Are you thinking about adopting a new puppy to become part of your family? Getting a dog is an exciting process, but it can also be daunting if you’re a new dog owner. If you’re struggling to decide which breed you’re interested in, consider Indian dog breeds.
Although the international community is more taken with foreign dogs from Europe and the Americas, Indian hounds have a lot to offer. These breeds (also called Desi Dogs) are extremely smart and independent, and they adapt to new environments with ease. Desi Dogs also make excellent working dogs and companions, and some of them even get along with kids.
This post will cover 23 dog breeds from India to help you find your ideal match for a furry companion. Read on to find out which species are from India.
- 1 23 Best Indian Dog Breeds
- 1.1 1. Chippiparai
- 1.2 2. Bhakarwal
- 1.3 3. Kombai
- 1.4 4. Mudhol Hound
- 1.5 5. Rajapalayam
- 1.6 6. Vikhan Sheepdog
- 1.7 7. Kaikadi
- 1.8 8. Taji (Tazi)
- 1.9 9. Kanni
- 1.10 10. Alangu Mastiff
- 1.11 11. Pariah
- 1.12 12. Pandikona
- 1.13 13. Tangkhul Hui
- 1.14 14. Gaddi Kutta / Himalayan Sheepdog
- 1.15 15. Sinhala Hound
- 1.16 16. Mahratta Greyhound
- 1.17 17. Jonangi
- 1.18 18. Gull Dong
- 1.19 19. Gull Terrier
- 1.20 20. Rampur Greyhound
- 1.21 21. Spitz
- 1.22 22. Bully Kutta
- 1.23 23. Kumaon Mastiff
- 2 Final Thoughts on Adopting an Indian Dog Breed
23 Best Indian Dog Breeds
If you’re in the market for a dog breed from India, you can choose from the 23 Indian dog breeds below. Hopefully, you find the pup you’re looking for and can take home your new best friend shortly!
The slender and elegant Chippiparai originates in Southern India in Tamil Nadu. These dogs were bred as sighthounds to detect, chase, and capture prey. Sighthounds are naturally thin, not to mention sturdy and quick-footed.
You may not be in the market for a working sighthound, but Chippiparais make excellent household pets, too. They’re highly receptive to training and one of the most intelligent of the Indian dog breeds.
Before you go adopting a lean Chippiparai on a whim, remember that they require a lot of attention and exercise. These energetic dogs don’t suit apartment living, and they can’t be left alone for long periods.
Like other Indian breeds that are sadly dying out, there are only a few hundred Bhakarwal dogs left in the world. This rare breed originated in the Himalayan Mountains centuries ago. Bhakarwal dogs were used by ancient nomadic tribes as guard dogs to protect their livestock from dangerous predators.
Because of this lineage, Bhakarwals are still a territorial breed today. While they are friendly with their human companions, they can be aggressive towards strangers and other dogs.
Interestingly, this breed doesn’t eat meat. They survive on bread, dairy products, and vegetarian dry dog food for large-sized dogs.
The Kombai or Combai dog is another Indian sighthound breed. Also called the Indian Bore Hound, these canines are loveable pets and fantastic guard dogs.
A major plus with adopting a Kombai is that they come with relatively minimal health issues. They can handle most weather environments, and they’re a hardy breed. They even worked as companions for army members in the 19th century!
Kombais aren’t great around children as they can be protective of their owners to a fault. They’re quite a stubborn breed, which people often mistake for a high level of aggression. As with all pets, however, proper training and early socialization can go a long way.
4. Mudhol Hound
The Mudhol Hound (also known as the Maratha Hound or Pashmi Hound) is an agile and loyal sighthound bred in and around India. Like other sighthounds, these canines get easily distracted due to their high prey drive. A Mudhol Hound will chase any and everything, from a plastic ball to a squirrel on the run. These dogs are also less receptive to training than other breeds on this list.
That is, many people love having Mudhol Hounds as family pets. They thrive on companionship and even get along well with other dogs. Another bonus of adopting this breed is that they have minimal health issues, unlike other purebred dogs.
You may know the Rajapalayam dog breed by its other names, the Polygar Hound, Shikkar Hound, or Indian Ghost Hound. This breed also originated in Tamil Nadu in South India and was made for hunting wild boar and small prey. Today, Ghost Hounds also make excellent guard dogs for families.
Rajapalayams are a rare breed today, and there are only a few hundred of them left in the world. If you do manage to find one up for adoption, make sure you’re ready to train a rather stubborn dog.
Rajapalayams are not easy to train and require a more experienced dog owner. But don’t worry, there are loads of resources on dog training for you to learn from.
6. Vikhan Sheepdog
The Vikhan Sheepdog is a rare breed that originated in parts of India and Pakistan. The breed isn’t formally recognized by any official breed club, but that doesn’t mean they’ve died out completely. There are also many mixed breeds in India with one Vikhan Sheepdog parent.
