A BREED STANDARD OF THE NATIVE MUDHOL HOUND

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Mudhol hound is found in the Deccan plateau of India, on the border region of Karnataka and Maharashtra. ’Mudhol‘is a small town in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. The royal family of Mudhol also propagated this breed and it is said that they gifted a few puppies to the westerners. The hound puppies brought from Mudhol would have been referred to as MUDHOL HOUNDS, hence their name. Although the slight variations can be found in its region of distribution, due to local preference but overall type is fairly fixed and recognizable. The Mudhol hound is first and fundamentally a working dog. It is a very hardy dog, used to work under difficult circumstances on rough terrain with minimal maintenance. The dry hot climate and vast flat lands to run is pivotal in the development of this breed. His primary function is that of an enduring hunter. The demand of the buyer in the cities who paid decent prices for a taller and whiter dog led to drastic changes in the breeding targets and hence the overall pattern of the dog has outgrown to meet the demands of the buyer. This trend was also caught up by the shows. This breed description is generalized for the modern and most of the conventional Mudhol hound.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: A shorthaired, lop‐eared, working sight hound of Asiatic type; built for running long distances over difficult terrain in acute heat. The body is proportionately long, with good angulation to propel the body weight to matching speed. Lean musculature. The Mudhol Hound should be elegant, graceful, possessing courage and combining muscular power with speed and great endurance to enable him to catch up with and kill the fox, jackal, wolf, Chinkara, Hare. Some are used on the hog.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The Mudhol Hound should be of long format. Never very taller than long. The length of the body (from point of shoulder to point of buttock) is longer than or equal to the height at the withers.

These dogs have more flat lands to cover during the chase. The game and the dog have to run long linear sprints. The dogs’ longer than square format helps to maximize the stride length and endurance. It is the standard practice of selecting longer puppies hence the length over the height factor has been propagated by its breeders due to this selection trend.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Affectionate with family, very reserved with strangers. Defends his master and his property vigilantly. Intelligent and confident can turn dominant easily. Needs confident and experienced handling. Very good guards.

Origin:India

Utilization: Sight Hunting

FCI Classification: Group 10 Sighthounds Section 3 Short-haired sighthounds

HEAD: Proportionately long and narrow. The head should be broadest between the ears, tapering slightly to the eyes, with the muzzle tapering to the nose.

CRANIAL REGION:

Skull: Can be domed or flat and occiput moderately pronounced.

Stop: The stop is slightly noticeable. The stop can appear to be negligible in case of a domed skull or noticeable in the case of a flat skull. The domed skull can result into a slightly convex face profile.

FACIAL REGION:

Nose: Large, black pigment preferred, liver brown permitted. Pink or partially unpigmented is noticeable in the white dogs.

Muzzle: Long, the bridge of the nose is straight or slightly arched. The fall of the cheek is more than that of the caravan.

Jaws/Teeth: Jaws long and strong. Teeth white and strong. The incisors of the upper jaw clipping those of the lower jaw in a scissor bite. Full dentition.

Eyes: Dark to light hazel and bright; large, almond shaped. The expression is alert and keen.

Ears: Set on above the level of the eye, ear leather, hanging close to the skull and mobile. Their shape is that of a triangle with a slightly rounded tip. Their base rises when the hound is attentive. Never a rose ear. Moderate size.

The Dogs with pink noses, paws or skin have observed to suffer sunburns and hampering their ability to perform .Heat tolerance is rather a common virtue in Mudhol hounds given their habitat of development is very hot and dry. This ability to bear the heat and yet endure the full day of game is the prime virtue to perform in Indian climate and hence propagate. Heat resistance is a significant feature this breed has been developed upon. The current shows Mudhols have pink pigmentation on the nose, foot pads, lips, eyerims, etc. The working Mudhol will preferably have black pigmentation. This penchant for white has lead into genetic health issues like crooked legs, deafness, and sensitive skin.

Head is considered as of special aesthetic importance and of functionality for a sight hound. Traditional breeders try to reduce the head size but only proportionate to its big body. Head smaller between the ears is appreciated but traditional lineages occur with slightly big heads unconventional to the sight hounds .The slight convex face profiles also result into big appearing heads. The dogs used for the hogs have wider heads improving bite force.

Ears are mobile and will pull back when the animal is nervous, excited, etc. A permanently rose or flying ear is highly undesirable. Ears with rounded or pointed tips both are observed as well.

NECK: Approximately the same length as the head, neither too long nor short. Clean and muscular, well let into the shoulders.

BODY:

Topline: Level or slightly rising towards the hips, with a very gentle arch over the loin area, and at least three vertebrae showing.

Back: The back is moderate suiting the size of the animal .Not slim.

Loin: The loin is wide, deep and strong, not too short, can be slightly arched and well‐muscled.

Hip bones: Prominent and placed at an equal or slightly superior height to the height of the withers.

Croup: Of moderate length, steep.

Chest: The body is moderate and the chest deep, well sprung from the spine about to reach the elbow. Providing adequate heart room and lung play.

Ribs: Ribs well sprung from the spine giving a slight flat appearance approaching the Keel.

Underline and Belly: The underline shows drop at the chest and a synchronized rise at the abdomen. An evenly curved underline is preferable leading to a well tucked‐up belly. The muscles holding the abdomen should be tight and firm.

The study of the stock which is considered true to type and born off the traditional lineage of dogs exhibit similar characteristics. Topline is observed to be level with a graceful curve at the loins. Hip bones prominent. Can be slightly sloping in some specimens. Never a steep sloping topline.

