Egyptian Dog Breeds; 6 Dogs That Originated From Egypt

Egyptian dog breeds are some of the most beautiful and unique species you can find anywhere in the world. Egypt is home to some of the most ancient dog breeds in the world like the Saluki, the Armant (Egyptian Sheepdog), the Basenji, and a whole lot more. all these are referred to as Egyptian dog breeds. The following 6 dogs that originated from Egypt are just some of the best of them.

1. Saluki

Egyptian dog breeds
Saluki – source

The athletic and elegant Saluki may well be the oldest dog breed on planet earth. Meaning “noble” the word Saluki is Arabic and the breed’s history goes back to 5,000 years ago. Dogs that look very much like the modern-day Saluki were spotted on ancient Egyptian tombstones and other artifacts like sculptures.

This Egyptian dog breed gained popularity among Egyptian royalties for its regal looks, demeanor, and rare ability to run down and lynch nearly every possible prey. It was also traded among military leaders coming from other countries such as Alexander the Great. The dog’s athletic hunting skills also take credit for its popularity across the Middle East, Asia, and of course, Egypt as they were passed down by nomadic tribes.

The dog is distinguished by its coat that comes either smooth or feathered in white, fawn, black, cream, tan, grizzle and tan, and golden. Expected to live from 10 to 17 years, the Saluki stands, 23 to 28 inches in height and weighs about 40 to 60 pounds

A veritable sighthound, the Saluki is known to have a high prey drive which explains its incredible swiftness. With that said, it is not suitable for multi-pet households with smaller furry pets. However, when you satisfy the breed’s high energy needs, you will end up with a docile Saluki that may likely curl up and sleep for the rest of the day.

The dog is sensitive, independent, stubborn, and never cuddly, though they still form strong bonds with their human family. Don’t leave your Saluki alone for too long as it is susceptible to separation anxiety. Positive and gentle reinforcement is the key to getting the best out of the breed.

2. Armant (Egyptian Sheepdog)

Egyptian Dog Breed
Armant – source

A medium breed, the Egyptian Armant Herding Dog is a typical sheepdog and listed among the planet’s rare and lesser-known canine breeds. This farm breed is believed to have originated after Napoleon marched through Egypt with his Briards. It is the result of ensuing cross-breeding between the local street dogs of Egypt and the French Briard herding dogs.

The pup was named after the town known as Armant in Egypt which is where it was first spotted in the early 1900s. The breed has continued to be based exclusively in Egypt and is not well known outside the country. It is a working dog employed for sheep herding and the guarding of livestock.

It is characterized by its black, grey, tan, or yellow color and medium-length rough, coarse, and shaggy coat. Weighing between 50 to 65 pounds, this Egyptian dog breed stands 21 to 23 inches in height. The Armant which can live up to 14 to 15 years takes loyalty to the extreme, bonds closely with its human family, and is a good breed for children.

3. The Basenji

Basenji – source

The Basenji dog breed is quite old and looks close in resemblance to dog images depicted on the tombstones of Egyptian Pharaohs. Basenji in African languages means “dog of the bush, wild, or village.” The dog’s exceptional hunting skills have been valued by Central African tribes over the years and selective breeding has not affected the breed much. The modern-day Basenji is not far removed from what was obtainable thousands of years ago.

Standing between 16 to 17 inches in height and weighing around 20 to 25 pounds, this Egyptian dog breed is easily recognizable by its chestnut red, brindle, black, or tricolor (black and red) coat. The feet tail tip and chest usually come in white color and the legs, collar, and blaze may also be white.

Talking about temperament, the Basenji can be gentle, loyal, alert, and can be really stubborn; this calls for professional training. The dog can form an unbreakable bond with its family members but is aloof with strangers. Comparable to cats, the Basenji is no lap dog and only goes looking for attention on its own terms. A non-barking dog, the breed can be kept in an apartment but must be exercised moderately. Life expectancy for this canine is 12 to 14 years.

4. Pharaoh Hound

Egyptian dog breeds
Pharaoh hounds – source

Standing between 21 to 25 inches at shoulder level with 45 to 55 pounds in body weight, the Pharaoh hound is also an ancient breed that originated from the land of the Nile. It is a personification of Anubis, the Egyptian god of death. Its name is a testament to the breed’s ancient Egyptian heritage. Breeders introduced it into Europe and the Mediterranean island of Malta is where it further developed.

With a short glossy and smooth coat in shades of tan, the breed is comparable to the Ibizan hound in looks and temperament. It is noble and playful but less reserved compared to the Ibizan hound. Sporting large, pricked ears, the breed is athletic in appearance.

The Pharaoh hound is a working dog skilled in hunting rabbits and is called “kelb tal-fenek,” in Maltese meaning “rabbit dog.” Its hunting instinct makes it suitable for only active homes completely devoid of smaller pets. The breed can be let loose among respectable kids and can live between 12 to 14years.

5. Ibizan Hound

Egyptian Dog Breeds
Ibizan Hound – source

The Ibizan Hound can be realized in a smooth or wiry coarse coat in solid white, solid red, white pattern, or red pattern. The elegant sighthound is said to be native to a place called the Balearic Islands, off the coast of Spain but its origin is traceable to Egypt. The ancient Phoenician sea traders were responsible for taking the breed into Europe.

The agile, leaping, high-speed canine is best reared in an active home without any smaller furry animals. On the Mediterranean Island, this hunting dog navigates all the rugged terrain with determination, just to lynch rabbits and present them to their owners. Great-stamina, strong prey drive and high energy are a perfect description of the Ibizan Hound and the dog cannot thrive without enough exercise.

Standing between 22 to 28 inches with 45 to 50 pounds in body mass, this Egyptian dog breed can be relatively quiet when at home, Ibizan Hound’s life expectancy is between 12 to 14 years.

Read Also: 12 Dogs With Curly Tails

6. Baladi Street Dog

While these Baladi dogs are listed among the most common canines in Egypt, they are not pure breeds. Of no particular size, the pups are products of cross-breeding between pharaoh hounds, Salukis, and Israeli Canaan dogs. These natural stray dogs are known to be quite prolific, breeding lots of puppies on streets and across the rural areas of the country.

With brown, black, beige, and white coat color, this Egyptian dog breed has a lot in common with some pure breeds in the country, including a slim build and large pricked ears. Though they are less refined in appearance, the Baladi street dogs are described as being full of character and can be used as companion dogs. The canine has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

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