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4 Egyptian Dog Breeds
Egypt is home to some of the world’s oldest dog breeds. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to domesticate dogs. A tomb dating as far back as 3500 B.C. has a painting of a man walking a dog on a leash, a sure sign that dogs had existed in Egypt well before then.
Many Egyptian dogs are sleek and shorthaired, as you may expect from the climate that they were developed in.
Top 4 Egyptian Dog Breeds:
The Saluki is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world and the one that is most recognized as an Egyptian dog. This sighthound was once used by nomadic tribes to run down game animals. They were likely first bred in the Fertile Crescent but were later developed into the modern breed that we know today by the Egyptians.
The Greyhound is the fastest dog over short distances, but the Saluki is thought to be faster over long distances. They can reach a speed up to 42.8 mph and sustain it. They have substantially padded feet that absorb shock waves as they run, giving them high stamina.
Typical prey for these animals included hare, fox, gazelle, and jackal. The dogs sometimes were held on top of camels, and then they jumped off whenever a prey animal appeared, giving them an instant speed advantage.
The Saluki still acts much like a hunting dog today. They are reserved around strangers, though they aren’t aggressive by any means. They can be independent, which makes training difficult. They also get bored quickly, so they aren’t the best for staying alone for long periods. These dogs need a bit of exercise, but they don’t like rough play or games like fetch. They do love soft toys, though.
The Basenji is a type of ancient hunting dog. They are best known for their unusual yodeling sound, similar to the “bark” of a Siberian Husky but higher-pitched. The Basenji is nicknamed the “barkless” dog, but they are not silent by any means. In fact, they can be quite noisy.
These dogs also have other strange traits. For instance, they only go into heat once a year, which is something that they share with dingoes. They also have practically no odor, unlike most canines. They sometimes stand on their hind legs like a meerkat to get a better view.
These dogs are incredibly alert and curious. They are reserved with strangers and tend to attach themselves closely to one person and not socialize with others. They don’t get along well with non-canine pets, like cats, as they have a strong prey drive. They also don’t like damp weather, and many will avoid water at all costs.
They are extremely intelligent but usually use it for their own gain, like for getting food. They do fine in training but are often too independent and aloof.
This dog isn’t technically a breed at all. However, the Baladi is one of the most common dogs in Egypt. They are known as Egypt’s street dogs, so they aren’t bred by any breeders but randomly breed among themselves as strays. Many of these dogs have a similar appearance to each other, as most have been on the streets for generations. They are light-skinned and skinny, with long legs and huge ears. Most have curly tails.
While adoption of these dogs is not widespread in Egypt, they have become popular in the United States. They typically love people and adapt quickly to life in a home. They are well-mannered and can quickly learn commands. Most of these dogs go from having never seen a tennis ball to playing fetch within a few days.
They talk with a growly voice instead of barking. At first, this can be a bit off-putting, as many people think that the dog is being aggressive. However, it also means the dog is quieter than most. They sound similar to Huskies but quieter and more growly.
This is a rare breed that has an unusual backstory. Today, Armants are found mostly in Egypt, which is where they developed into the breed that we know today. However, they were likely originally European dogs that somehow found their way to Egypt and then formed their own breed. Some say that they were brought by Napoleon’s army and were likely then crossed with native breeds to make the Armant.
They are named after a specific town in Egypt called Armant, which is evidentially where the breed was first developed. This breed is quite rare, especially outside of Egypt. Inside Egypt, they are used as both herding and guard dogs. Rumor says that they were used as herding dogs in Napoleon’s army, which explains where these instincts come from!
Featured image credit: Verbitskaya Juliya, Shutterstock
Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!