Introducing the list of India’s dog breeds 

Big Kuchi Attacking

The list of Indian dog breeds is crucial for saving native breeds of dogs. We at barks.in believe that the best way to preserve native dogs is to document them precisely. Non-native dogs are pushing our dogs towards extinction.

As per some reports, of the 50+ native dogs, only 20+ remains. Most of us don’t know about many of these dogs. This list of dogs in the Indian subcontinent, we hope will help with the following.

  1. Will bring back to light these beautiful dogs.
  2. Enable people to appreciate their remarkable traits.
  3. Encourage native dog breeders to continue with these dogs.
  4. Get some of us to choose a native Desi dog over a non-native dog.

Important Note

We frequently update this post with new information, images, and prices. 

A list of Indian dog breeds and their names

Contents

History of dogs in India

Sculpture showing Chola soldier with his war dog

In India, domestic animals have always been a part of our lives. Our relationship with desi dogs dates back to 1000s of years. The earliest dog skeleton found in India dates back to 4500 years. 

Ancient Indian texts talk about dogs in hunts, war, and in daily life. Temples have sculptures of dogs. In short, dogs have always been a part of everyday life in India. 

The Pariah dog is the real desi dog. It is an Indian landrace. Many believe this dog to be one of the most ancient breeds of dogs in the world.

Why compile a list of desi dog breeds?

Indian Pariah dog puppies

The current status of dogs hasn’t changed. The Indian pet industry is growing by leaps and bounds. There are more than 40 million stray dogs on our streets.

The decline of native dogs is because of the below reasons.

  1. Ignorance about the native breed of dogs keeps people away from them.
  2. The hype about non-native dogs is another reason that affects these dogs.
  3. Neglect of native Indian dogs.

Indian Spitz

Indian Spitz Sitting

The Indian Spitz is a small breed of dog. This dog is a Spitz-type dog with European ancestry. They are the most popular native dog breed. These are friendly and are companion dogs.

History and origin of Indian Spitz

Indian Spitz puppy playing

The Spitz arrived in India with the British in the 19th century. The British were fond of the Pomeranian dog and German Spitz. Queen Victoria owned several Poms. At one point in time, she had as many as 35 of these dogs. This fondness brought several of these dogs to Indian shores. 

The dogs with their lush coat could not withstand the hot and humid weather. The British mixed a desi dog with these dogs. This mixture was most likely the origin of this breed of dog. The Kennel Club of India registers this dog as a native dog breed.

These dogs had a nickname, the “Englishman’s dog” due to its English origin.

The purpose of the Indian Spitz

Indian Spitz puppy sleeping

This dog is a utility dog. They are small, alert, and have a sharp bark making them good indoor watchdogs. These dogs serve two purposes.

Indoor watchdog

This dog is alert, and their small size makes them an ideal indoor watchdog. These dogs also have a keen sense of smell, which they put to good use while on the watch. The Spitz is courageous and is known to scare off intruders.

Companion dog

Their small size, cute looks, and a lively character made them an instant hit as companion dogs. In the 1980s, most homes had an outdoor guard dog, a Rajapalayam. The Spitz was indoor as a companion. This dog was more than a man’s best friend. They were a woman’s companion.

The physical traits of Indian Spitz 

Indian Spitz happy
Height40 cm to 45 cm
Weight5 kg to 12 kg
CoatDouble coat
ColorWhite is common, brown, black and mixes of white are rare
Age 10 to 14 years
Litter size4 to 9

The Indian Spitz is a small-sized dog, 30 cm to 35 cm tall, and has a squared body. 

Head: These dogs have a pointed muzzle with erect ears that have a triangular shape. They have back eyes, black lips, and nose contrast with their white color.

Body: The body of the Indian Spitz is square-shaped. They have long but a curled tail. The dog holds its tail over the body.

Legs: The legs are short and bony.

Coat: Spitz has double layers of fur. The inner-coat is dense, and the outer-coat is long and silky. The hair around the neck is long and soft.

The temperament of Indian Spitz 

Indian Spitz puppy

The Indian Spitz has a feisty and protective character. They long to be with their masters, never leaving their side. They are known to refuse food if not offered by their masters. Spitz is suspicious of new sounds, and new people, this makes them a good watchdog.

How to care for an Indian Spitz?

The Indian Spitz is a healthy breed of dog. Despite their long and dense fur, they can thrive in the hot and humid climate. Their long double coat requires daily grooming. Shedding of their hair is similar to humans.
The Spitz does well indoors and is an excellent choice for an apartment dog. They don’t need intense exercises; a short walk each day should keep them fit.

What is the current status of Indian Spitz?

