11 Excellent but Endangered Indian Dogs

Dogs have been a part of the history of human beings since before the written word. In ancient India the dog was also highly regarded. The Indian Pariah Dog, which still exists today, is considered by many to be the first truly domesticated dog in history and the oldest in the world (though this has been challenged). The great cultural epic The Mahabharata (circa 400 BCE) significantly features a dog who may have been one of these Pariah Dogs. The epic relates, toward the end, the tale of King Yudisthira, many years after the Battle of Kurukshetra, making a pilgrimage to his final resting place. On the way he is accompanied by his family and his faithful dog.

One by one his family members die along the path, but his dog remains by his side. When, at last, Yudisthira reaches the gates of paradise he is welcomed for the good and noble life he has lived, but the guardian at the gate tells him the dog is not allowed inside. Yudisthira is shocked that so loyal and noble a creature as his dog would not be allowed into heaven and so chooses to remain with his dog on earth, or even go to hell, then enter into a place which would exclude the dog.The guardian at the gate, then tells Yudisthira that this was only a last test of his virtue and that, of course, the dog is also welcome to enter. Reference: "".

The Indian Pariah dogs are the original breed of the India, known today as INDogs, Desi or Pariah. Being a naturally evolved and perfected breed, they have very few health concerns and thrive with minimal "maintenance", especially in tropical weather and dogs themselves are relatively clean. Dogs were seen as faithful companions, hunters, guardians, and as a treasured part of the family. This article is going to enlist few other Excellent Indian Native dogs who are endangered and facing a survival crisis.

#1: Tazi/Taji

Taji is a sight hound dog, which has an athletic and strong built. It was used for the hunting of bare, fox, gazelle, wildcat and marmot. It was found in India, but now mostly found in Russia. It’s very difficult to find an original Tazi in India. Compared with Russian Tazi dogs, Indian Tajis are shorter in height with comparatively less fur and sturdy. The dog is very playful, loyal and affectionate, who is always keen to please his master. It’s a very energetic and alert dog.

#2: Kaikadi or Marashtrian Terriers

Kaikadi dogs are from terrier dog category, which got his name after a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra, India. They are very alert and athletic dogs and make an excellent watchdog. Kaikadi tribes were using these dogs to hunt hare and vermin, they share many similar traits to the whippet dogs. It's imperceptible to locate original Kaikadi, the breed has been mingled with Indian stray and Pariah dogs.

They can have white, tan and black color, but most common color are red brindle. These dogs are small in height (about 40 cm, or less) with thin and long legs, but powerful thighs and hocks. Their tail is long and tapering and head is long that help them in running and chasing. They have thin with prominent eyes and long ears that stand erect when alert.

#3: Jonangi

Jonangi is a native Indian dog, from the east coast of India “Bengal to Kanyakumari”. It does not usually bark, but makes a yodelling sound. Janangi has extremely short and fine coat, in solid colours of fawn, biscuit, chocolate, black or white and a wrinkled forehead, then curled tail with tulip ears.

At first look it appears like a red fox, but it has a curly tail and stiff structure. This dog is average intelligence, but very affectionate and devoted to his owner and family. At present pure breed dog of this breed has been rarely available.

#4: Soriala Greyhound or Bengal Hound

Soriala Greyhound (extn. Royal Rampur Greyhound)
Soriala Greyhound (extn. Royal Rampur Greyhound)

The Soriala Greyhounds are a sight hound dog, native from West Bengal, India which is also known as Sarail Hounds in BanglaDesh and Bengal Hounds in West Bengal, India. This dog is a further addition of Rampur Hound dogs from Northern Indian city Rampur, which lies between Delhi and Bareilly.
Soriala hounds were created by combining the bloodlines of very aggressive and ferocious dogs, which have athletic built with strong jaws. Soriala Greyhounds has inherited a broad and strong skull. A powerful Soriala hound dog can bring down a large bull. They also hunt vermin, deer and jackals. They are at high risk for extinction, Very few Soriala hounds are left.

#5: Himalayan Mastiff

Himalayan Mastiffs are known as Himalayan Guard Dog or Indigenous Tibetan Mastiff. Compared with Tibetan mastiffs, Himalayan Mastiffs are a bit taller and more athletic. They could be located in Laddakh region of Himalaya, even they look very similar to Tibetan mastiffs but their nature and behaviour is different.

Himalayans are calm and loving dog who loves to please their master and his companion and like to be with his owner and family. But doesn’t like the company of other dogs, a full grown male Himalayan Mastiff is capable to take down 2 wolves. This dog has introduced to endangered category.

