Chippiparai Dog Characteristics, Origin & Lifespan

The Chippiparai dog is a sighthound breed of dog. It is a single-colored breed from Tamil Nadu, India. It is mainly found in the areas of Tirunelveli, Thenkasi, Thoothukudi, and Madurai. The black, tan and sable colored versions are called Kanni.

The breed was used to hunt small rabbits, forest pigs and deer before the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was passed by the Indian government.

Now the breed is primarily used as a guard dog or for dog racing or shows. And these dogs are still used for catching rabbits in small villages near forest and mountain in south India.

The Chippiparai dogs were originally bred by royal families in Chippiparai town in the Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu. And there the breed was kept as a symbol of royalty and dignity. The breed is also known for it’s speed and loyalty to owners.

Researchers and scholars are unsure of how old the breed is. Some go as far as saying they could be thousands of years old. But most believe they are a relative of the Saluki, a Central Asian sighthound believed to be the ancestor of all Indian Sighthound.

These dogs were highly valuable and were kept only by the high castes and elites. And they were bred to hunt nearly everything imaginable in Tamil Nadu. They needed to be chained up all the time because of their speed and hunting instinct. Some breeders believe that this is the reason the line stayed pure for hundreds of years.

The hardiness of the Chippiparai dog comes from the extreme heat of Tamil Nadu and the many parasites and infectious diseases that plague the land. Famine made feeding dogs difficult, so they have evolved to be very low maintenance and capable of feeding themselves and living on next to nothing.

Dog breeding as an interest did not take off in India until the mid 20th century, by which time the Chippiparai dog had declined severely in numbers. Even today, numbers have continued to fall and the Chippiparai breed is slowly disappearing.[1]

Chippiparai Dog Characteristics

The Chippiparai dogs are of medium sized, and they are very beautiful. They have a short coat that gets a shining, when it is well groomed, shell-like appearance which is very desired by trainers. This coat also makes them ideal for hot climates.

The typical colors are fawn, black, reddish brown, black tinged coat, silver-grey, with very limited to no white markings and a long curved tail. Other colors, particularly variations of grey and fawn also occur.

The head and face of the Chippiparai dog are very long and narrow. The muzzle is noticeably longer than the skull and almost as wide and deep. Despite it’s narrowness, the muzzle gives the impression of having substantial power. The muzzle does tapper substantially towards the end but never looks snipey.

Their ears are quite variable. Most of the dogs have rose ears, but others have semi-prick or forward facing drop down ears. The ears are moderate in size, regardless of shape and type.

The eyes of the Chippiparai dogs face forwards, giving the breed the best possible vision. The eyes are usually dark in color, but may be lighter depending on the dog’s coat color.

Averege body height of the mature dogs is between 26 and 27 inches at the withers for males, and between 20 and 25 inches for the females. Average live body weight of the mature dog is between 28 and 30 kg for the males, and between 25 and 28 kg for the females.

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Temperament

The Chippiparai is an intelligent breed and a very useful watch dog. Contrary to the belief that it is a one-man dog, the Chippiparai gets along well with people other than its owner if it is properly socialized.

They love companionship and are averse to being in isolation. They are capable of great speed and overtake a rabbit with ease.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Chippiparai dog is between 11 and 14 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Chippiparai dogs are medium in size, and they are highly active. So, their diet should be formulated for a medium sized breed with high exercise needs. You can consult with a vet in your area for better feeding recommendations.

Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Chippiparai dogs. You should always keep up with your dog’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early.

The Chippiparai is a robust dog needing little or no veterinary care. It is very active during it’s young stages. It needs a lot of exercise, as it was meant to hunt.

As proficient hunting dogs, the Chippiparais need a ton of daily exercise to expend energy. They need to run around to stimulate them physically and mentally. Without plenty of exercise, they can potentially exhibit some destructive behavior around the house.

The Chippiparai is not a fussy eater. It is easy to groom and does not shed much due to its short coat length.

Health

The Chippiparai dogs are generally very healthy. Though sturdy enough to cope with limited means and harsh weather conditions, the breed does suffer in cold weather.

Like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions. Their common health issues are sensitivity to anesthesia and food allergies. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameChippiparai
Other NamesAlso known as Kanni
Breed SizeMedium
HeightBetween 26 and 27 inches at the withers for males, and between 20 and 25 inches for the females
WeightBetween 28 and 30 kg for the males, and between 25 and 28 kg for the females
Good as PetsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorThe typical colors are fawn, black, reddish brown, black tinged coat, silver-grey, with very limited to no white markings and a long curved tail. Other colors, particularly variations of grey and fawn also occur.
LifespanBetween 11 and 14 years
Good for ChildrenYes
RarityCommon
Country/Place of OriginIndia

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