Challenges of raising a dog in Oman


I thought I'd write a blog about the different challenges of raising a dog in the Middle East. I'm not sure how this differs between small dogs and large dogs. From what I've observed, it seems like people with larger dogs tend to have more issues but please, correct me if I'm wrong.
For the past week I've been dog sitting my friend Heather's german Shepard, Penny. Having both Penny and Carlos running around and taking them both out together has been quite eventful compared to just having one dog. I think some of the things I've observed this week have definitely influenced this post.  Whether you're thinking of getting a dog in Oman or you already have one, or you're just curious of what it must be like, continue reading.

Dogs don't get the best treatment in a muslim country. I understand the cultural and religious views that Muslims have and I completely respect that. When i walk my 6 month old puppy around our neighborhood I encounter a lot of Indians and Arabs that are afraid.  For the most part I see the same workers every morning and they are all used to me. I wouldn't allow my dog to run up to them but they feel comfortable enough to know that I have my dog under control. I even get a wave or a "good morning, ma'm", where as before, they'd practically run in the other direction.

There are "wadi" dogs in Oman, which are wild dogs that generally roam about in packs. I've never heard of wadi dogs being aggressive towards people, even though I'm sure it's happened. We used to have a pack of wadi dogs that lived in a construction area behind our apartment and they would sometimes run across the golf course. Generally people throw rocks to get rid of them and sadly, a lot of them are shot. I'm cautious when walking Carlos knowing that there are wadi dogs in the area. I've had wadi dogs get a bit aggressive if they see Carlos from afar. Generally I'll just turn around and go back home. This has only happened a handful of times though.

In more traditional neighborhoods, I've heard of people having rocks thrown at their dogs or curious people following behind. I've had many people drive slowly and watch Carlos and I walk down the road together. It's creepy and it definitely wouldn't be acceptable behavior back home but that's just how it is here.

Since I live in a more expat community, I haven't come across as many problems as other people have. There's actually a good number of dogs that live on my block. We are all familiar with each others dogs and all respect each other by cleaning up our doggie messes. We typically all bump into each other on our morning walks, looking groggy and like we just rolled out of bed (well, at least I do).

I've come across some issues though. We've had an issue with one of our neighbors where they left rat poison on all 3 of our porches to harm our dog. Their intentions were obvious since they also left rat poison on porches of other dog owners. It was completely unacceptable behavior and Ash and I did inform management and later confronted the neighbors who did admit to it. Sadly, I don't think the situation was handled in a fair way by management, especially since these particular neighbors have caused other issues in the past. And unfortunately the problems didn't end there. My dog is constantly harassed by their children. They'll pretend to act scared when I'm yards away from them but they won't hesitate to follow me and taunt my dog. It's a difficult position to be in when there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Their parents and nanny don't say one word to them. Sometimes I even have to say "NO!" in order to get them to stop. When they meow behind my dog, what are they expecting to have happen? As you can imagine, I try to avoid any close contact with them. If they're in the front of the apartment building then I'll go to the back and vice versa. I'll even wait to take Carlos out for a pee if I see the kids playing outside. It's a shame but that's how it has to be.

If you don't have your own personal garden/yard, there's not really any place to let your dog off the leash and your dog is supposed to be on the leash at all times. Lots of people do walk their dogs on the beach, preferably early in the morning when there aren't many people around. This is the only way I can teach my little retriever how to swim ; -)

The only other thing I'd probably mention is the pet shops. None of them carry a very big selection of toys or a variety of anything for that matter. And I will admit, purchasing a dog in Oman is a little risky. So far we have been very fortunate; Carlos is a beautiful, healthy dog but that's not always the case with many puppies purchased here. I've heard of puppies with horrible viruses or requiring surgeries. Thank goodness Carlos has been healthy. There are a lot of people that adopt wadi dogs as well, so that is also an option.

