Dog Breeds of Ancient Persia
Dogs have been part of almost every single world culture for thousands of years and even people in the oldest nations and oldest cultures were accompanied by dogs.
Today we will talk about dogs in ancient Persia, an empire which is thousands years old. Dogs were highly valued in ancient Persia and they were viewed as gift from gods.
Persians kept their dogs for various purposes. Some of them were practical, like hunting, herding or protecting. But it is believed that Persians kept their dogs for companionship as well and that they treated dogs very good, in fact, „how one treated a dog, would directly affect whether one was rewarded or punished in the afterlife according to Zoroastrian belief.“ (worldhistory.org)
And indeed, it is believed that dogs played a role in the religious belief of ancient Persians and they were part of, for example, funerary rituals.
There are images and depictions, for example on ceramics from ancient Persia. Most of the dogs on these depictions resembles todays Salukis. But it is believed, that there are at least 5 different dogs, that have its history and ancestry in ancient Persia and i will show you all of them right now.
The Saluki, also known as Persian Greyhound, is the most popular Persian dog breed we have today. It is one of the oldest breeds in the world and they are best known for their slender body, reserved personality, incredible speed and superb hunting and chasing instincts.
2) Sarabi Mastiff
The Sarabi Mastiff is also known as Iranian Mastiff or Persian Mastiff. It is extremely powerful and large livestock guardian dog with calm, protective, independent and controlled temperament. They are able to protect the livestock from the strongest predators, such as wolves or jackals.
3) Kurdish Mastiff
The Kurdish Mastiff is another livestock guardian breed. Extremely similar to the Sarabi Mastiff, it is very strong and powerful, independent, courageous and determined dog breed.
4) Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is closely related to Saluki, is one of the most elegant breeds, one of fastests and most athletic, originally bred to flush out rabbits and for gazelle hunting with nomadic tribes.
The last breed that is believed to have its ancestry in Ancient Persia is Kuchi, also known as Khorosani or Afghan Shepherd. It is traditionally used by Kuchi people of Afghanistan as a typical LGD dog, following the nomads protecting caravans and flocks of sheep, goats, camels and other livestock from wolves, big cats and thieves.
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