South Indian dog breeds are some of the most striking and unique breeds still in existence today. India is home to some of the most breathtaking hunting dogs the world has ever seen.
The country’s rich history has seen these one-of-a-kind canines go from everyday assets to facing near extinction in the modern world.
One of the most well-known dog breeds originating from Southern India is the Chippiparai. Like many of India’s native dog breeds, the Chippiparai was originally bred as a hunting dog. Today, this historical breed faces possible extinction.
The Chippiparai is one of India’s most famous dog breeds. Looking somewhat similar to the English Greyhound, the Chippiparai is well-known across the globe. Although many may be aware of the Chippiparai, the majority of global kennel clubs don’t recognize the Chippiparai as a breed.
The rarity of the Chippiparai means it is difficult for us to fully understand the innate temperament or health conditions and concerns that are common in the breed. Over the years, owners of the Chippiparai have identified personality traits and health concerns that seem to frequently occur in the breed.
Although the Chippiparai isn’t as common as well-known western dogs, they can still make a loving and loyal companion.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the rich history of the Chippiparai dog breed, alongside all the known facts and information on this breed.
What Is A Chippiparai Dog Breed?
The Chippiparai dog breed, like most Southern Indian breeds, was bred to be a hunting dog. Chippiparai are famous for being the most intelligent of India’s native dogs. Their natural cleverness has made the Chippiparai the ideal dog for hunting and guarding. They can be easily trained and are extremely obedient.
The downside of this is Chippiparai’s tend to be overprotective, becoming aggressive to other dogs and strangers. Although these characteristics can be amended through training and socializing.
In Southern India, Chippiparai’s are still used as hunting and guard dogs. The Chippiparai is a sighthound, meaning they hunt using sight and speed. This makes them the ideal hunters for hunting game such as hare and deer. Their agility and muscular build mean the Chippiparai is a dog built for speed.
The rich history of the Chippiparai as a hunting dog doesn’t mean they can’t be household pets. Their devotion, loyalty and intelligence make the Chippiparai an ideal pet– one that will protect as much as it will love.
Chippiparai’s diverse characteristics make them ideal for all kinds of jobs. Their intelligence and loyalty have resulted in the Chippiparai becoming successfully trained police dogs.
Chippiparai Dog Breed Quick Facts
Male: 24″ (61 cm)
Female: 22″ (56 cm)
Male: 33 to 45 lbs (15 – 20 Kg).
Female: 33 to 45 lbs (15 to 20 kg).
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Origin: Southern India (Tamil Nadu)
Alternative Names: The Indian Hound Dog
Chippiparai Dog Breed Characteristics
- Mild temper
Where Is The Chippiparai Dog Breed From?
The Chippiparai breed originates from the village of Sippipparai in Vembakottai Taluk in the Virudhunagar district.
As mentioned previously, the breed was originally used as a hunting dog to track and kill small game. The Chippiparai’s excellent hunting skills elevated them to become favourites of the king. Chippiparai’s were known as royal dogs due to Indian royalty keeping them.
Many believe the Chippiparai breed is a descendant of the Saluki breed, an Egyptian dog breed. The Saluki breed was also known as a royal dog in Egypt.
During the British colonial rule of India, popularity for native Indian dogs wavered. Instead, dogs from overseas gained popularity. Post-colonial rule, native Indian dogs didn’t regain the level of popularity they had previously.
Since then, native Indian dogs have been decreasing in numbers, and several of them are currently facing extinction.
Chippiparai Dog Breed Physical Appearance
The Chippiparai dog has the body of a hunter. They’re agile and elegant with small dark eyes and medium-sized ears that are usually pointing upwards. Their bodies are lean and muscular, perfect for the high-speeds the Chippiparai can run at.
Their athletic stature is comparable to the English Greyhound, although the Chippiparai is significantly more muscular. They have narrow powerful jaws and long bony tails, adding to their abilities as India’s greatest hunting dog.
Their short fur and immunity to most pesticides mean the Chippiparai is a low maintenance and easy to groom pooch. When grooming a Chippiparai, all you need to do is brush their short coat with a firm bristled brush and keep up regular maintenance like nail clipping and teeth brushing. A regular dog toothbrush, toothpaste and nail clippers are fine to use on your Chippiparai.
Due to their short fur and resistance to harsh climates, the Chippiparai doesn’t need bathing often. Keep bathing to a minimum to avoid skin irritation.
Chippiparai’s come in a range of different colors and variations, although white is the most common. Brown, fawn, silver, gray and reddish-brown are the other colors you can get Chippiparai’s in. Often a Chippiparai will have dual colors or splotches of other colors. Dual colors are usually black/tan or black/gray. Many Chippiparai’s will have some kind of white markings on their skin.
