Most dog shows are about the exotic canine factor. But at the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University grounds here, the idea was to showcase and popularise native Indian breeds.

On display were the Karnataka Mudhol, Pashmi Hound, Rajapalyam, Chipparai and Caravan. The event showcased the agility of these breeds, many of which had once been used for hunting.

The event had over 171 entries on day one and will host contests (an obedience competition and an overall championship) and exhibitions featuring over 535 exhibits from around the world on Sunday. Pet owners and dog breeders from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra participated. A small segment in the evening was dedicated to showcasing agility by making trained dogs jump hurdles or run fast on a zig zag course.

Yathinder of the Mysore Kennel Club said the idea behind hosting an event exclusively featuring native dogs was to ensure that in the bid to own and rear exotic dogs we do not end up losing our native canine germplasm. “A few decades ago, India had 28 difference breeds of dogs. Now a majority of these have become almost extinct. Thus it is necessary to showcase and promote what we have.”

He said that things had been looking up in recent years for native hounds such as the Mudhol. “Just a few years ago, the Mudhol hound was not valued at all. Today, it is being sold for Rs. 7,500 per puppy.”

He also said that the KVAFSU’s canine research and information centre had been doing good work to promote keeping and rearing these dogs as a means of subsidiary income to farmers. Even the Pashmi hound, a feathered variant of the Mudhol breed, has been selling around this price, he said.

He points out that the mudhol hound, earlier considered inferior to the more exotic hounds, recently won fifth prize at a national contest and dog show in Chennai.

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