I am a great fan of Pakistani Native Dog Breeds. When Col K. M. Roy asked for volunteers to write an article about Pakistani native breeds, I happily volunteered to write the article for Kennel Gazette. But as most of our native dog breeds have no documented and authentic history it was very difficult to pen down a good article. But still I tried. All we know about the Pakistani native dog breeds is in the form of generation to generation verbal history and stories. People remember the lines and pedigrees by heart and keep transferring the same to next generations. Few breeders and keepers of present times have started to work for Pakistani native breeds in a documented manner. In this article I will write about Bully Kutta only. In subsequently articles more breeds will be covered in future editions of Kennel Gazette.
History of Bully Kutta
Few fanciers of the breed think that Bully Kutta had remained pure and unchanged since ancient times. But there are many who question its origin and background. Although there is some evidence that the Pakistani Bully Kutta was developed from the Sage Koochee, Old Persian Alaunts, Afghani Gawi Bulldogs, Indian Mastiffs, Assyrian Mastiffs and dogs introduced by Alexander the Great. Quite a few critiques believe it is a result of crossing local hunting dogs with Great Danes, German Pointers, English Mastiffs and Bulldogs, as well as other Western breeds brought to the region by the British soldiers in the 1700's. During the colonnial times, some English Bullterrier and White English Terrier blood was indeed introduced to some strains of the Bully Kutta. This was done primarily to create new breeds, such as the Gull Dong, the Gull Terr and the Bull Terr. These crossings were probably necessary to improve the canine stock brought by the occupying forces, since their dogs were not designed / suitable for the climate they were facing in these areas. The difference between the true Bully Kutta and the "westernized" version of the breed was both physical and temperamental in nature. Native Bully Kutta was mostly white-coated and more primitive in features, as well as quite taller and overall sharper than their "improved" and more trainable counterparts, which were somewhat stockier, had shorter necks and a greater variety of coat colours.
Interbreeding between both of these types was common. While a small number of true Bully Kutta bloodlines have supposedly been preserved, much of the breed's gene pool has been corrupted. By many Bully Kutta fans Bully Kutta is considered to be the continuation of the original Persian Alaunt. But further research is required to establish whether this claim is valid or simple wishful thinking. Another theory points to the possibility of the Bully Kutta being a corruption of "Bohli Kutta" expression in Sindhi language which is used to describe a “Heavily Wrinkled Dog”.
Regardless of the true ancestry of the breed, the Bully Kutta's popularity in its homeland remains reasonably strong, mostly due to much of the country's acceptance of dog-fighting tournaments as a way of life. To satisfy the ever growing demand for better and better fighting dogs fanciers tried to create better and stronger fighting dogs. Such experiments resulted in creation of Bully Kutta types like, Kohati Bulldog, Nagi Bulldog, Sargodha Bulldog, Kanda Bulldog and the Pakistani Boarhound. Nowadays, all of these breeds are being incorrectly considered as similar, especially in the West, where the Bully Kutta is slowly becoming popular. In recent years, these dogs have been assigned the misleading name "South-Asian Mastiff" name, which conveniently does away with individual categorization of actual breeds and varieties found in the region, allowing the breeders of such animals to promote their stock in the West under a new exotic label, without having to worry about the actual ancestry of the dogs they import, breed and sell. A number of dogs found in Europe are said to contain no Bully Kutta blood at all and are rumoured to be crosses between German Mastiffs and English Mastiffs, with the resulting offspring being superficially similar to the great Pakistani breed in terms of physical appearance and presented to unsuspecting buyers as the real thing. Fortunately, the true pure Bully Kutta can still be found in some areas of Pakistan, where it is regarded by many as a national treasure. Sadly, this great breed is still used today for what it was created centuries ago, which is the ever popular "sport" of dog-fighting and bear-baiting, although in modern times baiting duties are usually handled by specialized Bully Kutta crosses, such as the Pakistani Bullygullterr.