Indian Spitz

Status: Vulnerable

The Indian Spitz was the most popular dog of the 80s. The introduction of non-native dogs like the Lhasa Apso they are on the decline.

What is the price of Indian Spitz?

The cost of the Indian Spitz varies based on the region. These dogs are still well known in South India.
A show quality pup will cost between ₹10,000 to ₹15,000. A pet quality puppy will cost lesser ₹3,000 to ₹10,000.

Interesting Facts about the Indian Spitz 

  • Englishman’s dog is one of their nicknames.
  • Indian Spitz is a utility dog.
  • They are not a native Indian dog breed, but Kennel Club of India registers them as a native breed
  • Indian Spitz has a feisty temperament

Rajapalayam dog 

Rajapalayam dog with a kitten

The Rajapalayam dog is a sighthound from the Rajapalayam town of South India. People used these dogs to guard their farms against wildlife. They are medium-sized hounds that are strong and built like a small tank.

History and origin of the Rajapalayam dog

This dog is an ancient dog that is 100s of years old. Edward Napier, an officer in the British army, was the first to describe this dog. He fought the Polygar wars against the Polygars in 1840. The soldiers trained these dogs to fight against the British in the war. Poligar hound was the name that was in use in the 18th century for these dogs.

The Rajapalayam is a native dog with the Indian Pariah, its likely ancestor. Like all the other native dogs, these dogs are slowly disappearing.

What is the purpose of the Rajapalayam?

Rajapalayam hunting boar

These dogs are versatile and multi-purpose dogs. We have not seen any breed of dog that excels in so many fields as these.

Coursing and Hunting hounds

These dogs are hounds but with a muscular and stronger build. Their jaws are one of the most powerful in the canine world. These traits made them useful in wild boar hunts. Their bite force ranges between 200 and 220 lbs (90 kgs to 100 kgs). These dogs can stop a 150 kg wild boar dead on its tracks.

Guard dogs

These dogs are active and alert, which makes them excel as a watchdog. Their sturdy frame and intimidating presence can deter any intruder. Indian police and armed forces use these dogs in various roles.

Rajapalayam happy after eating

Companion dogs

The Rajapalayam dog is a loving dog. They will lay down their life for their masters. These dogs are patient with kids and, with proper training, make excellent companions.

What are the physical traits of the Rajapalayam? 

Rajapalayam dog traits
Height60 cm to 65 cm
Weight25 kg to 30 kg
CoatSingle short coat
ColorMilky white
Age9 to 13 years
Litter size4 to 10

The Rajapalayam dog is medium in size and with a muscular build. They are sighthounds. They use their sight and strength to hunt their prey.

They are one of the very few dogs to occur in one color, milky-white. They have pink skin, which is visible through the short-coat.

The Rajapalayam dogs have a broad head with a pink nose. Their ears are pendant- shaped and are drooping with jaws that are strong and sturdy and can break bones.

The eyes of the Rajapalayam are dark. Studies have shown dogs with silver eyes are born deaf. They have a square-shaped body, and their top line is straight. The legs are strong and muscular. The tail of a Rajapalayam dog is whip-like with a curve in the end. They carry their tail low, raising it only when they are alert.

The temperament of Rajapalayam 

Rajapalayam puppy ready to train

These are loving and caring dogs who will lay down their life for their master. Stories about their courage are legendary. Once a pack of dogs is said to have defended their master from a tiger.

Remember, this is a dog that can take on a wild boar. Training these dogs while they are young helps these dogs to adapt to human life better.

Caring for a Rajapalayam 

The Rajapalayam is a healthy breed of dog. They thrive in Indian conditions. They suffer from common ailments such as skin disease and food allergies. They are known to live long, and the oldest lived to be 17 years of age.

The current status of the Rajapalayam dog? 

Rajapalayam dog sleeping

Status: Endangered

These dogs were once popular, but the breed is currently on the decline. This beautiful dog will soon disappear without concrete efforts. The Kennel Club of India conducts native dog shows to promote these dogs.

This dog needs your help, choose a native dog as your next pet.

What is the price of the Rajapalayam dog? 

The cost varies based on the region. Top-quality dogs are available in Tamil Nadu. A show quality pup will cost between ₹18,000 to ₹22,000. A pet quality puppy will cost lesser ₹10,000 to ₹15,000.

Interesting Facts about the Rajapalayam dog

Poligar hound aka the Rajapalayam
  • This dog is a single-colored dog. White is the only color.
  • They are a real multi-purpose dog.
  • Indian postal services released a stamp with the image of this dog.
  • The courage of these dogs is legendary.

