India has a long history of great dogs, where they have long been admired for their loyalty and well-appreciated for their sincerity and dedication. Since 400 BC, there have been written records of this high regard: Authors and historians have long admired Indian dogs for their vigour and courage.
If you are looking for a strong, ferocious, native Indian dog, here are the breeds for you.
Himalayan mastiffs are native to the Himalayan region. They’re known as Himalayan guard dogs or indigenous Tibetan mastiffs. This is a calm and lovable dog who loves to please its master and be around its owner and family. One important fact: They cannot tolerate or survive warm weather. They also do not like the company of other dogs, and a full-grown male is capable of taking down two wolves on its own.
Usually very gentle and calm, Himalayan mastiffs can be very ferocious if something goes wrong. They are known to fight to the death. They are the only purebred Indian mastiffs and unfortunately, only a few are left. This breed is identified as endangered.
- Height: Males stand about 30″ – 38″ at the shoulder; females, 28″ – 35.”
- Weight: Males weigh 60+ kilos, sometimes as much as 100 kilos! Females weigh upwards of 50 kilos.
- Coat and Colour: They have a long, dry, double-coat of solid black or black mixed with yellow/tan, red, dark grey, or grey-black. Rare specimen have mixed coloration, but white is not common.
- Temperament: Very loyal, friendly, devoted to their owners, and protective of their family.
Indian mastiffs are the largest and strongest mastiffs from North India. They are also known as the Kumaon mastiff, Sindh mastiff, Pakistani bully, and even Indian bully dogs. In Pakistan, they are known as Bulli mastiff or Bulli Kutta. The name comes from the Hindi/Urdu word bohli, meaning “heavily wrinkled” and kutta, which means dog. Thus, the original name of this breed is Bulli, not Bully, but changed because the British could not pronounce the word
Indian mastiffs are very rough-and-tough and are well-suited for the Indian subcontinent’s climate. They were bred to protect their owners from wild animals and help them hunt. They are very strong, heavy-boned, broad-headed, and muscular, with high energy and stamina. They are famous for their aggressive fighting instincts but are also intelligent, loyal, and protective.
- Height: 28 – 33 inches.
- Weight: Male: 70–90 kg, female: 70–90 kg.
- Coat and Colour: Small, dense, thick fur in various colours.
- Temperament: Very loyal, intelligent, and devoted but aggressive with other pets and animals.
Alangu mastiffs are tall and powerful dogs, most often used for guarding or fighting, as they are renowned for their sharp instincts and guarding skills. They are also called a Sindh mastiff and are the successors to the Indian Bulli or mastiffs.
This breed’s origin goes back to the Bhawalpur area of Punjab, parts of Rajasthan, and the desert area of Kutch. Today, the breed is commonly found in two districts of South India: Thanjavur and Trichy. They have erect ears and powerful, broad muzzles that are black in colour.
- Height: Male, 29-30 inches (74-76 cm), female: 29-30 inches (74-76 cm).
- Weight: Male, 60-65 pounds (27-29 kg), female: 60-65 pounds (27-29 kg).
- Temperament: Aggressive, ferocious, but loyal. Not for first-time dog owners.
- Origin: Sindh area of India and Pakistan. They are available in the South Indian of cities Tanjavur and Trichi.
- Category: Fighting, guarding, and working.
A Gaddi Kutta is a mastiff-type mountain dog found in Northern India, especially in states of the western Himalayan region: Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Kashmir. They are also called Indian panther hounds and Mahidant mastiffs. Initially bred for hunting purposes, the multi-talented Gaddi Kutta is widely used by local shepherds, mostly Gaddis (from the tribe of the same name). They are said to be strong enough to repulse attacks by snow leopards and to have the intelligence to herd stray sheep and goats back to their pens.
- Weight: 35 – 40 kg (female adult), 40 – 45 kg (adult male).
- Height: 63.5 cm (adult), 55.9 – 78.7 cm (adult male), 50.8 – 71.1 cm (adult female).
- Temperament: Gentle, calm, intelligent, and territorial, but loyal to their owners and very protective.
The Combai is a powerful working dog that is native to the Southern Indian region of Tamil Nadu. When Maravar kings held sway over South India, Combai were used to hunt boar, bison, and deer. The breed is also known as Indian or Tamil bear hounds.
The Combai is usually tan or red-brown with a black mask and a ridge line along its back. It has very powerful jaws, a deep and broad chest, and erect ears. These dogs are very active and savage, but at the same time very protective to their owners. Combai don’t like the company of unknown dogs or other animals and are very aggressive towards them. They have been known to fight intruders—human or animal—to the death.