The Rampur Greyhound is a breed of dogs native to the Rampur, Uttar Pradesh region of Northern India, which lies between Delhi and Bareilly. The Rampur hound is a member of the big sighthound family. In North West of India it is often described as a smooth haired sighthound, substantially built. It was the favored hound of the Maharajahs for Jackal Coursing, but was also used to hunt lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers. It was considered a test of courage for a single hound to take down a golden jackal. The Rampur is built to cover great distances at high speed; thus capable of great endurance.
His Royal Highness Ahmed Ali Khan Bahadur bred these dogs by combining the blood lines of very powerful but ferocious Tazi, brought in by the Afghans, and the English Greyhound that was more obedient but less resistant to the varying climatic conditions. He gave the name 'Rampur Hound' to the dogs he bred. The Rampur Hound far exceeded the his expectations. From its Tazi and Afghan ancestors it got its looks and stalwart character, and from the English Greyhound it got its speed. Here was a dog that would seldom back down in confrontations, and could more or less keep up with the fastest prey.With the fall of the Maharajahs from power in 1947, so too, fell the popularity of the Rampur Hound. The effect of the arrival of the English was evident to the Rampur, as well as the native Indian people. The English greyhound was bred into some of the lines, making it very difficult to find a purebred Rampur Greyhound. With the decline in hunting in India the dog's popularity plummeted. It was no longer fashionable or practical for the rich to keep them, while the poorer population simply could not afford to keep them. In recent years, however, its popularity has risen, and along with this, the breed's numbers.
This remarkable breed balances on the fine line of extinction. Outside of India, only a handful are known and registered, and are all located in the United States of America, in state of New Jersey.
Rampurs are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. Their diseases are very similar to other greyhound breeds and will often experience the same symptoms and diseases. Rampurs have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, bloat (gastric torsion), and osteosarcoma Because the Rampur's lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, owners should generally provide soft bedding; without bedding, Rampurs are prone to develop painful skin sores. This can been avoided by feeding them foods high in vitamin A. Rampurs may live up to fifteen years, but this varies enormously.
Due to the unique physiology and anatomy of Rampurs, a veterinarian who understands the issues relevant to the breed is generally the best option when the dogs need treatment, particularly when anaesthesia is required. If such specialists are not available, it is best to seek one who specialises in the treatment of greyhounds or related breeds.
Greyhounds demonstrate unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by veterinarians not familiar with the breed; this can result in an incorrect diagnosis. Rampurs have higher levels of red blood cells than do other breeds, (a trait inherited from their English Greyhound ancestors). Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles, this higher level allows the hound to move larger quantities of oxygen faster from the lungs to the muscles. Veterinary blood services should use greyhounds as blood donors if there are no available Rampurs, (Greyhounds are generally used as Blood type#Red blood cell compatibility anyway).