The Mudhol Hound Over The Years-
By Dr. B.C. Ramakrishna, President, society for Indian Breeds of Dogs, Bangalore
History when delved into throws up some rare gems of information regarding our Indian breeds of dogs which have been totally neglected and are now limping back into the limelight due to the concerted efforts of some like minded lovers of Indian breeds of dogs. When an overall view of the Indian breeds of dogs is taken, they appear to be of two types. Those having the conformation of sight hounds and the more stocky working sheep herding dogs. Then again, these sight hound like dogs bear an uncanny resemblance to the Sloughi, Saluki and the present day Greyhound. Now going back to the history and origin of dogs, all of them originate from central and western Asia. This again corroborates that the forefathers of the Indian breeds of sight hounds appear to have reached our land in times gone by with the invading hordes which invaded India over a period of time starting about as early as 500 BC. Now this period spread over more than a 1000 years, saw various invaders such as the Huns, Kushans, Mongols, Greeks, Persians, Turks and the Moguls invading India to loot and plunder its riches. On the other hand, they also brought with them their dogs which guarded, shepherded and also hunted for their masters. These dogs appear to be in all probability the present day Sloughi, Greyhound, Saluki which have not changed much in their conformation. Indian hounds have a strong resemblance to these dogs, being the outcome of selective breeding of these by the local populace. To this end the article on the Caravan hound in the Christmas number of 1980 of the Indian Kennel Gazette, has made it clear that names such as Rampur hounds etc appear to be the name given to the dog belonging to the area where it was more popular. To quote, all these dogs must naturally have come down the Khyber Pass and am sure that traces of their influence can still be found in northern India. Perhaps the Rampur hound and Sindh hounds are offshoots.
But then long before the advent of the Moguls, there were many other invaders such as the Persians and Turks who came to India and down to the Deccan, during the mid 14th century (1347), of whom was an Afghan warrior, Hasan Gangu Bahmani who founded the Bahmani sultanate with Gulbarga as its capital. In1443 an emissary, Abdul Razack from the court of then Persian king came to Gulbarga. This state extended into the present districts of Maharashtra including Osmanabad and lasted for more than 150 years. The collapse of the Bahmani kingdom gave rise to five feudal states, one of which was the Adil Shahi kingdom with Bijapur as its capital founded by Yousef Adil Shah who was the second son of the Turkish monarch. This kingdom rose to prominence and was at its peak towards the early 16th century.
Now with this background of history and emissaries running between the Deccan states and Persian and Turkish kingdoms, there appears to have been a large exchange of gifts and more specially dogs of the likes of the Saluki, Sloughi and the Greyhound whose places of origin is all
that area comprising of Arabia, Persia and the rest of the countries in between. The dogs in fact
followed their masters who were hired soldiers and mercenaries on horseback and on camel to
the Deccan from Persia and Turkey etc. So much so, that the forebears of our Mudhol breed must have come to India more than three centuries before the coming of the Moguls. In the interim of these three centuries, the incoming Sloughis, Salukis and the Greyhounds had adapted and domiciled themselves to this land of the Deccan and in course of time came to be known by the name of the land to which they were adapted. One of which was Mudhol, for it was and is part of Bijapur which in turn was the capital of the Adil Shahi kingdom of bygone days. This goes to show that the hounds have their roots in Mudhol and in the surrounding districts of present day Karnataka and Mahrashtra. This also goes to show that the genetic makeup of the Mudhol hound is the same as that of its Persian and Turkish ancestors and now the Mudhol appears to be both phenotypically and genotypically the same as that of its forerunners.
Aurangzeb the Mogul campaigned for more than eight years (1636-1644) in the Deccan to subdue the Marathas, who were fighting for their sovereignty. Aurangzeb saw that these Marathas used their canine companions for guarding and sighting interlopers in their guerrilla warfare. The patriotic Marathas were well known for their love of companion animals, especially dogs. Who in turn as a friend recognized neither fraternity nor brotherhood while on duty and faced any risk for their masters. These dogs have fought Muslim invaders and the British, alongside their Maratha masters. The faithful dog of Chatrapati Shivaji are entombed near his own at Raighad. The faithful dog of Sri Chatrapathi Sahu Maharaj saved him from the jaws of a tiger and attacked the tiger and killed it. This dog jumped into his masters pyre showing the faithfulness and sacrifice to his master. Shri Tulaji Angre and his dogs fought the British on the high seas to protect the Konkan and west coast of India. Thus these dogs belonging to Karnataka and Maharashtra regions are patriots in the true sense of the word. Aurangzeb sensed the importance of canines in guerrilla warfare and imported canines of the same type as those that came over to India more than 300 hundred years ago with the Persians and Turks along with the caravans of Afghan soldiers.
