The following discussions focus on the some of the similarties but finer differences among these native breeds of Caravan, Mudhol and Pashmi hound. It takes years of study and unwavering passion to carefully notice and jot down these details…we hope you like them!
The head is the prime feature of aesthetic importance in Caravans and Pashmis. A caravan head will be narrow and only suitably long. Overly long head is rarely seen and not preferable. Head must be starting narrow at the skull and following similarly. Occiput is not pronounced. A good arch from the base of the ear to another when observed from the front. The stop is barely visible to none in many cases. Accentuated stops and big heads are not preferable. Hence will be well filled under the eyes. The nose bridge is flat to slightly arched but a roman nose is disqualification. Muzzle is narrow and appears pointy with lesser cheek fall. Nose is prominent and black. Dark liver color is accepted but the lack of pigmentation resembling the albino pink will be a total disqualification in that case irrespective of any other positives. The ears are set such that they fall slightly forward when attentive or on the side close to the skull. Rose ears,erect ears or any other variation in the fall of the ears than the described one is a disqualifying fault. The length of the ears is moderate .Too long ears are not preferable. The tip of the ears must not be too pointy or too round .The distance from the occiput and inner corners of the eye is equivalent to that of the corner of eye to tip of the nose. The eyes are a significant feature .The gaze is dry and piercing, brazen.
Dogs will have a bigger skull compared to that of a bitch. But a heavier skull will significantly pull down his score. A heavy skull with a stop finishes his scorecard . A bitch with a heavier skull loses greater points. Parrot nose is a deformity which can disable the dog to open his jaws effectively .In the heist of smaller heads and longer muzzle overshot bite is seen in some specimens which is a disqualification.Scissors bite and full dentition mandatory. Pale iris pigmentation not preferred. Conjuctiva of pale pigmentation is not preferred as well. Disproportionate long or short heads not preferred.
Mudhols could be used on the heavier game and needed more bite force which was provided by the comparatively heavier heads than those observed now .The current breeder improvement is tending towards a smaller skull but longer muzzle. Occiput is pronounced. Skull is flat. May not be filled under the eyes. Nose bridge is slightly arched. Roman noses are a frequent case in Mudhols. In the modern show Mudhols, the distance between the occiput and the corner of the eye can be shorter than the nose to the corner of the eye. Due to this longer muzzle, the overshot bite is to be checked for. The fall of the cheeks is more than that of a Caravan. A slight stop is noticeable. The nose is albino pink in most cases now which is a repercussion of the trend for the preference of the ‘spotless white’ resulting into albino dogs which would not do well in the heat. Black would be the most preferable nose pigmentation for a dog which is supposed to be used on one of the hottest and dry planes in the country as it is observed to do well in this heat. Dark liver nose is acceptable but albino pink on a working sighthound is logically unfitting. Eyes are big .Dark color iris are preferred but the pink dogs have pale iris pigments. Ears are moderately large and hung closely to the skull. The bases rise when attentive but rose or folded ears are a disqualification.
Withers are at level with the hip bones or slightly lower in some cases. Withers above hip bones create a sloping topline which is undesirable. Withers will be at a moderate angle whereas too steep is undesirable. Hip bones significantly protruding and prominent. The loin is flat to slightly curved at the lumbar with first three vertebrae showing. The loin feels muscular and strong at touch and is not very long. The croup is steep. Tuck up of the abdomen is very good with firm muscles to hold giving a very lean appearance. The first 3-4 ribs are flatter without much spring to facilitate the movement of the shoulder .Ribs are well sprung from the spine and flat towards the keel. The chest should preferably reach the elbow allowing bigger space for lungs and heart . The bottom contour should have a noticeable convex drop at the chest and a concave rise at the abdomen. An evenly curved underline is preferable but a more accentuated rise is also seen, leading to a well tucked‐up belly. The curvy underline adds to the beauty of the breed.
The topline and withers will be similar to the Caravan .The croup may be a little less steeper in comparison .The length of the torso is longer which also lengthens the loin. The ribs are well sprung and give a fuller appearance to the chest. The breeder targets the chest to reach the elbow but it ends up above the elbow in most cases. The tuck up is firm but longer length of the chest and less depth doesn’t give the accentuated contour at the tuck up as seen in the Caravan.
Topline and wither parameters similar to that of the Mudhol and Caravan .The chest should preferably reach upto the elbow .A good tuck up adds to the scorecard but it doesn’t appear as curvy as a caravan since its contours covered in hair. Ribs are well sprung giving a fuller, heavy appearance .It is not as flat as a Caravan’s chest at sides. The format of the Pashmi is observed to appear both square or long so the length of the torso will vary.
The Rear End
Long legs. The issue popping up against show fraternity in almost all breeds. The extra long length of Tibia and hence the resultant angle it makes with the Femur is considered better for shows but that’s not applicable for working dogs. Longer legs and more angulations results into prettier stacks and favored movements for the show ring. These indigenous hounds in discussion are bred for hunting, not to stand posing for the audience or to look ‘perfect ‘ to a judge’s eye .It is a proven fact that exaggerated angulation and the length of the legs doesn’t increase the ability nor speed of the animal. One can confirm the fact by checking the rears of the fastest derby greyhounds. The length of tibia and the incident angle it makes with fibula should be well in limit if the dog is bred to work. The toes have thick pads and strong digits .The two middle toes are longer than the adjacent ones. Splayed toes are not preferred.
