The Forgotten Dogs of India

In a country full of people who “adopt”/buy foreign dog breeds I would like to highlight some of the forgotten dog breeds of India.

When I tried to understand why people are so obsessed with adopting dog breeds that do not predominantly belong to the Indian subcontinent, I did what most people would do — I Googled it. It all began during the British rule when the British breeders advertised imported breeds as a symbol of status. And who knew this notion would stick on hundreds of years later? More and more Indian families are opting to spend thousands of rupees to buy a puppy as a status symbol. Here are a few Indian dog breeds you might want to consider adopting:

Indian Pariah Dog:

The Indian Pariah dog or the Pye-Dog is one of the oldest known dog breeds in the world. Archaeological evidence suggests that they have been around for as long as 4500 years. They are distantly related to the Australian Dingos and the African Basenji. They are also known as one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world!

  • Age Span: 13 to 14 years.
  • Average height: 27-32 inches.
  • Average weight: 20-30 kg.
  • Personality: Indian Pariah dogs are extremely energetic, playful and fiercely protective. They make excellent companion dogs!


This breed of dogs was bred by royalty for hunting. As the hunting activity reduced, they started being kept as royalty status. They were used for hunting boar, deer, and hare. They can be found near Periyar Lake.

  • Age Span: 12 to 15 years.
  • Average height: 31-38 inches.
  • Average weight: 15-20 kg.
  • PersonalityThey can be described as loyal, independent and robust dogs. They make really great guard dogs due to these personality traits!


They are an Indian Sighthound and the purest breed of Indian hunting dogs. They were used in the army against the British cavalry. They are now again a part of the Indian army on the Kashmir border!

  • Age Span: 10 to 12 years.
  • Average height: 25-30 inches.
  • Average weight: 30-45 kg.
  • PersonalityThey are extremely loving, affectionate and devoted dogs and are hence great family dogs.

Mudhol Hound:

The Mudhol Hound, also known as the Maratha Hound, the Pashmi Hound the Kathewar Dog, and the Caravan Hound is a breed of Sighthound dogs. According to history, this breed of dogs was kept by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as his companions. In fact, history has it that the bond he shared with one of them — Waghya — was so strong that Waghya jumped into Shivaji's funeral pyre. His statue was later placed next to Shivaji's samadhi on the Raigad fort. 

  • Age Span: 10 to 15 years.
  • Average height: 25-26 inches.
  • Average weight: 22-28 kg.
  • PersonalityThey are best suited as working dogs due to their high intelligence and extremely active nature.


They are a breed of sighthounds. They are found predominantly in South India. They have a short coat which is reddish-brown and a black muzzle.

  • Age Span: 13 to 14 years.
  • Average height: 25-28 inches.
  • Average weight: 15-25 kg.
  • PersonalityThey are loyal, energetic and need lots of activity, so if you and your family are the out-going sort this breed is best suited for you!

Rampur Greyhound:

Traditionally kept as pets by the Maharajas and Nawabs of North India, these dogs came to be known as an elite breed of dogs. They were kept as hunting dogs as they are sighthounds. They are one of the largest Indian dog breeds!

  • Age Span: 10 to 12 years.
  • Average height: 22–30 inches.
  • Average weight: 23–32 kg.
  • Personality: They are extremely well-tempered. Due to their calm, gentle and loving nature, they make great family pets!


They are a mastiff-type breed. This breed of dogs was developed by a tribe of the same name in the Himalayan region. They were earlier used for herding purposes but are now commonly used as guard dogs.

  • Age Span: 10 to 12 years.
  • Average height: 20- 25 inches.
  • Average weight: 35–45 kg.
  • PersonalityDue to their thick fur these dogs are best suited for cold regions. They are gentle, calm and highly intelligent.


They are another old Indian breed of dogs found in Northern India and Pakistan. They are known to be a great herding dog species! Unfortunately, their numbers are so low that they are almost on the verge of extinction!

  • Age Span: 10 to 12 years.
  • Average height: 30 inches.
  • Average weight: 70–90 kg.
  • Personality: They are a territorial breed of dogs. They are also described as protective, loyal, and ferocious. They make excellent guard dogs!

On that note, I would like to urge all of you to please share this article with any friends and family that are looking to adopt! #AdoptDontShop

Pooja Chavan

Pooja Chavan

Jeevoka member since Nov 2019

Here to cultivate and nurture my love for all things animal and nature related!



Jayanti 06 Apr 2023

Hey there! I'm working on an educational project and would like to use one of the pictures in your article for this! Could you please get in touch asap!