Egyptian Dog Breeds

Egyptian dog breeds

Egyptian dog breeds, If we investigate the history of Ancient Egypt we will immediately realize the close relationship that its inhabitants had with the dogs. Proof of this is the enormous number of artistic representations (some of them more than four thousand years old) that are still preserved today and where dogs of different morphology and size can be seen resting next to the pharaohs, accompanying the men. in hunting parties or guarding the graves of the deceased. In addition, one of the gods of Egyptian mythology, Anubis, is shown with the body of a man and the head of a jackal, a canid very close to dogs.

It is difficult to define which dog breeds originated in Egypt, because, although several of them seem to descend directly from ancient Egyptian dogs, they were later developed in other countries that ended up declaring them their own. The International Canine Federation (FCI) does not currently recognize any Egyptian origin in any of its breeds, although there is genetic and historical evidence that the ancestors of some of them did inhabit this country.

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This reality is particularly recognizable when we talk about specific varieties remembered for bunch 5 of the FCI, relating to spitz-type canines and crude canines. In this Best Pets Lover publication, we present six dog breeds with origins closely linked to Ancient Egypt. and we tell you more about their appearance, temperament, and care, did you know them? If not, discover the Egyptian dogs!

Pharaoh Hound

Just by hearing the name of this breed, we can already imagine what its country of origin is and even get an idea of ​​its appearance. Although its development as a modern breed has taken place mainly in Malta, the pharaoh’s dog is, without a doubt, the first that comes to mind if we think of Egyptian dogs, since it is the living image of the typical representations of dogs made in Egypt. Ancient Egypt: a thin, fast, slender animal with large upright ears. Its fur is short and uniform reddish-brown, although some specimens may have some white spots on the tip of the tail, fingers, chest, or face.

The Pharaoh Hound is a friendly animal and very faithful to its guardians, but also quite independent. This dog is full of energy, has admirable physical resistance, and is an excellent hunter, so a good job of socialization is necessary if we want it to live with cats or other smaller animals since it tends to chase them. This dog is always on alert and can become a barker, but it also stands out for its intelligence and ease of learning, so it is not difficult to train.

Regarding their health, the most frequent pathologies in this breed are of the osteoarticular type, such as hip and elbow dysplasia or patella dislocation.

Saluki

The Saluki is a sighthound native to the lands of the Middle East, where it was used for thousands of years as a hunting dog thanks to its speed and precision when it came to chasing and capturing all kinds of prey. Arab tradition dictated that Salukis could not be bought or sold, but could only be given as a gift as a sign of honor and many of them were given to Europeans, who acquainted the variety with our mainland, and in 1923 it was made. the main authority European Saluki breed standard.

The Saluki is a well-proportioned, athletic-looking dog. Its legs are long and thin, as is its snout, and it has short, soft fur that can be virtually any color. There is a variety of Saluki, the most common, which has characteristic fringes on the ears, the back of the legs, and the tail, while the short-haired variety does not.

As for its temperament, we find ourselves in front of a dog with an independent, sensitive, cunning character and somewhat distrustful of strangers, although it is very rarely aggressive and, if it is properly socialized, it is very sweet and affectionate with its loved ones. 

The Saluki is a robust and resistant animal, with a little predisposition to serious pathologies, although cases of eye problems have occasionally been documented in this breed, such as glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy, so annual veterinary check-ups are recommended. 

Basenji

The basenji is a small/medium-sized breed of dog whose weight is around 10 kilograms. Its origin is believed to date back to Ancient Egypt, where the basenji was the faithful companions of the pharaohs. It is suspected to be the oldest breed of dog in the world. Over time, the breed spread south and its greatest development took place in Central Africa, where these dogs were highly valued for their cunning and their ability to hunt and exterminate rat pests that threatened livestock.

The most characteristic physical features of the basenji are, without a doubt, its curled tail and wrinkled forehead, which make this breed unmistakable. Its body is short in proportion to the remarkable length of its limbs, and its ears are triangular and stand erect, giving the basenji an ever-attentive appearance.

