Pariah dogs of the Middle East
July 15, 2002 8:21 PM Subscribe
Pariah dogs of the Middle East No, not these two jokers, but the real thing: Canaan dogs. Like the more refined Saluki, Sloughi, Azawakh, Afghan Hound and "barkless" Basenji (among many others), Canaan dogs have been known for thousands of years. They guard herds for modern Bedouins like they did for ancient Israelites. During the 1930s, when traditional "war dogs" were having trouble adapting to Palestine, Zionists carefully redomesticated the semi-wild animals, turning them into seeing eye dogs and guards for isolated settlements. Canaan dogs became one of the first breeds trained to detect mines effectively, although their use for bomb-sniffing remains a touchy subject [LAT, reg'n]. You also might enjoy pondering the provocative question raised by this detailed essay: Why have all three major monotheistic religions considered dogs "a threat to the authority of the clergy"?
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