The Combai is usually tan or red brown with a black mask, and with a dark line along the back. The chief differences between the Rajapalayam and the Combai breeds are that the Combai has more powerful jaws, often with a black mouth, much more pendent ears, a more savage temper, and a tendency to be much more active than the rajapalayam. It is also slightly shorter than the Rajapalayam, but appears heavier because of its powerful build. Their coats are easily maintainable, and are less prone to skin disorders, fungal and yeast infections, and parasite infestation. The breed, having evolved naturally many centuries ago, is more immune to most diseases compared to the human-designed breeds.
As a guard dog, the Combai is superior to the Rajapalayam. The Combai were used for hunting and keeping watch. Nowadays, these are mostly used as guard dogs in farm houses. Years ago they were used to guard people's cattle from tigers and leopards. A Combai is as intelligent and sensible a family dog as a German Shepherd, and as ferocious as a Rottweiler to intruders. It is an athletic and intelligent breed. Contrary to the popular belief of its savage temper, the Combai is very alert, a good family dog, loves to play with children and enjoys human companionship. It clearly senses who is welcome and not. As an intelligent dog, the Combai strives to please its master and generally responds to the mood and command of its master from its infancy. It is difficult to find a purebred Combai now-a-days, as the importance of this dog has diminished.
In demanding circumstances, they can fight intruders (whether humans or animals) until death.
The Combai is a very ancient breed of dog, used in hunting as early as the 9th century B.C., when the Maravar kings held sway over South India. The Combai was used for hunting boar, bison and deer. Once available in large numbers throughout Southern India, the Combai is now restricted to certain parts of Tamil Nadu and to some special kennels.The original old bloodline Combai has become even very rare. It is often mistaken as a combination of other breeds because of its gigantic appearance when compared with the combai which is available with the breeders.
It is commonly confused with the Rajapalayam hound, and so is often referred to, or known as, a Rajapalayam.(Kombai dogs are entirely different from rajapalayam by origin and its fighting behaviour resemble lion, hit with legs first in neck)