In Arabic the word “Baladi” could mean a few things. It could mean “my country”, it could mean “pertaining or belonging to my country” and if used in a derogatory sense it could mean “rather vulgar and with bad taste”. When this term is applied to a dog, then it means one of the most beautiful, lovable, smart and hardy dogs in the world.
The Baladi dog is a mixed breed. Its size varies from large to medium to small. Its colours range from pitch black
through all shades of brown into beige and even white.
The one thing they all have in common is the beautiful eyes. These usually, no matter what the colour, are full of intelligence, love and humour.
I have never previously had a Baladi dog, but just recently I adopted one as part of a package deal. She is small in size though four years old. She is black but must have had German Shepard blood because she has got some of the markings in a lighter brown. Her ears are semi erect but she does not have the sloped back or thick fur of the purebred GS. At the shelter they described her as a GS mix, which is true in her physical attributes, but where character is concerned she is Baladi through and through.
Before the adoption I had three Golden Retrievers and two German Shepards who lived together and through the normal selection of such tribes, the smallest GR, Helen, became top dog. She is a very aggressive and rather bad tempered dog and enforced her Alfa status through violence bordering on viciousness. I had a real behavioural problem on my hands and was in the process of correcting it when the new additions to the furry family arrived.
With this problem in mind I was very careful to introduce the dogs to one another very gradually to try to minimise any potential friction. To this end it took me three days then my gardeners took it out of my hands by introducing them after taking them together for a walk. Thank God it went well and they had a sniffing fest that ended with a group run in the garden, and a dip in the pool for Queeny, the new Baladi and the female GS, Millie.
I was keeping my fingers crossed about Helen’s behaviour, till a few hours later Helen tried to establish her Alfa status by barking up a storm while confronting Queeny. I worried about Queeny’s reaction, fearing that she might be too scared to stand up to Helen, but my beautiful Baladi heroine, without hesitation, charged Helen, who was so surprised she immediately retreated. So in the blink of an eye the crown was passed from Helen to Queeny who became the new Alpha dog.
Queeny’s rule is a much happier one than that of Helen. Queeny rules with love, fun and humour. She is very fast, she is always running about, leading the pack wherever she goes, and she is forever playing with them though they are all easily three times her size.
Queeny has the most endearing expression when I call her. She flattens her ears, furiously wags her tail and grins at me. She has the most beautiful brown eyes that I have seen in a long time and the most friendly disposition of any of my furry family. She is the most alert of the whole pack, a real guard dog, and the most fun.
A common denominator of Baladi dogs is their intelligence, their friendly disposition, but their most endearing trait is their love of fun and their sense of humour. Queeny, with her small size is forever giving the bigger dogs the slip by being very fast and jumping on top of their houses out of their reach. Seeing her horsing around with Troy who is a huge GR is enthralling. Though he tries to sit on her,
he usually ends up lying on his back with all four paws in the air while she is running circles around him.
Baladi dogs are the best, not only are they smart guard dogs, but they are wonderful, gentle playmates to children, as well as being extremely loving and they are very strong and hardy. A perfect combination of anything you want in a dog.
2 January 2016