1: Indigenious Himalayan Mastiff or Himalayan Guard Dog
Himalayan mastiffs are native to the Himalayan region. They’re known as Himalayan guard dogs or indigenous Tibetan mastiffs. This is a calm and lovable dog who loves to please its master and be around its owner and family. One important fact: They cannot tolerate or survive warm weather. They also do not like the company of other dogs, and a full-grown male is capable of taking down two wolves on its own.
Usually very gentle and calm, Himalayan mastiffs can be very ferocious if something goes wrong. They are known to fight to the death. They are the only purebred Indian mastiffs, and unfortunately, only a few are left. This breed is identified as endangered.
- Height: Males stand about 30″ – 38″ at the shoulder; females, 28″ – 35.”
- Weight: Males weigh 60+ kilos, sometimes as much as 100 kilos! Females weigh upwards of 50 kilos.
- Coat and Colour: They have a long, dry, double-coat of solid black or black mixed with yellow/tan, red, dark grey, or grey-black. Rare specimen have mixed coloration, but white is not common.
- Temperament: Very loyal, friendly, devoted to their owners, and protective of their family.
2: Indian Mastiff or Bully Kutta
Indian mastiffs are the largest and strongest mastiffs from North India. They are also known as the Kumaon mastiff, Sindh mastiff, Pakistani bully, and even Indian bully dogs. In Pakistan, they are known as Bulli mastiff or Bulli Kutta. The name comes from the Hindi/Urdu word bohli, meaning “heavily wrinkled” and kutta, which means dog. Thus, the original name of this breed is Bulli, not Bully, but changed because the British could not pronounce the word.
Indian mastiffs are very rough-and-tough and are well-suited for the Indian subcontinent’s climate. They were bred to protect their owners from wild animals and help them hunt. They are very strong, heavy-boned, broad-headed, and muscular, with high energy and stamina. They are famous for their aggressive fighting instincts but are also intelligent, loyal, and protective.
- Height: 28 – 33 inches.
- Weight: Male: 70–90 kg, female: 70–90 kg.
- Coat and Colour: Small, dense, thick fur in various colours.
- Temperament: Very loyal, intelligent, and devoted but aggressive with other pets and animals.
“His country possesses a noble breed of dogs, used for hunting and said to refrain from barking when within the sight of their game, which is chiefly the lion.”— The Invasion of India by Alexander
3: Alangu or Sindh Mastiff
Alangu mastiffs are tall and powerful dogs, most often used for guarding or fighting, as they are renowned for their sharp instincts and guarding skills. They are also called a Sindh mastiff and are the successors to the Indian Bulli or mastiffs.
This breed’s origin goes back to the Bhawalpur area of Punjab, parts of Rajasthan, and the desert area of Kutch. Today, the breed is commonly found in two districts of South India: Thanjavur and Trichy. They have erect ears and powerful, broad muzzles that are black in colour.
- Height: Male, 29-30 inches (74-76 cm), female: 29-30 inches (74-76 cm).
- Weight: Male, 60-65 pounds (27-29 kg), female: 60-65 pounds (27-29 kg).
- Temperament: Aggressive, ferocious, but loyal. Not for first-time dog owners.
- Origin: Sindh area of India and Pakistan. They are available in the South Indian of cities Tanjavur and Trichi.
- Category: Fighting, guarding, and working.
Himalayan dogs are like a donkey in size with the looks of a lion.— Marco Polo
4: Indian Gaddi Kutta or Pahari Leopard Hound
A Gaddi Kutta is a mastiff-type mountain dog found in Northern India, especially in states of the western Himalayan region: Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Kashmir. They are also called Indian panther hounds and Mahidant mastiffs. Initially bred for hunting purposes, the multi-talented Gaddi Kutta is widely used by local shepherds, mostly Gaddis (from the tribe of the same name). They are said to be strong enough to repulse attacks by snow leopards and to have the intelligence to herd stray sheep and goats back to their pens.
- Weight: 35 – 40 kg (female adult), 40 – 45 kg (adult male).
- Height: 63.5 cm (adult), 55.9 – 78.7 cm (adult male), 50.8 – 71.1 cm (adult female).
- Temperament: Gentle, calm, intelligent, and territorial, but loyal to their owners and very protective.
5: Kombai or Combai Dog
The Combai is a powerful working dog that is native to the Southern Indian region of Tamil Nadu. When Maravar kings held sway over South India, Combai were used to hunt boar, bison, and deer. The breed is also known as Indian or Tamil bear hounds.
The Combai is usually tan or red-brown with a black mask and a ridge line along its back. It has very powerful jaws, a deep and broad chest, and erect ears. These dogs are very active and savage, but at the same time very protective to their owners. Combai don’t like the company of unknown dogs or other animals and are very aggressive towards them. They have been known to fight intruders—human or animal—to the death.
It is difficult to find a purebred Combai, as the importance of this dog has diminished and the breed is listed as endangered.
