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Caravan Hound

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Caravan Hound

The Caravan Hound if an Indian purebred developed to be a guard dog, companion and hunting dog and used by the poor up to royalty. Other names it is known by include the Mudhol Hound/Dog, Lahori Pashmi or just Pashmi, Psuri Hound and Karwani. It is an aloof dog, friendly and loyal to its family but not a social dog otherwise and its independence means experience helps with its raising. It has a life span of 10 to 15 years and is medium to large in size.

The Caravan Hound at A Glance
Name Caravan Hound
Other names Mudhol Dog/Hound, Karwani, Lahori Pashmi, Pashmi, Pisuri Hound
Nicknames None
Origin India
Average size Medium to large
Average weight 48 to 62 pounds
Average height 22 to 29 inches
Life span 10 to 15 years
Coat type Smooth or silky
Hypoallergenic No
Color Black, brindle , chocolate, fawn, white
Popularity Not yet a fully registered member of the AKC
Intelligence Good to very good
Tolerance to heat Very good to excellent – comes from a hot country
Tolerance to cold Low to moderate – will need some extra care if you live where there are cold temperatures
Shedding Average – will be some hair around the home
Drooling Moderate – not especially prone
Obesity Average – measure its food and track that it gets enough exercise
Grooming/brushing Low – brushing once a week should be enough
Barking Low – not prone to excessive barking
Exercise needs High – needs active owners
Trainability Average – experience will make it easier, otherwise expect it to be a gradual process
Friendliness Low – it is friendly to its family but not with stranger or anyone else so supervise closely when out with it
Good first dog Moderate – best with experienced owners
Good family pet Very good with socialization
Good with children Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs Good to very good – if socialized early
Good with other pets Moderate – socialization is essential due to having a high prey drive
Good with strangers No – wary of strangers until they get to know them
Good apartment dog No - needs space and access to at least a large yard
Handles alone time well Low – does not like to be alone for long periods
Health issues A hardy breed with no known specific issues but some things to look out for include hip dysplasia, eye problems, bloat and ear infections
Medical expenses $485 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $260 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $245 a year for toys, basic training, miscellaneous items and license
Average annual expenses $990 a year as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $1,500
Rescue organizations None breed specific, check local rescues and shelters
Biting Statistics None reported

The Caravan Hound's Beginnings

The Caravan Hound is a sighthound and is from West India, from the Deccan Plateau which covers several parts of states and regions including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and is a relation of the Afghan Hound. Its ancestors came to Asia with mercenaries and traders in caravans hence its name Karwani or Caravan and then mixed with local dogs. Another possible origin is that when ships used the wind and sails they would often land towards the south in Karwar and dogs arriving there may have gotten loose and worked their way up. Again mixing with local dogs. Over thousands of years it was popular with the poorest of people all the way to Indian royalty. Other names it has been known by include Mudhol hound from a small town so named, and Pashmi was the name given to feathered types.

It was used for hunting, for guarding livestock and property and as a companion. It hunts at a sprint towards its prey doing twists and mid air turns as they go, when they reach it they kill the prey with a jerk or suffocation. It does not retrieve, it will try to eat its kill so his hunter with him has to follow quickly to get the kill back. It also excelled at other tasks though and was valued for being hard working even in difficult conditions. It was developed to have strength, speed, endurance and be able to deal with various terrain from deep sand to rocky mountains.

These dogs are highly valued in India and seen as patriots for their part in fighting for Indian freedom during the 1600 and 1700s. They took part in guerrilla warfare, guarding, carrying messages and so on. In the mid 1880s Shrimant Rajesaheb Malojirao Ghorpade of Mudhol revived the breed in his area and when the Maharaja of the Mudhol state visited the King of England in the early 1900s he gifted a pair of the hounds. It was King George that named them Mudhol Hounds.

Caravan Hound Puppy

New Lease on Life

Sadly fast forwarding to today the Caravan Hound is not doing as well as it once was and in fact is currently hovering around possible extinction. This is mostly due to poor breeding practices and lack of good vet care. Efforts are being made to change this, a dog show specifically for it was held by the Mysore Kennel Club of Bangalore in 2007. The Caravan Hound is recognized by the Indian National Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of India. The Mudhol Hound Research and Information Centre was also formed and supported by the government to help improve dog numbers. In 2010 another dog show was held and over 700 dogs were shown in this one with the best being micro-chipped. There have also been kennels being formed with the sole purpose of helping save rare Indian dog breeds. While there is some international recognition this is a rare breed.

The Dog You See Today

The Caravan Hound is a medium to large dog weighing 48 to 62 pounds and standing 22 to 29 inches tall. It is a lean and aerodynamic dog with a long arched neck, muscular and a strong narrow but deep chest. The back is strong, broad and long and its stomach is nicely tucked up. The front legs are straight and long and the back legs are powerful. Its tail is low set, tapers and is long with a curve. Their feet are long and hare like, knuckled not flat with thick pads. There are two coat types, smooth and feathered and common colors are cream, black, fawn, red and grey. Smooth coats are fine and the hair is close to the body. The feathered types have a silky coat with feathering on the legs, tail, ears and feet.

These dogs have a narrow and long head with a flat skull and it appears wedge shaped from above. The muzzle tapers and they have strong jaws and a large nose that can be black or liver colored. Its ears are set high and hang down close to its head. They are triangular shaped and when they are alert they can raise them at the base, they can also fold them back. Its eyes are oval and large and can range from black to hazel in color and the eye rim matches the nose color.


