|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2013)|
|Other names||North-Indian Greyhound
|Country of origin||India|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Rampur Greyhound is a breed of dogs native to the Rampur region of Northern India, which lies between Delhi and Bareilly. The Rampur hound is a member of the big sighthound family. In North West of India it is often described as a smooth haired sighthound, substantially built. It was the favored hound of the Maharajahs for jackal control, but was also used to hunt lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers. It was considered a test of courage for a single hound to take down a golden jackal. The Rampur is built to cover great distances at high speed; thus capable of great endurance.
The length from the withers to the base of the tail is about 36 inches, the chest is deep in front but not very wide with well sprung ribs. The tail is long and tapering slightly curving upwards and carried low; it is about 24"–27" in length. The circumference of the neck is about 12 inches and its long arched and muscular and rather broad where it joins the body. The length of the jaw is 9 inches and are powerful with a scissor bite. The males measure 60–75 cm (24–30 in) in height. The females measure 55–60 cm (22–24 in) in height. They weigh about 27–30 kg (60–65 lb).
They are approximately greyhound size, but much wider and more muscular, similar to the Rhodesian Ridgeback.The head of the Rampur is broader and more substantial than the head of the English Greyhound. It has a flat skull and a pointed nose. It also has a characteristic roman bend. Some other unique characteristics are their Roman nose, ears set high, pendant style, and of most interest, their "hare" feet. The Rampur's foot is a large "hare" shape, with heavy webbing. Their toes are very articulated and flexible, even able to bend backwards a bit. They are not unlike our own fingers in many ways. This maneuverability helps to give them a cat-like balance, able to walk on ledges, or to calmly clear a six foot fence. Colors are mouse-gray, grizzle, brindle, parti-colour or most rare, black. Black however is the most sought after. Eye color ranges from yellow to a golden brown. A word about the gray and grizzle color. These two colors have the ability to blend completely with the foliage of the forest, so much so that when the hound is still, you may not see them from a distance of as little as ten feet, in broad daylight. Its bite is extremely powerful.
The breed loves human companionship, and is well adjusted to other dogs. It has clean habits. They may appear lazy but will charge if needed. The Rampur in play is a scary thing to the uninitiated. They like to charge at each other at speed, then butt their chests with extensive force. They are affectionate to their owners, almost to a fault. Even so, the Rampur Hound is still a commanding breed and makes an excellent guard-dog. It is fiercely protective of its family, although it tends to be a one-person dog and will usually obey only one master. Within family circles, especially with children, it is dependably gentle and sensitive. It is advisable, of course, to supervise interactions and see that the children don't take undue advantage of this innate good nature. It is also a large dog, and with a surfeit of affection, is capable of, however unintentionally, knocking over both children and adults. The distinct penchant of the Rampur Hound of starting—and, more often than not, ending—fights with other dogs is another factor that needs watching. This apart, before obtaining a Rampur Hound its size and exercise requirements should be taken into consideration. It needs plenty of space and probably will be not be happy to be confined in a small apartment. It is also a robust breed and not susceptible to many of the physiological problems that its Western counterparts are often prone to.
Rampurs are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. Their diseases are very similar to other greyhound breeds and will often experience the same symptoms and diseases. Rampurs have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, bloat (gastric torsion), and osteosarcoma Because the Rampur's lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, owners should generally provide soft bedding; without bedding, Rampurs are prone to develop painful skin sores. This can been avoided by feeding them foods high in vitamin A. Rampurs may live up to fifteen years, but this varies enormously. Due to the unique physiology and anatomy of Rampurs, a veterinarian who understands the issues relevant to the breed is generally the best option when the dogs need treatment, particularly when anaesthesia is required. If such specialists are not available, it is best to seek one who specialises in the treatment of greyhounds or related breeds.
Greyhounds demonstrate unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by veterinarians not familiar with the breed; this can result in an incorrect diagnosis. Rampurs have higher levels of red blood cells than do other breeds, (a trait inherited from their English Greyhound ancestors). Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles, this higher level allows the hound to move larger quantities of oxygen faster from the lungs to the muscles. Veterinary blood services should use greyhounds as blood donors if there are no available Rampurs, (Greyhounds are generally used as universal blood donors anyway).
Today, with the passing of Imperial India and the dawn Animal Rights, boar hunting is no longer a State sanctioned activity and is restricted mainly to the rural population of India. They on the other hand maintain hunting with these dogs for food or to get rid of pests, rather than as a pastime, (as the Maharajas did while the dog was still popular). This decline in hunting and the usage of the dog saw a decline in the dog's popularity. More realistically the rural villagers, can not really afford to keep such a large dog. It is mainly kept to hunt jackal, but is also capable of tracking down and killing other, larger wounded game. It used to be used to hunt lions, tigers and leopards
His Royal Highness Ahmed Ali Khan Bahadur bred these dogs by combining the blood lines of very powerful but ferocious Tazi, brought in by the Afghans, and the English Greyhound that was more obedient but less resistant to the varying climatic conditions. He gave the name 'Rampur Hound' to the dogs he bred. The Rampur Hound far exceeded the his expectations. From its Tazi and Afghan ancestors it got its looks and stalwart character, and from the English Greyhound it got its speed. Here was a dog that would seldom back down in confrontations, and could more or less keep up with the fastest prey.
With the fall of the Maharajahs from power in 1947, so too, fell the popularity of the Rampur Hound. The effect of the arrival of the English was evident to the Rampur, as well as the native Indian people. The English greyhound was bred into some of the lines, making it very difficult to find a purebred Rampur Greyhound. With the decline in hunting in India the dog's popularity plummeted. It was no longer fashionable or practical for the rich to keep them, while the poorer population simply could not afford to keep them. In recent years, however, its popularity has risen, and along with this, the breed's numbers. This remarkable breed balances on the fine line of extinction. Outside of India, only a handful are known and registered, and are all located in the United States of America, in state of New Jersey.
It has never been seen in a show ring in Europe and leaves consequently the field open to canine research.
- http://www.thekci.org/home.aspx, The Kennel Club of India.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rampur Greyhound.|