Know Our Own Dog Breeds, Kombai, Kanni, Alangu, Chippiparai and Rajapalayam

Let us identify these Dog breeds of Tamilnadu. Feel Free to put in your answers in comments.

To know more about these dogs…


The Kombai is usually red or brown with a black mask, and with a dark line along the back. The chief differences between the Rajapalayam and the Combai breeds are that the Combai has more powerful jaws, often with a black mouth, much more pendent ears, rich red colour and a savage temper. It has, like Rhodesian Ridgeback, a ridge of fur along its back.

Their coats are easily maintainable and are less prone to skin disorders, fungal and yeast infections, and ticks-fleas infestation. The breed, having evolved naturally many centuries ago, are very immune to most diseases that haunt the man-designed breeds.

The Combai is a very ancient breed of dog, used in hunting as early as the 9th century B.C. when the Marava Kings held sway over South India. The Combai was used for hunting boar, bison and deer. Once available in large numbers throughout Southern India, the Combai is now restricted to certain parts of Tamilnadu and to some special kennels.


The Chippiparai is a sight hound breed of dog from the south of India. Thought to be a descendant of the Saluki, today it is found in the area around Periyar Lake. It is used primarily for hunting wild boar, deer and hare. It is said to be an excellent hunter, and is also used for guarding the home.


The typical color is a silver-grey, with very limited or no white markings. Other colors, particularly variations of grey and fawn, also occur. This is a handsome dog, tall (27-32 inches at the withers) and powerful. It has a short coat that is very close; on the whole the coat if kept groomed has a shine on it. A shining, shell-like appearance is greatly desired. This kind of coat makes it ideal for hot climates. This hound is also less prone to ticks and fleas, with their short coat providing easy detection. The overall appearance is very similar to that of the Sloughi, or the Rampur Hound.


The Kanni, which means maiden, is a rare indigenous South Indian dog breed found in the state of Tamil Nadu. The breed is a further extension of the Caravan or Mudhol Hound, and is also a descendant of the Saluki. However, the Kanni does not possess the grand features of these breeds. It is used mainly for hunting.


In general appearance, the Kanni is similar to a smooth-coated Saluki or a Doberman Pinscher with natural ears and tail. The dog is usually black and tan in colour, perhaps with limited white on the feet and chest. There also exists a cream-coloured variety of the breed, which is known as “Paalakanni”. The Kanni is agile, slim, graceful, and moderately built, with a deep chest and slim body. The dog stands about 25 inches at the withers, the bitch about 22 inches.


The Kanni is found in and around Tirunelveli, Pollachi, Kovilpatti, Kazhugumalai, Kileral, Kodangipatti, Sivakasi, and Madurai. It is said that the name Kanni ( which means Unmarried Girl) comes from the fact that the dog used to be given as a gift to the bridegroom just before the marriage. They are usually of four colours, brown, cream, black & tan and brindle. The Kanni is kept by families who do not sell them but may gift them if a promise is made to look after them well. They are not allowed to roam on the streets and brought up as pet animals. They are given a diet of milk in the morning, corn porridge in the afternoon and a “Ragi” porridge in the evening. Meat is given once a week or once a month only. The breed is now extremely rare, and on the verge of extinction. Efforts to revive the breed have not been taken up, as specimens are few, and there exists little information about them.



This is a tall breed with a noble carriage and short coat. The dogs may be red, fawn or brindle, markings vary. The muzzle is black and the skin around their neck and mouth is loose. The brisket is deep, and the limbs are well muscled. The back is long with the tail tapering to a fine point. The ears are set high on the skull and pricked. It has a long and graceful stride. Their height varies between 73,6 to 76,2 cm. (29-30 inches).


The Persian Army used Indian mastiffs, but just for guarding and were introduced into Greece by Xerxes the First when he marched towards this country in 486-465 B.C..

The Indian Mastiff originated in and around the desert area of Kachchh, the Rajasthan area and Bhawalpur area of Punjab. A part of the Kutch area in Rajasthan was under the Sindh District and so the other name of this breed is Sindh Mastiff. Alongside the Kumaon Mastiff, the Indian Mastiff were used for hunting large games. A sudden change in the hunting practises saw the Indian Royal families to use cheetahs for hunting instead. This changed the Indian Mastiffs job to guard dogs and dogs used for fighting instead. With time most people forgot the breeds and the Indian Mastiff became rare. The people who used the Indian Mastiffs to fight dropped its height a couple of inches for performance sake. Its height was originally, 30-34 inches (76,2 – 86,3 cm), but as 150 years has passed the height of the breed has dwindled to 29-30 inches (73,6 – 76,2 cm).

