Egyptian Street Dog
Egyptian 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.
Middle Eastern and African
Egyptian Street Dog History
Also known as Baladi dogs, Egyptian street dogs are the most common type of dog in Egypt. Like all dogs, they are descendants of domesticated wolves. But unlike purebred dogs that people have explicitly bred to strengthen specific traits, Egyptian street dogs don't belong to a particular breed. Instead, they've evolved naturally in their native environment over centuries.
The number of these semi-feral dogs that wander the streets in Egypt has grown over the years. Because locals often prefer purebred dogs, many view Egyptian street dogs as a nuisance in their neighborhoods. Rescue organizations have launched spay and neuter campaigns to help curb the population of street dogs and worked with international groups to find homes for them overseas.
Egyptian Street Dog Traits
Though Egyptian street dogs tend to be thin, medium-sized dogs with long legs, they can come in all shapes and sizes.
Coat and Coloring
Egyptian street dogs typically have short, brown or beige coats. But any combination of coat colors, patterns, and lengths is possible.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Since street dogs do not follow a breed standard, they have no shared set of traits that link them together. That said, common characteristics include large, prick ears, pointed noses, and curled tails.
Egyptian Street Dog Temperament
Egyptian 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.
But people who have taken in Egyptian street dogs find that—once they become comfortable in their new home—they make playful, loyal pets and excellent guard dogs.
Egyptian Street Dog Care
An Egyptian 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. Egyptian 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.
Reviewed June 16, 2021 by Annette Louviere, DVM