From the heartland of southern India, comes a breed that is a testament to the rich heritage of our nation, the Rajapalayam Dog. Also known as Polygar Hound, Shikkar Hound, or Indian Ghost Hound, this sighthound breed with a majestic gait and an illustrious history, carries an air of regal charm that’s hard to miss. Whether you’re a first-time pet parent or a seasoned dog lover in India, the Rajapalayam Dog with its unique features and temperament may well be your perfect canine companion.
The cost of a Rajapalayam Dog in India ranges from INR 9,000 to INR 12,000, which varies based on factors such as colour and size.
A Glimpse into the Past
Hailing from the Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu, this breed has a historical significance that adds to its allure. The brave Rajapalayam Dogs were said to accompany soldiers during the times of the Nayakar rule, proving their mettle in the Polygar and Carnatic wars against the East India Company. Their fearless spirit and loyalty earned them the title “Polygar Hounds” or war dogs.
Despite its historical significance, this breed is now a rare gem, with only a few pockets of them existing within their native state of Tamil Nadu. This rarity emphasizes the importance of adhering to ethical breeding principles when choosing to welcome a Rajapalayam puppy into your home.
The Royal Appearance
The Rajapalayam Dog stands with a lean, muscular build, long legs, a slender tail, and a distinctive snout. Two floppy ears framing a noble face are typical of this breed. Their coat is usually pure white, with skin as pale as their coat, and a cute pink nose to finish the picture. Their eyes, a captivating shade of brown or blue, add an extra touch of magic, though it’s worth noting that dogs born with blue eyes may be more prone to deafness or blindness.
The males, standing about 60-65cm tall and weighing around 25-30kg, are slightly larger than the females, who measure about 55-60cm in height and weigh around 20-25kg.
A Loyal, Yet Aloof Companion
Rajapalayam Dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty to their owners, though they can be quite aloof towards strangers and other animals. This trait makes it crucial to introduce them to a variety of social scenarios at a young age to prevent any potential aggressive behaviours from developing.
Despite their aloof nature, they are a breed that thrives on stimulation and activity, with a propensity for stress and mischief if left unoccupied. This necessitates a stimulating environment filled with playful activities and engaging training sessions.
Affordability and Maintenance
The cost of a Rajapalayam Dog is relatively affordable, usually ranging between INR 9,000 and INR 12,000, across all Indian states.
In terms of maintenance, Rajapalayam Dogs are not demanding. However, like any other breed, they require regular grooming and a balanced diet. Keeping a consistent routine is key for their well-being. The grooming should ideally be introduced at a young age, which includes brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, and trimming their nails.
When it comes to their diet, consulting with a vet would be the best course of action to understand their specific dietary needs based on their size, weight, and health. A balanced meal incorporating proteins, starches, and vegetables is generally advisable.
Health and Lifespan
With an average lifespan of 9-10 years, Rajapalayam Dogs are relatively healthy with few breed-specific health issues. However, as they age, they may be prone to deafness, some minor skin issues, and certain genetic disorders.
Unfortunately, they are not hypoallergenic and can shed a fair bit, especially during their shedding season, which may pose problems for individuals with allergies.
Embracing our Heritage
India, a land known for its vibrant culture and rich heritage, also offers a wide variety of native dog breeds that deserve equal love and admiration. The Rajapalayam Dog, with its regal aura and unique characteristics, is a testament to this rich diversity. As Indians, it’s high time we recognize the value of our native breeds and welcome them into our homes with open arms.
By considering a Rajapalayam Dog as your new family member, you’re not only adopting a loyal companion, but also cherishing a piece of our country’s history and contributing to the survival of this majestic breed. Remember, owning a Rajapalayam is not just about the low maintenance costs or its manageable price in India; it’s about celebrating our homegrown canine heritage.