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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

The Legacy of Kohati Gull Terriers

Nestled in the heart of the vibrant city town of Kohat, a weekly spectacle unfolds that draws canine enthusiasts from every corner of the country. Every Sunday, the air is filled with excitement as the lively dog market comes to life, showcasing a dazzling array of four-legged companions. From the rarest of breeds to the most exquisite pets, this market stands as a haven for dog lovers, where the bond between humans and their furry friends takes centre stage. Prices can go astonishingly high, with some beloved companions fetching values of up to 200,000 PKR. To put this into perspective, about as much as a pedigree German Shepherd, a breed not native to Pakistan.

Among the stars of this canine extravaganza lies the legendary Pakistani Bull Terrier, known affectionately as the Kohati Gull Terrier. With a lineage that stretches back centuries to the historic Punjab region of Pakistan and India, this rare breed is truly a gem in the world of dogs. Rooted in traditions of hunting, guarding, and even dog fighting, the Kohati Gull Terrier boasts a heritage steeped in valour and tenacity.

Distinguished by their erect ears and short, predominantly creamy all-white coats, occasionally adorned with charming black spots, these purebred Pakistani Bull Terriers are a sight to behold. Adding a whimsical twist to the market dynamics, some dogs are valued by weight, with their price determined by multiplying the per kilogram rate by their weight, giving a furry twist to the concept of a market scale.

In a beautiful nod to tradition, the canine stars of Kohat's market often sport intricate henna designs before strutting their stuff. This infusion of cultural charm adds an extra wag to their tales, showcasing the harmonious blend of heritage and modernity.

With heights typically ranging from 20 to 26 inches (50 - 66 cm) and weighing around 77 to 99 pounds (35 - 45 kg), these regal creatures possess both stature and strength. However, their unique allure sometimes comes with a vulnerability to deafness, underscoring the delicate balance between beauty and fragility in nature.

The Kohati Gull Terrier's history intertwines with the legacy of the British Raj, where cross-breeding between Imperial Army Bull Terriers and local breeds paved the way for these adept and easily trainable fighter dogs. Despite their talents and loyalty, this breed carries a tendency towards an assertive temperament. Their agility and fierce loyalty make them excellent guard dogs, but their strong-willed nature demands firm training and ample exercise. With these qualities in mind, they are not the ideal choice for first-time dog parents. Proper guidance becomes paramount in mitigating any aggressive tendencies.

Tracing back to a dark era of blood sports introduced to the Indian subcontinent by the British, the demand for this breed emerged from practices like bull baiting and dog fighting. It wasn't until the British Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1890 that such cruel activities were finally outlawed. This history underscores the breed's origins and evolution, embodying resilience through times of change.

Interestingly, while Kohati Gull Terriers have won the hearts of many canine enthusiasts in Pakistan, their fierce nature has led to bans on their ownership in certain parts of America and Canada. This contrast highlights the complex interplay between a breed's characteristics and societal perceptions.

In the end, the Kohati Gull Terrier stands as a living testament to history, culture, and the deep bond between humans and their faithful companions. As they continue to grace the bustling dog market in Kohat, their legacy shines as a reminder of the multifaceted connections that enrich our lives.

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