Skip to Content

9 Amazing Middle Eastern Dog Breeds (w. Photos 2022)

Middle Eastern Dog Breeds

Aside from being the “Cradle of Civilization”, there’s another thing to know about the Middle East. 

They’re also the origin of some of the most beautiful and unique dog breeds. 

Don’t believe me?

Keep reading to discover:

  • 9 amazing Middle Eastern dog breeds.
  • If a Basenji is a dog breed from the Middle East.
  • The Middle Eastern dog breed that’s also the oldest dog breed in the world.
  • And much, much, more…

9 Middle Eastern dog breeds


#1: Catalburun

The Catalburun is also known as the Turkish Pointer. 

And they’re one of the rarest breeds in the world.

In fact, it’s said that only 200 Catalburuns are in existence today. 

These pooches originated from Mersin, Turkey. 

Aside from that, it’s easy to distinguish this breed from others.

It’s because they have a very distinct split nose.

As a result, it gives an illusion of Catalburuns having two noses. 

Fun fact: There are only 3 dog breeds that have split noses. One is Catalburuns in Turkey.  And the others are the Pachon Navarro and Andean Tiger-hound.

Appearance

They’re a medium to large-sized Fido with a deep chest and their trademark split nose appearance. 

Their height is 17-24 in (43.18- 60.96 cm) and they weigh 30-55 lbs (13.61-24.95 kg).

Aside from that, they’re very muscular and have dropped ears like most pointer breeds. 

Not only that, but they also have white coats with streaks or patches of black, brown, or tan. 

Because they have short and straight hair, grooming isn’t hard with Catalburuns.

Temperament

Being a Pointer dog breed, they’re excellent hunters. 

In fact, they’re well known as partridge hunters in their native land.

They have the ability to stand perfectly still and point at their target. 

And this is the reason why they’re good hunting companions. 

Plus, they also have a very high prey drive

Prey drive is the urge of doggos to hunt. 

Moreover, they’re also good at tracking. 

That’s why they can work well as police dogs. 

In particular, search and rescue operations can make good use of their tracking skills.

Aside from their hunting skills, this pooch is also well suited as a family dog. 

They have a calm and gentle nature, especially with children. 

Also, they prefer to be with a human company than other pups. 

As a result, they can get aggressive if they see another Fido. 

But this behavior can be improved with training. 

You may also wonder: How Police Dogs Know Who To Chase, Attack, Bite (Bad Guy)

#2: Saluki

Saluki

Saluki has the record for the oldest known domesticated dog breed. 

It’s believed that these pooches have been around since 7,000 BC.

In fact, images that resemble a Saluki can be found in Egyptian tombs. 

Moreover, a study found that dogs likely originated in the Middle East.

Researchers reveal that the ancestors of modern dogs are Middle Eastern wolves.

Aside from that, the unique look and their strong build make Saluki a majestic breed.

Arab royals and Egyptian pharaohs thought so too. 

Because this pup has been a favorite amongst Middle Eastern royalty.

Appearance

Salukis have a slim but rugged appearance. 

They have long legs that make them good sprinters. 

It also adds up to their height which is 23-28 in (58.42-71.12 cm) for males.

Female Salukis on the other hand can be a little bit shorter. 

And although they have a slim body, Salukis weigh 35-70 lbs (15.86-31.75 kg).

Moreover, this pup has a short and silky body coat. 

Sometimes they can have slight feathering on their legs, back of the thigh, and tail underside.

Also adding to their beauty are their long ears that are covered with smooth and silky hair.

Plus their coat comes in different colors namely:

  • Fawn.
  • White.
  • Cream.
  • Golden.
  • Black and tan.
  • Grizzle and tan.
  • Tricolor (white, black, tan).

Temperament

Salukis are shy and aloof among strangers but devoted to their fur family.

However, they can get too attached to one person. 

And this can lead to separation anxiety. 

This is also the reason why they shouldn’t be left alone for a long time.

Furthermore, they’re sensitive and can easily feel if there’s tension in the household. 

Plus, they’re also highly adaptable and can live and work in any climate. 

Generally, they’re calm and quiet. 

But Salukis aren’t recommended for houses with kids or small animals.

