Forest officials to replace Mudhol breed with German Shepherd

Forest officials to replace Mudhol breed with German Shepherd
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Highlights

In response to a call given by PM Modi to use Indian breeds, instead of foreign canines, they roped in Mudhol dogs, but found them not up to the mark in sniffing out crimes

Chamarajanagara: The forest department in Bandipura tiger reserve have replaced Mudhol dogs with German Shepherd to protect forest wealth.

The department has inducted a squad of German Shepherds into its service following a rise in crimes in the sanctuary. The squad has Rana, a German Shepherd, which played a vital role in detecting poachers and other forest criminals.

But the 13-year-old canine is now too old to work as effectively as it used to and is on the verge of retirement.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Bath called upon armed forces and other departments to make good use of Mudhol dogs instead of depending on foreign breeds.

Inspired by this, Bandipura forest officers brought Margaret and Rocky, both famous Mudhol breed of dogs and gave them training for more than one year. But, they have realised that the dogs can't work up to the level of their expectations.

Speaking to this reporter on Saturday, Bandipura Wildlife Sanctuary Project Tiger Director Dr Ramesh Kumar said that though Mudhol dogs are not incapable they lack required skills to detect forest crimes. He said of the two Mudhol dogs one is not healthy and another is found unsuitable for training in scenting forest crimes.

These dogs cannot hear the command though they are experts in hunting. Their efficiency in detecting crimes is not up to the mark, says forest officials.

The erstwhile king Shrimant Rajesaheb Malojirao Ghorpade of Mudhol

of the Mudhol State is credited with reviving the Mudhol hound. He noticed local tribal people called Bedar (fearless); also called Berad using these hounds for hunting. Using selective breeding, he was able to restore the royal Mudhol hound. On a visit to England in the early 1900s, the Maharaja of Mudhol State presented King George V a pair of hounds, which popularized the Mudhol hound breed. The Indian Army has expressed its desire to use the Mudhol sighthound for surveillance and border protection duties. It has obtained six Mudhol dogs for testing at the Army's Remount Veterinary Corps at Meerut. The dogs were bred after selection, at the Canine Research and Information Centre in Thimmapur near Mudhol in Bagalkot district.

In 2005, the Mudhol Hound was one of four Indian dog breeds featured on a set of postage stamps released by the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to celebrate the country's canine heritage.

About 750 families in and around Mudhol town of Karnataka are raising this breed for marketing puppies.

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