Bakharwal Dog 

Bakharwal black and tan

The Bakharwal Dog is an ancient breed of a large dog. They are from the Pir Panjal Range in the Himalayan region of India. This dog belongs to the Molossers group of dogs from which the Mastiffs originate.

This dog is an ancient breed of dog bred by the Bakarwal and Gujjar tribes. These people were nomads, and the Bakharwal dog was their livestock guardian. 

This dog looks similar to the Tibetan mastiff, with size being the only noticeable difference. The Bakharwal dog is smaller than the Tibetan mastiff. Due to the similarity between these dogs, some say that they could have a common ancestor.

The purpose of the Bakharwal dog

Bakharwal dog barking

The Bakharwal dog is a large breed of dog used as livestock and home guardians. They have a deep and loud bark. The local people claim that this dog can bark without closing their mouths

This dog, with its large size and loud bark, was an able guardian. While on travel, the tribal merchants leave their livestock and families with these dogs. This large dog protected the family until the return of its master.

Today, these dogs are in the police force fighting against militants. Sadly these dogs are shot by these intruders during these fights.

The physical traits of the Bakharwal dog 

Bakharwal black
Height65 cm to 70 cm
Weight35 kg to 40 kg
CoatDouble coat
ColorMultiple colors, fawn being the most common
Age8 to 11 years
Litter size2 to 4, one litter a year

The Bakharwal is a large breed of dog weighing about 40 kg. The male stands at 70 cm tall. These dogs have double coats, a dense inner-coat with a longer outer-coat.

The Barkharwal has an alert expression. Their heads are broad with hanging ears which are set high in their head. 

These dogs are sturdy with a square-shaped body. The tail is fluffy with fur. The Gujjar people cut the tip of their dog’s tail and feed it to the dog. This practice, they believe, makes the dog bolder. The dog has its tail curved over its topline. They have strong straight strong legs.

The temperament of the Bakharwal dog

Bakharwal fawn

These dogs have a stubborn and independent character. They need these traits to face the tough mountain life. The tribal people train their dogs on the job where these dogs learn the signs and calls.
The Barkharwal is courageous. They use their size and loud bark to intimidate intruders and alert their master.
These dogs are good with children and consider them as part of the herd.

Care of the Bakharwal dog

These are large dogs that thrive on the mountain. The Bakharwal is very healthy and can survive in cold weather. The Gujjar people are vegetarians, and many incorrectly believe this dog to be a vegetarian. The coat of this dog requires grooming and care.

The current status of the Bakharwal dog

Bakharwal puppies

Status: Critically Endangered

A census carried out by the Tribal research foundation found only a few 100 dogs remaining. This dog litter only once a year, and the litter size is not more than four pups. This beautiful dog is on the verge of extinction.

What is the price of the Bakharwal dog? 

Finding a Bakharwal is difficult; their numbers have rapidly declined. These dogs come at a premium price. A puppy costs about ₹35,000 to ₹50,000.

Interesting Facts about the Bakharwal dog

  • The tip of their tails is cut and fed back to them. People believe that this practice makes the dog bold.
  • Only a few 100 dogs remain, and they are on the verge of extinction.
  • Many believe that this dog and the Tibetan mastiff share a common ancestor.

Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta)

Himalayan sheepdog shepherding

The Gaddi shepherds use the Gaddi Kutta or the Himalayan sheepdog for herding and guarding their sheep. This dog is closely related to the Tibetan Collie

History and origin of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta) 

Gaddi Kutta

The Gaddi Kutta is from the north Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This dog belongs to the Gaddi people who live in this part of India. The Gaddi people are shepherds who use this dog to guard their flock against snow leopards.

These are ancient dogs, and no one knows the origin of this dog. This dog has been with the Gaddi tribe for generations. Many believe that this dog and the Kinnaur Sheepdog of Tibet are related.

The purpose of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta) 

Gaddi Kutta shepherding

This dog serves two purposes.

  1. Shepherd dog: The Gaddi people are shepherds who graze their sheep in snow-capped mountains. The snow leopard often preys on these sheep. This dog guards the flock against the leopard. For this reason, people call this dog the Indian Panther Hound.
  2. Guard dog: These dogs are medium-sized and alert. The Gaddi people rely on this dog to guard their homes.

The physical traits of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta)

Himalayan Sheepdog front profile
Height65 cm to 70 cm
Weight30 kg to 35 kg
CoatDouble coat
ColorMultiple colors
Age9 to 13 years
Litter size4 to 6

The Gaddi Kutta looks similar to the Tibetan Mastiff but is smaller. This dog has a large head with erect ears. They have powerful jaws. The head looks like a wedge when one looks at it from the front.