This sums up a lot of my experience with raising a dog in Muscat, Oman/Middle East. Please comment and add your thoughts. I probably have missed things that should have been added. Thanks for reading!



6 comments:

  1. That is very sad to hear about your neighbour's and their children's behaviour towards Carlos, it seems mean-spirited. I have only been in Oman for 3 weeks, and am thinking of moving here and bringing my two large dogs (weimaraners). I think I would definitely try to have my own garden. What about confronting the children and asking them to stop with a stern voice ? Not sure if this is acceptable to do here, I would do it at home (Canada).

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    Replies
    1. I have told them to stop in a stern voice but it doesn't work. And talking to their parents is not an option either unfortunately ... honestly it's easier to avoid them than anything else. Their parents have done such ridiculous things that I'd rather not ruffle any feathers if you know what I mean. I'll just keep my distance.
      But definitely definitely get a garden!! It'll make your life so much easier!!

      Delete
    2. That's an interesting post, which accurately sums up the problems to expect in owning a dog here in Oman. I live in Sohar, where rents are cheaper. I got a villa with a big garden, on a farm, but 5 minutes to the centre, BEFORE I found and raised my wadi dog. To be honest, when I lived in an apartment before that, I would never have considered getting a dog. Just too difficult! However, despite the advantage of having a lot of space for my dog to run around in, within my own private walls, outside is still a problem. We only walk around the farm, which is beautiful and tranquil. I never take him on the street. I only go out at night or early in the morning, so we don't see kids, and I can wear what I like. On occasion, I have also been followed at night, not pleasant! My dog always has to be on a lead, after a savage attack by a wild wadi dog, which left a small hole in my dog's flank - stitch-up job at vets. If we go out walking day-time, we meet grown men who "woof woof", and one even offered me OR 5 for my dog. Really, it's a joke! I am about to leave Oman for Spain, and quite frankly, it will be a relief. However, my dog will need some obedience training, as he is not good around kids, because of the stones he has had hurled at him by them in the past. My final advice is before getting a dog in Oman, consider where you are going to walk him and is it suitable, and at the very least, have a balcony, if not a yard or garden, where he can peacefully do his business without being hassled by horrible brats!

      Delete
  2. That's an interesting post, which accurately sums up the problems to expect in owning a dog here in Oman. I live in Sohar, where rents are cheaper. I got a villa with a big garden, on a farm, but 5 minutes to the centre, BEFORE I found and raised my wadi dog. To be honest, when I lived in an apartment before that, I would never have considered getting a dog. Just too difficult! However, despite the advantage of having a lot of space for my dog to run around in, within my own private walls, outside is still a problem. We only walk around the farm, which is beautiful and tranquil. I never take him on the street. I only go out at night or early in the morning, so we don't see kids, and I can wear what I like. On occasion, I have also been followed at night, not pleasant! My dog always has to be on a lead, after a savage attack by a wild wadi dog, which left a small hole in my dog's flank - stitch-up job at vets. If we go out walking day-time, we meet grown men who "woof woof", and one even offered me OR 5 for my dog. Really, it's a joke! I am about to leave Oman for Spain, and quite frankly, it will be a relief. However, my dog will need some obedience training, as he is not good around kids, because of the stones he has had hurled at him by them in the past. My final advice is before getting a dog in Oman, consider where you are going to walk him and is it suitable, and at the very least, have a balcony, if not a yard or garden, where he can peacefully do his business without being hassled by the local brats!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I lived in Jeddah where the same happerns there not a nice experience having a dog in a middle eastern country for the dog or owner sadley .

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  4. Dear Friends,

    This is Nish here. I love dogs a lot. If anyone need any help for dog sitting or dog walking in Sohar area please be in touch. I found it very difficult to find a pet sitter in Oman. Due to this reason, I am not getting my BLACK ( Labrador) from home. Please do in touch for any similar help gobeer010@gmail.com or ring me @ 95097688

    ReplyDelete

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