Inclusion of India’s own hound ‘Mudhol’ in the Indian army for the very first time in the history of the army is a significant step. This would not only bring down cost of acquisition of foreign breeds like German Shepherds, Labradors and Great Swiss Mountain dogs, but also will change the way people see the Indian breeds of dogs. Further, being familiar with the climate, they would not be needed the extra care like the foreign breeds that need to adjust with the humid climate of India.
The experimental six Mudhol Hounds have already completed their training at Army’s Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) centre in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and would be inducted into the Indian Army later this year. They would be posted in Jammu & Kashmir as guards.
But before they are being inducted, here are 16 facts about the Mudhol Hounds that every Indian should know.
1. The breed is named after a small town in Karnataka called ‘Mudhol’.
It is believed that the king of the princely state of Mudhol had revived the Mudhol Hounds after he witnessed them being used for hunting by local tribes. On a visit to King George V in the 1900s, he gifted two hounds to the king. This led to the hounds being named ‘Mudhol’ as well as surge in popularity.
2. They are also called Caravan Hound.
The name was given by the British because the breed would go along with people in caravans. The locals, on a similar note, call them Karwaani. They are called Mudhol mostly in the south.
3. Mudhols are believed to be descendants of Saluki and Tazi which were foreign breeds brought in India by the Afghans, Arabs, Pathans and Persians.
4. Mudhols are one of the healthiest breeds in the world.
They are not prone to any specific disease. However, due to absence of body fats, they are vulnerable to rain and cold and might face issues related to skin besides chilly bites.
5. Mudhols are superior to all other working hounds and can give exceptional service continuously in extreme conditions where other dogs would fall short.
6. Because Mudhols have elongated skull and pointed muzzles, they have a field of vision of about 270 degrees.
Almost twice the field of vision of humans.
7. Mudhols have exceptional vision.
They have such good eyesight that instead of scent they depend on sight for hunting. They can detect movements from miles. They are therefore categorized as sight-hounds.
8. Mudhol Hounds need consistent exercise and need to train them from a very early age to socialize with other animals.
They have inherent nervous temperament and would not respond to harsh behavior. They also don’t like strangers who touch them and are not very friendly.
9. According to a report in The Hindu, Mudhol Hounds can complete a given task in 40 seconds.
Comparing to Mudhols, German Shepherds take 90 seconds to complete the same task.
10. Despite of their ferocity and agility, Mudhols are but an endangered breed and efforts are being made to save the hounds from extinction.
In this regard, Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU), Bidar, has set up a Canine Research and Information Centre at Mudhol, Karnataka. Since its inception, the number of Mudhol Hounds has increased significantly from 750 in 2010 to many thousands at present.
11. Mudhol Hounds have a lifespan of between 10 years to 15 years.
12. Mudhols reach their sexual maturity between the ages of six to nine months.
However, to become fully grown adults, they need around 18 months. They are best for breeding after they have attained two years of age.
13. Mudhols are primarily found in the Deccan Plateau region of India where the villagers use them for guarding their properties and for hunting.
14. In 9 January 2005, Indian Postal Department had issued stamps with the image of Mudhol Hounds having the face value of Rs. 5.
15. Mudhols were an integral part of the Maratha troops.
Mudhols fought alongside the Marathas in their battles against the Mughals during the peak of their power and then against the British for the freedom of India. They were used during guerrilla attacks and called Maratha Hounds.
16. The grandson of Shivaji, Chatrapathi Sahu, was once attacked by a tiger during an expedition.
His fearless and faithful Mudhol attacked the tiger and killed it, saving the life of its master.