Saving the Mudhol Hound: India’s Exceptional Canine Conservation Story & Heritage

India, a land rich in cultural diversity, has not only given birth to magnificent traditions but also boasts unique flora and fauna, including several indigenous dog breeds. Among its hidden treasures is the Mudhol Hound, a breed with a captivating history and distinctive features that set it apart. In this …

Saving the Mudhol Hound: India’s Exceptional Canine Conservation Story & Heritage

India, a land rich in cultural diversity, has not only given birth to magnificent traditions but also boasts unique flora and fauna, including several indigenous dog breeds. Among its hidden treasures is the Mudhol Hound, a breed with a captivating history and distinctive features that set it apart. In this blog post, we delve into the roots of the Mudhol Hound, its journey from near-extinction to recognition by the Indian Army, and the ongoing efforts to preserve this exceptional canine lineage.

Mudhol hound standing on a village road

Mudhol Hound News

  • Also known as Caravan Hound or Maratha Hound.
  • Originated in the Deccan Plateau region of Karnataka, India.
  • Traditionally, it was used for hunting game such as deer and hare.
  • They are known for their slender, athletic build and are recognized for their speed and agility.

Origin and Characteristics Of The Mudhol Dog Breed

The Mudhol Hound traces its lineage to the visionary Raja Malagi Raor, who, in a quest for the perfect hunting companion, crossbred local hounds with Greyhounds. This careful breeding resulted in a dog with an aerodynamic body, a long tail emphasizing an agile frame, and an extraordinary 270° vision—a feature crucial for hunting. The Mudhol Hound emerged not only as a skilled hunter but as a testament to the harmonious blend of resilience and speed.

Historical Significance Of The Mudhol Hound

In the early 20th century, Mudhol Hounds were the favored hunting companions of the rulers of Mudhol state. However, with the ban on hunting in 1972, their numbers dwindled, pushing the breed to the brink of extinction by the early 2000s. The once majestic hunting partner faced an uncertain future.

Conservation Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to preserve this unique Indian breed, the Karnataka Veterinary University took a bold step in 2009 by establishing the K9 Research and Information Center. Today, the center serves as a guardian for close to 40 Mudhol dogs, meticulously avoiding inbreeding to maintain the breed’s purity.

Recognition and Utilization

The Mudhol Hound stepped into the national spotlight in 2018 when it became the first Indian breed to be selected by the Indian Army. Prime Minister Modi’s announcement in 2022, integrating Mudhol Hounds into his special protection group, reinforced the breed’s significance. The dog’s exceptional surveillance abilities, particularly its prowess in identifying minute movements, earned it a distinguished place in India’s armed forces.

Breeding Program and Local Involvement

To address the declining population, the K9 Research and Information Center initiated a groundbreaking program involving local communities. In a collaborative effort, 244 farmers from SC/ST communities received Mudhol dog pairs, along with vaccines and food for a year. Extensive training in breeding practices empowered these farmers to contribute actively. The program, running from 2013 to 2017, saw the Mudhol Hound population soar from 200 to an encouraging 1,500.

Economic Impact Of Mudhol Breed Conservation

One shining example of the program’s success is farmer Yapa, whose Mudhol Hounds have not only triumphed in dog shows and championships but have also paved the way to a debt-free life. Over 800 farmers in Mudhol are now part of this noble initiative, breeding Mudhol Hounds with pride.

Global Recognition

Drawing parallels with the global fame of the German Shepherd, the Mudhol Hound is gaining recognition as a versatile working and surveillance dog. However, it’s the local farmers in Mudhol who are the unsung heroes, passionately preserving their ancestral dog beyond borders.

In Conclusion

While the K9 Research and Information Center plays a crucial role, the journey to secure the Mudhol Hound’s future extends beyond institutional efforts. A call echoes through this narrative – a call for communities to actively participate in the conservation of this remarkable breed. The Mudhol Hound is not just a dog; it’s a living testament to India’s rich heritage, and it’s our collective responsibility to ensure its legacy endures.

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RajeevU

Besides being a Father, a Freelance Content creator and a Marketing Professional, my love for Dogs has been a permanent feature throughout. I vividly remember the first Indian Spitz puppy my father gifted me on my 5th birthday. Caring for him and seeing him grow with all it's idiosyncrasies, established my lifelong love for this furry creature - a symbol of Love and Faithfulness. I have tried to share my learnings through all these years, so that dog lovers can benefit. Something I missed growing up in those "non-connected' times.

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