An Historical Ecology of the Baladi Dog in Egypt
Abstract: Dogs have a long but neglected history as companion species in Egypt history. From the most valued companion in ancient Egypt the relationship between dogs and humans has changed over time. However, in the present day the Egyptian baladi dog has been abused, neglected, unwanted for centuries. In this thesis, I investigate the nature and relationships between humans and dogs in Egypt in the past and present drawing on archeological, historical and genetic information. I will dig deeper into dog genetics to better understand the distinction between the baladi dog in relation to other breeds. Using online surveys, I interview baladi and non-baladi dog owners to understand how Egyptians perceive the baladi dog today exploring also how and why this perception is changing. Moreover, through interviews with rescuers and veterinarians I examine further the general perception of baladi dogs in Egypt from their perspectives. As I show, perceptions of the baladi dog have changed positively over the recent years both in Egypt and abroad, though there is still a long way to go. The better status of the perceptions of the baladi dog has also meant thatthe baladi is increasingly seen as a ‘breed’ or a particular dog type. The changing perceptions of the baladi dog and the debates around them is discussed and scrutinized in relation to urban planning and policy.
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