The Indian Mastiff are used as fighting dogs in Pakistan, where they then are called Bully Kutta, alongside the proper Bully Kutta, since most Pakistani dog fighters are accustomed to calling all Mastiff breeds used for fighting Bully Kutta. The Indian Mastiff are still used in Pakistan as excellent Fighting Dogs and also as one of the most dangerous guard dogs, known to excel the true Bully Kutta.


The Rajapalayam is an Indian Sighthound. It was the companion of the royalty and aristocracy in Southern India, particularly in the town Rajapalayam from where it gets its name.


It is a large dog, usually measuring about 65-75 cm (25-30 inches) at the withers. It is a hound, and therefore should be kept in optimum working condition. It tends to be heavier boned than most sighthounds, but shares the depth of chest and basic body structure. Its facial structure is considerably different from that of, say a Caravan, as it is meant primarily for hunting wild boar. The tail has a slight curl.
The most prized colour is milk white, with a pink nose and golden eyes. However, other colours including spotted or solid, black, and brown, are known to occur. In the past, puppies of colour were usually culled from the litters since the owners preferred the pure white dogs. The coat is short and fine. An extremely handsome and graceful dog, the Rajapalayam has a gait similar to the trotting of a thoroughbred horse.


It’s history still remain’s unknown.

Posted on February 7, 2012, in Pets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. It is fascinating to recall the Indian canine heritage… sharing this! <33

  2. J.Vinod Kumar

    Alangu is native breed of Tanjore, it resimbles a Pharoah hound, Ears pricked domed head and long snout. The speciality of this breed is that it can eat more food than an average dog. Very alert, almost extenct . Sonanki which also extenct

  3. The content is good but has a few mistakes in it. The Chippiparai dog is similar to Sloughi and not Saluki which are completely different dog breeds. We could probably say that Kanni looks more like the Saluki.

    Rajapalayam dogs are scent hounds and not sight hounds. I would appreciate if you could review the content and change it.

    I appreciate your efforts in spreading the pride of Indian dogs. I am a dog lover and I really think that our Indian breeds are more efficient and on par with any foreign breed.

  4. how to find pure breed of kombai dog and where to get it.

  5. can I have one chippaparai or Rajapalayam arround Kolkata ?

  6. how you can find a Alangu?

    • Notes on Alangu :
      This is a tall breed with a noble carriage and short coat. The dogs may be red, fawn or brindle, markings vary. The muzzle is black and the skin around their neck and mouth is loose. The brisket is deep, and the limbs are well muscled. The back is long with the tail tapering to a fine point. The ears are set high on the skull and pricked. It has a long and graceful stride. Their height varies between 73.6 to 76.2 cm. (29-30 inches).

      • I think I asked the wrong question. What I meant was do you know any reputable Indian mastiff/Alngu breeder?

  7. If you have photo of pure bred Alangu please share..

  8. Yes, thanks for pointing out. I got this picture from a owner of Alangu as claimed. Please check


    • Thank you very much.
      If possible can you ask the owner to send more pics or upload them on some photo sharing website.
      We need to conserve our canine heritage and the first thing we should do is to introduce our dogs to common public.
      Also I have heard about Kumaon Mastiff, never seen any, it’s native to Kumaon region of HP. I have posted several requests at for more info. Let’s see what happens.

  9. i m from kombai, it’s exceptional dog,

  10. I want a pure bread of chippiparai dog . a male and female. . how to identify a puree bread. is this dogs are kci contact number 9791110989

  11. good information about our country dogs thanks

  12. hey guys I need alangu mastiff puppie pls help me I want to whr it wil b available pls help me guys

  13. Believe this or not I have a dog here in the U.S. that has been DNA tested as being 70% Kombi!!! How I got that much of a Kombi all the way here in the U.S. is in and of itself a shocking tale. I got her from my local dog pound 10 years ago.

    We originally thought she was Ridge Hound because of the spine/long row of hair that stands on end when she gets angry or scared.

