Rajapalayam, known for its white skin coat and the pink nose is one of the few native Indian dog breeds that are on the verge of extinction. 

Rajapalayam, also known as Poligar hound, is recognized for being the guard dog of the royal family in the southern part of India. This is one of the rare breeds which has a white coat and pink nose which makes it of high demand. Colored puppies of this breed are usually culled by the breeders which make it extremely difficult to find this breed. Rajapalayams are so rare that it is hard to even find a good quality photo on Google.

Rajapalyam dog was originally bred for hunting wild boar and small prey. They always have the hunting instinct in them which makes them a good guard dog. They do not hesitate to charge towards a stranger and will go to any extent to remove any obstacle in front of its master.

Basic Stats

Origin: India

Avg Price in India: Rs.10000 to Rs.15000

Breed Group: Hunting

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Size: Large

Colors available: White with Pink nose

Weight: Female: 80-100 pounds, Male: 22-25Kg

Height: Female: 25–27 inches, Male: 26-29 inches

History

Rajapalayam was a companion dog in royal families in the Southern part of India. They were more common in a small town called ‘Rajapalayam’ from where the breed got its name. Even though the breed was developed for hunting, they were majorly used for guarding rice farms, houses, storage areas, etc. Moreover, certain books mention their role in fighting wars against multiple dynasties with their strong and aggressive attacks. Indian army uses them as guard dogs along the borders.

Characteristics

Good for First-time Owners: 1/5

Rajapalayams are assertive and can get aggressive which makes the breed difficult to handle if not trained.

Energy Level: 4/5

They’re high energy dogs, always on the lookout for pursuits. They have the stamina for a whole day worth of activities.

Exercise Needs: 5/5

Rajapalayams are high energy dogs and need exercise throughout the day. 

Affection Level: 4/5

They are obedient and protective of their family. They are very affectionate and attached to their owners and may follow you around the house to ensure your safety.

Kid-Friendly: 3/5

They are not fond of small children but bonds well with elder children. They’re great to play with, however, they should be kept under supervision when let to play with other children as they may act out of concern.

Ease of training: 3/5

With high energy levels and look out for activities, they are easy to train and very intelligent. They are qualitatively alert and require mental exercises.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl: 2/5

They do not necessarily bark unless there is something that catches their eye, which is worth paying attention to.

Amount of Shedding: 4/5

Even though the coat is smaller in length, Rajapalayams sheds a lot.

Protection ability: 5/5

Rajapalayams are aggressive towards strangers which makes them a perfect guard dog

Grooming needs: 3/5

They need to be brushed every day. 

Apartment-Friendly: 2/5

Loneliness can turn Rajapalayams towards barking, digging, and general destructiveness and need to be around their owners for purpose. They need to have a job to exist in harmony.

Heat tolerance: 4/5

They are bred in the Indian subcontinent. This makes them extremely tolerant of hot weather.

Potential of weight gain: 2/5

They do not overeat in general, and all the excess energy will be drained out by themselves.

Wanderlust Potential: 2/5

Since they love their owners and people around them, their tendency to run away from their attached ones is very rare.

Behavior

Rajapalayams do not like to be petted or touched by strangers. They are one-master dogs. They do not get along well with outsiders. But, they are very affectionate to the owner and the family members. Rajapalayams are easy to train and have a high intelligence quotient. But this doesn’t mean that trainers will have an easy time. The dog will try to challenge the trainers’ patience and perseverance. An experienced trainer can easily handle Rajapalayams. It is always good to start training from the early days itself. Older dogs will become stubborn and hence will not cooperate with the training sessions. Basic home obedience training like ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Down’ etc. will be handy for the owners. Owners will have to keep training the dog for close to 12-15 months to complete the course. This long duration will help the dog to control the impulse in all possible situations.

Grooming

Rajapalayams have a very short coat. That doesn’t mean that they do not shed. They shed a lot. Daily brushing will reduce the shedding and help the breed to maintain and healthy and shiny coat. Brushing will also keep various skin aliments at check. While brushing, inspect for fleas and ticks as well. 

Brushing teeth every week is also an important task. If not brushed, tartar will be formed in teeth and will lead to teeth and gum diseases. 

If the dog has bad breath, take him to the vet to check for oral illness or internal diseases.

Clipping toenails is another vital grooming task. Desensitizing the dog with all the grooming tools right from the early days will become handy later.

Health

Health issues found in Rajapalayam are not specific to this breed. These dogs are susceptible to any common disease that can be found in other breeds.

But one specific illness found in Rajapalayam is deafness. This is mainly due to the low number of melanocytes. Melanocytes are the main component that generates hearing cells. They are also responsible for producing pigments, which give color to the skin. Hence hearing issues in breeds with a white coat is a common ailment.

Temperament

Rajapalyams are hunters by nature. Hence they are not good for apartments or small spaces. They need a large area to run around and to vent out their energy. The same hunting nature makes him a good guard dog. Let it be big farmland or an industry compound, Rajapalayams will guard the space with ease. Their aloofness with strangers is an added advantage to be a guard dog.

But all these characteristics doesn’t mean that this breed is not friendly. They get attached to the owners and will go to any extent to protect the owners. 

Rajapalayam is a good family dog. They bond well with all the family members. Even though they are not good with small children they will manage well with the elder kids. It will be wise to keep the dog away from other small breed dogs just to avoid any mishap.

Body Type

It’s the looks of Rajapalayam that makes them stand out of the crowd. A pure white coat with a pink nose is the common body character. Other colors are also available but not so common as the breeders will cull them right after the birth. 

They have a broad chest, long legs, and a thin tail. Regular exercise and proper diet will help them maintain a muscular body.

Food

Good dog food will give balanced nutrition to the dog. You can also give vegetables and cottage cheese to mix up the diet but it should not be the main component of the diet. 

Puppies up to six months can be fed 3 times a day while six months to one-year-old dogs can be fed twice a day. After one year, one meal a day will be sufficient.