Vikhan Sheepdogs are lean, mean, muscular creatures who have strong territorial instincts. If you’re in need of an aggressive guard dog, this breed may be the one for you.
Before you adopt, however, keep in mind that these canines are not friendly towards strangers or other dogs. Owners must train their Vikhan Sheepdogs with a firm and consistent hand.
Kaikadi dogs are Indian sighthounds traditionally kept by the Kaikadi people, a nomadic tribe from Gujarat and Maharashtra. Like other sighthounds, Kaikadis are thin and agile creatures and were originally used to hunt, herd, and guard livestock. The Kaikadi breed is not recognized by any official breed club.
Kaikadis are very affectionate, high-spirited, and energetic dogs who need lots of exercise and space to run around in. They also get along wonderfully with young children, making them great family pets if they get socialized and appropriately trained. They also make competent guard dogs as they are highly protective.
8. Taji (Tazi)
The Taji or Tazi is a robust and muscular dog initially used for hunting boar, foxes, and other prey. While this sighthound breed originates in India and Kazakhstan, many Tajis are found in Russia today. Indian Tazis are slightly shorter, sturdier, and less furry than their Russian cousins.
If you’re looking for an affectionate dog with undying loyalty, the Indian Tazi is for you. They love to please their owners and form strong bonds with any human companions they take a liking to. They’re also a very playful breed, making them a fun pet to have around the house if you have kids.
Often mistaken for the Greyhound, the Kanni dog is a sighthound that comes from South India. The name “Kanni” means pure in Tamil, which refers to the loyalty of Kanni dogs. Kannis are known as dogs with ‘pure hearts’ who are loyal to the end.
Kannis are alert and intelligent canines who are receptive to training. Their fierce loyalty can lead them to protect their territories too aggressively, however. So, early training and socialization are vital to raising a respectable Kanni dog. They also require a lot of daily exercise to keep fit and happy.
10. Alangu Mastiff
The Alangu Mastiff of Bully Kutta is an ancient breed originally used by the Persian Army to guard campsites. Today, you may know this breed by its other name, the Bully Kutta. These dogs are mainly found in Pakistan today, but there are mixed breeds worldwide, such as in India and Iran.
Because of their history as guard dogs, Alangu Mastiffs are highly protective creatures and can pose a serious danger to strangers and other dogs. They are also notoriously difficult to train. So, think twice before you adopt one of these rare Indian mastiff dogs.
Indian Pariahs (sometimes called Pye-dogs) are descendants of some of the earliest domesticated breeds in South Asia. Other names for this breed include the Indian Street Dog, Native Indian Dog, and Pie Dog. These canines are generally medium-sized with pointy ears, and they make fabulous house pets.
Today, you can find Pariahs in parts of India, Iran, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. These dogs are super friendly, affectionate, and reliable, not to mention cute. They also make excellent watchdogs as they are always on high alert.
Indian Pariahs are incredibly loyal and devoted to their human companions. Another bonus with adopting a Pariah is that they don’t have many pressing health issues and are quite a hardy breed.
The precise heritage of the Pandikona remains undocumented. But we do know that this breed originated in the Kurnool district of India in a town called Pandikona.
These dogs have been known to be friendly and affectionate creatures, but most of them aren’t domesticated. Instead, they live outside of family homes to guard their ‘owners’ and their territories.
Pandikonas are very rare today and are mostly found in their town of origin. If you visit Pandikona, you may see these dogs running around, being independent, and taking care of themselves. Thanks to their strong hunting instincts, Pandikonas can survive perfectly well on their own.
13. Tangkhul Hui
Primarily found in the Urkhul District of India, Tangkhul Hui dogs are an ancient breed of hunting dogs that date back hundreds of years. Also known as the Awang Huijao, the Tangkhul Hui dog is friendly and intelligent and makes an excellent watchdog.
These canines are quick learners, intelligent, obedient, and fierce when it comes to protecting their territories.
While Tangkhul Hui dogs are extremely rare today, you may find different mixed breed variations in parts of India. You may recognize them by their cropped ears, which is commonplace amongst this Indian dog breed. Tangkhul Hui dogs also have black or black and white fur.
14. Gaddi Kutta / Himalayan Sheepdog
Gaddi Kuttas are part of the Mastiff family of dogs and are sometimes referred to as Himalayan Sheepdogs. Another name for this cute and fluffy breed is the Indian Leopard Hound. Gaddi Kutta dogs originated in northern India and have endlessly furry manes, with thick, long coats to keep them warm. If you like this breed, you may also fall in love with these fluffy big dog breeds.
Gaddi Kutta dogs are not for everyone, as they are incredibly strong, aggressive, and big. This is because the breed started out as hunting dogs before breeders started using them for sheep herding. These canines are naturally adept at herding but also make great watchdogs if you can train them properly.