These dogs have double coats, a short and dense inner-coat which provides insulation. The outer-coat is long and fluffy. 

The body is square-shaped with a broad chest. The chest of this dog blends into their abdomen. These dogs carry their curled tails over their bodies. Their strong-tail has long, bushy, and beautiful fur.

The temperament of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta)

Indian Panther hound in snow

These dogs have an independent character. This trait is an essential trait for a mountain dog. These are powerful dogs. Their name, the Indian Panther hound, comes because of their courage. They are capable of fighting off the large snow leopard, which preys on the sheep.

Care of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta) 

These are large dogs that thrive on the mountain. This dog is healthy and is well-adapted to the harsh mountain life. The coat of this dog requires grooming and care.

The current status of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta) 

Indian Panther hound in snow

Status: Critically Endangered

Like all the nomadic tribes of India, Gaddi’s way of life is changing. The Gaddi’s use mini-vans to transport their sheep and no longer need a dog. The drop in the number of snow leopards in the wild means that they don’t need a large dog. These factors, along with the new lifestyle of the Gaddi, are the reasons for this dog’s decline.

What is the price of the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta)? 

Finding a Gaddi Kutta is difficult; their numbers have rapidly declined. A puppy costs about ₹25,000 to ₹30,000.

Interesting Facts about the Himalayan Sheepdog (Gaddi Kutta)

Himalayan Sheepdog black and tan
  • Only a few 100 dogs remain, and they are on the verge of extinction.
  • Many believe that this dog and the Kinnaur Sheepdog of Tibet share a common ancestor.
  • These dogs defend their flock against the snow leopard.
  • Also known as BhotiaIndian Panther Hound, Mahidant Mastiff, and Bhutia

Jonangi 

Jonangi pair

The Jonangi is a short-sparse haired (hairless) dog found in the Andhra Pradesh state of India. This breed of dog is a Terrier type dog. It is agile and capable of hunting vermin and small game. Duck herders and shepherds use this dog.

History and origin of the Jonangi dog

Jonangi dog

Jonangi is a unique dog with distinct traits. This dog comes from people who live in the Olleru Lake of West Godavari and Krishna Districts. Before the modern lifestyle, people who lived in these areas were fishermen and duck herders. They made a living out of the rivers and lakes.

The Jonangi has been living with these people for many years. No one knows the exact origins of this dog. Some think this dog to be the Indian Pariah dog, which has adapted to aquatic life.

Over generations, this dog has lost its dense hair. To the naked eye, this dog looks like a hairless dog. These dogs can live off fish and crab that they catch from the lake.

The purpose of Jonangi

Jonangi dog profile

Jonangi is a dog with many unique traits. This dog is the only dog in this list of Indian dogs that can fish. Jonangi also is a duck herder and a hunter. No other Indian dog has these traits.

Fishing dog: These dogs can catch fish in the lake. They still stand on the edge of the water looking for fish. Once a fish comes close by, they spear themselves into the water with open mouths. These dogs were so efficient in fishing that some people poison these dogs to prevent losses.

Duck Herders: Herding ducks requires speed and agility. The Jonangi has both these traits capable of running long distances and swimming. Their short hair helps them to dry off quickly, and the mud does not stick to their fur.

Burrowing: These dogs dig burrows in the river’s edge to avoid sunburns. They burrow deep and remain there when it is too hot outside.

The physical traits of the Jonangi dog

Jonangi dog close up
Height47 cm to 62 cm
Weight22 kg to 27 kg
CoatHairless, sparse hair
ColorMultiple colors
Age9 to 13 years
Litter size3 to 6

This dog is small to medium-sized, athletic, and agile. They have a real terrier attitude and move with a pep in their step. The Jonangi is similar to the Mexican Xoloitzcuintle.

Head: The dog’s appearance should be clean and graceful. The head should be like a wedge with muscles on cheeks. It should convey a noble and faithful expression. The eyes of this dog are like almond and dark. These dogs have remarkable ears that stand tall and erect. The ears are elegant and taper into the head.

Body: The neck is long and blends into the body. This dog is slightly longer than tall. The chest is deep with ribs visible. The abdomen has a mild tuck and the chest blends into it. The tail is short and does not curve. They have round feet with muscular thighs.

Coat: The hair is sparse, and the skin should be visible through the fur. This dog occurs in several colors.

The temperament of the Jonangi

Jonangi dog breed

These dogs are alert and loyal. Adult dogs are calm and mature. This breed is smart, and they can fend for themselves in the wild. They can catch fish by standstill, waiting for the right chance. These dogs use their sense of smell to find crabs and use their strong jaws to crack the shell. 

