Rampur Greyhound

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
India
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Rampur Greyhound

The Rampur Greyhound is a breed of dog native to the Rampur region of northern India, which lies between Delhi and Bareilly. The Rampur Greyhound is an important member of the greyhound family. In northwest India, it is often described as a smooth-haired sighthound that is substantially built. It was the Maharajahs' favorite dog for jackal control, but was also used to hunt lions, tigers, leopards and panthers. It was considered a test of courage for a single hound to bring down a golden jackal. The Rampur is built to cover great distances at high speed, but is also capable of great endurance.

History of the Rampur Greyhound

His Royal Highness Ahmad Ali Khan of Rampur, Nawab of the State of Rampur, bred these dogs by combining the very powerful but fierce Tâzî bloodlines brought by the Afghans, and the more obedient but less resistant to climatic variations and conditions English Greyhound. He gave the name "Rampur Hound" to the dogs he bred. The Rampur Hound far exceeded his expectations. Although it had obtained its unshakeable appearance and character from its Afghan T?z? ancestors, it had gained momentum among English Greyhounds. Here was a dog that rarely backed down in confrontations and could more or less keep up with the fastest prey. With the fall of the Maharajahs in 1947, the Rampur Hound's popularity also declined. The effect of the arrival of the English was obvious to the Rampur, as well as to the Indians. Additional English Greyhounds were bred into some lines, making it very difficult to find a pure-bred Rampur Greyhound today. With the decline of hunting in India, the dog's popularity plummeted. It was no longer fashionable or practical for the rich to keep them, while the poor population simply couldn't keep one. In recent years, however, its popularity has begun to rise once again, and the breed's numbers with it. Nevertheless, this remarkable breed remains poised on the brink of extinction. Only a few are known and registered outside India, with all those currently known outside India currently located in the US state of New Jersey.

Appearance of the Rampur Greyhound

Length from withers to base of tail is about 36 inches, with a chest that is deep but not very broad over the shoulders, and with well sprung ribs. The tail is long and tapered, curving slightly upwards and downwards, measuring about 61 centimeters to 69 centimeters in length. The neck, about 30 centimeters in circumference, is long, arched and muscular, and rather broad where it joins the body. The 23-centimeter-long jaws should have a powerful scissor bite. Males measure between 60 and 75 centimetres in height. Females measure between 55 and 60 centimetres in height. They weigh around 27 to 30 kilos. They are about the same size as most other sighthounds, but much larger and more muscular, much like the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The Rampur's head is wider and more substantial than that of the English Greyhound. It has a flat skull and pointed nose. They also have a characteristic Roman elbow. Their ears are set high on their head and held in a rose or pendant. Rampur's foot is a large "hare" shape, with heavy straps. Their toes are highly articulated and flexible, even capable of leaning back a little. They're not unlike our own fingers in many ways. This maneuverability helps give them feline balance, with most dogs able to walk on ledges or quietly leap a six-foot fence. Colors include mouse gray, gray, brindle, two-tone or, rarely, black. The gray and mouse-gray colorations in particular have the ability to blend particularly well with forest foliage, capable of making dogs difficult to spot from a distance of just ten feet, in broad daylight. Black, however, is the most sought-after dog color for many enthusiasts. Their eye color varies from yellow to golden brown.

Temperament of the Rampur Greyhound

The breed loves human company, and like most greyhounds tends to keep itself clean and well-groomed. They may appear lazy, but will charge when necessary. Rampur in play can be a scary thing for the uninitiated. They like to charge each other at speed, then thrust their chests in with force. They are affectionate to their owners, almost to a fault. Despite this, the Rampur Hound is still an imposing breed and makes an excellent watchdog. Generally gentle and sensitive around the children of its own family, the Rampur nevertheless tends to be a one-person dog, and has been known to show protective instincts. At times, they can also be boisterous and prone to knocking people over in their enthusiasm. They can sometimes be aggressive with other dogs. Before getting a Rampur Hound, size and exercise requirements must be taken into account. Relatively robust, they need plenty of room to stretch their legs and would probably not be happy to be confined to a small apartment.

Needs and activities of the Rampur Greyhound

Today, as wild boar hunting is no longer a state-sanctioned activity, it is restricted mainly to India's rural population, and Rampurs have seen their popularity decline. Unlike the maharajas of years gone by, today's rural Rampur owners tend to keep their hunting dogs active for food or to get rid of parasites, rather than just for company. Rampurs are now mainly kept for hunting jackals, but they are also capable of stalking and killing other larger game that have been wounded by hunters. However, their upkeep can prove prohibitive for many rural poor. They haven't caught on as show dogs, have never been exhibited in the conformation ring and are generally an actively working breed, rather than a pet.

Maintenance of the Rampur Greyhound

Rampurs are generally a healthy, long-lived breed, living up to fifteen years, and hereditary disease is rare. Diseases observed are generally similar to those seen in other greyhound breeds, Rampurs have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat), and osteosarcoma. Because the Rampur's lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, owners should generally provide soft bedding; without bedding, Rampurs are likely to develop painful skin sores, although feeding them vitamin-A-rich foods can also help alleviate this. Due to the unusual physiology and anatomy of Rampurs, a veterinarian experienced in the breed's peculiarities is advisable, especially when anesthesia is required. If these specialists are not available, it's best to seek out a specialist in the treatment of Greyhounds or related breeds. Greyhounds demonstrate unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by vets unfamiliar with the breed, leading to an incorrect diagnosis. Rampurs have higher levels of red blood cells than other breeds, (a trait inherited from their English Greyhound ancestors). Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles, this higher level enables the dog to move larger quantities of oxygen more quickly from the lungs to the muscles. Blood transfusion services have to use greyhounds as blood donors if there are no Rampurs available (Greyhounds are generally used as universal blood donors).

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