Two Rare Dog Breeds of South India with an excellent History
Two Rare Dog Breeds of South India with an excellent History

Two Rare Dog Breeds of South India with an excellent History
So infused is love for a dog within the South Indian culture, that the indigenous dog breeds like the rare Kanni Dog can’t be bought, it’s to be gifted and hunting hounds like Rajapalyam Dog are often auctioned not sold.

Even today the Indian Peninsula boasts of much superior dog breeds especially the hounds that go back to 17th Century India those that have gallantly fought with British Troops. Infact, Kanni Dogs till recently were standard dowry gift items in southern marriages.

However the fantastic past, our very own Canine Regalia is now fading mainly thanks to lack of enough patrons. Here’s our combat the unique qualities of indigenous dog breeds and why they’re definitely superior and better suited to Indian ecosystem.

1) Rajapalayam aka Poligar Hound also called “Paleiyakaran”

Rajapalayam is one among the foremost popular native dog breeds in south India. it’s an extended association with royalty and aristocracy, especially within the town of Rajapalayam (Virudhunagar district), its namesake.

The dogs are sighthounds which were bred to be hunting and guard dogs. A sighthound may be a dog which uses its sense of sight and speed to mark, chase and kill a prey.

Town of Rajapalayam is its place of origin and continues to breed the canine even today. During the karnatic wars, these majestic hound dogs were also trained to charge ruthlessly against British troops within the 18th century.
Common Appearance

A Rajapalayam may be a big dog which may easily go up to 65 to 75cm, as measured at the withers. Pure white is that the color which you’ll mostly see a Rajapalayam. it’s uncommon, but brown spots are often found on some dogs at the rear or the ears. The coat is brief and silky.

White coat, pink nostrils, golden eyes and white eyelashes are a number of the quality features of the South Indian dog. could also be due to the touch of royalty in its breeding, the way of walking of the handsome dog resembles that of a thoroughbred horse.

Rajapalayam’s deep chest, light and lean head, slim wiry body, very flexible back, long legs and keen vision are typical characteristics of a sighthound. one among the features during which it differs from a gazehound (or sighthound) is that it carries a heavier set of bones.


Bred as hunting hounds and guard dogs, Rajapalayam still possesses those instincts and stand loyal for its owner and their family. They don’t really go along well with strangers and are known to attack trespassers. Interaction with other pets, especially smaller pets like cats got to be avoided due to the innate hunting impulse.

The hound has high-energy needs and is certainly not a dog to flourish in an apartment setting. Large open spaces are necessary for normal walking, running and play. The intelligent and aggressive canine should be socialised to urge them better adjusted to their respective surroundings.

Rajapalayam is employed to the recent and humid conditions of south India. This Indian dog breed has faced very bad times and has come to the stage where a pure Rajapalayam dog is more or less extinct. For now, with the efforts of state and dog lovers, the dog is doing well and is kept as a pet with great delight. Indian postal department has also brought out postage stamps to recognise this special inhabitant of Tamil Nadu .

2) Kanni Dogs

Minus the tail and ears, a Kanni is often best described as Indian Doberman. The black and tan colour, which is especially like Doberman, is that the commonest colour which one can find a Kanni. There exists another version of Kanni which comes in cream colour and is named Paalakaani. it’s found in and around Sivakasi, Tirunelveli, Kovilpatti, Madurai, Kazhugumalai, Pollachi, Kileral and Kodangipatti. Kanni dog is essentially used for hunting.

The name Kanni means (virgin or unmarried girl) and therefore the dog found such a reputation for itself due to the tradition of gifting it together of the things in dowry to the bridegroom.

Kambalathu Naicker community of Tamil Nadu was the one which practiced this tradition . Having a Kanni dog is nothing in need of having a loved one . The dog isn’t alleged to be sold but given by a family only on the promise that the adopting family will take excellent care of the dog.

A native of Tamil Nadu , the amount of Kanni dogs has plunged very low and efforts at reviving their numbers aren’t very encouraging.

On a mean , male dogs are about 64 cm (25 inches) at the withers, and females stand about 56 cm (22 inches). Certain specimens also point towards Kanni breed of dogs that grew up to 81 cm (32 inches). Kanni features a deep chest which accommodates an outsized heart; a slim and moderately build athletic body which facilitates its activities as a hunter.

Generally, Kanni may be a shy dog who doesn’t bark much and more or less a silent breed. But when it involves loyalty, the dog will always guard its master and therefore the home range . With their energy, quickness and therefore the quality of being light on their feet, they’re extremely appropriate for hunting animals as difficult as an expensive . While hunting, it’s their mind which guides them, for other purposes, they will be trained and made to obey easily.

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