Like all dogs, these dogs need training. A well-trained dog develops a strong bond with its master.

Care of the Jonangi

Jonangi dog sub-adult

The lack of hair makes them vulnerable to sunburns. To hide for the intense sun, these dogs dig holes in the mud and hide. They also need to be kept indoors during cold winter months.

They are well adapted to hot and humid weather and have immunity against most canine diseases. With proper care, these dogs can live up to 14 years.

The current status of the Jonangi

Status: Endangered

Jonangi were once a common sight now, their numbers have dwindled. There are ongoing efforts to revive this breed by people in Nellore.

What is the price of the Jonangi?

Finding a Jonangi is difficult; their numbers have rapidly declined. A puppy costs about ₹5,000 to ₹12,000.

Patti Sheepdog 

Patti sheep dog

The Patti Sheepdog or the Patti Nai is a dog found in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The name Patti in Tamil refers to sheep enclosures, Nai means dog. This dog is a south Indian sheepdog belonging to shepherds and cattle herders. 

There is no information on the internet about this dog. Theodore Bhaskaran, in his book of Indian Dogs, is the only other source. This dog is sturdy and agile, being able to herd and guard sheep. 

History and origin of the Patti Sheepdog

This dog is from the southern parts of the Tamil Nadu state. Shepherds in the Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts use this dog. The Patti dog is similar to the Pariah dog. We believe it is the Pariah that has adapted itself to this life. The people whom we spoke to say that the Patti has been with them for many generations. 

The purpose of the Patti Sheepdog 

This dog serves two purposes.

  1. Shepherd dog: The Patti dog is a sheepdog. They are agile, smart, and swift. The “Patti” is a temporary pen where the shepherds keep their flock. This dog helps in protecting the sheep from foxes and jungle cats. Two or three of these dogs herd the sheep, depending on the size of the herd. These dogs help the shepherds in rounding off their sheep. People also say that their dogs know their sheep and can find them even when they get mixed with other herds.
  2. Guard dog: These dogs are medium-sized and alert. These are not merely sheepdogs but also guards the “Patti.” They can find lost sheep, protect kids from wild jungle cats that prey on them.

The physical traits of the Patti Sheepdog

Height40 cm to 45 cm
Weight28 kg to 30 kg
CoatSingle coat
ColorMultiple colors
Age12 to 15 years
Litter size5 to 9

The Patti dog looks similar to the Pariah. The dogs that we saw were 5 cm shorter than the Pariah dog. This dog is muscular and bulkier than the Pariah. The tail is round and is straight.
The dogs that we saw were all white mixed with black or brown patches. They have single-short-coat. The thighs have well-defined muscles. They are renowned for their stamina being able to work for 12 hours.

The temperament of the Patti Sheepdog 

The Patti dog has a soft character. The dogs we met came to us and let us pet them. This dog has to be friendly because they are herding sheep through towns and villages. However, they are alert and bark when strangers approach their flock.

Care of the Patti Sheepdog

This dog is healthy and is well-adapted to the harsh herding life. The shepherds feed them with goat milk. They claim that it gives these dogs the strength that they need to work for 12 hours.

The current status of the Patti Sheepdog

Status: Endangered

The life of the shepherd is changing. In the olden days, shepherding was common, and people needed dogs to keep their flock. Today, with grazing space dwindling people are moving their sheep indoors. The Patti dog is slowly disappearing. This forgotten but beautiful and intelligent dog might soon fade away.

What is the price of the Patti Sheepdog?

The Patti dog is not for sale. The shepherds don’t sell their dogs. This practice has kept this dog in pristine condition.

Interesting Facts about the Patti Sheepdog

  • These dogs are never for sale.
  • This dog is a variant of the Pariah dog.
  • These dogs defend their flock against foxes and jungle cats.
  • The name “Patti Nai” comes from Tamil meaning, sheep pen dog.

Kuchi Dog (The Afghan Shepherd dog)

Kuchi dog shepherding

The Kuchi or the Kochee dog is a shepherd dog that belongs to the Kochi people of Afghanistan. This dog is a large breed of dog with a bear-shaped head. Kuchi people dock the tail and crop the ears at the base. The cropped ears and large size give this dog a fearsome presence.

History and origin of the Kuchi Dog 

Kuchi dog profile

The Kochi people are nomadic who use this dog to guard their flock. This dog closely resembles the Central Asian Shepherd dog and could be a local variant. This dog is an ancient dog that is almost 4000 years old. Some people believe this dog to be a landrace. This dog is from the  UralCaspian Sea, and Asia Minor area.

The purpose of the Kuchi Dog

Kuchi dog white

This dog serves three purposes.