#6: Alangu mastiff

Alangu Mastiffs are tall and massive, powerful dogs which were mostly used as a guard or war dog. They are renowned for their sharp instinct and guarding skills. They are the successor of Indian Bully (Indian Mastiff) dogs. This breed was originated from, Sindh area of India and Pakistan. In Southern India they are mainly available in cities Tanjavur and Trichi.

TThe origin of the Alangu Mastiff's can be traced back to the Bhawalpur area of Punjab, parts of Rajasthan and the desert area of Kutch. They are also known as the Sindh Mastiff. Alangu have erected ears and powerful and broad black muzzle. Alangu dogs are robust and sturdy, commonly used for dog fighting and as a guard dog they are aggressive, Ferocious and courageous dog. But very loyal and protective to the owner, Because of their dominant and aggressive nature, they are not suggested for an inexperienced owner.

#7: Dhole or Indian Wild Dogs

Dhole is an Indian Wild Dog known as Red Dog or Red fox dog because, it looks like red fox. This dog has very similar physical structure like Australian Border coolie, but Dhole is truly comparative in presence to the African Wild dogs and can kill a prey up to 10 times of their size. The Dholes are classed as endangered by IUCN. They are suffering to die possibly, because of diseases from domestic and feral dogs. This dog is very social animal and lives in large clans which occasionally split up into small packs to hunt.

#8: White Kashmiri Sheep dog

White Kashmiri Sheep Dog
White Kashmiri Sheep Dog
Bhakarawal Dog
Bhakarawal Dog | Source

The Kashmiri sheep dog or Bakharwal Dog is an indigenous breed of Himalayan origin (from, Pir Panjal mountain range of the Kashmir Himalayas) and was bred exclusively by a Muslim nomadic group called "Gujjars" to protect their livestock from predators like wolves and bears.

Its name Bakharawal is taken by the word "Bakri" means goat because the dog was bred to protect Goats and sheep from Himalayan wolfs and bears. It’s also known as Kashmir Sheepdog, Bakharwal Mastiff, Kashmiri Bakharwal Dog, Gujjar Watchdog, Bakharwal, Gujjar Dog, and Kashmiri Mastiff.

This dog was used for herding sheep and goats in "Kashmir" India, from where It took its another name "Kashmiri Sheep Dog".

It has been bred for many centuries by the Gujjar nomadic tribes as a livestock guardian dog and settlement protector. Bakharwal dog is a heavy and agile dog with straight back, broad shoulders and long legs. The body is strongly boned and head is powerful and large.

This dog has lot of speciality that makes him unique and different from other dogs.

-This dog doesn’t like non-vegetarian food and its favourite food is milk and bread.
- Has very low birth ratio.
- Bakhrawals are very friendly with other pets and some time very caring also, the breed is not listed with major kennel club and identified endangered by IUCN.

#9: Chippipaparai Dogs

The Chippiparai is a sighthound dog, Native from south India mainly available in the southern part of Tamilnadu, This dog is used for hunting wild boar, deer and hare and for guarding the home. Chippiparai was bred by royal families in Chippiparai near Madurai district Tamil Nadu, from where it takes its name. It was kept as a symbol of royalty and dignity, by the rulers of Tirunelveli and Madurai. But now only few Chippiparai are left, if steps are not taken to ensure its survival then blood line may be lost.

Appearance:The typical color is a silver-grey, with very limited or no white markings. Other colors, particularly variations of grey and fawn, also occur.

#10: Dhangri, Maharashtrian Shepherd Dog

The Maharashtrian Dhangari Kutra is related to Central Asian and Tibetan breeds, but is quite a bit leaner and more agile than a typical mastiff. This is a very rare livestock guardian of the Korku tribes of Western India. Some authorities believe that the breed is extinct and dismiss the modern specimens as tainted, due to common working crosses with the Pashmi Hound.

The Maharashtrian Shepherd Dog used to be more massive in the past and used primarily for protection duties, but the present-day incarnation makes a capable herder and hunting dog as well. Dhangaris are slim, thin dogs like a greyhound, and very sharp and loyal, also they are very aggressive and powerful dog, this breed is best suited for rural environments.

The coat is thick, hard and rich, always black in colour with small white markings allowed on the feet, chest and tail. Some puppies are available in Pune or Satara or in Rohilkhand in Uttar Pradesh in India.

