Bahrain, a country with a population just over a million, is located in the Middle East neighboring Saudi Arabia and Qatar. With one of the worlds fastest growing economies, Bahrain functions as a financial hub of the Middle East and is home to many expatriates.
The majority of the population is of islamic background. According to islamic religious rules, dogs are not to be kept in one's house, unless they are trained for hunting or guarding live stock and "serve a purpose". What's more, if one touches a wet dog, one's hands become impure and must be washed seven times, one of which should be with earth. Touching a dry dog is considered okay though. The one breed that is given a different status in the islamic world is the Saluki, who are even allowed to sleep in the same tent with their owners. Arabic nations have been breeding Salukis for thousands of years for both their beauty and hunting ability. The history of the breed goes back so far in time that it is regarded to be one of the earliest breeds to diverge from wolves. While they are not the fastest breed, their stamina and endurance outperforms most other dogs', which explains why they are so popular and wide spread in Bahrain and the Middle East. With a new wave of expatriates, a new mentality has also set foot in the country and the notion of keeping pet dogs is more and more wide spread. Working breeds, like the German Shepherd and Doberman are used to guard property, but other large breeds such as the Dogue de Bordeaux, Great Dane or Golden Retriever, are also increasing in popularity.
The traditional attitude of local people is slow to change and some of them may actually be terrified of dogs. So if you expect local people - workmen or guests - to your house in Bahrain, make sure you separate your dogs, otherwise they may refuse to enter. Parks in Bahrain are not ideal for walking your dogs as they tend to be reserved for children. Waterfronts are, however, free to use for dog lovers.