India : Breeds of Dogs
Issued by India
Issued on Jan 9, 2005
Issued for : Department of Posts is happy to issue a set of four stamps on Breeds of Dogs.
Stamp & FDC : Suresh Kumar
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Se–tenant set of 4 Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 500, 500, 500 & 1500 Paisa
Print Quantity : 3.0 Million each
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- India has one of the oldest canine cultures. As early as the end of Mesolithic period the dog was domesticated and ever since the dog has been like a hunting companion rather than a show piece. Oriented to speed and action, Indian dogs are all outdoor dogs.
- The Indian sub-continent is the largest conglomeration of various breeds of dogs in the world. Through a long process of evolution, each geographical region in India has produced a distinctive breed, adapted to the local environment. While Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal have BHOTIAs, Kumaon Hills have SHIKARIs, RAMPUR HOUNDs abound the Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana etc. and MUDHOL Hounds are found in Koyana–Gulbarga of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The RAJAPALAYAMs come from Tamil Nadu and TRIPURIs are found in the Lushai Hills of Assam.
- Due to their usefulness and association with human habitat, dogs remain man’s best friends. Known for their sturdiness and loyalty, there is a need for creation of awareness about the variety of the canine population in India. The set of stamps depicts four Indian canine breeds viz. the Himalayan Sheep Dog, the Rampur Hound, the Mudhol Hound and the Rajapalayam.
- Himalayan Sheep Dog :
- Found in Ladakh and adjoining Nepal, they are strong and powerful dogs. Gentle and sensitive with humans, they are alert and have sharp reflexes. Courageous and ferocious, are excellent guard dogs for cattle. They are generally black or brown with patches of white on ears, legs and body. They have a thick course over coat and a thick smooth fur for under coat.
- They have short legs and a long back. They have pointed muzzle and luminous dark rimmed eyes. Tail is plumed and up turned. Compact and muscular they can sustain the Indian heat.
- Rampur Hound :
- The most well-known Indian breed, the Rampur Hounds are elegant dogs, featured in Mughal miniatures. These dogs come from Rampur of erstwhile Rohilkhand of Uttar Pradesh. These are medium sized, muscular, powerful built for great speed and endurance. They have long wide head, flat between ears, and powerful jaws with scissor bite. They have slightly oval, brown to dark amber eyes. They have long and tapering tail, and the body has short and firm coat.
- Mostly brindle or mouse grey in colours, with its long legs and short coat, it has a streamlined back of a grey hound, with a long skull. It was used for hunting, and Jahangir’s kennel is said to have had 4000 of them.
- Every year in a mela in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, the best hound exhibited is given the title Rustum–e–Rampur.
- Mudhol Hound :
- Primarily a desert variety of gaze hounds is generally found scattered all over Maharashtra and has been mostly kept by tribals. The Raja of Mudhol, a princely state, now part of Karnataka, trained these dogs for hunting. The Raja of Kolhapur also patronised this breed. Quiet, aloof, placid and reserve, it hunts with extreme concentration equally well on dry and marshy lands.
- It has characteristically long and lean head, with well chiselled jaws and nose slightly protruding beyond the teeth. It has bony and narrow body with long tail that tapes to the end. It has very light and effortlessly easy movement with strong driving action with matching reach. Mudhol is found in all colours except albino.
- Rajapalayam :
- The Rajapalayam, built on the lines of the Great Dane, is an all-white dog, though at times mottled white is also noticed. The eyes are brown, and the pink nose is distinctive. With its button cars and whip tail, it has loose hanging upper lips and is deep chested. Never a fast runner but is tireless and steady over long distances. Traditionally used as sheep dog and for hunting, it has also figured in battles. It is said that in the 18th century Pudukkottai regiment of Rajapalayam dogs was effectively used for fighting the enemies. Although a brave hound used more for hunting hare and other small game, it is gentle and is every one’s friend.
- Text : Based on material supplied by the proponents.