#11: Soneri Kutta

This Dog is native from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state, this dog was basically used to retrieve buffaloes from water. India farmers around Son River were using dogs to retrieve the cattle from water when they need to take them back to home.
This dog is a good swimmer and very active at temperature ~40-45 degrees, when buffaloes deny to come out of water, they were taking them out forcefully. This dog has capability to swim for hours and is very athletic and sturdy. The blood line of these dogs is yet not confirmed according to local people, when Britishers came to India then they bought some water dogs like Labrador and others who were good swimmers and these dogs are mix of them with Indian pariah dogs. Thus Soneris are good swimmers and very robust for Indian climate and conditions.
Usually it’s black but some has red (fawn) and red-white mixed colour also. Dog is known for its great stamina and energy and is very loyal, alert, protective dog but usually one man dog.

11 Endangered Indian Dogs

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Comments 10 comments

srai01 profile image

srai01 5 months ago Author

Hi sudhi,

Thanks for information.

FYi; wish they can be save, some Chennai based breeders are working on that.

sudhi 5 months ago

Good article.. One more endangered Indian dog breed is Combai..

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

Hi Santosh, when I was living in Morocco and working with the nomads there they usually fed their dogs the same way. It is usually all they have, since they bake bread in the mornings and they milk their sheep every day, and only butcher an animal a few times a year.

Feeding meat does not make dogs more aggressive, but that is a common myth around many parts of the world.

One of my Pitbulls loves coconut, and my parrot will eat cheese even when she does not want anything else! Sometimes they surprise you.

Thanks for providing more details on this interesting subject.

srai01 profile image

srai01 2 years ago Author

Dr. Mark / Mr. Dave

I completely, agree only milk and bread may not be the best food for a dog.

After getting this question by Mr. Dave, I tried to find the reason from locals who have these dogs.

Firstly they are foodies and a full grown male can have 2 lt. of milk with 15 to 20 chapatis (Homemade Bread, by wheat) in a day], also they eat everything including meat and fish but yes, their favourite food is bread with milk.

About their choice for bread and milk, they have different opinion but no exact answer. One, which I found bit convincing – when Gujjar nomadic were going out of village with their sheep and goats, then they were staying there in tents for couple of days and having food Chapatis. Goat milk was easily available so, they were feeding, Chapattis and milk to these dogs. And possibly, after generation that became their choice.

Also, Gujjars have assumption; if they will feed meat to these dogs then they will become more aggressive and may attack to their lambs. So, these dogs were strictly taught for not to touch meat or any other food.

I am not sure, if that could be the possible reason? But one of my cocker Spaniel, prefer tomato than pedigree, egg or meat.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

Deepak, here is a link to more info on the Caravan hound and the Rampur greyhound. The breeds that Santosh listed are a lot more interesting, so I hope you have luck finding a good dog.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

This is a really interesting hub. I enjoyed reading about the many breeds available in India, but was sorry to hear how rare most of them are.

Deepak, you can also look into the Caravan dog if you are in India. They are a sighthound descended from the Saluki.

Jaye, in the dog production books from England of the 1800s, milk and bread is also a recommended diet for purebred dogs. It is not that this is the best diet, it is that the producers of that time were ignorant and were not giving their dogs the best diet.

Even if a breed of dog can survive on milk and bread, it is not the best diet.

srai01 profile image

srai01 2 years ago Author


Yes, you can ..

Check for Dhaneri, through in Maharastra, India. Possible that's the only breed you can get.

Deepak 2 years ago

Great article, I am from India and fond of dogs.

but never know about Tazi, kaikadi, Jonangi, Dhaneri and soneri kutta.

Is any from them, available to adopt?

srai01 profile image

srai01 2 years ago Author

Hi Jaye,

Thanks, to vote UP;

It’s really sad to listen in, if any species listed to endanger, specially if that’s our most adorable and loyal pet. Statistics of endangered dogs are really disheartening.

AKC-recognized breeds : 180

Total, Count of Registered breeds by cannel clubs : 370+

Dog breeds that are introduced endangered or in crisis : 60+

Yet another, out of the 44,838 species assessed worldwide using the IUCN Red List criteria, 905 are extinct and 16,928 are listed as threatened to be extinct.

So, out of every 3 species 1 is endangered (~30%) and from out of 4 dogs 1(25%), is endangered. We must need serious and immediate action for protection.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

I enjoyed the information about these Indian dog breeds with which I was unfamiliar. The endangered status of these breeds is terrible. It is heartbreaking when any animal completely disappears from the planet for any reason.

I found it especially interesting that the Kashmiri sheep dog or Bakharwal Dog is by choice a vegetarian. So many people think dogs must consume mainly meat, but if a dog doesn't want meat that seems to prove that its body knows what is best.

Thanks for sharing this information. I hope that the endangered dog breeds can be saved.

Voted Up and Interesting

Regards, Jaye

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