Lebanese Street Dog
Lebanese street dogs are free-roaming pups that typically congregate in cities or towns with plentiful resources. They share many basic traits with pet dogs, but they lead primarily independent lives outdoors.
Lebanese Street Dog History
Like all dogs, the Lebanese street dog is a descendant of the gray wolf. At some point, a number of wolves became domesticated (but experts disagree on exactly when and how) and integrated into humans' daily lives.
By the 19th century, people began recording their efforts to selectively breed dogs for certain traits—a practice that led to the hundreds of purebred dogs we know and love today. But the majority of dogs around the world do not belong to a particular breed. This includes Lebanese street dogs.
These semi-feral dogs roam the streets, often fending for themselves. Local officials estimate there are tens of thousands of street dogs in Lebanon currently. Unfortunately, many of them suffer inhumane treatment at the hands of people who historically have not viewed dogs as pets.
Dog ownership is a relatively new trend in Lebanon. During the country's civil war, dogs had a stigma, so few people kept them as pets. Though that's starting to change, there's still work to be done to combat negative stereotypes about dogs and educate the community on responsible treatment of animals.
Lebanese Street Dog Traits
Though most street dogs tend to be medium-sized, Lebanese street dogs can come in all shapes and sizes.
Coat and Colouring
Street dogs typically have short, brownish coats. But any combination of coat colors, patterns, and lengths is genetically possible.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Lebanese street dogs don't follow a breed standard. So, no shared set of traits links them together. Still, common characteristics of street dogs include prick ears and pointed noses.
Lebanese Street Dog Temperament
Lebanese street dogs must learn to fend for themselves. As a result, they tend to be scrappy, intelligent, and adaptable—all skills that support independent survival. Because they've never had to rely on humans, they may be fearful or skeptical of people who have not earned their trust.
Lebanese Street Dog Care
A Lebanese street dog's diet typically consists of whatever they can kill or find—small farm animals, scraps from trash cans, handouts from kind strangers, and so on. If you're leaving food out for a street dog, they'll benefit from commercial diets formulated for pet dogs.
Because they fend for themselves, street dogs aren't usually at risk of becoming overweight. However, if you take a street dog under your roof, keep an eye on their food intake to avoid overfeeding. Guidelines on dog food packages are a good starting point when determining daily portions.
If you've adopted a street dog that's comfortable being handled, regular brushing and nail trims will help them look their best. Good dental hygiene is also important for any dog. Professional cleanings and at-home dental care will keep their mouths healthy and reduce the risk of related health issues.
All dogs need exercise to stay physically and mentally fit, and street dogs are no exception. Lebanese street dogs that are on their own will get adequate exercise during their daily roaming. Pet dogs, however, need access to the outdoors to stretch their legs and get mental stimulation. Playing in a fenced yard and going for leashed walks are great ways for your dog to release energy.
Street dogs are not accustomed to obeying commands from people. In fact, many may avoid close contact with humans. Before attempting a training program, start by building trust and respect with your dog. Slow and steady is the best approach to making inroads with a street dog.