Instead, they’re more suited to live with older children.

More importantly, you should always keep an eye on Salukis.

Because they have very high prey drives.

So even with training, they tend to chase small animals thinking that it’s prey.

Editor’s pick: 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Chases Cars All Of A Sudden + 7 Tips

#3: Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound is also one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. 

They originated from Afghanistan. 

There, they became companions of nomadic tribes to hunt hares and gazelles.

This Fido is known for being a very glamorous dog. 

Even in the early 1900s, an Afghan Hound named Zardin captured the hearts of England. 

Zardin was very famous that Queen Alexandra ordered their presence at Buckingham Palace.

Appearance

Afghan Hounds are arguably the most regal-looking dog breed. 

Their most striking feature is their long and flowy coat. 

It has a very fine texture that’s almost similar to human hair.

However, VCA says that there are some coats that tend to mat more than others. 

So it’s highly suggested to groom these Fidos regularly.

They’re also known for their slim and model-like build. 

Since they belong to the hunting category, Afghan Hounds also have long snouts. 

And their large paws were a result of the days spent in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.

Also, their long legs aren’t just for show. 

Because this pooch is very agile and powerful on their feet.

Aside from that, Afghan Hounds are also a tall breed. 

They have a height of 24-27 in (60.96-68.58 cm) and weigh 50-60 lbs (22.68-27.22 kg).

Temperament

They’re a one-family or one-person type of doggo. 

And they tend to be snobbish among strangers or guests in your homes. 

What’s more, they’re also not that affectionate even to their fur family. 

This can be attributed to them being hunting dogs back in the day. 

Most Afghan hounds aren’t hunters anymore, but they’re still very independent.

It’s also because of their independence that this pup doesn’t want to be told what to do. 

Instead, they want to do things on their own. 

But besides that, an Afghan Hound is also a great source of joy and amusement. 

Many families that have an Afghan Hound would call these Fidos a clown. 

Because Afghan Hounds are also mischievous and tend to be very sneaky. 

Furthermore, they’re very athletic and do well in dog sports. 

In fact, they’re a natural in a dog sporting event called lure coursing.

Lure coursing is a dog sport that tests a doggo’s ability to hunt by sight. 

It involves the pups participating to chase down plastic bags. 

Here’s a video of an Afghan during a lure coursing event:

Read next: 13 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Is Not Affectionate + 3 Tips

#4: Canaan Dog

Canaan Dogs are the national dog of Israel.

And they’re known to be good at sports.

But first of all, let’s talk about history…

Canaan Dogs were initially pasture dogs during the Pre-Christian era.

However, they went into the Negev desert when the Romans invaded Israel. 

As a result, they became pariah dogs

Pariah dog is the term used for Fidos that are free-ranging and ownerless.

Appearance

The Canaan Dogs have a short and smooth coat with erect ears and bushy tails. 

Aside from that, they possess a double coat, a feature that helped them when they were still living in the desert. 

While the majority of their coat color is white, it’s also mixed with patches of black or brown. 

Moreover, they’re medium-sized dogs that have a height of 19-24 in (48.26-60.96 cm). 

They also weigh 35-55 lbs (15.88-24.96 kg).

Temperament

AKC says that Canaan Dogs are compliant with their family but aloof with strangers.

Their distrust isn’t surprising since they’re excellent guard dogs. 

In addition to that, they’re also very alert and observant. 

To be precise, Canaan Dogs can immediately notice anything or anyone new.

As a result, they’ll bark incessantly at strangers while circling in place. 

This is their response to situations they deem threatening. 

However, they also have a tendency to be “nuisance barkers” if not trained properly.

Moreover, they’re a loving and affectionate breed. 

But they won’t always hog your attention. 

On the contrary, Canaan Dogs can find things to do when you’re not available.

#5: Kuchi Dog

Kuchi Dog

The next breed on our list is the Kuchi Dog which isn’t recognized yet by any Kennel clubs. 

Despite that, these pooches are still reliable and noteworthy Fidos. 

They’re actually named after Afghan Nomads. 

Because Kuchis guard the caravans and cattle of Afghan migrants against wild animals.