Types of Bully Kutta. Following are main types of Bully Kutta: -
- Pure Bully Kutta
- Gull Dang / Bully Gultair
- Mastiff Type Bully Kutta
- Nagi Bully KUtta
PURE BULLY KUTTA
Origin. The pure Bully Kutta's history is surrounded with many theories, however the most logical and sensible theory is the Alaunt theory as explained in the opening paragraphs. The Bully Kutta was present long before the British reached the subcontinent. The white Alaunt from Persia, Sage Koochee, the legendary Gawii, Indian mastiff and finally later on the Infusion of Alexander the great's dogs were responsible for creating the ancient Bully Kutta.
The Bully Kutta is predominantly white in color; however colors like fawn, brindle, brown, black and various bicolors are also common. It has a colossal head with deep set eyes that seem hollow when looked at from a distance. It has a very thick bone structure covered with skin that fits the structure yet is very loose and stretchable. Another thing that I noticed is its gait it indeed walks with a lion's gait. I have examined other western mastiff breeds and did not find any similarity in their gait.
Height and Weight
A true Bully Kutta 30"-35" tall, in some cases dogs grow over 40" tall. It weighs from 150-170 lbs. Whereas bigger dogs can cross the 200+ lbs mark.
I will strongly vote against the famous myth that the Bully Kutta is man aggressive and things like virtually un-trainable. I have seen adult dogs brought from remote villages and introduced to families with small children. I believe that it all depends on how you bring up your pup, how much you socialize him from a Younger age etc.
GULL DANG / BULLY GULTAIR
Today's most common Bully Kutta of Pakistan is quiet different from what it used be in the old times. Dog's men all over the world are constantly on the lookout to create a dog that is speedier, more stubborn and something that is more affordable in terms of feeding. This resulted in crossing the Pure Bully Kutta with the Gull terr variety which was brought by the British to the subcontinent. Today this type of a Bully Kutta breeds true to its type and is very famous all over Pakistan and is called Gull Dang or Bully Gultair.
The Modern Bully Kutta i.e Gull Dang is also a very huge and intimidating dog. It has a huge head with a thick neck to support it. The modern Bully Kutta lacks dewlaps that are very obvious in the ancient type. The most common color in Modern Bully Kutta is predominantly white with black or brown patches. However dogs with more black, brown and other bicolors do exist.
Height and Weight
- Height - 29" - 33"
- Weight- 120 lbs - 160 lbs
- Bigger and Heavier dogs do exist.
Intelligent, sharp and resilient in dog fights. It is a very smart dog and can easily be trained. He is loyal and protective of its master.
MASTIFF TYPE BULLY KUTTA
This type of Bully Kutta is found in Punjab Areas. This type is scarcely found in Azad Kashmir area where the population of Bully Kutta is other wise rich. Mastiff Type Bully Kutta is 27-30inches tall and it weighs 110-130Lbs when adult. They are not as big as the Pure Bully Kutta is, and they do not have Colossal heads too. They have a nice smooth coat with elasticated tough skin. They come in brindle, black, fawn, red and normally 20% white colour. You will also find few specimens which are dominant white in colour. Their face is a little wrinkled also (not like pure bully kutta).
Their temperament is just like pure bully kutta. They guard instinctively and have natural aggression towards other dogs and intruders. They have proved to be more intelligent than Pure Bully Kutta. They have natural friend and foe identification ability.
NAGI BULLY KUTTA
The Nagi Bully Kutta is basically a cross breed of Tazi Kutta (local hunting breed) and the Pure Bully Kutta. Tazi Kutta is a giant dog breed similar to Grey Hound. It stands 30inches tall when adult. These are excellent hunting companions. (This breed will be discussed in some article separately). The Nagi Bully Kutta is best known for its strong bite.
END NOTE AND REFERENCES
Due to less documented history available I could not cover all aspects of bully Kutta completely. But with time I will keep doing research and will try to cover all details about these wonderful breeds for upcoming editions of The Kennel Gazette. Following was consulted for reference and further studies: -
· The Devil’s Punchbowls by Iles Greg (2009) page no. 17 and 279.