10 Incredible Dogs From Africa You Have To Meet

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Africa is rich in numerous wild animals, from elephants to giraffes. But in Africa, you can find many domesticated animals, including dogs. Discover top 10 dog breeds from Africa today.

Africa is known for having a huge variety of animals all across the continents. However, usually, when we envision animals from Africa we think about wildlife, elephants, giraffes and amazing lions. But, did you know that your neighbor might have a dog who originated from Africa?

Yes, there are many dog breeds that are originally from Africa and they are becoming more and more popular each year all across the globe. Check these ten amazing dogs from Africa.

10. Basenji

This small hunting dog is originally from central Africa, Congo. Overall, this cat-like dog stands about 16-17 inches and weighs between 21-24 pounds. They have pointed ears, square, athletic body, and they always have a curly tail. This dog is a 100% African dog. Their DNK proves it.

Originally, they were bred to help people catch fast running animals. So, they are no stranger to hunting lions as well. A

Amazing Basenji is also known as ‘the barkless dog’ because you can’t ever hear him bark, just yodel. This is caused by the unusually shaped larynx. This is not a dog for first-time owners.

He can easily claim trees, so he can’t be left alone and without a leash. Basenji also needs long runs and walks, or he will become bored. Actually, Basenji gets very bored easily.

Good to know: Basenji is one of the cleanest dog breeds. They tend to groom themselves every day. That’s why they are cat-like.

9. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is becoming a more popular easy year. In 2018, Rhodesian Ridgeback was listed as the 41 most popular dog breed. It is expected that the popularity of this dog just grows as more people learn about this extraordinary breed from Zimbabwe.

This dog was specially bred to keep lions away while the tribes were hunting. He was called ‘Van Rooyen’s lion dog’ and ‘African Lion Hound’ or ‘African Lion Dog’. In the late 19th century, this African dog was mixed with European dogs.

This cross created a dog who was more of an obedient companion. This dog is the happiest when he works, so make sure that you can provide enough outdoors and exercise before you get Rhodesian Ridgeback. He hates being alone.

Never forget that this dog used to run off lions, so a simple walk of 15-minutes a day, won’t do. This dog adapts great in bigger families, including younger children.

8. Boerboel

Originally, the Boerboel is from today’s are of South Africa. This breed is considered to be one of the stronger dogs in the world, and initially, they were bred to guard homes. An average Boerboel is between 22-27 inches tall and 150-200 pounds in weight, and that’s a dog to mess around with. This dog is also called ‘the South African Mastiff’ with a bite of up to 200 psi.

Luckily, with proper training, early socialization, and an experienced owner, the Boerboel will be a well-behaved and calm dog.

7. Coton De Tulear

When people just hear the phrase ‘African dog breeds’ they are expecting powerful and large dogs ready to fight lion to protect his home and family. And then people see Coton De Tulear – white, fluffy, and extremely small dog. This small dog usually weighs up to 18 pounds, while the height is between 9 to 13 inches.

This breed is playful, intelligent, and affectionate. This small dog is originally from the African island of Madagascar, a town of Tulear. That is how this adorable breed got its name.

If you ever saw a small, white dog walking on his hind legs to please people, you actually saw the Coton De Tulear. Their coat is what makes their appearance so memorable, it’s identical to cotton. Their coat is even softer than coat in Bichon Frise.

Coton De Tulear is always vocal, so you can expect often barking, grunting, and other noises. They love to swim. Interestingly, this breed will become active during the night, similar to cats.

6. Sloughi

The Sloughi is also known as the ‘Arabian Greyhound’ because he is a North African dog. This breed is mostly known for its amazing hunting skills, endurance, and speed. This unique breed is found in Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Algeria. Moreover, this is one of the oldest breeds.

The Sloughi is a tall dog, going between 24-29 inches and weighing between 35-50 pounds. Overall, this is a lean and long dog with a graceful gait. He knows to be aloof occasionally, but overall this is a smart and loyal dog. He may look like a fragile dog but is definitely not one.

This breed reacts great to positive reinforcement training and never respond well to harsh training methods. The Sloughi received full recognition by the American Kennel Club in 2016, on January 1st. Since then, you can see the Sloughi competing in the AKC Hound Group. This dog is short-haired so grooming will be easy. However, you should take care of the Sloughi health, because this breed tends to develop certain autoimmune disorders, such as bowel syndrome and progressive retinal atrophy.

5. Africanis

Africanis is actually a generally accepted term for the locally adapted dogs of South Africa. It’s believed that these dogs are descended from pariah dogs and hounds of ancient Africa.

Interestingly, there are no specific physical characteristics of this dog. They are more of unusual types of dogs, bred for different purposes. However, these dogs are recognized as an emerging breed by the Kennel Union of South Africa (KUSA).

Overall, Africanis are healthy and strong. They even have the natural resistance against external and internal parasites, although they are prone to parvovirus, distemper, and to tick-born billary.

4. Azawakh

The incredible Azawakh is originally from West Africa and nowadays can be found in parts of Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali. What separates this dog from other dogs from Africa is his thin frame. They may seem too thin, but that’s just how they are built. Truth be told, this dog is so lean that you can see his bones from far away. Don’t let his appearance fool you. He is a healhty dog and a strong one. Furthermore, he may go distances and run extremely fast.

Actually, Azawakh can chase a gazelle across the Sahara desert for miles. The Azawakh is a tall dog, going up to 39 inches. The average weight is from 33 to 55 pounds. Their coat is short and almost non-existing on the belly.

This breed can have any coat color and this dog surprisingly heals fast from any type of injury. Moreover, this breed is known for its double suspension gallop. This basically means that they are extremely fast. Overall, the breed is healthy, while there are some trails of epilepsy in the breed. The litter sizes are usu\ally from four to six puppies.

3. Aidi

The Aidi is another dog from North Africa. This dog is also known as ‘Berber the dog’, located in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. The Aidi was bred for guarding livestock, protecting goats and sheep.

This African dog also has good hunting skills and scenting ability. The medium size Aidi (20-24 inches) is highly protective and energetic, with a bear-like head. This is a real mountain dog with many traits from shepherd dogs.

This breed needs proper training from a young age and Aidi needs to be exposed to numerous social conditions in order to be a good family dog.

Like any other mountain dog, Aidi has a muscular body with a weather-resistant and thick coat. Interestingly, Aidi has a plumed tail. Until today, Aidi wasn’t spotted outside of Africa!

2. Chinese Crested Dog

Although the name of this breed may sound confusing, the truth is that this dog is originally from Africa. According to historical documents, this breed was named the African Hairless Terrier. However, it’s believed that the original version was extremely bigger and that after years of breeding in China, they were reduced to the size that’s known to us today.

The Chinese Crested dog, like most hairless dog breeds, comes in two varieties: without fur (hairless) and with fur (powderpuff). This is a small breed in size weighing between 8-12 pounds. This dog is often called toy dog and for years, according to AKC, it is among the top 100 of most popular breeds.

1. Armant

This dog is known as Armant, Ermenti, and Egyptian Sheepdog. Armants are medium-sized dogs from Egypt, that were used as guard dogs. Many believe that Armant was crossed with Briards, European dogs. They were named after the town of Armant in Egypt.

For a medium-sized dog, they are quite fearless and ready to face any predator, regardless of the size. Therefore, they are mostly used as guard dogs. Armants usually come in different colors, while the most common is the black, black and tan, and gray-yellow variations. This breed is very agile and very protective of its territory.

The average lifespan of the breed is 13 years, and the breed is prone to osteochondritis dissecans and hip dysplasia. Many believe that this breed played a huge part in the breeding of the Bearded Collie.