Appearance

There are 3 types of Kuchi Dogs:

  • Desert.
  • Steppe.
  • Mountain.

The desert Kuchi Dog has an underwool coat. And this will help them survive the extreme temperatures in the desert. 

While the steppe Kuchis have a lighter build and a medium to long coat. 

Lastly, the mountain type of Kuchis has a longer coat and bigger bone structures than others. 

In general, all 3 Kuchi Dog varieties are sturdy and large. 

They have cropped ears that are closed to their face and a docked tail. 

Furthermore, Kuchi dogs can come in different coat colors. 

Here are the colors that Kuchis can come in:

  • Red.
  • Gray. 
  • Fawn.
  • Black.

Kuchi Dogs stand at a height of  28-35 in (71.12-88.9 cm) and weigh 84-176 lbs (38.10-79.83 kg).

Temperament

Being a desert guard dog, this pooch is very independent and has a lot of endurance. 

Aside from that, they’re also very vigilant and brave. 

Not to mention that they’re also extremely loyal. 

They’re even willing to fight to the death to protect their flock. 

These qualities make them great protectors and guardians of the family. 

Furthermore, Kuchio dogs can also get territorial. 

So it’s advised to not have any other dogs or pets if you have a Kuchi. 

What’s more, they don’t do well with strangers, it would take time for them to warm up to new people. 

That’s why it would be hard to re-home this doggo. 

Check out: Why Is My Dog Suddenly Afraid Of Strangers? 7 Real Reasons

#6: Anatolian Shepherd Dog

This Fido is a flock guardian that originated from Turkey. 

They’re an ancient breed that’s believed to already existed way back in the Babylonian era.

In fact, their images are seen in Assyrian bas-relief carvings. 

Today, they continue to be guardians. 

Because they protect endangered species in America and cheetahs in Namibia. 

Appearance

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are big and muscular. 

They stand at 27-29 in (68.58-73.66 cm) and weigh approximately 150 lbs (68 kg).

Aside from that, they also have a double coat that’s particularly dense at the neck and limbs. 

It helps them endure cold weather. But their coat is also prone to shedding, so it’s advised to groom them regularly.

Furthermore, their coats come in the following color:

  • Fawn.
  • White.
  • Black.
  • Brown.

Plus, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs also have large heads and slightly short muzzles.

Lastly, completing their look are the floppy ears and a curly tail.

Temperament

These doggos are naturally smart and very independent. 

More importantly, they’re so loyal and protective of their fur family

You see, this Fido will actively protect their flock. And that’s everyone in the household including the children and other family pets. 

That’s what makes Anatolian Shepherd dogs a one-of-a-kind guardian dog. 

Because of their excellent guarding skills, they guarded livestock and wildlife in Namibia.

In line with this, research was conducted on how effective they are as guard dogs in the area. 

Because of their excellent guarding skills, they guarded livestock and wildlife in Namibia. 

#7: Turkmen Tazi or Turkish Hound

Turkmen Tazi

The Turkmen Tazi is another breed from Turkey that’s commonly found in Anatolia. 

They closely resemble Salukis, but they’re much larger. 

These pooches are bred for their hunting skills. 

Appearance

They’re generally thin-skinned and come with 2 coat types. 

Some have Turkmen Tazis are short-haired and have no wooly undercoat. 

While there are others that have a wooly undercoat and feathering on the ears.

Moreover, they possess a slim body and long neck. 

They also have long and slender legs that allow them to run very quickly. 

Aside from that, Turkmen Tazi also has a distinct tail that’s thin and hairless. 

Plus they can have different coat colors like:

  • Tan.
  • Dun.
  • Pied.
  • Black.
  • White.
  • Brown.

What’s more, Turkmen Tazi stands at 24-27.5 inches (60-70 cm) and weighs up to 130 lbs (58.96 kg).

Temperament:

Although they’re mainly used as hunting dogs, Turkmen Tazi can also be a good pet. 

It’s because they’re loyal and affectionate. 

Aside from that, they can also get along with children and other pets in the household. 

Yes, even cats. 

However, these Fidos aren’t raised to be companion dogs. 

In fact, young pups are taken to hunting fields as part of their training. 

