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Bedouin Shepherd Dog

This ancient pariah-type Molosser is the dog of the Sahara Bedouins, commonly seen accompanying the caravans and protecting settlements. Believed to be one of the oldest breeds in the world, the Ishtar Dog comes in two main variants, these being the lighter and the heavier type. The lightly built leaner dogs are the ones travelling with the Nomads and used primarily for protecting and herding camels, goats, sheep and donkeys, while the heavier, longer-coated type is a camp watchdog. However, most dogs are crosses between the two types, bred for work and resilience. Not fully domesticated, the Bedouin Shepherd Dogs are extremely stubborn and aggressive, nearly impossible to train and difficult to handle. They are surviving on a diet consisting of scarce leftovers of shepherd's meals and whatever kills they manage to make in the desert, mostly lizards and insects.

The Bedouin Dog is a rugged and hardy breed, perfectly durable in extreme Sahara climates. Deep-chested, well-muscled and very agile, it makes an excellent, seemingly tireless worker. The smaller variety is fairly slender, commonly seen with cropped ears, whereas the taller dogs are slightly heavier and have docked tails.

The coat is dense and weatherproof, regardless of length and it comes in any shade, either solid or parti-coloured. Most valued dogs are the various merle-coloured ones, believed by some to be the ancestors of all merle breeds.

The average height is around 23 inches, although some larger examples can be found.

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