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|Country of origin
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
The Kanni, which means maiden, is a rare indigenous South Indian dog breed found in the
state of Tamil Nadu.
The breed is a further extension of the Caravan or Mudhol Hound, and is also a
descendant of the Saluki.
However, the Kanni does not possess the grand features of these
breeds. It is used mainly for hunting.
In general appearance, the Kanni is similar to a smooth-coated Saluki or a Doberman
Pinscher with natural ears and tail. The dog is usually black
and tan in colour, perhaps with limited white on the feet and
chest. There also exists a cream-coloured variety of the breed,
which is known as "Paalakanni". The Kanni is agile, slim, graceful,
and moderately built, with a deep chest and slim body. The dog
generally stands about 25 inches at the withers, the bitch about 22 inches, though some
specimens have been known to reach 32 inches.
The Kanni is found in and around Tirunelveli, Pollachi, Kovilpatti, Kazhugumalai, Kileral,
and Madurai. It is said that
the name Kanni ( which means Unmarried Girl) comes from the fact
that the dog used to be given as a gift to the bridegroom just
before the marriage. In fact, it was in the list of dowry items offered to the groom.
They are usually of four colours, brown, cream, black & tan and brindle. The Kanni is kept by
families who do not sell them but may gift them if a promise is
made to look after them well. They are not allowed to roam on the
streets and brought up as pet animals. They are given a diet of
milk in the morning, corn porridge in the afternoon and a "Ragi"
porridge in the evening. Meat is given once a week or once a month
only. The breed is now extremely rare, and on the verge of extinction. Efforts to
revive the breed have not been taken up, as specimens are few, and
there exists little information about them.