  1. Shepherd dog: This dog is a shepherd dog responsible for guarding livestock. They use their large size, strength, and agility to protect their flock against wildlife. This dog is sturdy and is willing to work.
  2. Guard dog: These dogs are large-sized and alert. They have a formidable reputation. They guard their home with determination.
  3. Dog fights: Traditionally, people have been using this dog in dog fights (a cruel practice that still exists) due to its large size. The dog fights in olden times were not a brutal affair. Shepherds use dog fighting to determine the best dogs to mate. 

The physical traits of the Kuchi Dog 

Big Kuchi dog
Height70 cm to 95 cm
Weight60 kg to 100 kg
CoatDouble coat
ColorMultiple colors
Age12 to 15 years
Litter size5 to 8

The Kochi dog is large-sized. There are records of dogs weighing 90+ kg. The head of the dog is bear-like with a short muzzle. People crop this dog’s ears at the base of the skull. The body is square, and they are long as tall.
This dog has double coats, dense wool-like inner-coat, and medium-sized outer fur. The most common color is black or fawn. The legs are straight with thick bones.

The temperament of the Kuchi Dog

Pair of Big Kuchi dogs

This dog is an ancient breed of dog used for herding sheep. These dogs are large-size; all of these qualities give them a fierce reputation. This dog has a stubborn character and requires proper training.

Care of the Kuchi Dog

Kuchi Dog Puppy

This dog is healthy and is well-adapted to the harsh herding life. They live long and have good immunity against most canine diseases. Their fur requires grooming. This dog sheds its coat. Hence daily grooming is needed.

Current Status of Kuchi Dogs

Kuchi dog profile

Status: Vulnerable

The life of the shepherd is changing. In the olden days, shepherding was common, and people needed dogs to keep their flock. Today, with grazing space dwindling people are moving their sheep indoors. This dog also lives in conflict and war-affected areas making its future vulnerable.

Interesting Facts about the Kuchi Dog

Kuchi Dog Puppies
  • This dog is a variant of the Central Asian Shepherd dog.
  • These dogs look like a bear with their cropped ears.
  • They are large and giant size dogs. Some are 90+ kgs in weight.

Kombai

A proper Kombai dog

The Kombai dog is from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This dog is an old breed of dog from the Kombai village. Built like a small tank, the Kombai protected forts and palaces. These dogs are courageous and will not turn tail in the face of danger. These are war dogs from the south.

History and origin of the Kombai 

Kombai dog

The Kombai is from  CumbamUthamapalayam villages in Tamil Nadu. They are one of the ancient breeds of dogs from south India. Temples all over south Indian have sculptures showing soldiers along with their dogs. These dogs resemble the Kombai closely.

The purpose of the Kombai dog

Kombai dog

This dog serves two purposes.

  1. Guard dog: The Kombai is a medium-sized dog. They are sturdy, smart, and alert, making them a remarkable guard dog. In the olden days, people had Kombai guard forts and palaces. These dogs today are one of the best guard dogs found anywhere in the world.
  2. War dog: Kombai dog is the faithful war dog of south India. Records of British officers encounter these dogs paint vivid pictures of this dog’s bravery. One officer writes how they had to shoot these dogs even after they captured the fort. The Kombai has a never-give-up character.

The physical traits of the Kombai 

The physical traits of a Kombai dog
Height50 cm to 55 cm
Weight30 kg to 35 kg
CoatSingle coat
ColorSingle color, brown dog with a black muzzle
Age9 to 13 years
Litter size5 to 10

Kombai dogs are compact and powerful. They are not large dogs, rather medium-sized but muscular dogs. The most notable features of Kombai are their independent and aloof character. They are outdoor guardians responsible for protecting large open areas from intruders. Kombai acts and reacts to the situation independently without any human guidance.
Kombai dogs are brown and have a black mask. Their body is square-shaped, compact, and powerful with a wedge-like head and powerful jaws. Kombai bites down with extreme force and is capable of breaking bones.

The temperament of the Kombai dog 

Kombair running through water

The Kombai has all the essential traits of a war dog. They have a stubborn nature and require strong leadership. We don’t recommend this dog as your first dog. Kombai is a one-person dog and bonds with its master for life. A well trained Kombai is an excellent family dog.

Care of the Kombai

Kombai alert

Kombai is a healthy breed of dog with few health issues. They do well with homemade food and don’t require any specialized care. They have a single short-coat, which does not require any grooming, and they don’t shed.

The current status of the Kombai 

Save the Kombai

Status: Critically Endangered

Sadly this magnificent dog breed is at its final leg. Even after an extensive search, we could find just a handful of original dogs. There is so much misinformation about this dog on the internet, which is also hurting this breed.

