Top 10 Egyptian Dog Breeds

Top 10 Egyptian dog breeds

Some of the oldest dog breeds in the world can be found in Egypt. One of the first civilizations to domesticate dogs was ancient Egypt. A tomb dating back to 3500 B.C. C. has a painting of a man walking a dog on a leash, a sure sign that dogs had existed in Egypt long before.

Many Egyptian dogs are sleek and short-haired, as is to be expected from the climate in which they were raised.

What breeds of dogs are common in Egypt?

Nearly all dog breeds in the world have a direct lineage to Egyptian dogs, particularly those whose ancestry goes back thousands of years. However, many of these dogs have their history linked to that of other countries after being transferred by traders, and how they were raised and developed in those places.

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Despite how the natural and artificial evolution that many dogs have undergone has made their exact origins somewhat confusing and a matter of debate, the following dog Breeds are widespread in Egypt, and they have a long history of being in this area.

A very Iberian Egyptian dog

If you stop for a moment to appreciate what the ancient Egyptian inscriptions were like and how they represented dogs or people with canine heads, you will discover that the profile of hounds was used to illustrate the pyramids and papyri.

Not in vain, the podencos come from Egypt, however, it was the Phoenicians who spread their trail throughout the Mediterranean, where the podencos settled specifically in Italy, Malta, and the Iberian Peninsula. Currently, Spain and Portugal are the areas where most of the different types of Podenco are concentrated, with the Valencian, Ibizan, Andalusian, and Canary types.

What breed is the Saluki?

Popularly known as the Royal Dog of Egypt, the Saluki has gone down in history as the “greyhound of the pharaohs”, which would explain why mummified specimens have appeared in pharaonic tombs since the year 2100 BCThe Saluki is one of the oldest sighthound breeds and its origins could be traced back to the wolves that inhabited the Ara desert.

The fact that the Saluki was chosen by the pharaohs as companion animals and for hunting, gave this breed an atmosphere of royalty and nobility. Later, this would cause the breed to be accepted in their shops and homes first by the Bedouins and later by the Muslims as a “gift from Allah”, when everyone knows that for the religion of Muhammad the dog is an animal considered impure.

Where does the name Saluki come from?

Historians and experts do not agree for some the Sumerian origin (Salu-ki), while for others it is about dogs from Saluqiyyah (Seleucid empire).

It was the British diplomat Sir Terence Clark who surely came closest when stating that they are animals originating from the Yemeni area of ​​Souq.

Top 10 Egyptian Dog Breeds:

Saluki

The Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and the most recognized Egyptian dog. This sighthound was once used by nomadic tribes to run over game animals. They were probably first bred in the Fertile Crescent, but later developed into the modern breed we know today from the Egyptians.

The Greyhound is the fastest dog over short distances, but the Saluki is believed to be faster over long distances. They can reach a speed of up to 42.8 mph and maintain it. They have substantially padded feet that absorb shock waves while running, giving them great strength.

Typical prey for these animals include hares, foxes, gazelles, and jackals. Dogs would sometimes get on top of camels and then jump whenever prey appeared, giving them an instant speed advantage.

The Saluki still acts as a hunting dog today. They are reserved with strangers, although they are not aggressive in any way. Due to their independence, training might be challenging. They also get bored quickly, so they’re not the best at being left alone for long periods. These dogs need some exercise, but they don’t like roughhousing or games like fetch. However, they love soft toys.

Ballads

Technically, this dog is not of any breed. The Baladi is one of Egypt’s most popular breeds of dog, nonetheless. They are known as the stray dogs of Egypt, so they are not bred by any breeder, but rather randomly breed amongst themselves as stray dogs. Many of these dogs are similar in appearance to one another, as most have been on the streets for generations. They are fair-skinned and slim, with long legs and huge ears. Most have curly tails.

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While these dogs are not widely adopted in Egypt, they have become popular in the United States. They generally love people and adapt quickly to life in a home. They are polite and can learn commands quickly. Most of these dogs go from never having seen a tennis ball to playing fetch within a few days.

They speak in a hoarse voice instead of barking. This can be a bit off-putting at first, as many people think the dog is being aggressive. However, it also means that the dog is quieter than most. They sound similar to huskies but quieter and growler.