During the last few centuries, Mudhol – a feudal state located in the district of Bijapur in Karnataka has developed the Mudhol hound by selective breeding efforts of the ruling family of
the Ghorpades and their subjects and elsewhere. Legend has it that the Mudhol hounds proved
themselves in a hunt, wherein the ruler Srimanth Raja Malojirao Ghorphade and his Lieutenant.
Sri Nanasaheb Chandanashiva and their pack of Mudhol hounds fared the best over the rulers
of Kolhapur, Sangli, Pattadakal, Baroda and Jamkhandi. It was then the Ghorpade of Mudhol gave inams to the Chandanashiva family with the clause that they breed the Mudhols for all time and to perpetuate their lineage. These Mudhol hounds were also given to the nomadic tribes who used to move from kingdom to kingdom as an incentive to glean information from the neighbouring kingdoms as to their martial activities. In this regard the Mudhol hounds have gained themselves a niche in the hearts of the local people and of the adjoining districts of Karnataka and Mahrashtra. The Mudhols are recognised for their hardy nature and being a keen sight hound, are very much in demand as a companion animal, a hunter and guard dog. The Chandanashiva family entrusted through generations, with the Mudhol hounds, continue to do
justice in maintaining them even to this day, having been handed down from father to son namely from Nanasaheb to Vittalrao and on to the present generation consisting of Suresh Sadashiva Chandanashiva and his brothers. The Mudhols are currently being bred and put to use as sheep herding, hunting, and as companion dogs. Sri Srimanth Raja Malojirao Ghorpade submitted a fine pair of Mudhol hound pups to King George V on one of his trips to England. The monarch was so impressed by the pups that he referred to them as the pups from Mudhol and when they grew up, they appeared true to the hound conformation and were called the Mudhol hound. These hounds gained popularity in their own state and the surrounding areas and began to be referred to the hounds from Mudhol which has withstood the test of time and continues to date.
A view of the Intermediate class of male Mudhol hounds at the SIBD’s first specialty show held on 16.11.2014 at Bagalkot.
The Encyclopaedia of dogs, by Bruce Fogle published by M/s Darling Kindersley of the United kingdom on page 85, mention the Mudhol hound as a sight hound of Mahrashtra. Here it will not be wrong to state that Bijapur and Mudhol were a part of the them Bombay state till 1956 when the reorganisation of states took place on a linguistic basis and today are a part and parcel of the State of Karnataka.
Dr. Pranesh Jahgirdar, leading veterinarian of Bijapur, on a Rotary exchange visit to the USA in 1994 was thrilled to see the Mudhol hound depicted on a dog breeds chart displayed in a veterinary hospital in Waco, Texas. He explained to the clinicians in charge, of the origin of the Mudhol and its current status and capabilities.
Puppy class winner owned by Sri. Sabanna Pujari at the SIBD’s 1st Speciality Show at Bagalkot held on 16.11.2014 with judge Mrs Yashodhara Hemchandra
The Indian dogs, a book published by Popular Prakashana of Bombay in 1962, authored by Sri W. V. Soman and with a foreword by the then Governor of Maharashtra Sri Prakasa, which is a veritable treasure for lovers of Indian breeds of dogs, for Mr. Soman has not spared any efforts to trace the origin of dogs in India from Vedic times to the modern day. He has listed appendices showing the different capabilities of the dog such as its companionship, guarding instinct, hunting prowess and its intelligence in saving the life of fellow humans etc. Further his chapters on the various Indian breeds of dogs amounting to some 23 different breeds is well chronicled including that of the Mudhol.
Ms. Ratna Kapoor, an international canine judge of the Federation of Kennel Club’s of India (FKCI) has written in the FKCI journal regarding the Mudhol hound.
Dr. Mohd. Basheer and Dr. T. N. Ganesh in their book, published in 1989, entitled “Know your
dogs” with a foreword by the vice-chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Dr. Jayaraj, have mentioned about the Mudhol hound..
Another popular canine club of western India, the “Indian National Kennel Club” (INKC) has recognised the Mudhol hound since the clubs inception in 1969. Their official journal “Canine Review” has brought out an “Indian breeds Special” with breed standards of the Mudhol hound,
published in January of 1995.
Prasaranga, the publishing wing of the Mysore University has brought out a well documented book on dogs entitled “Naayi” authored by Mr. Harish. The book deals at length with the habitat, breed characters, and utility of the Mudhol hound, which is described in detail on page 202.
