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Dog Breeds That Originated in Egypt

Dog Breeds That Originated in Egypt

Some dog breeds are so ancient that their history can be traced back as far as Ancient Egypt. There is a theory that dogs were domesticated by ancient Egyptians. In one of the Egyptian tombs was found an image, dated 3500 BC, in which a man leads a dog on a leash. Now we know some breeds of dogs whose ancestors were those ancient Egypt dog breeds. Other modern breeds, although can not be classified as having Egyptian origin, but around the world they dispersed precisely from this country. In this article, we will name the most famous Egyptian dog breeds. 


Saluki is often considered as one of the most ancient breeds in the world. Ancient Egyptian tombstones and sculptures often depict dogs similar to modern Saluki. This breed was prized by the Egyptian pharaohs for its regal exterior and hunting prowess. The popularity of the Saluki has endured throughout history, and kings and many prominent people have had them. The Greyhound is the fastest dog over short distances, but the Saluki easily outdoes it over long distances. They can reach speeds of up to 69 kilometers per hour and sustain them for a relatively long time. They have fairly soft feet that absorb shock waves while running, giving them more endurance.

Typical prey for these animals were hares, foxes, gazelles and jackals. Saluki were sometimes transported on camels, and when prey appeared, the dogs would jump from the saddle, giving them an instant advantage in speed. Even today, Saluki behave like hunting dogs. They are reserved towards strangers, but by no means aggressive. True, it’s not the best choice for living in a house full of small furry pets.

Saluki can be independent and even stubborn, making them difficult to train. Only patience and the use of gentle positive reinforcement can produce excellent results. Saluki are well behaved in the home – they are calm and obedient, but only if they get adequate exercise. They usually spend most of their time curled up on their favorite couch.   

Saluki form strong bonds with their family, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time. Separation can make them anxious. These dogs are known for their obedience and calmness, as long as they get enough exercise. It is one of the most famous ancient Egyptian dog breeds.


The Basenji is a type of ancient hunting dog. They became famous for their unusual yodel, similar to the barking of the Siberian Husky, but higher. The Basenji has been nicknamed the voiceless dog, but it is by no means silent. In fact, these pets can be quite noisy. These dogs have other strange traits as well. For example, they only have heat once a year, a trait they share with dingoes. They also have virtually no odor, unlike most canines. Sometimes this Egyptian breed dog will stand on its hind legs like a meerkat to have a better view.

These dogs are incredibly attentive and curious. They are reserved with strangers and tend to become closely attached to one person and not socialize with others. Basenji do not get along well with other pets, such as cats and hamsters, as they have a strong hunting instinct. They also do not like wet weather, and many Basenji avoid water at all costs. They are extremely intelligent dogs, but they usually use their intelligence for their own benefit, such as getting treats. They’re great at training, although they’re often too independent and distant.

Because of their size, calm disposition, and the fact that they don’t bark, the Basenji can be a great apartment dog. They only need a small amount of exercise to prevent the development of problem behavior due to boredom.


Technically, this dog is not an Egyptian dog breed at all. Nevertheless, the Baladi is one of the most common dogs in Egypt. They are known as street Egyptian dogs, so they are not bred by breeders, but are randomly crossed as stray dogs. Many of these dogs resemble each other in appearance, as most of them have lived on the streets for generations. The Baladi are light-skinned and skinny, with long legs and huge standing ears. Most of them have curled tails. These animals love people and adapt quickly to life in a home. They are well-mannered and can easily learn commands.

Another feature they have is that they speak in a growling voice instead of barking. This can be a bit of a turn-off at first, as many people think the dog is being aggressive. In fact, it is a very calm dog.

Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound is considered a native of the Balearic Islands off the Spanish coast. However, these indigenous hunting dogs are another breed that can easily trace its lineage back to ancient Egypt. Drawings of dogs strikingly similar to this breed have been found on various tombstones and historical artifacts. They have become an integral part of island life. These agile and determined hunters have adapted to quickly traverse rugged terrain and capture rabbits for their masters.

Because of their vigor and stamina, the Ibizan Hound is best suited for active owners who can offer them an outlet for their energy. With sufficient exercise, the Ibizan Hound will turn out to be a gentle, tolerant and relatively quiet pet. This sensitive Egyptian breed dog is easily stressed, so balanced owners are recommended for the Ibizan Hound; they will not tolerate rough treatment. And, of course, ideally they are better off living in a home without small fur-bearing animals, as they have retained their innate hunting instincts.


This is a rare breed with an unusual backstory. Today, the Armant is found mainly in Egypt. However, it is likely that they were originally European dogs that somehow made their way to the African continent, where they formed their own breed. Some experts believe that Armants were brought to Egypt by Napoleon’s army and were probably crossed with local breeds here.

Armants are named after the Egyptian city of the same name, which is obviously the place where the breed was first bred. This is quite a rare breed, especially outside of Egypt. In their homeland, they are used as herding and guard dogs. They are rumored to have been used as herding dogs in Napoleon’s army, which explains how they got their strong herding instincts! So this is one of the most unique Egypt dog breeds.

Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is another ancient breed with traceable Egyptian roots, even if it is not classified as an indigenous breed of that African country. The Pharaoh Hound probably came to the island of Malta from Egypt with the Phoenician traders, where the breeders began to breed the breed we now know.

The Pharaoh Hound shares many similarities with the Ibizan Hound in terms of appearance and temperament. It, too, was mainly used to hunt hares and rabbits. However, the Pharaoh Hound is less restrained than the Ibizan Hound and is known for its activity and friendliness. Its playful nature makes it a good companion for children.

The Pharaoh Hound, given their pedigree, may not be able to live near small dogs. You will definitely have to work on their socialization. And most importantly, never let them off leash in an open area, as they tend to chase wild animals. The Pharaoh Hound is another breed born to run, so it needs a lot of exercise and is not suitable for homebodies. Such ancient dog breeds from Egypt are known as very strong and healthy dogs without serious hereditary diseases.

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