Mudhold Hounds hunt by sight

Will Mudhol dogs used by Shivaji and Karnataka princes become part of Indian ArmyWikimedia Commons
news Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 19:06

Karnataka’s Mudhol Hound may be included in the Indian Army for various services along with other breeds of dogs that the Army already uses.

TV9 Kannada reported that the union government’s Commissioner for Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries had visisted Mudhol taluk in Bagalkt district some time ago to collect information on the breed.

The channel quoted Mahesh Doddamani, who heads the state Canine Research and Information Centre as saying that the commissioner Suresh Honnappagol had visited the centre and sought information on the breed’s capabilites and uniqueness.

A lean dog with long legs, the Mudhol Hound belongs to the family of sight hounds, meaning that it depends on its keen sense of sight to hunt and chase prey.

Although it is called the Mudhol Hound today, this is a recent name for the hunting dog. Writing for Deccan Herald, Arjunsinh Jadeja traces the history of the hound, which came to be called the Caravan Hound because of its use by traders on the famed Silk Route.

He says that traders who travelled between the Indian sub-continent, the Chinese empire, Persia and Arabia used Arabian or Afghan hunting dogs to protect their caravans of goods and themselves. The inter-breeding of these two breeds produced a breed that eventually began to be called the Caravani Hounds or Karavani Hounds.

Jadeja then says that Shivaji used these dogs in his army and during that period, they became known as Maratha hounds. After the British rule consolidated, these hounds were no longer used in battle, as the British had their own hunting dogs.

Later, it was the princely state of Mudhol under Raja Malojirao Ghorpade who revived the breed. Jadeja says that Ghorpade observed that the tribes living in and around the present-day north Karnataka and neighbouring Maharashtra bred these dogs and used them for hunting.

Today the breed has a name of its own and has actually brought some prosperity to dog-breeders in Mudhol taluk. 

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