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Rajapalayam Hound, Indian sight-hound.
|Country of origin
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|Recognized by The Kennel Club of India
The Rajapalayam is an Indian Sighthound. It was the companion of the
royalty and aristocracy in Southern India, particularly in the town
where it gets its name.
It is a large dog, usually measuring about 65-75 cm (25-30 inches) at the withers. It is a hound, and therefore should be
kept in optimum working condition. It tends to be heavier boned
than most sighthounds, but shares the depth of chest and basic body
structure. Its facial structure is considerably different from that
of, say a Caravan, as it is meant primarily for hunting wild boar.
The tail has a slight curl.
The most prized colour is milk white, with a pink nose and
golden eyes. However, other colours including spotted or solid,
black, and brown, are known to occur. In the past, puppies of
colour were usually culled from the litters since the owners
preferred the pure white dogs. The coat is short and fine. An
extremely handsome and graceful dog, the Rajapalayam has a gait
similar to the trotting of a thoroughbred horse.As with many fully
white dogs, there is a high incidence of deafness in this
breed.Puppies born with whitish or blue eyes are deaf. Many
Rajapalayam dogs suffer from mange, though this is usually not a
serious problem. Though the breed dates back a few centuries, the
creators of the breed unwittingly ended up fashioning an albino
dog,characterized by the pink nose and the lack of
The Rajapalayam was used predominantly for hunting wild boar and
as a formidable guard dog. 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. Most specimens are
aggressive and hostile towards strangers, and will attack
intruders. Socialization in puppyhood is important.Rajapalayams
usually do not get along well with other pets like cats, owing to
their strong hunting instincts.
While its own origins remain unknown, it is speculated by some
that the Rajapalayam may have been one of the dogs used in the
breeding of the modern Dalmatian. It is also known that the
Rajapalayam dog was used during the Carnatic Wars to attack the British
cavalry in their stables.
The pure Rajapalayam is more or less extinct, and only a few are
to be found in isolated pockets around southern Tamil Nadu. The breed may
vanish all together if something is not done soon to revive it. A
dog breeding unit was established at Saidapet, Chennai, during 1980-81. This unit primarily
rears native breeds like the Rajapalayam, Combai, and Chippiparai, whilst also rearing Doberman and Labrador
Retriever breeds. The puppies are sold to the public at
reasonable price. To create awareness and encourage dog lovers to
rear native breeds, the Animal Husbandry Department of the
Government of Tamil Nadu participates in dog shows. Localities have established a
cooperative and interested families are given female dogs and
expertise that is required for large-scale breeding. The Indian
Postal Department has brought out postage stamps on the Rajapalayam, as
well as the Mudhol
Hound, Rampur Hound, and the Himalayan
Sheepdog. The Kennel Club of India has taken up the cause of the Rajapalayam.
With the club's cooperation, the "Save the Rajapalayam Project" has