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11 Indian Dog Breeds (With Pictures)

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

Kanni Indian dog lying on the ground

There are countless dog breeds native to certain areas around the globe, but some Indian dog breeds, in particular, are at high risk of going extinct in the near future. Once regarded as exotic dogs across the globe, Indian dog breeds have dwindled over the past century, and even Indians have adopted European breeds over their own native breeds.

If that sounds interesting to you, you’re not alone. We’ve scoured the web for all the most fascinating and beautiful dog breeds native to India. Check out the details down below.

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The 11 Indian Dog Breeds

1. Kombai

Kombai hound
Kombai hound (Image Credit: Vardhanjp, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 13 years
Personality: Watchful, territorial, loyal

This large, terrier-like breed is built like a tank, highly prized in the past for their aggression and intense devotion to their master. Their main job was to guard livestock in the Western Ghats of southern India from roaming tigers and leopards, but Kombai were sometimes used to hunt bears and other big game. They’re a highly animal-aggressive breed that does best as the only dog in a household. Sadly, Kombai proved so aggressive that they‘ve nearly gone extinct in the modern day.


2. Vanjari Hound

Vanjari Hound
If you wish to use our image, please give credits: Image by hepper.com
Size: Large
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Personality: Protective, alert, sensitive

Sometimes called Banjari Hounds, the Vanjari Hounds have a lean, lanky body built for distance running as a sighthound. They were bred to hunt deer and guard the camps of the nomadic Vanjari tribes of India and are rarely sighted outside of the state of Maharashtra. Anecdotal sources report the Vanjari Hound has a very vocal personality and intense protective loyalty over their family and home, making them the perfect watchdog.


3. Rampur Greyhound

Size: Large
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Personality: Loving, energetic, devoted

Named after the northern Rampur region where they were bred, this short-haired greyhound has heart-melting eyes and a skinny build. At some point, the native Rampur Greyhound was bred with English hounds, and their descendants have kept the name with some notable physical differences. These are very loving pups that get closely attached to their family, not to mention jealous.


4. Gull Terrier

Size: Large
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Personality: Affectionate, intense, trainable

These Pitbull lookalikes actually are related to the English Bull Terrier, which makes it a sort of cousin to the modern American bully. Gull Terriers have a similar sad past as fighting and baiting dogs in India as well, and they smoothly made the transition to guard dogs in the region of Punjab in India and some pockets of Pakistan. Similar to Pitbulls, Gull Terriers have affectionate personalities and close bonds with their families.


5. Caravan Guard Dogs

Mudhol Hound Indian Dog Breed_kidzandfurr_shutterstock
Credit: kidzandfurr, Shutterstock
Size: Large
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Personality: Loyal, reserved, observant

Also referred to as Mudhol Hounds, this working dog is considered the modern descendant of the ancient Persian Greyhound. They have a long body, legs, and neck, plus a spirited endurance that makes them excellent sighthounds for hunting. They make fine watchdogs, too, and were most notably favored by Indian border patrol units that use the hounds for law enforcement.


6. Indian Spitz

Indian Spitz
Image Credit: napat intaroon, Shutterstock
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Personality: Spirited, smart, loving

The Indian Spitz looks a lot like the Pomeranian but with a shorter coat and larger body. It’s only natural that you’d confuse the two, considering they come from the same lineage, and it only diverged a few hundred years ago. The Spitz is renowned for their trainable personality, lively energy, and loving nature. Indian Spitzes also make great watchdogs, with a surprisingly intimidating bark and alert vigilance.


7. Kanni

Dropping Ear Kanni
Dropping Ear Kanni (Image Credit: Crkuberan, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Personality: Reserved, obedient, good-natured

The elegant Kanni draws comparisons to the graceful Doberman with its muscular yet thin legs, with colors ranging from black, sable, tan, cream, fawn, and more. They have a more reserved, almost shy personality and faithful obedience. Historically, Kanni were used as sighthounds by nomadic tribes, who sometimes gave them as marriage gifts.


8. Bully Kutta

close up bully kutta with collar and leash
Image Credit: Martin Christopher Parker, Shutterstock
Size: Large
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Personality: Intense, guarded, protective

Also called Indian Mastiffs, these huge imposing dogs become very attached to their owners and have vigorous exercise requirements to keep them happy. Like other protective dog breeds, the Bully Kutta is known to do well when raised around children but not other pets. They’re definitely a macho, king-of-the-hill type of dog, so make sure you can handle their stubborn streaks!


9. Jonangi

Size: Medium
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Personality: Active, devoted, driven

Easily mistaken for a Bull Terrier, the Jonangi shares the same family-oriented, territorial, yet good-natured temperament. These dogs are built for lots of exercise and are well known for digging chasms in yards when they’re bored or just to blow off some steam. The Jonangi has a quirky past too, bred for herding ducks and other livestock in various spots all over India.


10. Gaddi Kutta

Size: Large
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Personality: Aloof, gentle, affectionate

The Gaddi Kutta is closely related to the Himalayan Sheepdog, hailing from the same western part of India lying along the Himalayas. This breed is a large, fluffy athlete specializing in herding and defending sheep and yak herds, but they make great family dogs too! When raised with children, they become fiercely attached and protective.


11. Rajapalayam

Rajapalayam dog on a leash
Image Credit: Eudaimonic Traveler, Shutterstock
Size: Large
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Personality: Courageous, affectionate

The Rajapalayam is a hound named after a town in Tamil Nadu, beloved by farmers for their role in guarding farms and food stores. These large, short-haired dogs have a lot of energy, and they’re yet another big dog that adapts well to becoming a steadfast family hound. Our favorite fun fact about this breed is that their nickname is really cool: the Indian Ghost Hound!

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Conclusion

India’s native dog breeds bear some remarkable resemblances to other well-known dog breeds abroad, but they tend to share the same protective, territorial instincts. Unfortunately, many are also at risk of going extinct due to dwindling breeding efforts, but hopefully that changes soon.


Featured Image Credit: Sadasivam Chelladurai, Shutterstock

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