How To Identify Indian Dog Breeds

How to identify Indian dog breeds

Table of Contents

India is home to a number of ancient and strong dog breeds. Indian dog breeds are native to various parts of India, adept to the unique environment. Indian dogs were historically bred to be working dogs, particularly guard dogs. They’re inherently solid built, tall and slender. Recognizing an Indian dog breed can be really simple if you know some key characteristics. Keep reading to find out how you can identify Indian dog breeds-

Physical Features-

  1. Tall & strong built– If you look at any Indian dog breed such as the Rajapalayam, or the Bully Kutta, you’ll notice that all these dogs are very tall, they’re slender and have a very strong bone structure. They have very high stamina and are durable dogs.
  2. Slender & Lanky– Indian dogs are rarely, if ever, bulky or obese. Their bodies are adept to being working dogs capable of running fast, guarding homes, hunting etc. and they’re extremely well at their jobs. 
  3. Strong bones–  Historically, Indian dogs such as the Chippiparai and the Kanni were trained to chase small animals, terrify horses and carry bags of salt and grains. This has resulted in hereditary strength and physical attributes suited for the work and the weather they have to work in. 
  4. Impeccable immune system and healthy genes– Indian dog breeds are known to be strong, inside and out. They rarely fall sick and aren’t prone to genetic disorders because their genes were never modified for their looks, rather they were enhanced to improve their workability.

Nature & Temperament-

  1. Alert
  2. Fiercely loyal
  3. Quick and agile
  4. Fearless
  5. Confident and proud
  6. Dominant (they WILL bite you if you tease them!)
  7. Protective towards owners

All these features make them some of the strongest guard dogs in the world.

Here’s What You Should Expect

Keeping an Indian dog is the best way to save Indian dog breeds but there are some things you need to keep in mind before bringing home a pure Indian breed.

  1. A loyal companion– Indian breeds grow into territorial, protective and extremely loyal dogs. They aren’t particularly “cuddly” but they show their love in other ways. An Indian dog will give its life for you if they feel threatened.
  2. Need a job – Indian dogs are strong; both physically and mentally. They have impeccable instincts which is why most Indian dogs are used either for hunting, guarding or to heard farm animals. If you want to keep an Indian pure breed as a companion dog make sure to give them enough responsibilities around the house
  3. Hard to train – As intelligent as they are, Indian dogs aren’t known for their compliance. Unlike Retrievers who really want to please their owners, pure Indian dog breeds want to work. Guarding, hunting and herding comes to them naturally, which is why they do it with minimal training. But this does not mean they can’t we trained. You can teach them almost anything as long as you know how to motivate them.
  4. Not great with kids– Apart from the Indian pariah, most Indian dogs are not great with kids. If you have small kids in the house, you will have to bring the Indian breed from an early age. Keeping a child and an Indian breed in the same room is not enough. You’ll have to desensitize your pet and take initiative to train them. However, even after all the training and desensitisation, they may not appreciate cuddles and rough handling. So, parental supervision is important if your child is in the same room as your Indian breed. Once they understand your child is a part of the family, they become fiercely protective of them.

Diversity in Indian breed dogs-

India is the land of diversity. From mountains to beaches to plains, we have it all. These diverse areas are home to a variety of beautiful dogs who are unique to their surroundings. Let’s find out a little about the diverse Indian dog breeds found in different parts of India-

1. South Indian dog breeds 

south Indian dog breeds
The Rajapalayam, Kombai and Jonangi are popular examples of South Indian Dog Breeds

The Rajapalayam and the Chippiparai are among the most popular South Indian dog breeds. They are beautiful, alert and intelligent dogs. They are short-haired and easy to groom.

South Indian breeds were owned by farming families who took their dogs to hunt. This is why pure south Indian breeds are well adapted to extreme conditions. They have very little fat in their body and are less likely to have heat strokes. They are also lanky dogs and can sustain with little food.

Another unique feature of south Indian hounds is their unique eye position. The Mudhol hound (or Caravan hound) has a 270 degrees vision, likewise, the Rajapalayam and the Chippiparai also have an impeccable vision. Though South Indian hounds are known to have a great sense of smell they are largely categorised as sighthounds.

2. North Indian dog breeds 

north Indian dog breeds
The Bakharwal, Gaddi Kutta and Himalayan Sheepdog are common examples of North Indian dog breeds

Unlike the south, the north has breeds of different shapes, sizes, characteristics and temperaments. We have the lanky and lovable Rampur hound from Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, the buffed and short-tempered Himalayan Mastiff (or Tibetan Mastiff) from the Himalayas, the sturdy, short-haired Gaddi Kutta, also found in the western Himalayas and Uttar Pradesh and so on.

North Indian dog breeds are so diverse because of the harsh climatic conditions. The Himalayas are marked by harsh winters but places like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi have extreme summers as well. This is why our North Indian breeds are really diverse

Most north Indian dogs are known for their immense strength. They are usually raised for herding and guarding. Herders like the Himalayan Sheepdog and the Himalayan Mastiff have no problem fighting animals double their size to protect their family and the livestock.

How to detect impurities in Indian dog breeds-

Finding impurities in Indian dog breeds can be simple if you’ve done your research and are vigilant when bringing a pup home.

  1. Health- The pup should be physically healthy and should have no visible deformities or discharge from the nose, mouth and/or genitals.
  2. Hair- Purebred Indian dogs are short-haired unless they belong to the hilly northern region. This is a telltale sign to find any impurity.
  3. Colour- When trying to check for impurities, the colour of the coat is a strong determinant factor. Colour is also a unique mark that allows you to distinguish between Indian breeds. Conduct thorough research on the breed of your choice and you will easily identify the colours that mark its purity.


Indian dog breeds are strong, agile and elegant. They’re fiercely loyal and are excellent guard dogs. Sadly, most Indian dog breeds are on the verge of extinction. Bringing one home can contribute to saving and cherishing these wonderful creatures.

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About Dheepakh

About Dheepakh

Dheepakh is a dedicated pet parent. His love for his dogs turned him into a pet food enthusiast. He has dedicated all his life to understand pet food nutrition and is eager to learn everyday.

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