Saluki Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Saluki (Saluki Dog, Saluki Hound, Saluki Greyhound) or Persian Greyhound (Arabian Hound, Gazelle Hound, Tanji) is an ancient Sighthound that originated in the Fertile Crescent, a crescent-shaped region containing the fertile, Arabian parts of the West Asia, the Nile Delta and Nile Valley. This hound breed is, according to some historical evidence, more than 7.000 years old and is definitely one of the most ancient breeds of dog. In fact, it is included in the group of 14 ancient dogs, together with the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Shar-Pei, Pekingese, Chow Chow, Afghan Hound, etc. These breeds are considered the oldest and purest of all domesticated dogs. The first evidence of the existence of these Sighthounds can be found on the approximately 6.000 years old pottery from Susa, ancient Mesopotamia (now Shush, Iran). However, some experts believe that these are actually depictions of ancestors of the Saluki. This might be up for debate, but there’s no doubt that the Persian Greyhounds were actually depicted on the Egyptian tombs of the Upper Nile region, dating back more than 4.000 years ago. Besides, archeologists found the mummified remains of Salukis next to mummified Pharaohs in these tombs. This just proves how Pharaohs held the Salukis with the highest esteem. They were truly the royal dogs of ancient Egypt. Continue Reading →

Tibetan Terrier Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Tibetan Terrier (Lhasa Terrier) or Tsang Apso (Dhoki Apso, Dokhi Apso) is an ancient companion and working dog that originated in the Himalayas, Tibet. The breed is several thousand years old, and was probably developed from the small mountain wolf that was domesticated around 800 BC. Experts believe that the Lhasa Terrier is the ancestor of all other Tibetan breeds, from the Lhasa Apso to the Shih Tzu or Tibetan Spaniel. In other words, this is quite possibly the oldest of all Tibetan dogs, even though the Lhasa Apso was for a long time considered the same breed. Anyhow, Tibetan Terriers were bred and kept as companions and watchdogs by the Bhuddist monks (Lamas) in the lamaseries for over 2.000 years. Monks considered them sacred and held them with the highest regard. However, unlike its little brother, the Lhasa Apso, the Tibetan Terrier wasn’t only limited to life with the monks and nobles. On the contrary, some of these dogs were often gifted by the monks to the locals and herdsmen of Tibet, who used them for various purposes – from guarding to herding. Just like monks, Tibetans treated these dogs with the highest respect, almost like children. That’s why they were often called “the little people” by the villagers. Continue Reading →

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Lhasa Apso (Long-Haired Lhasa Dog) or Apso Seng Kye (Bark Lion Sentinel Dog or Bearded Lion Dog) is an ancient sentinel dog that originated in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet. The breed was probably developed from a small mountain wolf that inhabited this region some 4.000 years ago. Experts believe that the locals had started domesticating and breeding these wolves sometime around 800 BC. A research study that was conducted recently revealed that the Apso is actually one of the ancient breeds. It is a group of 14 dogs most closely related to the wolf, considered the oldest and purest of all domesticated breeds. This puts the Lhasa Apso in the category with some of the most authentic primitive dogs in the world, such as the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Shar-Pei, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, or Basenji. Apart from these well-known breeds, there is also another breed of dog from Tibet in this group called the Tibetan Terrier. This is a very close relative of the Lhasa, and was sometimes considered the same breed because of the almost identical appearance. However, later on they were separated into two unique breeds, with the Apso Seng Kye being the smaller of the two. Continue Reading →

Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Chinese Shar-Pei (meaning “sand skin” in the Cantonese language) or Chinese Fighting Dog is an ancient fighting and working dog that originated in the Guangdong province of China. This distinctively looking breed had descended more than 2.000 years ago, probably from now extinct Taimyr wolves and ancient Spitz type dogs that once lived in the Northeast Asia. That’s why Shar-Peis have some identical genes to the Siberian Husky, Greenland Dog and Finnish Spitz. However, they have much more in common with Mastiff dogs, which suggests that at some point their ancestors had reached Southeast Asia and started interbreeding with Molossoides. The first historical evidence of this breed can be found in the statuary works of art from the period of the Han Dynasty (200 BC). During that time, Chinese emperors often kept these dogs as pets, but they were also used for fighting. However, some scientists are still unsure whether these statues represent Shar-Peis or Chow Chows. The second historical evidence of the breed is a written document from the 13th century that refers to a dog with the wrinkled skin. According to it, these dogs were then mainly kept by farmers, who had used them in various ways, such as property guardians, livestock herders and boar hunters. In that period, people were still using Shar-Peis as fighting dogs too, a trend that continued to this very day, especially in Tibet. Continue Reading →

New Guinea Singing Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The New Guinea Singing Dog (New Guinea Wild Dog, New Guinea Highland Dog, Singing Dog) or Hallstrom Dog (Canis Lupus Hallstromi) is an ancient landrace dog originating from, as its name suggests, the island of New Guinea. This is probably the oldest and most primitive breed of dog in existence. Experts estimated that the NGSD strain is approximately 30.000 years old, which is why they are nicknamed Stone Age Dogs. But first dogs were probably brought to New Guinea by humans about 6.000 years ago (according to some experts, it happened even earlier, 10-20.000 years ago). As a proof for this theory, scientists found a tooth of a Singer in the lowlands of Papua (eastern half of the island), estimated to be more than 5.500 years old. This is in fact the oldest of all fossil remains of this canine species. The NGSD probably descended from ancient Pariah dogs from Southeast Asia that were actually domesticated Asian wolves. The breed has remained literally unchanged from its ancestors, which is why it is often considered a living fossil. Continue Reading →