A man from Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, breeds dogs of indigenous breeds that are on the brink of extinction. Kuttymani makes a living protecting and raising native breed dogs like Kanni and Chippiparai. Generally purebred dogs originating from Tamil Nadu can run very fast and have been used for hunting a long time ago. Currently, after the big Jallikattu protest in 2017, young people are showing more interest in buying the native breeds which include Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Kanni and Kombai.
Kuttymani says: “Our purebred dogs are easier to raise than foreign ones. Dogs of native breeds are very hardy and therefore the maintenance cost will be lower. On average, our breeds have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years. Also, their longevity depends on the quality of their food intake,” said Mani. He added that he has 29 native-bred dogs, including 19 puppies. He raises these dogs by selling the puppies and earns an income from them. He also stated that he was the sole breadwinner of the family. These purebred dogs were the biggest help during the Covid-19 lockdown when he lost his job.
Surprising Facts about Native Breed Dogs
Named after places, southern Tamil Nadu boasts of indigenous races like Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Kanni and Kombai. Like the Jallikattu bulls, the Tamil way of life follows the tradition of native dogs. From Indian Army dogs trained to detect Covid-19 using sweat and urine samples, the indigenous Chippiparai breed is one of them. The proudest dog breed in Tamil Nadu – Chippiparai and Kanni, was mentioned in Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The number of local dog breeds such as Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Alanku, Kombai, Malayeri and Kanni has been decreasing since the 1990s. With the ban on hunting, the reproduction of these species has slowly declined. It was during this period that foreign breeds of dogs became influential everywhere.
It cannot be said that the desire and passion for “dog breeds” like Pomeranian, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Great Dane and Buck has waned. The bitter truth is that purebred Indian dogs are one of the most neglected breeds in the world as most people prefer to keep foreign breeds as pets. But lately some celebrities have been breeding Indian-bred dogs and raising awareness, including actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
Although there are over a thousand dog breeds in the world, only about 350 of them are recognized. Of these 350, seven are indigenous races. Also, among these seven races, Kanni, Kombai, Chippiparai and Rajapalayam originated in Tamil Nadu.
The Chippiparai race is said to derive its name from Chippiparai, a place near the Madurai district created by kings who ruled long ago. Chippiparai were once used to hunt deer, pigs and other animals. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to sniff out rabbits, pigs and other creatures lurking in the wild. They are a dirty white, gray, opaque brown and the legs are usually brown in color. Your thoracic part is dilated, while your abdomen is lowered and your legs are slightly longer. His body structure, which is bony and lean to look at no matter how much food he eats, helps him run fast and catch animals.
Especially in the Thoothukudi area, people consider Chippiparai dogs as one of the family members. These dogs are bred not only for domestication, but also to guard large farms and gardens. Chippiparai dogs can run faster than rabbits, meaning they can run at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour. These dogs are affectionate with humans and especially with their owner. The coat of these dogs is short and shiny. Thus, these help to resist heat. They are sold at a cost ranging from ₹18,000 to ₹25,000. Meanwhile, Chippiparai puppies cost between ₹8,000 and ₹12,000. Chippiparai was also involved in the search for a tiger last year.
The Kombai breed is known for being very aggressive, but at the same time very loyal and ideal for guarding. One kombai is enough to protect a farm. This breed is commonly found in the Western Ghats of South India. The body is earth red, the eyes, nose and forehead are black. A month old Kombai puppy costs between ₹5,000 and ₹6,000.
Kanni is a breed of dog known for its agility, speed and hunting skills. Commonly known as hunting dogs, Kanni dogs rely on their senses to hunt prey. These dogs are found throughout most of Tamil Nadu. Apparently, a month old Kanni puppy usually costs between ₹8,000 and ₹10,000.
Rajapalayam is commonly found in southern Tamil Nadu. The name is derived from the place of origin – Rajapalayam, a place in Virudhunagar district near Madurai. Rajapalayam dogs are also known as “royal dogs” as they were strongly associated with the aristocracy during the reigns of kings and queens. This dog never changes owners. This race will be majestic and heroic to look at. The body is milky white and pink. The earlobes are flexed and the legs are straight and firm. The head is small and the face has a needle-like structure. Overall, the dog looks thin. A 30-day old Rajapalayam puppy costs between ₹10,000 and ₹12,000.
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