HARE INDIAN DOG

Known to have been a ‘coursing dog’, the Hare Indian dog was a native of North America which was an endangered species for many years and as of today, it is extinct. Coursing was a common sport that was played by the elite and well off. A game especially designed for the aristocrats and business men, this sport was also a favourite of the lay man. One of the very first animal sports that have ever been invented, coursing required an animal, mostly dog, to catch its prey by mere speed and not by smell. Initially, all kinds of animals, ranging from rabbits to fox and deer, served as prey. But today, due to animal right issues, coursing has been restricted to rabbits and rodents. Highly resembling the American jackal, the Hare Indian dog lost its importance when hunting and coursing lost its popularity in the United States of America. During the late eighteen hundreds, this breed was slowly mistaken for other similar breeds and gradually lost its identity due to extensive cross breeding.

Resembling the Icelandic canines in looks, the Hare Indian dog had a tiny head with a muscular and furry body. Its head, though small had an alert and attentive look. Its ears were pricked up most of the time. This peculiar breed was a quiet dog that did not bark. According to historical evidence, this canine only howled when need be. It was quite a peculiar sight as most of us today would expect a dog to bark, not howl like a wolf! But in the later years, it was discovered that the pups of the Hare Indian dog, learned to imitate and copy the bark of other canines. Though this breed is known to have hunting instincts and could appear quite aggressive in nature, it was quite the opposite. The Hare Indian dog is said to have been a happy go lucky dog that was extremely friendly in nature. Apparently, it would express joy and devotion by pushing its body against its owners, just like cats.

Known for its long and thin snout, this breed is guessed to have been a close relative of the Tahltan dogs. It is believed that the Hare Indian dog was first introduced to North America by the Viking travelers. Commonly used by local tribes as coursers, most of these people depended on the hunt and coursing events to fetch them income. Mostly fawn or white in color, the Hare had stripes of brown and darker shades with a peculiarly fluffy and hairy tail that curled upwards. This breed is said to have many similarities to the coyote, a breed of fox. Therefore many of its physical features as well as its temperament do not necessarily match a dog’s.

The native Indians believed that this breed of dog was a close relative of the Arctic fox. This is however not surprising as many of its features bear a fine resemblance to the wolves. After much research and analysis, it is observed that the Hare Indian dog was sympatric with the wolves. This means that the Hare dog and the wolves were like a family, differentiated by certain features due to cross breeding. Many facial features, such as black patches along the eyes and immense hair between the toes are examples of its resemblance to wolves. Its decline was very predictable as these dogs were primarily used only for hunting. Once other modes of hunting were invented or discovered, the Hare Indian dog slowly lost its affluence and popularity to the newly developing fire arms etc.