In a first of its kind endeavour, an Indian canine breed is being trained for induction into the Army which has been using foreign breeds like German Shepherds, Labradors and Great Swiss Mountain dogs till now. Sources said that the Army’s Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) centre in Meerut has almost completed training six dogs of the desi breed Mudhol hounds and they are likely to be inducted by the end of this year and posted in Jammu & Kashmir.
The dogs were sent to the RVC centre last year from Karnataka and have been undergoing intensive training since then. An officer posted at the centre who requested anonymity said that “this was a novel initiative since we had absolutely no research or documentation or past experiences on how to train the hounds.” “Initially, the dogs were kept in quarantine to check if they have any diseases. They then underwent basic obedience training and thereafter battle inoculation followed by specialised training. The most important aspect was building the bond between the trainer and the dog to understand the animal’s behaviour as well as its ability,” he said.
On being asked if more Indian dog breeds will be inducted in the future, the officer said, “This is not a spur of the moment decision. Instead, a lot of scientific thought has gone behind it.
Mudhol hound is a recognised Indian breed with a strong lineage. With its speed and swiftness as well as size it would be good as a guard dog although it doesn’t mean that it cannot be specifically trained for other tasks as well. While selecting dogs for training, temperament, ability and potential has to be taken into consideration. Therefore, it is too soon to say if more Indian breeds will be inducted in the Army in the future.”
Meanwhile, an office-bearer of the Mumbai-based Indian National Kennel Club, an organisation that is involved in creating awareness about proper breeding and training of dogs, told TOI that this wasn’t the first attempt by an organisation to train the Mudhol hound.