Chippiparai Dog Breed Exercise And Training
Their rich history as hunters and their affinity for high-speed running mean the Chippiparai has a lot of energy to run off. Chippiparai’s need a minimum of one hour of exercise a day. While walks and hikes are good for your Chippiparai, it is best if you find an area where your dog can run at its naturally fast pace.
Failure to let your dog exercise and run off its energy can result in bad behavior and increased aggression.
Chippiparai’s are highly-intelligent dogs and so will benefit from immersive training toys.
It is not safe or fair to keep a Chippiparai cooped up in an apartment. If you own a Chippiparai, you need adequate outdoor space for them to go outside whenever they need to.
The Chippiparai’s attentive and obedient nature makes them ideal for training. Training your Chippiparai can benefit both you and your pup.
The breed’s aggressive tendencies can be distilled with training and attention. Introducing your dog to other dogs and people from an early age reduces their hostility towards strangers. This means you can take your dog to the local dog park or out with friends without fear they could become agitated and aggressive.
This breed is known for its obedience and loyalty to its master. Training your dog from a young age will ensure they remain loyal to you. This is imperative if you want to have a Chippiparai in the home or if you want to use your Chippiparai as a guard dog. Your pup needs to know their role and responsibility from as early on as possible.
Chippiparai Dog Breed Health
The rarity of the Chippiparai breed means there is a lack of knowledge on their health and wellbeing. The little research conducted on native Indian dogs makes it difficult to identify recurring health conditions.
The Chippiparai is practically immune to fleas and other parasites due to their short fur. In addition to this, the hot climates they face where poverty and food shortages are common has resulted in the Chippiparai becoming a pretty tough pooch.
These dogs would have likely faced days under the hot sun with food and water shortages. Animals such as snakes, tigers and crocodiles would inhabit the same spaces as the Chippiparai, making this breed one of the toughest dogs you’ll ever encounter.
Chippiparai’s are pretty robust dogs, especially in comparison to western dogs. However, there are still some health concerns it’s a good idea to look out for in your Chippiparai. These include:
- Cold intolerance
- Food allergies
- Sensitivity to anesthesia
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Dog Breeds Similar To The Chippiparai Breed
Also from Southern India, the Kanni is another endangered native dog. This breed is still in Southern India, but outsider knowledge of its existence is scarce. Similar to the other native Indian dogs, the Kanni has a muscular, long and lean frame, which is ideal for hunting. The Kanni is another sighthound used as a game hunter.
The Kanni’s winning asset is its speed. The Kanni can run at high speeds over far distances, meaning no prey is getting away.
The Rajapalayam is India’s resident hunting dog. This canine has a large muscular frame and isn’t intimidated by anything. They can hunt by sight and scent, which means no prey is getting away. The Rajapalyam is larger than the other native Indian dogs but is still similar in appearance.
Similar to the Chippiparai, the Rajapalyam has a distinctive white coat. These pooches are one of the most endangered out of the native Indian dogs, and The Kennel Club of India runs a ‘Save the Rajapalayam Project’, which aims to stop this breed from becoming extinct.
Kombai’s are India’s fighting dog. This muscular breed is one of the heavier native Indian dogs. Fighting, hunting, and guarding were their original purpose. Today, the Kombai is still used for these purposes across its home in Southern India, although many Kombai’s are also loving pets. Like all native Indian dogs, Kombai’s are loyal and affectionate but can also be overprotective and aggressive. This is why you must train and treat your dog according to its purpose.
These native Indian dogs are all one-of-a-kind specimens, although each requires intense exercise, training and attention. You shouldn’t own a native Indian breed if you are unable to or unwilling to put the work in. If you do dedicate your time to one of these breeds, you will have a unique pooch with unwavering loyalty and love for you.
Summary On The Chippiparai Dog Breed
The Chippiparai dog breed is one of the most interesting breeds of dog from Southern India. Similar to the other dog breeds from this area, the Chippiparai is loyal, clever and obedient. On the flip side, this can also mean the Chippiparai is protective, aggressive, and easily intimidated.
This breed of dog is striking in appearance. With a short vibrant coat, often in several beautiful colors, and an athletic posture, this Indian breed is arguably more striking than any western dog.
Being originally bred as hunters means the Chippiparai can put up a fight when it needs to. However, Chippiparai can be domesticated into becoming kind and loving pets.
People love the Chippiparai breed because of their loyalty and unbounded energy. If you’re looking for a running partner, there’s no better fit than a Chippiparai. Alternatively, if you need a guard dog, this breed’s extreme devotion makes them ideal for protecting you and your home.
Over the years, native Indian dogs have gained a bad reputation and their popularity has steadily decreased. If we want this stunning and loving breed of dog to survive and gain the attention it deserves, we need to encourage others to learn about the wonders and benefits of these unique breeds.
The Chippiparai breed is a dog like no other and one that doesn’t deserve to face extinction. Share what you’ve learned about the breed’s rich history and intense personality with others in your life, and make sure the Chippiparai dog breed still has a long life ahead of it.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.