- Height: 23-29 inches
- Weight: 48-62 lbs
- Lifespan: 10-15 years
- Group: not applicable
- Best Suited For: active singles, active families, experienced dog owners, house with a yard, hunters
- Temperament: loyal, trainable, independent, territorial
- Comparable Breeds: Greyhound, Whippet
Caravan Hound Basics
The Caravan Hound is known by several names in its homeland. Though you may not recognize any of those names, you may recognize the breed by his size and build. The Caravan Hound is a medium-sized breed with a long, lithe body similar to that of the Greyhound. The Caravan Hound is a type of sighthound traditionally used for hunting and guarding but, more recently, for surveillance and border protection by the Indian Army.
Commonly kept as a pet among villagers living in India’s Deccan Plateau, the Caravan Hound is a sighthound typically used for hunting and guarding. The breed was introduced in western India from Arabia and Central Asia and is therefore considered a direct descendant of Asian and Arabian sighthounds such as the Saluki or Tazi. Because the breed is popular in the Mudhol Taluk of Karnataka, it is also sometimes called the Mudhol Hound. The feathered variety of the breed has its own name – Pashmi or Karwani.
The Caravan Hound is though to be a direct descendant of the Saluki, also known as the Persian Greyhound or Tazi.
The Caravan Hound is a large breed, according to its adult size, so it may do well on a large-breed dog food. Keep in mind, however, that these formulas tend to be lower in fat than traditional adult dog diets, so this type of recipe may not meet your dog’s high energy needs. You may be better off with an active or working breed formula, especially if you plan to train your dog for hunting.
The Caravan Hound is an intelligent and very trainable breed, though he tends to fare best with an experienced dog owner. These dogs have the stamina and strength to work for hours in even extreme conditions, so they can be strong willed when they need to be. This can sometimes be a challenge and you should expect your dog to have a will of his own at times. When treated fairly, however, this breed can be quite loyal and protective of his family and his territory.
The Caravan Hound technically qualifies as a large-breed dog because it typically weighs more than 50 pounds at maturity. Even so, he remains at the lower end of the spectrum with an average weight between 48 and 62 pounds. Males are a little larger than females, standing 26 to 29 inches tall while females are usually 23 to 26 inches tall.
The Caravan Hound is generally a quiet and peaceful dog that can do quite well in a family setting with proper training and socialization. Though it may be adaptable to apartment or condo living with adequate exercise, it is better suited to a house with a fenced yard and a family who will give him plenty of exercise. These dogs can become quite loyal with family, though they are always likely to be wary around strangers – they do not like to be touched by unfamiliar people, a trait which makes them do well as a watchdog. These dogs are also at-risk for becoming nervous or aggressive if they aren’t treated gently and with respect.
Common Health Problems
The Caravan Hound is generally regarded as a hardy breed, not prone to any inherited health problems. Based on his size and breeding, however, he may be prone to certain issues such as hip dysplasia, bloat, eye problems, and ear infections.
The average lifespan for the Caravan Hound is 10 to 15 years.
As a hunting breed, the Caravan Hound has very high needs for exercise. This breed is capable of performing under even the most grueling conditions, so it has a great deal of strength and stamina. These dogs need a bare minimum of an hour of vigorous exercise per day and a fenced yard is preferred so they can get some additional exercise.
The Caravan Hound is not currently recognized by the AKC but it is by the Kennel Club of India (KCI) and the Indian National Kennel Club (INKC). The KCI registers the breed as the Caravan Hound and the INKC as the Mudhol Hound.
The Caravan Hound has a distinct Greyhound-like appearance with long limbs, a slim build, and a lithe, athletic appearance. The coat is very short and smooth, though there is also a variety that exhibits silky feathering on the ears, legs, and tail. Dogs with a feathered coat are known as Pashmi or Karwani. Acceptable colors for the Caravan Hound breed include fawn, red, cream, black, and mouse gray or any of these colors broken with a small amount of white.
The average litter size for the Caravan Hound is 3 to 7 puppies. Currently, there are about 750 families in the Mudhol town of Karnataka that are actively breeding the Caravan Hound. Because this breed is used for hunting, early socialization and training is recommended. Puppies tend to grow fairly quickly, so you may want to feed your puppy a large-breed formula to prevent him from growing so fast that he develops musculoskeletal issues as an adult.
Photo credit: Neil Trilokekar/Wikimedia