    We were shocked to find out she is mostly a Kombi mix.

    To be honest she is one of the most gentle and well mannered dogs I have ever owned. So I was also shocked to find people saying this dog is vicious and can even be lethal.

    As a puppy however she was kind of destructive. She one completely tore up my old STEEL DOOR on my back porch because she was “teething”.

    Thankfully I have worked with her and have done my best to turn her into a well trained gentle giant.

    I will probably NEVER find another dog like this in my lifetime since the breed is now about gone. Mind you yes she is only 70% Kombi, but that is rare enough and good enough for me.

    I love her with all my heart. She is now old and sadly will have to be put down soon.

  14. I wanna buy a endangered verity of our heritage… Could u pls recommend one… And also its cost

  15. Dear sir

    I want pure kanni or chippiparai dog puppy fot my home if any body ready to give me a puppy for free ,please help me sir
    My mail id

  16. Dear sir/Madam,who ever have tried to collect the information and circulated – I thank them very much ,since half the districts in TamilNadu has hot and cold climate through out the year and these breeds are adjustable to this climate.Hence I request all the dog lovers to give life to Our INDIAN breeds which is vanishing.If any come across Pure breeders who breed only our country dogs pls mail to

  17. We are loosing indian breeds , adoption the other breeds which we have to face many difficult to live here so that we spend good amount to them . Even the food what we give in daily basis is also we have paid . And many of them don’t know they that street dog are killed . After a some day we will be in secure . Behinds this international politics is their .

  18. Sathiyamurthy

    I need a pure breed chipiparai, where can i buy

  19. I love dogs and this article is just great ! A family staying in a villa near my apartment has two of these Rajapalayam hounds and they are tied all day long without exercise..te owners have not even potty trained them…feel so sad when ppl consider them as status symbols rather than companions !!

  20. I wish to buy Rajapalayam Pure breed with a good lineage. If you have please ping me on 9840071790 or Thanks in advance.

  21. I love chippi parai

  22. Hi am sathish I planning to have a dog for pet and security purpose at home which one should I prefer, I have rajapalayam dog in mind kindly can you suggest me is that good choice ….
    If ok kindly let me know where can get the original breed

    • Sathish,

      Do you have a large space? If a small home, none of the Indian breeds will work. Chippiparai is the best but they need movement and so does Rajapalayam.


  23. Alangu hound and alungu mastiff are different dogs,any info on alangu hound

  24. i want kannai or chapiparai above 4 month male puppy

  25. Nice effort.

    For those looking for a Kombai. Here’s a link:

    (copy & paste the link to your browser)

    I am looking for an Alangu Mastiff.

    Thanks in advance

  26. They are very beautifull . Peoples are idiots to buy forgen dogs.

  27. I have kanni female dog only 7 month old in chennai.. Any one have kanni male for matching plzzz call me r whatsapp 8428895777

  28. Where did I get puppy’s of this breed dogs pls mail me the details my Id udayasoftware

  29. Hi guys I have a Male sippiparai in my home if anyone wants Sippiparai puppies mail me at, I can arrange for the same but people before contacting please ensure you are really interested in it..

  30. I need kombai or kani pure breed am searching it for long da us am staying in chennai can some one help me

  31. Dear sir

    I want pure kanni or chippiparai dog puppy fot my home if any body ready to give me a puppy for free ,please help me sir
    My mail id

  32. Kindly send u r contact no

  33. Hello
    i’m having male and female pure chippiparai(2 yrs ) dog but i need to get original certificate. so pls help me where i can get original certificate.

    contact num:9976778863

  34. I want a puppy dog combai or sippyparai or kanni

  35. i wait alangu and pure kombai dog plz contact 9600895016

  36. Need to know the Alangu association in chennai pls.

  37. Sir I want this dogs puppy please tell your mobile number

  38. Dr Arvind Shukla

    i want Dog of Indian dog breed . how to get . Any contact no.

  39. Anna I want alangu pure puppy
    Price of alangu puppy Anna plz contact me

  40. pls anna i want a alangu puppy

  41. Sir,
    I’m seeking for alangu mastiff. 9952523322

  42. need a alangu mastiff

  1. Pingback: 10 to 15 indigenous dog breeds in India, - hereandthere

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