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These Native Dog Breeds from Tamil Nadu will Give Foreign Pups a Run for their Money

A man in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram raises native breed dogs which are on the brink of extinction. Kuttymani has been earning a living by protecting and breeding native breed dogs such as Kanni and Chippiparai. Generally, the breed dogs which are native of Tamil Nadu can run very fast and were used for hunting long ago. At present, after the massive Jallikattu protest in 2017, the youth are showing more interest in buying the native breeds that include – Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Kanni and Kombai.

Kuttymani says: “Our breed dogs are easier to breed than foreign ones. The native breed dogs are highly resistant, and so, the maintenance cost will be less. On an average, our breeds have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years. Moreover, their longevity depends on the quality of food intake,” Mani said. He added that he has 29 native breed dogs, of which 19 are puppies. He has been raising these dogs by selling the puppies and earning an income out of it. He also said that as he is the sole breadwinner of the family. These breed dogs were the biggest help during the Covid-19 lockdown, when he lost his job.

Amazing facts about native breed dogs

Named after places, the Southern Tamil Nadu boasts of native breeds such as Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Kanni and Kombai. Like the Jallikattu bulls, the way of life of the Tamils ​​is in line with the tradition of the native dogs. Right from Indian Army dogs that are trained to detect Covid-19 using sweat and urine samples, the indigenous breed Chippiparai is one among them. The proudest breed of dogs from Tamil Nadu – Chippiparai and Kanni, have been mentioned in Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The number of local dog breeds such as Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Alanku, Kombai, Malalayeri and Kanni has been declining since the ’90s. With the prohibition of hunting, the breeding of these species slowly declined. It was during this period that foreign breeds of dogs became influential everywhere.

The desire and passion for ‘dog breeds’ such as the Pomeranian, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Buck cannot be said to have diminished. The bitter truth is that the Indian breed dogs is one of the most overlooked breeds in the world, as most people prefer to keep foreign dog breeds as their pets. But, lately some celebrities have been raising Indian breed dogs and bringing up awareness among the people including Actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu.

Although there are more than a thousand dog breeds in the world, only about 350 of them are recognized. Of these 350, seven are Indian breeds. Moreover, of these seven breeds, Kanni, Kombai, Chippiparai and Rajapalayam are from Tamil Nadu.
It is said that Chippiparai breed derived its name from Chippiparai, a place near Madurai district, bred by the kings who ruled long ago. Chippiparai were used for deer, pig and other animal hunting in the past. Its uniqueness lies in its sniffing ability to target rabbits, pigs and other creatures lurking in the wild. They are dirty white, gray, dull brown in appearance and the legs are generally brown in color. Its chest part is dilated, while the abdomen is lowered and the legs are slightly longer. Its body structure, which is bony and skinny to look at, no matter how much food it takes in, thus helps it to run fast and catch animals.

Mostly in Thoothukudi region, people consider the Chippiparai dogs as one of the family members. These dogs are bred not only for domestication but also for guarding large farms and gardens. Chippiparai dogs can run faster than rabbits, ie, these can run at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour. These dogs are affectionate with humans and especially with their master. The body hair of these dogs is short and shiny. Thus these help to withstand heat. They are sold at a cost ranging from ₹18,000 up to ₹25,000. Meanwhile, Chippiparai pups cost between ₹8,000 and ₹12,000. Chippiparai was also involved in the search for a tiger last year.


Kombai breed are known to be very aggressive, but at the same time, very loyal and is ideal for guarding. One Kombai is enough for the protection of one farm house. This breed is commonly found in the Western Ghats of South India. The body is soil red, the eyes, nose and forehead are black in color. A month old Kombai pup sells for anything between ₹5,000 and ₹6,000.


Kanni is a dog breed known for its agility, speed and hunting skills. Commonly referred to as hunting dogs, Kanni dogs rely on their senses to hunt a prey. These dogs are found in most parts of Tamil Nadu. Apparently, a month old Kanni pup mostly cost 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 does not change its master under any circumstances. This breed will be majestic and heroic to look at. The body is milky white and pink. The earlobes are bent and the legs are straight and firm. The head is small and the face is needle-like in structure. On the whole, the dog looks skinny. A 30-day-old Rajapalayam pup fetches between ₹10,000 and ₹12,000.

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