The Kanni has the typical slim and athletic sighthound body. This is a medium to large sized dog with tucked up abdomen and straight top line. The average height is between 64-74 cm which is 25-29 inch and weight is typically between 16-22 kg, which is 35-49 pounds. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
The Kannis coat is short, but very dense and they come in multiple color. The most common is definitely the black and tan and interesting fact is, that different color variations have different names. You can see the most common coloration with its names on the screen right now (brown with black and fawn = Santhana Pillai, light red = Karum Sevalai, cream white = Mayila Pillai, red and white = Sambal, black with fawn = Paal Kanni, black with dark tan = Seng Kanni.
The Kanni has beautiful golden eyes, black nose and very strong jaws. The ears are medium size and flat and the ears can be either erect, semi dropping or completely dropping and the tail is semi curved.
This is a great aerodynamically built runner, with strong legs and lean frame. They can run over 60 km/h and not only that they are super fast, they are also very endurant and can run for a long time.
The Kanni tends to create a strong bond with its owner and family and once the bond is created, they become very loyal and protective. They are aloof and reserved with strangers, but they should not be agressive without a reason, but they will definitely defend its owner or themselves if the situation needs it.
This is also pretty smart dog. In combination with their loyalty and faithfulness, this is a dog that learns new commands fairly easily and is capable of easy and fast training. On the other hand, just like majority of hunting dog breeds, they are independent and sometimes little bit stubborn, so patient and firm training is required.
The Kanni has excellent vision and hearing, which is why they are amazing hunters. They also benefit from their athleticism and strength. Most often, they are used for hunting hares, blackbucks and rodents. Today, the Kanni is not used so much for hunting, but they also serves as great property guards. The Kanni is not a dog for novices, they need experienced dog owner.
The Kanni is also known as the Maidens Beastmaster or Unmarried Girl. It probably comes from the fact that the dog used to be given as a gift to the bridegroom just before the marriage.
The Kanni is very ancient dog breed, but their history is pretty mysterious and there is not enough records about the breeds date of origin or ancestry. It is believed, that they share similar ancestry with other South Indian breeds like Chippiparai, Rajapalayam or Kombai.
In the past, the Kanni was highly prized hunter in the Tamil Nadu India and they were used for hunting by Aristocrats, royalty and landlords. They were and still are most common in southern Tamil Nadu districts like Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar and Madurai.
Health and grooming
If you are not using your Kanni for working purposes, than you will have to properly exercise them every day if you want them to stay healthy and happy. This is an outdoor dog breed and they will love to go on long walks, hikes or runs with you every single day. They require space to be active. If you will not provide enough exercise or if you will just leave your dog alone for long periods of time regularly, than the dog will become bored and stressed which is definitely bad for the health. Plus, they might develop unwanted behaviour if they are bored, like destruction.
The maintenance is very easy. Their short coat does not require almost any grooming. They do shed, but it is nothing crazy. They are well suited to live in hot weather, but they can adapt to colder climate as well.
Overall, this is generally very healthy breed with amazing lifespan around 15 years. Just like all dogs, they can be prone to some health issues, like dermatitis, parvo viral diarrhea or patellar luxation.