The Inner Caravan Hound


These dogs can be independent and aloof but can still make great companions as well as guard and hunting dogs. It is intelligent and it is not especially friendly. It is reserved to even suspicious with strangers and will not be happy with being touched by anyone other than it owners and family. Therefore socialization is very important so it does not over react. It is alert and protective so makes a good watchdog and guard dog. It will bark to let you know if something is wrong or if there is an intruder, and it will act to protect you, its home and itself from any danger or threat. It is courageous and loyal but unless there is a threat it should never be aggressive.

The Caravan Hound needs to be treated kindly and respectfully. If it is mishandled or not treated fairly it can become overly nervous, difficult and even aggressive. Being a working breed it needs to be kept busy but it can be sensitive and it does not like being left alone for long periods of time. When kept to hunt with out in the field it is consistent even on hard terrain and in tough weather conditions. It has stamina and determination, focus and commitment.

Living with a Caravan Hound

What will training look like?

While the Caravan Hound is an independent minded breed with a strong will of its own it still needs to be trained with a positive approach, kindness, respect and fairness or it will not respond well. When treated unfairly, scolded or given physical correction, especially if young, it can become nervous, scared, hard to deal with and even defensively aggressive. Expect things to be gradual, be firm and consistent but encourage it, offer praise and use treats to motivate. Start its training and its socialization from a young age. Socialization means introducing it to different people, animals, sounds, places and situations so that it learns how to react appropriately.

How active is the Caravan Hound?

The Caravan Hound is a working and hunting dog and as such needs a lot of exercise and active owners that can deal with that. It will also need a good amount of mental stimulation to keep it happy and stable. Expect to take it for a couple of long walks a day, keeping it leashed when you do as it will want to chase after things. Also play with it every day and take it somewhere safe often to run off leash somewhere safe. It is a strong dog with a lot of endurance and stamina. It is not suited to apartment living as it needs space and at least a large yard.

Caring for the Caravan Hound

Grooming needs

There is not a high amount of maintenance and grooming to do for it. The smooth coated types should just be given a brush once a week, the feathered types may need a bit more because the longer bits can tangle easily. It does shed an average amount so there will be some hair around the home. Give it a full bath only as needed and only ever use a dog shampoo so you do not damage its natural oils. Check its ears once a week for infections and then wipe them clean using a dog ear cleanser or a damp cloth, never by inserting anything. Clip its nails when they get too long taking care not to cut into the lower section of the nail where the blood vessels and nerves are. Also brush its teeth at least three times a week.


Feeding Time

It will need to eat 3 to 4 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day split into at least two meals. How much it eats can vary because of differences in size, age, metabolism, level of activity and health. Always make sure it has access to water and that it is changed often.

How is the Caravan Hound with children and other animals?

The Caravan Hound is good with children with socialization and especially if raised with them, it will play, be affectionate and should be quite gentle. However while it is fine with children in its own family it does not like to be touched by others outside of its family unit so supervise children that come to visit. As it is a hunting dog it tends to see small animals as prey to chase and kill so keep it leashed when out. Some can learn to live with other pets if raised with them but care should be taken around no-canine pets. It can learn also to tolerate other canines but does not like strange dogs on its territory.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The Caravan Hound has a life span of about 10 to 15 years and has no known issues specific to them but there are some general doggy issues that can come up. They include hip dysplasia, ear infections, eye problems and bloat.

Biting Statistics

When looking at reports of dogs attacking people in Canada and the US over the last 35 years there is no mention of the Caravan Hound doing bodily harm. This is not a dog that is aggressive towards people and key to having a dog less likely to have issues is to raise it well. Get a dog from a trusted breeder, train it and socialize it well, feed it and exercise it and make sure it gets the stimulation and attention it needs.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

A Caravan Hound puppy will cost about $1500 and can be a lot more if you use a show breeder. There are other options, puppy mills, back yard breeders, but these should not be trusted, at best you get ignorance and at worst they are cruel to the dogs. There is also the option if looking at local shelters and rescues, while it is unlikely you will find a purebred there there are still plenty of mixed breeds hoping for a good home that have a lot of love to offer. Adoption fees are around $50 to $400 and often medical initial needs are included.


There are then initial costs to factor in, things your dog will need when you bring it home and medical costs for tests and such. You can expect to spend around $220 for items like a crate, carrier, collar and leash, bowls and such. Then another $290 on a physical exam by a vet, deworming, blood tests, micro chipping, spaying or neutering, shots and such.

Annual costs are another factor to think about. Basic health costs like check ups, shots, flea and tick prevention and pet insurance come to about $485 a year. A good quality dry dog food and treats will cost another $260 a year. Miscellaneous costs like basic training, license, toys and miscellaneous items come to another $245 a year. This is a total yearly starting cost of $990.


Looking for a Caravan Hound Name? Let select one from our list!

The Caravan Hound is not an easy dog to find so if you are set on this breed you need to prepare for it to take some time, especially outside of India. In India the number and quality is improving but there are still poor breeders, and poor funds for veterinary care so health is not always good of dogs from there, and some are mixing the dogs. This is a dog that needs to be active often, kept busy mentally as well as physically and will also need a certain amount of training, socialization and attention. If you can commit to that it will be very loyal, loving and protective of you, and will dedicate itself to you for the rest of its life.

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