Some hounds that then existed were in the employ of the bygone kingdoms of Bahmani, Adil Shahi, Marathas etc., and thus the hounds which were domiciled long before and took the name of the land to which they were domiciled and so the Mudhol hound is rightly christened and continues to be known as the Mudhol hound.
The ex-rulers of Jamkhandi and Kolhapur being canine connoisseurs have in their kennels, stock of Mudhol hounds which they rear and show. The popularity of the Mudhol breed of hounds in their native tract of Bijapur district speaks volumes as nowhere, not even a speciality club dog show can bring together as many dogs of the same breed on a day. At the dog show conducted by the zilla panchayat in Mudhol itself there were some 350 dogs on show. Then again at the show conducted by the Bijapur Kennel Club in February 1997, they were there in large numbers, more than 150 of them, handled by their masters in their ethnic best.
The Bharath Kennel club with its headquarters in Madras mentions in its memorandum of the club, the Mudhol hounds along with other Indian breeds of dogs. Leading newspapers of the country, of which “The Hindu”, published from Hyderabad dated 1st January 1997 mentions the
Mudhol hound in an exclusive article titled “The Mudhol hound – Pride of Karnataka”. So much so that the Mudhol hound is today known locality nationally and internationally as the Mudhol hound.
The hound dog of Karnataka the Mudhol was first noticed by me when I was a lad of some ten or twelve years of age. I used to practice for athletics and at the grounds near my home, another person, a police inspector would being along with him a lean hound dog, who used to keep pace with him, while he ran round the track. My curiosity took the better of me and questioned him as to what breed the dog was? He said that it was a Mudhol hound and was native to Bijapur district. He told me that when he was on an assignment to Bijapur, that is way back in 1953, he had picked the dog from Bijapur. I was totally impressed with the hound that it remained a part of my subconscious, till recently when we were able to promote the Mudhol hound at the Mysore Kennel Club shows.
The Mysore Kennel club, the pioneer kennel club in the state of Karnataka, the home of the Mudhol hound, thought to provide the Mudhol hound a forum and for a few years since 1990, Mudhols were put on exhibitions only, during the All India championship dog shows of the club
for the general public to appreciate the virtues of the Mudhol hound. In time, proposals were addressed to the Kennel Club of India (KCI) for registering the Mudhol hound. The KCI under the opinion certificate of their approved judges, have for the past few years, a registry for the Mudhol hounds. The Mudhol hounds have now entered the championship competitions along with their KCI tag since 1993 and have been judged by both national and international canine judges. Some of them were Mr. Rangarajan, Mr. D. Krishnamurthy, Mr. C.V. Sudarsan, Mrs. Pamela Singh, Mr. Pathasekhar Chatterjee, Dr. May Lim of Singapore, Mrs. Leela Rathnam, Dr. Mathew C. John and a host of other esteemed canine judges who have judged, appreciated and issued challenge certificates. In 2010, a Mudhol hound dog show was held at Mudhol under the auspices of the Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU), Bidar, Mysore Kennel Club, Bangalore, wherein more than 700 exhibits participated.
A group of like-minded people interested in the protection promotion and development of Indian breeds of dogs met under the chairmanship of Dr. B. C. Ramakrishna, on Tuesday 2nd October 2013 and formed an organisation titled Society for Indian Breeds of Dogs, the same was registered with the Registrar of Societies in Karnataka and was also affiliated to the Kennel Club of India. In the recent past the Society for Indian Breeds of Dogs (SIBD) conducted a specialty show in November 2014 at Bagalkot wherein some 250 dogs participated and was judged by Mrs. Yashodhara Hemchandra. The second specialty show was held in Nagerkoil of Tamil Nadu in September 2015 wherein some 125 dogs participated and the third speciality show was held in Kolhapur of Mahrashtra state during November 2015 and both these showswere was judged by Mr. D. Krishnamurthy, the vice chairman of the KCI and a connoisseur of Indian breeds of dogs.
The Government of Karnataka, considering the historic importance of the Mudhol hounds and also its virtues, have launched programmes through their official machinery, viz the departments of animal husbandry and veterinary service, the Zilla panchayats, NGO’s and currently the Centre for Canine Research and Information centre (CRIC) of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU) (Bidar)to take up selective breeding of and improve upon the Mudhol hound. Mudhol hound breeding has also been taken up by Udupi district some 15 years back and of late the Uttara Kannada District has set up a breeding unit at Karwar. Now collective responsibility is a must for Indian dog enthusiasts, registered kennel clubs the Kennel club of India and other dog loving to see that our Indian breeds of dogs reach greater heights.
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