All dog breeds are amazing and lovable. Indians are blessed to own some of the rarest Indian dog breeds; Rajapalayams included. To own and maintain Indian dog breeds, we need to have all the necessary information about them. So, here’s how to care for a Rajapalayam Dog – one of the oldest Indian dog breeds.
Rajapalayam, also known as the Poligar Hound or the Indian Sight-Hound, is a rare South Indian dog breed. It is a majestic canine; intelligent, tenacious, and skillful. Their gorgeous milk-white coat, pink coat, and beautiful eyes are utterly captivating. Rajapalayams personify strength and loyalty.
Brief History of the Rajapalayam Dog
The Rajapalayam is native to the town of Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu. It is believed that they may be an ancestor to the modern-day Dalmatian. This beautiful canine was used in the Carnatic and Polygar wars to attack the British cavalry as they were fast, strong, and good at following commands.
Our farmers used them to guard the rice fields, houses, farms, etc., for centuries, and have many stories around them. A popular legend states that 4 Rajapalayam dogs once saved the life of their master by fighting and killing a tiger near a forest in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu. In the last two decades, the Indian Army has begun recruiting them, and Mudhol Hounds, as guard dogs on the borders of Kashmir.
The Rajapalayam is a rare Indian dog breed, which unfortunately is on the verge of extinction. We can currently find them in a handful of regions in Tamil Nadu. Efforts are being made to encourage the breeding of Rajapalayams and to popularize them in the country.
Let’s do our part in the effort and learn more about the Rajapalayam.
1. Physical Attributes
a. Height- 25-30 inches
b. Size- Large
c. Life Span- 9-12 years
d. Colour- Milky white
e. Breed group- Hound
f. Type- Purebred
An Excellent Guard Dog
The Rajapalayam was bred to be a superb hunter who needs to please his owner. They were trained to hunt wild boars and other small prey. They make excellent guard dogs for their family.
A Rajapalayam will bark and alert their owner in case of a break-in. They are fearless and face any attacker head-on.
They are wary of strangers and do not enjoy being in crowds. Their large size may intimidate those who come for a visit.
They do not like to be petted or even touched by strangers and may charge if they feel threatened.
4. Sturdy During Extreme Summers
Being a South Indian dog breed, the Rajapalayam well-conditioned to the intense heat. They do not face weather-related sicknesses which western dogs are prone to and are generally healthy.
5. Sensitive To Change
They are really sensitive to their environment. Sudden changes may trigger them. Rajapalayams love routine and hence, being in a chaotic household can be detrimental to their mental health.
This is also the reason they flourish in disciplined environments like the Army.
6. Low biting potential
Unless provoked, the Rajapalayam rarely bites. If there is an intrusion, or if they feel pain, excited, see prey, etc., they may bite.
The Rajapalayam is not hypoallergenic. They shed a considerable amount all year round. They also produce a significant amount of dander.
How To Care For A Rajapalayam Dog – Grooming Needs
The Rajapalayam is very easy to groom. They do not shed a lot and have beautiful, short hair which needn’t be professionally groomed.
As soon as you bring a Rajapalayam puppy home, you should get him used to a specific grooming routine. They are creatures of habit, and as they grow older, it’ll be difficult for you to groom them if they aren’t accustomed to it.
1. Their coat should be brushed at least once or twice every week. Seasonal flea checks are a must to avoid an infestation.
2. Their bathing needs are reasonably manageable; a bath once every month is enough for them.
3. Clean their ears regularly to avoid ear wax and to prevent ear infections. Rajapalayams are prone to deafness, so frequent ear checkups are a must.
4. Trim their nails at least twice every month so that they don’t get infected ingrown nails. You need to make sure that they don’t chip their nails because it can cut into the tips of their paws, causing pain and infection.
5. Brush their teeth n a regular basis- at least once a week, to maintain proper dental health.
Training A Rajapalayam
The Rajapalayam are usually trained to be guard dogs, fighters, and hunters since time immemorial. Once they’re thoroughly trained, they are excellent performers. The catch is the training process.
This Indian dog breed is very tenacious. Rajas are intelligent but challenging to train because of their stubborn nature.
1. When you start training your Rajapalayam, make sure the same person begins and ends the training. They do not react well to change, and changing the trainer can cause obstructions to their practice.
2. It’s imperative to train your Rajapalayam puppy as soon as you bring them home as it becomes difficult to train them once they’re older.
3. You need to have patience throughout the training process because this Indian breed needs more time and repetitions to learn and obey. Teaching them new commands can be taxing, but it’s all worth it in the end.
4. You should find an experienced and skilled trainer for your Rajapalayam pup to make the training more accessible. They can be reasonably responsive and alert during the training sessions with the right trainer.
Always be a part of the training process because Rajapalayams struggle to take commands from more than one person. A good trainer will teach you how to handle your dog rather than managing them for you. This will ensure your dog is in good hands even after their training is over.
Apart from the essential grooming and dietary needs, you need to take care of some additional aspects to keep your Rajapalayam healthy and happy.
1. Health needs
Although the Rajapalayam is a sturdy and robust Indian dog breed, they sometimes may have some special requirements. They may suffer from certain genetic issues requiring special attention.
They are especially prone to skin issues like mange and dermatitis. Get them checked regularly to prevent skin conditions. Rajapalayam puppies can also suffer from ear infections and deafness. You should pay special attention to your pup. Keep an eye on signs of ear infections, like constant itching around the ears, foul smell, and excessive ear wax.
The Rajapalayam is a physically active breed and needs regular exercise to be healthy. You should take them out for a walk or run at least twice a day.
3. Reproductive health
If your Rajapalayam is a female, make sure her reproductive system is healthy, to avoid complications such as Follicular cysts and Metritis. If your dog is actively breeding, make sure they don’t litter more than once a year because it can be very harmful to their health.
Rajapalayam is a remarkable dog. A capable guard dog and a loyal companion. With the right care, they can be the ideal pet.