But the young Turkmen Tazis won’t hunt yet. 

Instead, they’ll just watch the mature and experienced pooches hunt. 

As hunters, this breed is a fast runner and they also have a high prey drive.

#8: Basenji

The Basenji is famous for being the “barkless dog”.

According to AKC, Basenjis let out a sound that’s between a yodel and a chortle instead of a bark.

But that’s not only what’s unique about Basenjis. 

They’re also very particular and groom themselves like felines. 

And even though this breed is very interesting, they’re considered a cult breed

This means that they’re only small in numbers and very few have the privilege to have one.

Note: They’re famously known as an African breed. But Basenjis can also be seen in Egyptian and Mesopotamian art. That’s why it’s believed that this pooch has some Middle Eastern roots.

Appearance

Basenjis are small hounds with a height of only 16-17 in (40.63-43.18 cm). 

They also weigh 22-24 lbs (55.88-60.96 kg). 

Aside from that, they also have shiny and short coats with tightly curled tails.

Plus, they have distinct white feet, chest, and tail tips.

Not only that, but Basenjis can also come in different coat colors. 

They are:

  • Black.
  • Tricolor.
  • Brindled.
  • Chestnut red.

Temperament

Basenjis are highly intelligent and independent just like other hounds. 

At the same time, they’re also loyal and alert. 

However, they tend to not follow instructions well. 

It would take time and training for them to learn obedience. 

But they make up for this with their long-lasting devotion to their fur family. 

And if they grow up with other pets in the household, Basenjis recognize them as part of the family.

Furthermore, Basenjis tend to be easily distracted when they see something interesting. 

So it’s better to keep an eye on them when they’re outside.

#9: Armant (Egyptian Sheepdog)

Armant or the Egyptian Sheepdog is a farm dog that’s been used for herding. 

They have been around since the early 20th century, but they’re still not recognized by AKC. 

However, several smaller breed clubs have recognized Armants. 

Appearance

The Armants are medium-sized pooched that are 21-23 in (53.34-58.42 cm) tall.

And their weight is 50-65 lbs (22.67-29.48 kg).

Their appearance closely resembles that of the Briard dogs. 

They have a shaggy coat that has a coarse to rough texture. 

This type of coat is effective in protecting these pooches from the cold and predators. 

Aside from that, Armants also come in different coat colors like:

  • Tan.
  • Gray.
  • Black.
  • Yellow.

To avoid matting, it’s advised to brush their coats daily. 

Temperament

Since they’re working dogs, Armants are durable and agile. 

They also have good work ethics. 

And they’re happy to do the tasks given to them. 

Aside from that, they’re also loyal and affectionate. 

In fact, they’re most likely to create a close bond with their human. 

As a result, they can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

Not only that, but these Fidos are also well suited for children. 

You see, Armant is a very calm and gentle breed. 

BONUS: Pharaoh Hound

It’s believed that this pup got their name by being alongside kings and pharaohs during hunting. 

Aside from that, these Fidos are also known as the “Blushing Dog”.

When they’re excited or overjoyed, their nose and ears would have a rosy tint. 

Appearance

Once you see them, you’ll realize that their names fit them perfectly. 

Because Pharaoh Hounds look regal in their tight tan coat. 

They may also have a dash of white on their tail tip, toes, chest, or face.

Also, it’s advised to brush them weekly with a hound glove to manage their shedding.

Moreover, they’re 21-25 in (53.34-63.5 cm) tall and weigh 45-55 lbs (20.41-24.95 kg).

Plus, they have a bendy but powerful frame. 

Temperament

Pharaoh Hounds like to entertain people.

Not only that, but they’re also intelligent and very eager to please. 

However, they can be aloof in the presence of strangers. 

AKC also says that Pharaohs are sleek and suited for a high-speed chase on rocky terrains.

That’s why they’re also great hunting dogs or sports dogs. 

Bear in mind that, this pup is also very sensitive. 

So they can get stressed when they’re in a tension-filled household. 

What’s more, Coprophagia is also common in Pharaoh Hounds. 

This condition is also called stool eating

To prevent this from happening, scoop your Pharaoh’s poop immediately.