The Kombai is a very old dog breed from Southern India, to be more specific from the Tamil Nadu state and Ramnad district where they were used for guarding or hunting. These dogs were also used as war dogs. But because there is not much historical documentation, no one can be absolutely sure when this breed was developed, but you can find many old sculptures of dogs similar to today Kombai on old temples all over the South of India. One theory suggest, that the Kombai is a direct descendant of Indian wild dog, also known as Dhole.
Back in the past, the Kombai was quite popular dog among land owners in South India, also known as zamindars. The Kombai was perfect for guarding their properties. They were even used for guarding big palaces or forts, but also farms and homes, which is one of their purpose today as well. In the past, Kombai was thanks to its great loyalty and courage used as a brave war dog and they were often times used for hunting all kinds of game as well.
3) Almost extinct
Sadly, just like many other native Indian dog breeds, even the Kombai is in danger of extinction. It is because for a long time the Kombai was neglected by breeders and overlooked by potential owners, who often time choose imported foreign breeds. Luckily, it seems that the situation is getting better, at least slightly and the Kombai numbers are slowly growing again.
This breed has characteristic rich red or darker brown color with various black markings. Typically the black markings are on the muzzle and on the tail, sometimes also near the claws. The coat is quite short and smooth.
5) Rare types
I just mentioned that the Kombai should be in red or reddish color, but there are two distinct and very very rare types, that comes in different color. The first one is Pulicharal Kombai, which you can find in brindle color. The second one is Porru Kombai and that is a piebald dog. There should also be third rare type called Ramanathapuram Kombai which is in grey color. But it is extremely hard, nearly impossible, to find one of these types of Kombai.
The Kombai and even all the rare types of Kombai are tall and muscular dogs with athletic and agile body. The dog should be both – agile but also very powerful. The head is rather broad and quite large with triangular ears that are set high on the head. The eyes should be dark and oval shaped. The chest of Kombai is deep and broad and the back is strong. These dogs have well muscled but not overly bulky long legs, which enables them to run very fast.
There are two sides of Kombai personality. When it is around its family and owner it is very faithful, loyal, affectionate, gentle and friendly dog. But on the other hand, they are extremely protective and territorial and they do not like strangers that much. They would defend its territory if needed, even against much stronger intruders. It takes some time before the Kombai accepts a complete stranger. These dogs are very brave and courageous, confident and attentive.
The Kombai is a poor choice for a novice dog owner, because they need proper early training and socialization so they dont become overprotective and unmanageable. These dogs need patient and consistent trainer, who knows how to handle quite dominant, confident and very strong dog breed. These dogs will have best results with shorter but regular training sessions, as they can quickly loose interestet and get distracted during long training sessions. Just like with all dogs, even the Kombai is motivated by rewards, which can be some playtime, a lot of praising or, of course, its favourite treats.
Great fact is, that the Kombai is low maintenance breed. Their short, smooth and dense coat will look good even without any grooming. They do shed some deal of fur, and if you want to minimize the shedding and keep the coat in best possible condition, regular weekly brushing is beneficial. Just like with any other breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
There is not much information and studies about the Kombais health, but it should be a very healthy dog breed with average lifespan somewhere around 13 years. Of course, just like any larger breed, they may suffer from some joint and bone problems such as hip dysplasia and just like any deep chested breed they can suffer from bloating, but none of those problems occur extremely commonly.