Hailing from Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu, the Rajapalayam is a large breed bred in South India. Also referred to as the “Indian Ghost Hound,” “Polygar Hound,” and “Shikkar Hound,” they’re a hound dog breed and are closely related to
The Rajapalayams were on the verge of extinction in the recent past, but the Animal Husbandry Department of Government has made significant efforts to protect them and revive their population.
Let’s explore the characteristics and requirements of the Rajapalayam dog breed to help you decide if it can be an ideal dog for you.
Height: 26-29 inches
Weight: 22-25 kilograms
Lifespan: about 9-10 years on average
Coat type: short, thin (with no undercoat)
The Appearance of Rajapalayam
Just like most hound breeds, the Rajapalayams were bred to be hunters and guards, and their physique reflects that purpose. In addition to their large build, they also have a heavy-boned and muscular body, with long legs and a deep chest that lend them more speed. Their face structure is larger than most hounds, with a pink snout, button ears, and lean but powerful jaws. Rajapalayams are not a hairy breed, which enhances their lean build along with a medium-sized tail that curves upward. This breed also possesses an extraordinarily sharp vision and sense of smell, which come in handy while hunting and tracking.
The Personality of Rajapalayam
While describing the personality of a Rajapalayam, “playful” is not a term that comes to mind. Although this breed is strong and energetic, they’re not ones to play around; their personality is somewhat on the mature side. They’re intelligent, fast, fierce, and have strong instincts. Once they’ve come to see you as their owners, Rajapalayams can be the most affectionate, loyal, and devoted pets you can find. On the other hand, when it comes to strangers, this breed is cautious and can behave aggressively with little warning. Much of this wariness comes from their hunter instincts. For these reasons, it’s necessary to socialize Rajapalayams from an early age so that they don’t become difficult to control as adults. Training them is no easy task either. For a breed that’s as wilful and strong as Rajapalayams, you’ll need someone who’s experienced at training dogs to get it right. If you have no prior experience with it, hiring a professional trainer would be a good idea.
Caring for your Rajapalayam
While Rajapalayams can make amazing pets, not everybody can own them. Let’s give you a peek into what your life will look like after welcoming these hounds into your home.
Diet and exercise
Being omnivores, Rajapalayams are not fussy eaters and will generally eat whatever you put in front of them. And because of their athletic nature, they’re also least likely to get fat. Home-cooked food with occasional servings of meat is ideal for this breed. However, you must consult with a vet to plan a well-rounded, nutritious diet for them. When it comes to exercise, Rajapalayams can seem quite a handful. To accommodate a dog as large and athletic as them, you’d need a house with a large yard or garden. Initially bred to wander around villages, this breed requires plenty of daily exercise, without which they might show destructive behavior. Taking them for a walk twice a day is essential, but make sure not to take a dog leash off them. If they take off, it will take them hours to tire and return home, and with their speed, you might not catch them yourself.
Grooming, maintenance, and healthcare
The thin fur of Rajapalayams doesn’t require regular brushing or cleaning, although they might enjoy being brushed every now and then. This breed also doesn’t have a strong odor and prefers to keep themselves clean and tidy, which means you’ll not need to bathe them too often. Basic grooming like nail clipping and brushing teeth is more than enough to keep them groomed. Being a short-furred breed, Rajapalayams are not well-suited for colder climates but thrive in tropical Southern climes. Other than this, the breed has robust health and rarely suffers from any disease or illness, except for Mange. Although Mange is not a serious problem, the high likeliness of this breed suffering from it indicates that you’ll have to be careful about keeping mites away. Rajapalayams are certainly not breeds that come with minimalistic requirements. However, if you can look after their needs, you’ve got a companion and protector for life.