- Height: 21 to 25 inches.
- Weight: Average 26 to 34 kg, with some rare examples up to 38 kg.
- Temperament: Aggressive, protective, and territorial.
This is a tall one, only slightly smaller than a Great Dane, and has a powerful, muscular, and heavy build. It is a typical boar hound used for hunting wild boar and hare. It was the companion dog of the royal family of the Southern Indian town of Rajapalayam and that’s where it gets his name.
It is a hound, and therefore should be kept in optimum working condition. It needs wide open spaces and is very affectionate and devoted towards its owner, although not always demonstrative. They do not usually like to be touched or handled by strangers and are known to be one-man dogs. Rajapalayam usually do not get along well with other pets (like cats) owing to their strong hunting instincts.
- Height: Usually measures about 65–75 cm (25–30 inches).
- Weight: About 32 – 42 kg—some up to 48 kg.
- Temperament: Loyal, Intelligent, dedicated, one-man dog.
- Category: Working dogs, bred for boar hunting.
Indian dogs are very large and even attack lions.— Ctesias, 400 BC
7: Bakharwal dog (Kashmir Sheepdog or Bakharwal Mastiffs)
The Bakharwal is an indigenous breed of the Himalayan origin and was bred exclusively by a Muslim nomadic group called Gujjars to protect their livestock from predators. The name Bakharawal is taken from the word bakri, meaning goat, because they were bred to protect goats and sheep from wolves and bears. Also known as a Kashmir sheepdog, Bakarwal mastiff, Kashmiri Bakharwal dog, Gujjar watchdog, Bakarwal, Gujjar dog, and Kashmiri mastiff.
Bred for many centuries by the Gujjar as a livestock guardian and settlement protector, Bakharwals are deep-chested, muscular, and agile. They have straight backs, broad shoulders, and long legs. Their bodies are strong-boned, with powerful necks and large heads.
This dog has special traits that make them unique:
- Likes vegetarian food. Its favourite food is milk and bread.
- Identified as endangered.
- The breed is not registered with major kennel clubs.
- Height: Average 24 to 30 inches, with some rare examples up to 34 inches.
- Weight: Average, 30 -38 kg. with some examples up to 42 kg.
- Temperament: Very protective, loyal, intelligent, and friendly.
8: Rampur Hound
The Rampur greyhound is a sight hound native to the Northern Indian city of Rampur, used to hunt deer, fox, jackal, and rabbits. It was considered a test of courage for a single hound to take down a golden jackal. They may appear lazy, but when needed, they have great running speed and stamina. Some can run up to 42 miles per hour, much faster than Indian wild dogs or Dholess. They have cat-like balance and are able to walk on ledges and fences.
They are very intelligent, loyal, and devoted to their owners. They don’t usually like strangers or other pets.
- Height: Female: 62–71 cm, male: 64–74 cm.
- Weight: Female: 22–26 kg, male: 22–31 kg.
- Temperament: Very intelligent, loyal, and devoted to their owners.
“Kanni” means maiden. This breed is rare and indigenous to Tamil Nadu, India. The breed descends from the Caravan or Mudhol hound and the Saluki. They are used for hunting.
Kanni resemble the smooth-coated Saluki or doberman pinscher, with naturally cropped ears and long tails. They are usually black and tan in colour, sometimes with white on the feet and the chest. There is a cream-coloured variety known as Paalakanni. It’s agile, graceful, and moderately built, with a deep chest and a slim body. The male of this variety stands about 25 inches at the withers, with the female standing about 22 inches.
10: Dhole (Indian Wild Dog Or Indian Red Dog)
The Dhole is an Indian wild dog, also known as a red dog or red fox dog. It has a physical structure similar to Australian border collies, but Dholea are more similar to African wild dogs. They can kill prey up to ten times their own size. They have a running speed of about 34 miles per hour.
Dholes are classed as endangered. They are very social and live in large clans which occasionally split into small packs to hunt.
- Origin: South and Southeast Asia and India.
- Height: 17 to 21 inches.
- Weight: 12-18 kg.
- Coat and Colour: A short, thick, and dense coat of red.
- Temperament: Social, wild.
- Category: Wild.
- Life Expectancy: 8 -10 years.
11: Caravan Hound or Mudhol Hound
Caravan hounds are exceptionally loyal. They are also known as Mudhol, Maratha, and Pashmi hounds. They are mostly available in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and some parts of Andhra Pradesh.
Above all they are workers, capable of working harder than most other dogs. Their physical strength coupled with their great speed and stamina allow them to catch and kill game, from hare to blackbuck, over rough country.
Caravan hounds are well-known for their speed and chasing skill. They need regular exercise and are not suitable for apartment life.
- Height: Female: 64–68 cm, male: 68–72 cm.
- Weight: Female: 22–28 kg, male: 22–28 kg.
- Temperament: Elegant, graceful, loyal, courageous, but not friendly with strangers.