Middle Eastern Village Dog

Middle Eastern Village Dog

The oldest known dog remains are from Israel, where dogs have been loved by humans, and buried with them, for over 12,000 years. Middle Eastern village dogs were instrumental in dog evolution. From the Middle East, dogs spread to Africa and Europe, where eventually they were bred to become most of the hundreds of dog breeds we know today. Dogs that remained in the Middle East took on the iconic form of the saluki, sleek and cool under the desert sun.

Illustration courtesy of the American Kennel Club

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 16-23in

Female: 14-21in

Weight

Male: 30-50lb

Female: 23-43lb

Fun Fact

While most traditional Muslim societies frown on allowing dogs to enter one’s home, many people in the Middle East love dogs and they are often used as guard dogs, as well as for shepherding.

About this Breed

The Middle East has served as a crossroads of dog civilization, just as it has with humans. From dogs’ original domestication in Central Asia at least 15,000 years ago, they spread quickly to the Middle East. In fact, the Middle East contains the oldest archaeological evidence of dogs: a 12,000-13,000 year old burial site in Israel where an old man has been cradling his puppy for over twelve millennia. It’s clear dogs have been loved in the Middle East for a long time!

Once they arrived in the region, we know from genetic evidence that the dogs there bred with Middle Eastern wolves, injecting new diversity not seen in Asian dogs. It is thought that these wolves added the genes responsible for small body size and dwarf limbs now seen in many smaller breeds.

After interbreeding with wolves, some Middle Eastern village dogs migrated to Africa, giving rise to African village dogs, basenjis, and other African breeds. Middle Eastern dogs also spread to Europe, where they lived for thousands of years before eventually some of them became the originators of most of the current dog breeds found on Earth, like the German Shepherd Dog and Collie.

The village dogs that stayed in the Middle East often took on a lankier form suited to the desert heat in the Arabian Peninsula. These dogs led to the Canaan dog, an ancient race of dogs that still exists, as well as to breeds such as the Saluki and Afghan Hound. Many of their descendants still exist as village dogs throughout the region, living in the shadows of people and their habitations (if for no other reason, than to find some shade!).

Middle Eastern Village Dogs on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Middle Eastern Village Dog ancestry.

  • Apollo

    Apollo

    Purebred

    Elsy

    Elsy

    Purebred

    Johnny

    Johnny

    Purebred

    Miskin

    Miskin

    Purebred

  • Jaime

    Jaime

    Purebred

    Vera

    Vera

    Purebred

    Stella

    Stella

    Purebred

    Wiley

    Wiley

    Purebred

  • Ash

    Ash

    Purebred

    Amar

    Amar

    Purebred

    Mika

    Mika

    Purebred

    Yana

    Yana

    Purebred

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Charlie
  2. Bandit
  3. Harvey
  4. Teddy
  5. Yoshi
  6. Ollie
  7. Chance
  8. Beau
  9. Apollo
  10. Bidad

For Females

  1. Luna
  2. Sasha
  3. Mishka
  4. Penny
  5. Rosie
  6. Bella
  7. Phoebe
  8. Ginger
  9. Asha
  10. Ash

Common Locations

  1. California, United States
  2. New York, United States
  3. Al Asimah Governate, Kuwait
  4. Virginia, United States
  5. Iran
  6. Washington, United States
  7. Egypt
  8. Maryland, United States
  9. Azerbaijan
  10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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