In addition to its physical appearance, the basenji stands out for having a unique peculiarity among all dog breeds and that is that it cannot bark as other dogs do. This is so because its larynx and vocal cords have a different structure and position that prevents it from emitting the sound of a bark, although it can howl and make other kinds of sounds.

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The basenji is an independent dog, reserved with strangers, and very brave, so it needs good early socialization to learn to relate correctly to other animals and people. It is said to him that in many ways his behavior resembles that of cats, as his great agility allows him to jump great heights and even climb trees. With his guardians, he is an affectionate dog who enjoys learning new skills and playing sports outdoors. The last option, actual activity, is vital to stay away from weight, one of the principal medical conditions influencing this variety.

Ibizan Hound

Another dog of Egyptian origin is the Ibizan Hound, and it is that the images of these dogs can still be seen painted and carved today in the tombs of the pharaohs who lived back in the year 3,000 BC It is believed that, after their initial development In Egypt, these dogs were transported by the Phoenicians to the Balearic Islands, where they experienced their main growth as a breed, acquiring the official name of ” Hound Ibizan “.

The specimens of this breed are slender, resistant, and energetic and need to do a lot of physical and mental exercise daily. The Ibizan Hound is an affectionate, patient, sociable animal devoted to its guardians. It enjoys long walks in the countryside and is usually very tolerant of children and other animals, although, like other types of Hounds, it tends to be very sensitive and somewhat reserved with strangers, so special attention should be paid to their education and socialization.

There is a belief that the Ibizan Hound is immune to leishmaniasis, which is why many guardians decide not to protect it against this dangerous disease. The truth is that this breed has some resistance to the effects of the bite of an infected sandfly mosquito and it has been observed that its immune response is faster and more powerful than in the case of other breeds, preventing the development of serious symptoms. However, it is not true that it is completely immune and many individuals can suffer the consequences of this disease, so vaccination and protection against the parasite are still necessary.

Egyptian Sheepdog

The Egyptian Sheepdog is also called the Armant in honor of the Egyptian city where it is believed to have originated. This breed is not currently recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI) and, although its history is not entirely clear, it is thought that it arose as a result of crossbreeding between nearby canines and different varieties brought from Europe, like the whiskery collie. Currently, the armant is used as a cattle herding dog and also for guard work.

This dog is medium-sized and its weight ranges between 23 and 29 kilograms. It has a semi-long and rough coat that can come in various colors, the most frequent pattern being the combination of black and brown tones. Most specimens have their ears erect, although some individuals have them drooping. Its body is muscular, its extremities very strong and it has considerably thick pads to be able to move easily on different terrains.

The Egyptian Shepherd has a strong character, is energetic, intrepid, outgoing, and very brave. He is an ideal dog for active families and, with proper socialization, he is friendly and patient with children and other dogs. He learns very quickly because he is an intelligent and very observant dog who will always be attentive to everything that happens around him.

It is important, in addition to complying with the vaccination and deworming schedule, to take good care of his coat, as it can easily become entangled and cause knots. The ideal is to brush the armant between three and four times a week.

Ballad dog

We finish the rundown of Egyptian canine varieties with the Baladi. The term baladí comes from Arabic and means “of the country”, that is, it is used to indicate that something or someone is of national origin. The Egyptian Baladi Dog is not a breed as such but is the name used to designate the street dogs of Egypt that emerged as a result of random crossbreeding that occurred over the years between other resident breeds, as they could. be the Ibizan Hound or the Pharaoh’s Dog.

The vast majority of Barbary Dogs are slender, medium-sized animals with large, erect ears and a semi-coiled tail. Their fur is short and is usually sand-colored, in some cases combined with black or white markings. Due to its status as a semi-wild dog, the baladí is a cautious and somewhat distrustful animal, but if it is educated and socialized like any other dog, it can be a wonderful company.

Because of the extension of these creatures all through the country, many individuals misuse them, abuse them or mercilessly butcher them to diminish their populace. Fortunately, today several associations and animal groups are fighting to improve the quality of life of these stray dogs, promoting their sterilization and looking for homes where they are invited or taken on for all time, either inside the nation or in different areas of the planet.