The chest and tuck up is a functional feature. Chest dropping up to elbow is preferable but not so frequent Good tuck up at the abdomen is preferred. Well sprung from the spine giving it a broader brisket.

TAIL: Set low and strong at base. Slight tapering and significantly long, just above the ground and straight showing a natural minimal curve at the end. Carried high when in action like a whip but also found to be carried over the back in rare instance. The length of the tail is a distinguishing feature of the breed.

Tail is very long, a few coggygeal vertebrae visible. Is thick but never bushy/feathered or non‐tapering, ring tail is undesirable.

LIMBS:

FOREQUARTERS:

Shoulders: Shoulder blades long and laid back, muscular without being coarse. The upper arm should be slightly less or the same length than that of the shoulder blade. The angle of the upper arm with the shoulder blade should be wider than the lay of the shoulder. Elbows, pasterns, and toes should incline neither outwards nor inwards.

Forearm: Significantly long and straight from elbow to wrist.

Pasterns: Pasterns of moderate length slightly sprung.

Front feet: Thick, well pigmented pads. Toes long and well arched and not splayed. The two middle toes distinctly longer than the two outer toes.

Slightly open angles in the forequarters are also seen.

HINDQUARTERS:

General appearance: 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.

Thighs: Lower thighs relatively equal in length to upper thighs.

Stifle: Adequate bend on the stifle.

Hock: The hocks broad and set moderately low

Rear pastern: Strong, without dewclaws.

Hind feet: Thick, well pigmented pads. Toes long and well arched not splayed. The two middle toes longer than the two outer toes. The hind feet exhibit good angulations but not exaggerated or over angulated.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: Sound, effortless, floating but efficient, with a slight spring in step at the trot, which is typical of the breed. The gait should show ability to flex all four legs, covering plenty of ground with each stride, without hackney action. Balance as indicative of muscular control of the body during movement is imperative.

SKIN: Fine, tight over the whole of the body.

Hair: Short and moderately dense with a distinct sheen. Occurs in both soft and coarse texture. Underside has a comparatively sparse coat.

As stated, this breed is derived from various sight hounds possessing long hair varieties but the Mudhol coat is developed short and sparse at the lower chest and abdomen and inner thighs. The texture of the coat is slightly dense and no feathering anywhere on the body. Long haired specimens occur in mastiff, Akita breeds too but they are not considered in the breed standard nor shown or bred. Emphasizing our breeding tradition is a positive rather than a negative. Any occurrence of such long haired or feathered puppy should be considered an abnormality rather than regularity. A feathered pup born out of a Mudhol isn’t considered neither a Pashmi nor a feather Caravan and ceased to be used further in the breeding program.

COLOR: Black, grey, seal, fawn, red, cream, variations of black and tan. White markings, sable shading, and black masks allowed. Brindle, particolors of all variations found.

SIZE: HEIGHT AT THE WITHERS: for males between 72 – 82 cm (28 ‐ 32 inches), for females between 66 – 74 cm (26‐ 29 inches).

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

  • General appearance: Greyhound type
  • Untypical outline.
  • Pink Skin, nose, paws [lack of melanin]
  • Very narrow briskets
  • Lack of angulation
  • Hip bones placed distinctly lower than the withers [significantly sloping topline].
  • Ring‐tail, bushy tail.

Dogs with fade marking over white are accepted. Pure white coat has pink skin which causes skin ailments hence undesirable for coursing purpose. It has been observed in the recent instances due to the demand for pure white [pink] pups; breeding has been done to acquire full pink litters .This practice also has resulted into genetic issues like deafness and bone deformity. The pink paws can’t bear the rough terrain and bleed often. Any dog with pink paws, nose and skin is disregarded for hunting by the natives for the reason of its inefficiency to bear heat.

A Hound chasing a hare has to negotiate the irregularities on the terrain from small stones, thorny shrubs, rocks, ditches and other competing dogs as well. As the dog approaches the hare, he has to bend down to grab it simultaneously dealing with the said obstacles. Taller the dog , more he has to lower his head which consumes more time. This time lapse of milliseconds is enough for the hare to temporarily or permanently escape from the dog’s instantaneous reach making it difficult for the dog to bag the game. The chase unnecessarily extends which wears the dog out. After understanding this fact themselves, the tall dogs then avoid bending and attempt to paw the game in a desperate attempt to bag it which is futile and time consuming. The dog who takes longer to take the game is considered inferior and such tall dogs don’t appear to perform well, hence disregarded. A tall dog has a proportionately enlarged body and structure as well. Considering the already voracious appetite of Mudhol hounds, a bigger dog requires humongous meals which are expensive for the natives since they keep more than one dog as required for the game. By the above factors, any dog beyond 30 inches of height will have significant chances of being unsuccessful as a hunter and such tall specimen are not so common in the natives. Since the ban on hunting in India the primary function of a hunter is lost and the height is much favored by the people who want Mudhols to serve guarding purpose or shows. It is the buyer’s responsibility to study thoroughly and select the puppy with right pigmentation and parentage to avoid unnecessary medical expense in the future.

DISQUALYFING FAULTS:

  • Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Lack of type (in particular when showing a recent crossing with another breed).
  • Very tall.
  • Coat not conforming to the standard, i.e. long hair, thick rough coat or feathering.
  • Eye color not conforming to the standard, i.e. Blue.
  • Nose color not conforming to the standard, i.e. pink, or partially unpigmented, spotted.
  • Ears erect (Prick ears), raised with tips drooping, or folding backwards (rose ears).

N.B.:

  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.
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