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The Pashmi: The Caravan's closest relative
Caravan Hound Preservation Society International


The following article was published in PetIndia magazine, June 2000 issue.

Hundreds of years, in the process of evolution, before the coming of the bow and arrow and the bullet, sight hounds served the purpose of acquiring food for many hunters and were among the earliest of the canine breeds to be domesticated by man. A majority of these sight hounds have the Asian continent as their place of origin; The Mudhol hound, the Pashmi and the Rampur Hound, all of them from India; the Sloughi and Saluki from the middle-east, etc., The Pashmi is a replica of the Saluki and was first introduced into India more than eight centuries ago by the marauding hordes who plundered India through the ages but did not arouse general interest till a decade ago in the early nineties by one of the oldest Kennel Clubs of South India, namely the Mysore Kennel Club. The Pashmi breed of dog is thought by some to be a fringed variant of the Mudhol or Caravan hound, but this is not true. With some of the main characteristics being the feathered tail and low slung, fringed ears. Recognized by the Indian National Kennel Club way back in the seventies and the Bharath Kennel Club, some two decades ago, and the Kennel Club of India in 1995, it is today well recognized in Karnataka and the neighbouring state of Maharashtra and has made its presence felt on the Indian sub continent. It is used mainly for hunting for which great agility and endurance stand in good stead. It makes an excellent companion and and is a hardy animal, which can sustain itself in the arid regions of north Karnataka and, southern Maharashtra.

General appearance:

A rather elegant dog, standing tall, with pendant fringed ears, short coat and long feathered tail. They measure from 23 upto 28 inches. The head is narrow, clean, fine and elongated. The skull is almost flat and broad between the ears than between the brows. The stop is very slightly defined and has a straight muzzle. The bridge of the nose has a slight curve to the tip. The nose is black in color. The eyes are colored black, amber, chesnut or reddish brown and are bright with tight lids and black rims. The neck is long slender, supple and less strongly muscled than the Greyhounds. The body is long and slightly arched from behind the withers. The loins are not overloaded with muscles and the croup drops slightly. The chest is rather deep and broad, with the ribs appearing flat. The belly is well drawn up. The shoulders are sloping and muscular. The forelegs are straight and strong. The hindquarters are very well muscled. The hocks are not bent and well let down. The tail is strong at the root, thin and long, reaching the hocks and carried horizontally or slightly curved. It is furnished on the underside by an ostrich feather like fringe. The feet are strong and supple with arched and well-feathered toes. The coat is short and smooth over the whole body. On the rear it forms into silky fringes. The forelegs are slightly fringed behind, the hind limbs and tail being well feathered. The Pashmis come in various colors and are usually colored black, fawn, tan, white, cream etc.,

The Pashmis are much treasured as a hunting dog in its native tracts of Karnataka and Maharashtra. These dogs are owned by farmers to hunt small game such as hares, rabbits etc., they share whatever their owners eat, which is very frugal. Today they make excellent show dogs and companions with their dignified looks and exemplary character. The Pashmis are sheer poetry in motion, being extremely fast and agile and are an asset to the master for their graceful looks as also their working capabilities of sheep herding and as an undemanding companion. The Pashmis history is burried in the mists of time, is today, like the Phoenix, rises from the ashes of extinction due to the concerted efforts of a few canine enthusiasts who have taken up the gauntlet to review the Indian breeds of dogs in their respect regions. Our Indian breeds of dogs are in no means inferior to any of their canine cousins, for they have a character of their own and owe implicit obeisance to their masters. Further, if only our Indian dogs are kept, handled and groomed for showing by us, they would make pretty pictures inferior to no other exotic breed which are tended to be pampered and projected.

The Pashmis these days are being shown locally and at Indian national level canine shows. The zilla panchayats of Bijapur and Bagalkote are taking an active interest in the promotion of the breed. The Pashmis have been shown at Indian National Kennel Club shows regularly as well as the dog shows held in Bijapur, Bagalkote and Mudhol, wherein they participate in large numbers. Recently a couple of Pashmis were exhibited at the International AKU/KCI/FCI show in Chennai and were adjudicated by none other than the president of the Kennel Club of India, Mr. S. Rangarajan and the Indian breeds speciality show by Mr. Philip John. International judges at the venue and canine enthusiasts keenly observed the Indian breeds of dogs for they bear a close resemblance to their forebears, namely the Salukis and Greyhounds.

Come let us join hands to rejuvenate, improve, love and cherish our own Indian breeds of dogs.