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Indian hounds are top dogs at show

Staff Reporter
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Proud owners show off native breeds

These people are not owners of exotic German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Saint Bernards and Great Danes. Instead, they are proud owners of canines which are fashionably Indian.

At the curtain raiser of the first-of-its-kind Indian dog speciality show, hosted by Mysore Kennel Club, at the Dairy Science College, Hebbal, here on Saturday, 113 purebreds of Indian origin were on display. .

The dogs and their owners came mostly from various parts of north Karnataka such as Belgaum, Bijapur and Bagalkot and also from southern Maharashtra.

Big and powerful

Trying to contain an excited Mudhol hound was Prasad Mayekar, who has had 13 generations of Indian breeds in his family. “These hounds are very friendly and yet extremely strong and well-suited to defend their homes. But they cannot be kept in closed spaces as they are hunting dogs,” he said.

Ammathi Gowdru from Bijapur, was waiting in line enthusiastically to show off his Pashmi. “The club sponsors us to come to such shows every year. But this is the first time we are showcasing our dogs in Bangalore!”

In the midst of all the excitement, standing calm was Agus Wardhana, the famous veterinarian and all-breed judge from Indonesia Kennel club. “I have visited India for other dog shows too. But this is a wonderful event, trying to uphold and encourage the growth of these rare species,” he said.

The pride and fervour was infectious and the audience also caught the spirit. R.N. Hegde, a retired government employee, said: “The bond between the owners and their dogs is irreplaceable. I don’t have the time to take care of a dog and it gives me great pleasure to visit such shows.”

Microchips

The dogs which participated were only those registered with the club. To keep track of them, the club has installed microchips in the neck of these species. “For the past 10 years, we have supervised the growth of purebred Indian origin dogs. Only recently has the Kennel Club of India approved and registered these five species as purebred,” said club president P.V. Yathinder.

D.V. Bijur, a veterinarian who has been practising for the past 40 years and been a member of the club for 30 years, said, “From 1994 to 2004, we had distributed 140 puppies of these breeds to farmers as till then, they had been kept only in royal families. Now the club has been working on keeping these species pure and avoid extinction.”

The second day of the event, to be held on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., will have 460 participating dogs of 48 different breeds. Entry is free for participants and Rs. 70 for others.

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