15. Sinhala Hound
The Sinhala Hound is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in parts of India and Sri Lanka. In their early days, Sinhala Hounds would live independently of humans and led semi-wild lives scavenging and hunting for food. Once people realized their hunting abilities, Sinhala Hounds started to be kept as domestic pets (although they were still semi-wild).
Thanks to independent nature and history, Sinhala Hounds do perfectly well on their own and can be left alone for long periods of time in the right environment. Although not the most affectionate breed, Sinhala Hounds can be playful and loving with their owners and other human companions.
16. Mahratta Greyhound
The Mahratta Greyhound or Mahratta Hound is a sighthound from India. These dogs were bred to be used by members of the Nyak dynasty, the reigning power in south India in the 16th century.
Their exact lineage is unknown as Mahratta Greyhounds are rarely found outside of Maharashtra, the breed’s native province.
Mahratta Hounds look quite similar to Saluki dogs but smaller and with smoother coats. The breed is muscular and strong and comes in dark blue, tan, or black coat colors.
Mainly found in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and West Bangladesh, the Jonangi is an Indian dog breed bred for hunting and herding. Like many of the breeds on this list, Jonangi dogs are sadly very near extinction today.
Jonangi dogs have loads of energy and require a lot of space to run around and play in. If you do manage to adopt one of these rare creatures, make sure he or she has a big yard to enjoy. Jonangis are not well-suited to apartment living. They also require a lot of exercise; otherwise they begin digging holes and misbehaving.
18. Gull Dong
Gull Dong dogs result from cross-breeding a Bully Kutta with a Gull Terrier (more on that later). Gull Dongs first came about in colonial India, and today can be found in both its native country and in Pakistan. Another name for the Gull Dong is the Pakistani Bull Dog.
Gull Dongs are strong, big, and aggressive dogs that are notoriously difficult to train. They tend to be stubborn even with their owners and can get grumpy during obedience training. That said, these canines are also incredibly loyal and intelligent, and they make excellent guard dogs.
19. Gull Terrier
Gull Terriers are a rare, ancient breed that originated hundreds of years ago in India and the Punjab region of Pakistan. They are distantly related to the Bull Terrier breed from Great Britain. Gull Terriers have a sad history as they were initially bred for dog fighting and bull baiting, unethical sports that were introduced to India by British colonial soldiers.
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Once bull baiting and dog fighting were made illegal, the popularity of Gull Terriers saw a huge decline, but they didn’t disappear altogether. Though Gull Terriers are extremely hard to find today, they do exist and are used in various parts of the world as guard dogs.
20. Rampur Greyhound
Rampur Greyhounds originated in northern India and have a history dating back at least three centuries. Another name for this breed is the North Indian Greyhound. Like other greyhounds, these dogs are thin with long legs and narrow torsos. This is meant to help them be speedy and quick-footed on the hunt.
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Rampur Greyhounds are perfectly friendly around young children as they are affectionate, gentle dogs. However, they can knock over kids if they suddenly spot prey and bolt off at high speed. Like with any other breed, this can be dealt with through proper training.
The Indian Spitz dog is a small, fluffy, adorable canine and one of the most popular dog breeds in India. These little guys are descendants of the German Spitz dogs and stand a mere 13 inches tall at the shoulder. Despite its small size, an Indian Spitz will take its role as guardian of the household very seriously and bark incessantly when threatened.
Indian Spitz dogs have milky white coats that require a lot of grooming. So, be sure you’re ready to pluck hair off of all your clothes before you adopt one of these fluffy pooches. You’ll need a dog grooming brush at the ready most days.
22. Bully Kutta
Also known as the kaik, Bully Kutta dogs are large, Indian canines that date back not hundreds but thousands of years. These dogs were bred for working with hunters and as guard dogs to protect livestock and their owners’ properties.
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Bully Kutta dogs are a rare breed today and are hardly found outside of India and Pakistan. If you do manage to adopt one of these Indian dogs, you’ll have your hands full with a near-200-pound dog.
23. Kumaon Mastiff
The Kumaon Mastiff (also known as the Cypro Kukur) is a rare breed originally from Kumaon, India. Sadly, there are less than 200 Kumaon Mastiffs left in the world. These canines are incredibly strong, not to mention large. They also need minimal exercise to stay fit, making them a great choice for an owner who doesn’t have much free time.
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Kumaon Mastiffs can become very destructive when bored, however. So, make sure you get enough quality time with your dog if you manage to adopt one of these rare canines.
Final Thoughts on Adopting an Indian Dog Breed
You may have noticed that many dogs of India are incredibly rare or on the verge of extinction. If you do find one up for adoption, make sure you take special care of it and look into reviving the breed.
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