What is the price of the Kombai dog? 

Kombai puppy

The Kombai dog is impossible to find. Only a handful of these dogs remain. It is difficult to put a price on this dog; they are priceless gems. A puppy costs about ₹15,000 to ₹22,000. However, one cannot guarantee the genetic purity.

Interesting Facts about the Kombai

  • Only a handful of these dogs remain
  • Mandai war dog or the Ramanathapuram Kombai is an extinct variant of the Kombai
  • A Kombai does not give up. They are stubborn when on the attack, they don’t back down.

Kanni Dog

Kanni dog needs space to play

The Kanni is from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This dog is an old breed of dog from the southern districts. Kanni is a sighthound with a slender and sleek body built for speed. The people use this dog for coursing small and medium-sized game such as hare, jungle cats, and wild boar. Vettai Nai is the local name for this dog. Vettai meaning hunting, Nai meaning dog.

History and origin of the Kanni 

The Kanni dog is an ancient breed of dog from the Tirunelveli district. Old Tamil text speaks of hunting dogs (Vettai Nai) and their uses. Most experts agree that it is a reference to the Kanni and Chippiarai hounds. The precise origins of this dog is a mystery. 

The purpose of the Kanni dog 

Kanni puppy

This dog serves two purposes.

  1. Hunting dog: The Kanni dog is a sighthound with an excellent sense of sight. They can spot small movements in the bush. These dogs also use their nose to pinpoint game. Their slender body, long legs, coupled with sight and scent senses, make this dog a perfect game hound.
  2. Guard dog: India has banned hunting. These dogs can no longer fulfill their real purpose. Today Kanni is a guard dog. Their alert nature, sense of sight, and smell make them useful guard dogs.

The physical traits of the Kanni 

Kanni dog traits
Height65 cm to 70 cm
Weight27 kg to 30 kg
CoatSingle coat
ColorBlack and Tan, Fawn, Brown are common
Age9 to 13 years
Litter size4 to 8

Kanni is a sighthound, they use their sight to chase down small game. Like all hounds, Kanni is aerodynamically built. Their body is longer than tall. They have a lean frame, their head is long and narrow. Kanni has a broad neck and chest with a tucked abdomen. The feet are long and bony with powerful paws. Kanni’s tail is long and whip-like. They have pendant shaped flappy ears to protect their inner ears from thorns.

Broad chest with large lungs enables them to take in large gulps of air while on the run. Kanni uses its long whip-like tail like the rudder of a ship to rapidly change directions. Kanni is elegant and not clumsy.

The temperament of the Kanni dog 

The Kanni dog has an outgoing character and never shy. They are not aggressive. These dogs are affectionate and form a close bond with their human family. This dog is a pack hunter and should have the ability to work with a pack. An overly aggressive and shy character is a severe fault.

Care of the Kanni

Kanni is a healthy breed of dog with few health issues. They do well with homemade food and don’t require any specialized care. They have a single short-coat, which does not require any grooming, and they don’t shed.

The current status of the Kanni

Kanni watching

Status: Endangered

The following factors are pushing these beautiful dogs towards extinction.

  1. India has banned all forms of hunting. Kanni is a game hound that cannot hunt. 
  2. These dogs require large open spaces for them to play and be happy. They are not suited for apartments. Hence people living in a city cannot keep these dogs.

What is the price of the Kanni dog? 

These dogs are in the Tirunelveli district. A puppy costs about ₹15,000 to ₹25,000.

Interesting Facts about the Kanni

Kanni running in top speed
  • People exchange Kanni as a wedding gift from the groom to the bride. People still follow this tradition.
  • This dog is a fast runner, can hit speeds up to 65 kph.

Chippiparai Dog

Chippiparai dog

The Chippiparai is from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This dog is an old breed of dog from the southern districts. The Chippiparai is a sighthound with a slender and sleek body built for coursing small and medium-sized game.

History and origin of the Chippiparai

The Chippiparai and Kanni share similar backgrounds and are from the same area. This dog is an ancient breed of dog from the Tirunelveli district. The precise origins of this dog is a mystery. 

The purpose of the Chippiparai dog 

The goal of the Chippiparai dog is similar to that of the Kanni dog.

The physical traits of the Chippiparai 

Physical traits of a Chippiparai
Height65 cm to 68 cm
Weight27 kg to 30 kg
CoatSingle coat
ColorFawn and Brown are common colors
Age9 to 13 years
Litter size4 to 8

The original Chippiparai is a sighthound that is long, slender, and powerful. The dog should be elegant and graceful. The physical traits of the Chippiparai are similar to that of the Kanni dog.

