Originating in India, the Mahratta Greyhound was developed for hunting formidable prey in the vast open terrain of the country’s central region.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the history, physical traits, personality, and health of the Mahratta Greyhound.
A Brief History of the Mahratta Greyhound
Origins of the Breed
The Mahratta Greyhound, or Mahratta Hound, is a scenthound dog developed by the nomadic tribe Banjara of Maharashtra.
The dog is believed to have Arabian or Persian heritage and is skilled at hunting dangerous prey, including panther, boar, and blackbuck.
The Mahratta Greyhound in India
Legend has it that the Mahratta Greyhound was so prized by the Maratha Empire that the dogs were often given as gifts to other rulers and dignitaries. In fact, it is said that one of the Mahratta Greyhounds was given as a gift to Napoleon Bonaparte by an Indian prince.
For centuries, Mahratta Greyhounds were loved by Maharajas and Nawabs (rulers). They used the dogs to hunt formidable prey in the vast, open fields of central India. The hounds would work together to chase their prey and bring them down with their impressive speed and agility.
The Breed in Modern Times
Despite their popularity in India, the Mahratta Greyhound remains a relatively rare breed outside its native country. Today, the Mahratta Greyhound is still used for hunting in some parts of India but is also kept as a companion animal in many households.
Physical Characteristics of the Mahratta Greyhound
Size and Weight
The Mahratta Greyhound is a medium-sized breed that stands around 22 inches tall at the shoulder. Breed members are muscular and lean but not overly bulky, with a streamlined build that allows them to reach high speeds.
In terms of weight, Mahratta Greyhounds usually weigh between 44 and 54 pounds, with males being slightly larger than females. Despite their relatively slender build and fragile frame, both sexes are incredibly powerful and athletic.
Coat and Colors
The Mahratta Greyhound has a short, glossy, and smooth coat with some feathering on the ears and tail. The coat comes in blue & tan or black & tan patterns.
The Mahratta Greyhound’s short coat is perfectly suited for keeping the dog cool despite the hot Indian climate. The coat requires grooming but is not high maintenance.
The Mahratta Greyhound has a long, pointed snout, which gives it a regal and elegant appearance. It also has large, floppy ears that help funnel scents toward the dog’s nose, making the breed an excellent hunter and tracker.
The Mahratta Greyhound has a slender and tall body with long legs, a tucked-up abdomen, and a slightly upward-curled tail. This tail is not only visually striking but also helps the dog to maintain balance while running at high speeds.
Temperament and Personality Traits
The Mahratta Greyhound is loyal, affectionate, and makes a great companion for families and individuals. One of the most remarkable traits of the breed is its intelligence.
Mahratta Greyhounds are quick learners and excel in various activities such as obedience, agility, and lure coursing. They also enjoy learning new skills and tricks.
Energy Levels and Exercise
As with all sighthound breeds, the Mahratta Greyhound has high energy levels and requires plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and runs are essential, as are opportunities to run and play in a secure, fenced yard or park.
Breed members are also known for their endurance and can run for miles without getting tired. Regular exercise keeps them physically fit and mentally stimulated. Without enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive.
Socialization and Interaction
Mahratta Greyhounds are generally friendly towards people and other animals. However, early socialization is essential to ensure that they develop good manners and behavior around other dogs and small animals.
They may have a natural prey drive, so it is important to supervise them around cats or other small animals. With proper socialization and training, they can coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.
Sensitive and Affectionate Nature
Some Mahratta Greyhounds can be sensitive to loud noises and sudden movements, so it is vital to expose them to different environments and situations from a young age.
It should also be noted that despite their hunting heritage and independent spirit, breed members are highly affectionate and prone to separation anxiety if left alone for longer periods.
Health and Lifespan of the Mahratta Greyhound
Common Health Issues
Like all dog breeds, Mahratta Greyhounds are prone to certain health conditions, such as:
- Joint Problems: Breed members are susceptible to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and luxating patellas
- Anesthesia Issues: Due to the low body fat percentage, the breed is sensitive to regular anesthesia protocols
- Eye Disorders: Cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and glaucoma are all common in the breed
Preventative Care and Regular Checkups
The best way of keeping your Mahratta Greyhound healthy is to provide preventative care, such as regular checkups, vaccination, and parasite control. A high-quality diet, daily exercise, and mental stimulation are also critical for the dog’s wellness.
The average lifespan of the Mahratta Greyhound is between 10 and 12 years, although, with proper care and attention, some dogs may live even longer. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and preventive healthcare are essential to ensuring a long, happy life for your furry friend.
The Mahratta Greyhound is a unique and fascinating breed that has a rich history and many admirable qualities. It is an athletic, intelligent, and loving dog that makes a great companion.
By providing proper care and attention, you can ensure that your Mahratta Hound lives a long and happy life. Research the breed before deciding and find a reputable breeder.