Regardless of shape, size, or breed, dogs can steal most hearts in a couple of seconds.
People’s bonds with these four-legged creatures are nothing short of amazing, built on affection and aided by wide naive eyes and joyful nature.
The thoughts are very similar in India as well, with admiration for a dog’s character appearing in some of our ancient tales.
More Indians are warming up to the notion of adopting native breeds of pet dogs like Kombai, Mudhol Hounds, Rajapalayams, and Chippiparai Hounds rather than dominant international varieties.
The indigenous breeds are becoming popular among dog enthusiasts due to their high resistance.
They don’t need acclimatization as they are not from distant areas, and are all-weather hounds at a cheaper expense. Also, the superior breed canines have become pricey, notably during the pandemic.
In this article, we’ll learn all about the Kombai dog breed from Tamil Nadu, which is known for its bravery and devotion to its owners.
Origin and History
Kombai is a breed of dog from southern India that was christened after the village of Kombai, which is situated adjacent to Cumbam and Uthampalayam in Madurai.
This breed, with its brown and red coats and black mask, is descended from foxes. There have been records of this breed’s existence dating back to the 15th century.
They were once used to hunt wild boar, bison, and deer, among other animals, in the olden days. Beginning in the 9th century, these established their dominance by chasing after the heels of their masters.
‘Kombai’ dogs are famous for their disposition, and there is a commonly believed myth that explains why they are so popular.
“Military Reminiscences,” a book was written by Colonel Welsh, includes a description of Kombai dogs.
He describes how several vicious Kombai dogs guarded the fort of the Marudhu Brothers in Kalaiyarkovil, near Tirunelveli, during the Marudhu Brothers’ reign.
During its attack, the British Army was only able to access the fort after killing all of the ‘Kombai’ dogs that were protecting the entrance.
On the other hand, owners of the breed attest to the breed’s loyalty and ferocity. According to English zoologist Desmond Morris, author of Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of over 1,000 Dog Breeds (2001), these muscular, robust, and athletic dogs, which are kept by Zamindars and certain tribes, are well-known for their capacity to overcome any obstacle that stands in their way. They are incredibly intelligent, keen, and powerful dogs.
The Kombai has a temperament that is similar to that of the pit bull terrier. It cannot abide the presence of any other animal, and it will not tolerate human mocking. Although fierce, Desmond Morris claims that “Kombai” is a sweet-tempered and tolerant creature towards the children.
A Kombai dog has the appearance of a robust pie dog, but it also possesses distinctive characteristics. In looks, a real Kombai is a solid-coloured dog with a nose and tail that are dark brown or rich red with black markings. Kombais with a good lineage may have black markings around the claws that are visible.
It features a prominent dark mark on the back that can be a darker version of the main hue or be completely black. The head of a Kombai dog is huge and wide in shape, resembling a blunt wedge in form. It is designed to be proportional to the body and to provide both movement and strength. With their striking looks and charming personalities, they are a sought-after breed for pet owners.
The perfect male and female Kombai are both 40–50 cm tall, with only a slight variance in height between the sexes. Males and females are approximately the same weight, weighing 25–30 kg for men and 20–25 kg for women.
Kombai excels at guarding and hunting, and he’s a one-man dog when it comes to obeying commands. It is one of the toughest breeds of dogs, and if it so chooses, it can fight its adversary courageously till death. Because of this characteristic, these make excellent guard dogs. Kombis are not very fond of outsiders, and if they see them as a danger, they may suffer severe repercussions.
They are devoted to their owner and family, and when it comes to protecting the home or property, they exhibit awareness and honesty in their actions. This breed of dog is highly skilled, strong, and well acclimated to the country’s tropical climate. They make fantastic workers and wonderful companions.
Training and energy levels
The activity level of this breed is high; as a result, it needs frequent exercise to maintain its quickness as well as to provide the necessary stimulation for its intellect to function properly. The Kombais have a quick temper. They are not as fast as sighthounds when chasing an animal, but they are excellent as ambush dogs since they are more agile.
Because harsh training methods do not work on them, rewarding them with treats is the best option. They can be violent during training in hunting mode and towards unwelcome guests. Although this is due to protectiveness and territoriality rather than hostility.
Similar to a pitbull, the Kombai has an extremely strong bite strength and grip strength. So much so that their bite has the potential to break a bone. If you want to train your Kombai to be a guard dog, you must practise bite work with him.
Additionally, socialising your dog with food as an incentive to not bite home inhabitants and bypassers except in self-defence will assist them in learning to manage their instinctive biting behaviours.
How to take good care
Kombai dogs demand less grooming than other breeds. To keep the coat in good shape, you require sporadic brushing. It is not necessary to bathe regularly. Because it is susceptible to infection, frequent combing of the ears is essential.
What to feed
You should feed 4–10 cups of healthy dry food to Kombai dogs every day. Make sure you split them into two meals.
Their oral health and jaw strength are improved by eating home-cooked meals like rice and chicken or other meat with bones. Loving and caring owners frequently spoil their Kombai, but it is important to ensure that they do not ingest saturated fats, salt, or sugar, since they are detrimental to the health of animals.
Their genealogy and upbringing on the varied subcontinent mean that they have relatively few breed-related health issues, allowing them to live and thrive in a variety of climates and environments.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most prevalent health problems that Kombai suffers from. Dermatitis is a skin condition that they suffer from in addition to their other problems.
This breed of sighthound differs from the others in that it does not possess the same level of peripheral vision as the other sighthounds. The Kombai possesses the flawless 200-plus-degree vision, although most of its rivals have a 270-degree view.
Before owning a dog, the first thing that springs to mind is “which breed should we acquire?”
People believe that others acquire pedigree-bred dogs to elevate their social position or to show off, but the fact is that they are unaware of the existence of native dogs and do not treat them as such. Although many people feel that native dogs are unreliable and capable of biting or becoming out of control, the truth is that a dog is an animal that requires training and socialisation.
Because of their temperament, territorial character, hunting instinct, and pursuing speed, Kombai makes great guard dogs. They may be excellent trackers and hunters, making them excellent candidates for use by law enforcement and security organisations. Due to their awareness, fearlessness, and determination, they may also be useful in the protection of plantations, cattle, and huge properties.