The temperament of the Chippiparai dog

The Chippiparai dog is not nervous, and they approach people boldly. They are not aggressive. These dogs are affectionate and get along well with kids. They are alert and have a natural suspicion of strangers.

Care of the Chippiparai

This dog is a healthy breed of dog with excellent immunity from common canine diseases. They do well with homemade food. People in this dog’s native tract feed them soup made from goat legs.

The current status of the Chippiparai

Happy Chippiparai dog

Status: Endangered

The following factors are pushing these beautiful dogs towards extinction.

  1. India has banned hunting. This dog has lost its ability to fulfill its original purpose as a game hound. 
  2. Chippiparai dogs are hounds that require open spaces. They are not suited for apartments. Only a few people in cities can afford to provide for a hound-like Chippiparai.

What is the price of the Chippiparai dog? 

These dogs are in the Tirunelveli district. A puppy costs about ₹15,000 to ₹25,000.

Interesting Facts about the Chippiparai

  • Chippiparai dog looks similar to Kanni, with only minor differences in height.
  • This dog is a fast runner, can hit speeds up to 65 kph.
  • Chippiparai is a pack hunter. People use these dogs for coursing and the stronger Rajapalayam for holding the fleeing game.

Indian Pariah Dog 

Indian Pariah Dog

Any list of Indian dog breeds cannot ignore the true Desi dog. The Indian Pariah is a fantastic breed of dog. Some call it “the dog of dogs!“. This dog for thousands of years lived next to human settlements. Through the process of adaptation, the Pariah dog continues to survive. The Indian Pariah dog is also facing an uncertain future. 

The dogs that we see on our streets are not the original Pariah dogs. The stray dog is a cross between the Pariah and the modern breeds of dog. The original Pariah lives in remote villages in India.

History and origin of the Indian Pariah dog

Ancient dog art

The Indian Pariah dog is one of the oldest breed of dogs in existence today. Excavations in ancient sites all over India reveal interesting facts about this dog. From the skeletal remains, it is evident that this dog has not changed. Experts believe this dog to be 5000 years old. Studies on the Dingo show Indian Pariah ancestry

The Indian Pariah faces its most challenging threat today. It is the threat of cross-breeding. The genetic purity of this dog is slowly eroding.

The purpose of the Indian Pariah

This dog serves many goals; in the olden times, the Pariah dog was a hunter. People realized the value of having a dog around. The dog’s alertness and better senses helped the early hunters. The relationship was mutual, and the dog got food and shelter. For the man, the dog became a provider. Jim Corbett, in his memoirs, recollects the help that he got from these dogs during his hunt for man-eaters. The Pariah forms packs and acts as community guard dogs. 

The physical traits of the Indian Pariah 

Pariah Traits
Height46 cm to 52 cm
Weight20 kg to 30 kg
CoatSingle coat
ColorRed with black muzzle
Age12 to 15 years
Litter size7 to 10

The Indian Pariah dog is a small to medium-sized dog. These dogs have a wedge-shaped head with a medium muzzle. The body is a square with an erect tail that curves over the body. The eyes are almond-shaped and are dark. They have bat-like erect ears. The general appearance of the dog should show its loving nature.

The temperament of the Pariah dog 

The Pariah dog is a loving and affectionate dog. They long to please their masters. They have an unusual ability to read people’s minds. The Pariah can sense a person’s mood and modify its behavior accordingly.

Care of the Pariah 

Five thousand years of natural adaption has made the Pariah a very healthy dog. These dogs thrive in varied conditions. It is safe to say that these dogs are care-free dogs.

The current status of the Pariah

Status: Vulnerable

The following factors are pushing these beautiful dogs towards extinction.

  1. Cross-breeding with other dog breeds has polluted the Pariah’s gene pool.
  2. As their name suggests, they are an outcast. 

What is the price of the Pariah dog?

Pariah dog with puppies

An original Pariah puppy costs about ₹500 to ₹3,000.

Interesting Facts about the Pariah dogi

  • The Pariah dog is the most likely ancestor of many modern dog breeds.
  • They are alert and are an efficient small game hunter.
  • Even though the Indian street dog population is over 40 million, the original Pariah dog’s currents status is vulnerable.

The list of Indian dog breeds: Conclusion

The native dogs of the Indian subcontinent are rapidly declining. 95% of these dogs are close to extinction. We as people need to come together to save these beautiful animals before they vanish.

We are still compiling this and need your help. If you have reliable information about any Indian dog breeds and would like to add it to our list of India’s dog breeds, please contact us. We can get your knowledge published here.

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