The Rampur Hound is a rare and smooth-haired Sighthound from North India. It evolved in the fiefdom of Rampur, which lies between Delhi and Bareilly. The ruler of Rampur, Ahmed Ali Khan Bahadur, wanted to create a swift and fierce breed for the dangerous past-time of hunting wild boars, and so interbred good native dogs with foreign breeds like the Tazis, Afghans, and English Greyhounds. The result of these intermixtures was the Rampur Hound.
The dog far exceeded the ruler's expectations. From its Tazi and Afghan ancestors, it got its looks and stalwart character, and from the English Greyhound it got its speed. This dog was fast. It was also extremely intelligent to deal with the wily and formidable boars, and, even when severely injured, was not known to give up a chase. The boar was brought down eventually, but, several times, the Rampur Hound too died, either during the hunt or later of the sustained injuries.
This dog was also used to hunt vermin, jackals, and deer. It was so powerful it was even capable of bringing down a full-grown bull. It also had excellent tracking skills, and could track wounded game over long distances.
These days, with the passing of Imperial India and the coming of the Modern Age, with its Animal Rights Awareness, boar hunting―or any other hunting for that matter―is no longer a state sanctioned activity, and is restricted to villagers or farmers, who do it more for food or to get rid of pests, rather than for any wanton pleasure. This decline in hunting activities saw a dip in the popularity of the Rampur Hound as well. The villagers/farmers either could not afford the upkeep of such a large dog, or, even while highly valuing their dogs, were not all that interested or perhaps somewhat slack in maintaining the breed standards. Some enthusiasts prevailed, of course, which is why we still have the breed, but I'm not sure it's of the same fierce variety that were originally developed. Those dogs, it is said, had heads that resembled the boars they hunted. You very rarely come across those kind nowadays.
Even so, it is still a commanding breed and makes an excellent guard-dog. It is fiercely protective of its family, although it tends to be a one-person dog and will usually obey only one master. Within the family circle, especially with the children, it is dependably gentle and sensitive. It is advisable, of course, to supervise interactions and see that the children don't take undue advantage of this innate good nature. It is also a large dog, it must be remembered, and, with a surfeit of affection, is capable of, however unintentionally, knocking over both kids and grown-ups.
This apart, before obtaining a Rampur Hound, its size and exercise requirements should be taken into consideration. It needs plenty of space and probably will not be happy to be confined in a small apartment. On the plus side, it requires minimum grooming, and, for all its size, the food bill is not likely to burn a hole in your pocket. It is also a hardy breed and not susceptible to many of the physiological problems that its Western counterparts seem prone to.
This breed is sheer poetry in motion, somebody told me, and they're not far wrong. This is one beautiful breed to watch, especially racing across wide-spaced fields, or jumping a high fence. They are known to have speeds equaling to almost 60 km/hr, and can easily clear fences six feet tall.
It is a tall, elegant dog, powerfully built with a deep though not broad chest, a slim, high waist, and long, straight legs. The feet are its most distinctive feature―they have long, arched, and webbed toes, with powerful claws. Such feet give this dog a good, cat-like grip, and facilitate its speed too. The tail, which is long, thin, and tapering, is carried low to the ground with an upward sweep towards its end.
The dog has small, dark-rimmed eyes, that are usually light-colored, small, curved ears, and a broad head. The muzzle, another distinctive feature, is long, narrow, and pointed. The jaws have a powerful grip. The coat comes in several colors―gray, brindle, fawn, brown, white, black, piebald, but black is the color usually preferred by the native breeders.
The males stand around 18 - 27 inches tall, and weigh around 38 - 40 kg. The females stand around 15 - 25 inches tall, and weigh around 36 - 38 kg.