Most of the dog breeds originating in Tamil Nadu are hounds. The Mandai(மண்டை Meaning: Head) or the Mandhai(மந்தை Meaning: Herd) dog is physically very much similar to Combai, a boarhound. This breed is predominantly used a shepherd/guard dog. Quite familiar around the Ramanathapuram region, this is one of the native breeds which are on the verge of extinction.
The Combai is usually tan or red-brown with a black muzzle. Brindle coats are also rarely seen in this breed. It’s also being called Karuvaisevalai or Karumunjinaai in some places. This breed is relatively well built and has a powerful jaw. It was well known in the Sivaganga region at least for a few hundred years. It’s mostly being used as a guard dog.
Kanni is a sighthound very popular in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu. Kanni(கன்னி) means maiden in Tamil and these breeds were accompanying aristocrat brides to their new homes. Black and tan is the most common color you get to see. It needs a lot of space and could live on porridges made out of millets. It’s extremely responsive and attentive to the master’s commands while hunting.
Named after Chippiparai, a place in the Virudhunagar district. This breed is extremely agile and used for hunting deer, hare and boar. This sighthound has many common traits from the Saluki and Rampur Greyhound. It comes in a variety of colors. This breed is ideal for hot/warm weather. It’s being used as a guard dog in many farms/households.
Rajapalayam is named after a town in the Virudhunagar district. This sighthound also goes by the name Poligar hound. Postage stamps were released by India Post to commemorate this breed. It’s a medium-sized breed, comes with a milky white coat, pink nose, and golden eye. They are relatively healthy breeds with good intelligence levels. They make excellent pets but need to be socialized early with other smaller pets. This is a recognized breed by the Kennel Club of India. If you are keen on raising a native dog breed, this should fulfill on most of your requirements. They come certified too, but make sure you get a puppy from a reputed breeder or home.
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