Caravans were developed purely upon their hunting abilities and this aboriginal format can hence be considered as a working Caravan’s standard specification. Upon recording the native stock, the Caravans have only as much angulation as the vertical line dropping from the buttock should touch the toe when the dog is stacked. Specimens with lesser than the mentioned angulation are more common than the ones with exaggeration. Stifle is moderately bent. Hocks are broad and set a little lower. The footpads are thick and well pigmented. The middle two digits will be prominently longer then the outer two. Viewed from behind, the hindquarters should appear wide across the buttocks. The general texture of the muscles on the quarters and thighs should be the same as those on the loins, firm yet flexible. Stifles, hocks, and toes should incline neither outwards nor inwards.
This is a heavier dog with bigger bones. The rear angulation is the same or slightly more than that of the Caravan. Over angulated specimens are not preferred. These have longer toes with the two middle ones being longer. They have feathering in their toes. Length of the lower thigh is approximately equal or longer to the upper thigh. Stifle is moderately bent. Hocks are strong and set low. The footpads are thick and well pigmented. The middle two digits will be prominently longer then the outer two. Viewed from behind, the hindquarters should appear wide across the buttocks. The texture of the muscles is firm yet flexible. Stifles, hocks, and toes should incline neither outwards nor inwards.
These dogs work on terrain with obstacles. It restricts the game and the dog to run long linear sprints. Hence dodging and turning quickly is necessary. Flashy gaits and the lanky feet won’t do the job . Hence this rear end should be vigilantly monitored if one wants to preserve the breed in its original format. Increasing angulation isn’t breed improvement but quite opposite. The recent German shepherd controversy is the latest proof of how the breeds can be degraded by unnecessary improvements.
It is the easiest feature to distinguish between a caravan and Mudhol; or anything else. It is set low referring to the steep croup angle. Has a strong base yet not so thick. It is tapering as it advances towards the tip. Thinness of the tail is to watch out for the new Houndsman. Hair on the tail are short and sparse tending to none approaching the tip. It will be outstandingly thin and can be coined as ‘rat tail’. Caravan tail is up to the hock, or a little below it but not any longer. Carried naturally in a curve at the end. This curve comparable to that of the Shamshir sword and is the most desirable. Mostly carried high when in action but only at an angle level to the ground or 45 degrees to the maximum. Any higher than this will result into fall of the tip on the back in a ring which is unaccepted. Ring /loop are highly undesirable or will be disqualifying in most cases until in a dog has a smashing perfect confirmation otherwise. The thinness of the tail is a distinguishing feature of the breed. Thick, bushy, feathered tails get the dogs disqualified irrespective of whatever dog it’s attached to. All coccygeal vertebrae will be visible from the base to the tip in maximum cases. Tails carried in a curve resembling letter ‘S’ looks sore to the eye. It happens mostly in the instances when the base or the complete tail is thick.
Length of the tail is the identification feature of the breed. Goes down well past the hocks almost reaching the ground. The tail is thin but not as much as that of a Caravan. It will be very strong at the base and advances with confidence towards the tip. Tapers gradually from the base to the tip. The temperament of this slightly dominating and confident breed affects its tail carriage. It is carried at a level or mostly higher .It can also be carried higher so as to fall on the back but only when in action. This level or higher carriage results into a wavy motion of the ever long tail which results into what is commonly referred as the ‘whip like tail’. The Mudhol will have comparatively longer and denser hair all over its body and similarly on the tail as well.
Ring tail is a disqualification. Very thick bushy or feathered tail is a disqualification. Tails carried in a curve resembling letter ‘S’ are not so uncommon due to the thicker tails but isn’t preferred. Yet it appears and this is not a fault in Mudhols.
Tail here again is considered very important in a Pashmi, especially the length of the feathering in this case. More feathering , the better. These are working hounds and their feathering is quite a thing to maintain .Due to no brushing, long hair form permanent tangles and matted as it holds water and dirt . Their feathering is mostly chopped off to avoid dirt, parasites, plant matter or seeds with thorny exoskeleton. A Pashmi without any hair on the tail is disqualification. The tail is expected to be like that on a Mudhol .Long beyond hocks, strong and tapering. But many cases have rings and hooks on the tail and it is not liked but not considered a disqualification fault as well considering the limited numbers of pure Pashmis available today. A straighter, long tail ending in a slight curve alike the Shamshir sword is the most sought after. The sought after Pashmi tail would be with 5 inch feathering and minus the curves, loops and hooks. The tail is carried in its natural curve it possesses. Can be carried at a low or high angle, The curve of the carriage resembling letter ‘S’ is commonly seen which doesn’t look so sore here due to the feathering to cover it and renders it hardly noticeable .. Very thick, non tapering, bushy tail is undesirable. A very thin tail without feathering is suspected to hail from a caravan pedigree.
Tails are a litmus test if the hound attached to it seems a little off from the breed standards. Referring to the Caravan tail, ones with longer beyond the hocks indicate some Mudhol or Pashmi in it[ or even a saluki or a greyhound given the kind of dogs coming up lately]. This is not desirable.. A native suspects a greyhound when the tail is bushy and not tapering enough. Moderate length and dense hair on the tail will be a saluki suspect. Long and tapering tail with short dense hair suspects Mudhol background in the pedigree.