plot against the feeble humans.

These dogs have a lifespan of ten years and they tend to be healthy and require less to no maintenance.


So there you are, we presented you some of the most awesome dog breeds of India. All of them have their pros and cons – JUST LIKE THE FOREIGN ONES DO TOO!

Good day to you Sirs and Madam’s, woof.

Categories: Pets
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  1. -

    Thanks for the exhaustive and wonderful information and photographs on the beautiful Indian dogs I live in America and now I can see the stupidity of the Indian people showering all their love on “foreign ” dogs whether it is a German Shepherd or Cocker Spaniel or any damn foreign breed at the cost of the majestic domestic breed which once ruled the land before the Europeans started coming into colonized India with their own Terriers and other poodle dogs . The situation is just like the movie world where any woman from any place on earth , as long as silky white skin and a beautiful face and shape , like Amy Jackson for instance, will be given preference to average lookingl Tamil actress who is far below in ranks than women from Andhra or Kerala or even North

    Here in America I remembered how we mistreated and abused our two Rajapalayam Combai dogs more than 70 years ago and preferred to adore the two black Spaniels ,Punch and Judy. It was all due to childish stupidity nurtured by idiotic cultural practices. Even now I regret those days . I am pretty sure same sad story exists in the closet of every family in India

  2. -

    Kanni & Chippiparai are same breed their are differentiated by color. Missed Ramanadapuram Mandai which is find in south tamilnadu in Ramanadapuram which look similar to Bully dog.

  3. -

    I have a Kanni female in Hyderabad.
    Get in touch to see the pics.

  4. -

    This is a good list with pics sourced from Wikipedia and other articles. However what would be really useful is to actually speak with owner’s of Indian breeds to popularize them – there are really no useful resources in the article for a dog lover who would even want to work with Indian dogs

  5. -

    Term pakistani mastiff is a misnomer as this breed of dog existed long long before pakistan was created..
    So for future reference please use term indian mastiff or bully kutta..

    1. -

      We referred several sources including some major publications while writing this article and most of them also called it the “Pakistani Mastiff” among many other names.

      We too will follow the same and so will not be making any change in here.

  6. -

    As an old dog keeper and registered kennel club of India breeder I feel that good specimen are very difficult to procure. Moreover there is no demand, unfortunately, for the native dogs. I have known about these dogs from the days I was young but due to no existing market I never thought of breeding them and since I never got a good specimen of Chippiparai or Combai I never even kept them as pets. May be if we have special guarding, obedience and breed class for them in K. C. I shows they get popularized over the years. I do not mind keeping one or two dogs, breed them and distribute the pups to good dog lovers but for that I have to have real good specimen. Rest is only idealism.

  7. -

    The Bully Kutta is a breed that originated in Alangu in southern India and is now again known as Alangu.

    Good collection of pictures of the different breeds but as someone suggested it will be good to get in touch with very knowledgable and experienced owners of the different breeds and get more information for each breed male and female characteristics and physical stats, range etc.
    Breeders who are breeding just for the market will never really care who they sell the pups to.
    People who are serious about the conservation of each breed can do much to breed and promote the breed to serious dog lovers who can ensure the dog gets the necessary training and food it is meant to have. In my opinion, breeders who tell you to feed the pup kibble should not be considered as the pups will end up as poor specimens of the the original. I currently have a mongrel who was born of an aggressive stray. I adopted her at the age of 5 months. She refuses kibble of any kind even of the very best available internationally. I then began with home-cooked food but had to deal with allergies. I changed her to raw non vegetarian food and she bloomed in every way. Shiny coat, very agile, trimmed down, allergies disappeared, and she is calm and confident. She is now 8+ years old.

    Breeders who are breeding just for the market will never really care who they sell the pups to and that will not be the right way to revive our Indian breeds.

  8. -

    Hi, I’m from Vizag, Andhra Pradesh. I’m planning to develop our country side farm and thinking about shifting there very soon. Our farm is locted in the eastern ghats. Mostly the wild animals that can be seen during nights are foxes, wild boars(rarely) and bears(very rare). May expect thieves at times. Since I’m the only male person in the family, I’m thinking about getting two powerful dogs. Previously I had a Doberman which was terrific at protecting. But after Modi Ji’s mann ki baat, I decided to get Indian breeds this time. I’m thinking about raising two combai dogs. Anybody please suggest me where I can get good breed of these dogs and also advice me if there are other dogs that can serve the purpose better.

  9. -

    live in America and now I can see the stupidity of the Indian people showering all

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