Society

Native dog breeds have their day

There has been an increase in the demand for native breeds such as Sippipparai and Rajapalayam at the Dog Breeding Unit of the animal husbandry department at Saidapet.

Records show that in 2012-13 nearly 50 puppies of native breeds and 11 pedigree puppies were sold. The year before, 32 native breed puppies and 10 pedigree puppies were sold. The demand for native breed puppies has been on the rise since 2010-11, when the unit sold 26 native breed puppies and seven pedigree puppies.

Animal husbandry department authorities said that with the increased demand for native breed puppies, the waiting time for each breed would be more than a year. As the department did not breed dogs on a commercial basis, they would not be able to meet the demand, they said.

The unit is one of its kind in the State and was started in the 1980s to promote native dog breeds such as Rajapalayam, Sippipparai, Kombai and Kanni. However, Kombais and Kannis are now bred only by private individuals.

With a steady increase in the demand for native breeds, the State government in 2012-13 allocated Rs. 30 lakh for the renovation of kennels in the unit. With the funds, the authorities created tick channels (as during the summer the canines suffer from tick bites leading to spread of diseases), fixed tiles on the kennel walls and floors and an exhaust fan for each kennel, and raised the height of each kennel to nearly three feet.

The authorities have also provided individual water supply for the kennels, mainly to reduce heat radiation, and clean water for bathing the canines every day, the officer said.   

A senior animal husbandry officer conceded that a couple of years ago, the condition of the kennels were very bad. With the renovation, they are better now, he said.

The unit launched the pedigree breeding programme in 1997 because of public demand. At present, the unit houses nearly 30 canines including five puppies.

The prices of some of the breeds at the unit are less compared to those quoted by private pedigree breeders. For example a male Rajapalayam puppy is sold at Rs. 1,500 and a female at Rs. 1,250. The same puppy is sold at Rs. 7,000 by a private breeder (with proper documents about the lineage of the breed) and Rs. 5,000 without the documents.

Except for the Dalmatians, the unit has fixed a nominal price for the rest of the breeds housed there.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 11:35:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-society/native-dog-breeds-have-their-day/article5979614.ece

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