One of India’s best known Greyhound breeds is the Rampur Greyhound. He was named after his native state Rampur (UP) and known to have existed in Rampur for over 300 years. Here’s more on this exquisite breed.
Rampur Greyhounds dogs were generally kept by Maharajas and Nawabs for big hunting games. They
are very fast and powerful with strong pasterns to cover great distances at high speed. This remarkable breed is now balancing on the fine line of extinction.
Journey down the lane
The Nawab of the Rampur – Ahmed Ali Khan Bahadur – created this breed by breeding Afghan Hound (Tazi) with English Greyhound. Rampur Hound endowed his speed from his English ancestors and got his looks and stalwart character from Afghan Hound (Tazi).
Types of Rampur Hound
The Rampur hound is a member of the big Sighthound family. There is still enigma regarding the types of Rampur Hound, although lot of people claim that there are three types of this breed.
1. Reza: They are very homely, little timid and playful in nature. They hunt smaller animals.
2. Kesari: They look like somewhat Deer Hound having long coat. They are rarest of all Rampur Hounds.
3. Sahi Shikari: They are royale, very strongly built and have powerful jaws, very temperamental in nature and they hunt big games like Blue Bull, even they can attack a tiger daringly. It is also believed that Sahi Shikaris are the real Rampur Hounds and rest are bit mixed breeds.
Their body is little angled back, along with loin and croup. They have a flat skull, little angled top, powerful jaws, and razor sharp teeth. Their ears are short while tail is long. Their feet are long with knuckled toes and powerful well grip pads. They are found in various colours like black, grey, brindle, fawn or white. The height of males is 60-75 cm, while that of females is 55-60 cm and they weigh around 27-30 kg.
Living life king size…
A Rampur Hound has clean habits and is royal by nature. He loves his pet parent’s company and is also well-adjusted to other dogs. They are very protective but tend to be a one-master dog and usually obey his master only. Rampur Hounds do not tolerate unknown faces. So, always keep an eye to avoid undue attacks/fights with other people/dogs. He needs plenty of space to move around and so is not suited for people living in apartments.
Rampur Hound requires minimum two or three walks a day; he should not be without leash in public places like parks, garden, road, etc as he has a tendency to run very fast, around 30 km/hr. They love to play and charge at each other at speed.
This dog does not require much grooming and using gloves will keep the coat shining.
This is a robust breed and not susceptible to many of the physiological problems that his western counterparts are often prone to. Their diseases are very similar to other Greyhound breeds and will often experience the same symptoms and diseases. Their lean physique makes them ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces and without bedding; Rampur Hounds are prone to develop painful skin sores. This can be avoided by feeding them food high in vitamin-A. Rampur Hounds may live up to 15 years, but this varies enormously.
Who is Sighthound?
Also called Gazehounds, Sighthounds are known for being the type of breeds who hunt by ‘speed’ and ‘sight’ instead of scent or endurance. They have strong vision and detect motion of preys in swift manner. A typical feature of Sighthound is the light and lean head which is dolichocephalic (longer head) in proportion like wolves and other wild dogs. Some of the breeds who come under Sighthound category include: Afghan Hound, Azawakh, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Hungarian Greyhound, Saluki, etc.
Hounds of Maharajahs
It was the favoured 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 Hounds built to cover great distances at high speed; thus capable of great endurance. This breed was used as a popular hunter. The outstanding hunting capabilities of Rampur Hound made him favourite dog of Indian aristocrats. The dog possesses an exceptional personality which is the perfect combination of beauty, grace, speed, power, stamina, and aggressive hunting attitude, which makes him worthy for hunting big as well as small games with same expertise.
(Dr VK Singh is Veterinary Medical Officer at Shamli, Uttar Pradesh).