Gaddi Kutta

Gaddi Kutta is a mastiff-type mountain dog found in northern India, especially states in the western Himalayas region (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Kashmir). They are also called the Indian Panther Hound, as well as Mahidant Mastiff, the former pointing to the breed’s skills and the latter to its origins. Though initially bred for hunting purposes, the multi-talented Gaddi Kutta is widely used by local shepherds, mostly Gaddis (from the tribe of the same name) and are reputed to be strong enough to repulse attacks by snow leopards, and to have the intelligence to herd stray sheep and goats back to their pens.

History The Gaddi is thought to have been developed by the Asur King Mahidant of Meerut by crossing the wild dingo-like hounds (these dingo type dogs are not dholes but are a type of wild mastiff type of pariahs, descended from the massive Hyrcanian dogs), found in the Jamuna Khader region of India, with the Sha-Khyi variety or fighting line of Tibetan Mastiffs for hunting purposes. Similar to other breeds of the area and belonging to the lighter strain of Central Asian dogs, this ancient Molosser is an agile and powerful breed, used for trailing and confronting panthers and other large game in the past, although these dogs are rarely used by hunters today. Mostly found in India, it also exists in small numbers in neighbouring Pakistan, although not many examples are pure, with most of the lines reportedly having been crossed with the popular Bully Kutta breed and even containing some German Shepherd blood.

Temperament The Gaddi Kutta is intuitive, calm and gentle with its owner, making an agreeable family pet when socialized properly, but it can be quite aggressive towards other dogs and strange people. Currently, this territorial and reserved breed is mostly employed to control livestock and to protect its master's property, as well as occasionally being pitted against other dogs, even though the Gaddi Kutta is not considered to be a fighting breed.

Appearance Leaner than most mastiffs, the Gaddi is athletic, deep-chested and muscular, capable of great speeds and prized for its stamina. When left in its natural state, the tail curls over the dog's back. The ears are usually cropped short, although quite a few unaltered examples exist. Two main coat types are observed in the breed, the shorthaired variety and the more common, slightly fuller coat of medium length, somewhat shorter on the body with longer feathering on the chest, legs and tail. Although some dogs have small white markings, the Gaddi Kutta is usually solid coloured, with most dogs seen in lighter pastel shades, like cream, fawn, and yellow, but brindle, brown, and piebald dogs can be found as well. Males are between 22 to 31 inches in height and 40 to 45 kilograms in weight, while females are between 20 to 28 inches in height and 35 to 40 kilograms in weight. The size, however, varies greatly and the dogs that are around 25 inches tall are the ones most encountered.