For some reason, we rarely hear about the Indian dog breeds. All around us, we see dog breeds that have originated outside India like the Labradors, Boxers, German Shepherds, and Pomeranians. The stray dogs that we see – we rarely pay attention to their origin or breed names. Regardless, there are plenty of dog breeds that have originated from India. Let’s take a look at the dog breeds coming out of North India.
Gaddi Kutta – Long coated, huge and powerful, Gaddi Kutta is a mastiff-type mountain dog found in northern India, especially states in the western Himalayas region. The name comes from the Gaddi Tribe as they majorly used this dog for shepherding purposes. Living in this region, the dog often had to defend itself against snow leopards, hence Gaddi Kutta is also known as the Indian Panther Hound, as well as Mahidant Mastiff.
As a working dog, they are highly intelligent and able to herd & protect sheep and goat. The Gaddi is thought to be a sub-breed to the Tibetan Mastiff but with longer legs and less bulk.
Gaddi Kutta is one of the few Indian breeds to have a long coat. Below is a video out of Punjab, showing the dog.
As a strong-willed dog, the Gaddi Kutta is loyal and courageous but requires a strong training and exercise regime. Not recommended for first-time dog owners.
Rampur Greyhound – Some 200 Kms away from Delhi, in Uttar Pradesh, lies Rampur. The area made famous by the term “Rampuri Chaku” – this is that huge knife often shown by villains, before getting beaten up by the hero in countless Bollywood movies. The Rampur Greyhound is a breed of dog native to this region.
The Rampur hound is a large & smooth haired member of the sighthound family. This breed is known to be developed by the Nawab of Rampur by combining the blood of the Afghan hound and the English Greyhound.
Built for speed, this dog is also known to show great endurance and was used by royals for jackal control. This breed has a wide, muscular built characterized by a flat skull, pointed nose, and high set ears. Apart from jackals, records indicate that the Rampur Hounds were also used to hunt panthers, tigers, lions, and leopards. The breed comes in following colors mouse gray, grizzle, parti-color, brindle, fawn, white and black.
The Rampur Hound was one of the four dog breeds for whom the India Post issues commemorative stamps in 2005.
The breed comes in following colors mouse gray, grizzle, parti-color, brindle, fawn, white and black.
Bakharwal Dog – The Bakharwal Dog is a working dog found in Jammu and Kashmir. A strong and huge dog, its name again comes from the tribe that has used it for many centuries as a livestock guardian (Bakarwal Tribe). It is also known as the Bakerwali Shepherd Dog.
To withstand the cold, the Bakharwals have a double coat, with the outer coat being average or long. They have a stout, sturdy stature, strong legs, and a bushy tail. Interestingly, this strong dog is mostly kept as a vegetarian dog and fed a diet of milk and maize bread. [Sidenote: Looking to feed your dog a vegetarian diet? Read our expert article here first on What you need to know before starting a vegetarian diet for your dog]
Unfortunately, the Bakharwal dog is now on the verge of extinction with experts reporting that only a few hundred are left. Diseases and also the low birth rate observed amongst this breed have both contributed to this danger of extinction.The Bakerwal and Gujjar Communities via the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF) had asked for an endangered species status for the Bakharwal dog in 2011 (source) whereby the Jammu and Kashmir government had agreed to draw up a conservation plan. No further records were found of this request at this time.
The above dogs are not only beautiful but well suited to the Indian terrain. For dog lovers, there has been an increasing awareness of “Adopt, Don’t Shop” but we also need to take steps to conserve these North Indian Dog Breeds (more articles to follow that will list out breeds from other parts of India.