Cocking

This is a rare species with an interesting history. Today, Armants are found primarily in Egypt, which is where they developed into the race we know today. However, they were likely originally European dogs that somehow found their way to Egypt and later formed their breed. Some say they were brought in by Napoleon’s army and were probably later crossed with native breeds to make the Armant.

They are named after a specific city in Egypt called Armant, which is evidently where the breed was first developed. This breed is extremely uncommon, particularly outside of Egypt. Within Egypt, they are used both as herding and guard dogs. Rumor has it that they were used as herding dogs in Napoleon’s army, which explains where these instincts came from!

Mount Etna

After their Egyptian origin, the podencos arrived in Italy, and from there they traveled to the peninsula, resulting in a multitude of types, which are the ones we have distributed in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula and islands.

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However, if we stop to appreciate the peculiarities of the Italian Podenco, of the Etna variety, we can highlight that it is a very tall dog, it could almost be confused with a greyhound except for a certain thickness of the upper part of its thorax, and some difference morphological in the width of its skull. It is an extraordinarily agile dog, very hunting, and generally has ocher tones. This type could be understood as the original root of the podenco, more similar to how it was thousands of years ago.

Ibizan Hound

The origins of the Ibizan Hound have been the subject of debate in recent years, since it is recognized that they originate from different provinces of Spain, although they would have arrived in that region after being transported by Phoenician traders, because their presence is painted and carved in historical places in Egypt, such as in the tombs of the more than three thousand years ancient pharaohs.

But it is also necessary to take into account that studies carried out on the genome of these dogs have shown that they are a recent breed, unlike other dogs from Egypt. Like the other types of Podenco, the Ibizan Hound is an athletic dog that excels in hunting skills, although thanks to its docile and sociable personality, they have no problem living as domestic pets.

Baladi Stray Dog

The Baladi Stray Dog is not a pure-blooded Egyptian dog breed, but its numbers are so great that they cannot be ignored. These dogs roam the Egyptian streets and countryside, earning them an unflattering label of pests. It was created as a fusion of many races. The most dominant parts are the Ibizan Hounds, Israeli Canaan Hounds, and Pharaoh Hounds.

The Egyptian locals got tired of these semi-feral dogs wreaking havoc, so at one point they started killing and abusing them. Thankfully, a big uproar from worldwide animal protection organizations occurred. Spay and neuter programs implemented by the Egyptian government and other groups dramatically decreased the number of Baladi Street Dogs.

Hunters, faithful and sober

Podencos are one of the most hunting dogs that we can find, their sense of smell, agility, and predisposition to not lose sight of the prey make this breed one of the favorites of the hunting evenings of the British nobility and rural hunters from the Mediterranean. 

Also, it has a natural elegance in its physical bearing, generally light colors, brown, cinnamon, or ocher tones. They transmit beauty and a very sober attitude. They are good companions, faithful and attentive, but they need some training so as not to show their hunting streak at the first opportunity.

Pharaonic Hound

It is also known as the pharaoh’s hound. His name is due to a great resemblance to the dogs that in ancient times were represented in ancient Egyptian paintings as animals of the pharaohs. It belongs to the greyhound group, it is a medium-sized animal, and in 1979 the breed was declared the national dog of Malta.

Independent, affectionate, and, above all, a skilled hunter, a good specimen with documentation has a price of up to $6,500.

Tibetan Mastiff

This huge and fluffy dog ​​undoubtedly draws attention for its strange appearance, a mix between a bear and a lion. This remarkable and very old breed of giants. The Tibetan Mastiff is crowned as the world’s most costly canine. A Chinese businessman paid 12 million yuan, equivalent to 1.4 million euros, for a one-year-old Tibetan Mastiff puppy.

In China, these huge mastiffs with a lion’s mane have become a kind of status symbol among the Chinese. (YO)

Basenji

The Basenji is another breed of Egyptian hunting dog whose origins place them thousands of years in the past. These agile little dogs were perfect sub-Saharan hunters. They towered over the bush and could move quickly and quietly while hunting. Archaeologists found representations of Basenji-like dogs in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. The interesting thing about these dogs is that they remain unchanged, and the Basenjis of today look a lot like the Basenjis of yesteryear.

These adorable dogs gained popularity all over the world. They are wonderful pets because they are extremely clean. They have almost cat-like grooming habits and love to be clean and groomed. Another interesting thing is that Basenjis do not bark. They make a howling sound and will gladly tell you if they feel mistreated.