10 Fascinating African Dog Breeds You Need to Know About

African Dog Breeds

“Attention all dog lovers! Are you prepared to embark on a virtual expedition across the captivating continent of Africa, uncovering some of its most intriguing and unique canine companions?

Look no further because we will introduce you to a captivating assortment of African dog breeds in today’s blog post. From the spellbinding Basenji to the robust Boerboel, these dogs possess stunning exteriors and boast rich histories and extraordinary abilities.

Whether you have a profound love for dogs or are curious about the diverse breeds in Africa, come with us as we explore the world of African dog breeds and discover their captivating traits and undeniable allure. Let’s kickstart our adventure!”

1. Azawakh


The Azawakh is a stunning African dog breed known for its elegance and intelligence. Originating from the Sahara Desert in West Africa, the Azawakh is an ancient and graceful breed. It derives its name from the Azawakh Valley in the desert spanning Mali and Niger, known as the “Land of the North.” The Azawakh made its way to the United States in the late 1980s.

Azawakhs are fast and adept hunters with a muscular build. The Tuareg herders’ livestock is safeguarded by these devoted, gentle, and protective creatures, who are also deeply committed to their families.

Furthermore, Azawakhs require both physical exercise and mental stimulation due to their energy and prey drive. They excel in obedience, agility, and lure coursing, making them a loyal and beautiful addition to families with experienced owners.

2. Basenji


The Basenji is an African dog breed known as the “barkless dog” due to its unique vocal abilities. The ancient roots of this breed can be traced back to the era of the Pyramids, as portrayed in artwork from ancient Egypt. Highly esteemed by the Pharaohs, these dogs were often seen in funeral art.

The Basenji has a muscular build, short coat, erect ears, and almond-shaped eyes, giving it a striking appearance. It is agile and makes a great companion for outdoor activities. What sets the Basenji apart is its voice, which resembles more of a yodel or howl.

Furthermore, Basenjis are intelligent and independent dogs that need mental stimulation and exercise. They can be initially reserved with strangers and require minimal grooming. This African breed has a fascinating ancient lineage and distinctive qualities.

3. Boerboel


The Boerboel, a native African dog, was first bred to protect South African homes from predators. They are capable of overpowering lions to defend their family and property. Originating from South Africa, they were bred to guard farms, gaining popularity for their intelligence and protective instincts.

Despite their imposing appearance, Boerboels are loving and loyal to their families. They are great companions and guardians, but training and socialization are crucial. Boerboels form strong bonds with their owners and are always ready to protect them.

This fascinating African breed thrives on love and guidance, making them a perfect choice for experienced dog owners.

4. Africanis


The Africanis, a native dog breed of South Africa, is one of the few remaining primitive breeds in the world. Once believed to be a mix of breeds, recent DNA testing has revealed that the Africanis is, in fact, a distinct breed. Its lineage can be traced back to approximately 5000 BC, predating even the time of the Egyptian dynasties.

In addition to its agile physique and sleek coat, the Africanis can adapt well to different climates due to its adaptability. Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and sociability, Africanis dogs are well-suited for families. They are a true treasure among African dog breeds, proudly displaying beauty and faithfulness.

Welcoming an Africanis into your home means gaining a remarkable companion and appreciating Africa’s rich canine heritage.

5. Greyhound


The Greyhound is an ancient breed dating back 8,000 years, depicted in Egyptian art and associated with Anubis. Ancient Greeks brought Greyhounds to Europe, and by the 9th century, they became popular. In the 1500s, Greyhounds arrived in North America with Spanish explorers.

Despite their physical strength, Greyhounds are gentle and make great family pets. They require socialization and training due to their strong prey drive. Greyhounds are intelligent and easy to train but need mental stimulation to stay happy.

Overall, the Greyhound is an extraordinary breed known for its athleticism, elegance, and gentle nature. It is worth appreciating and understanding them.

6. Saluki


The Saluki is a prominent dog breed that can be found in Africa. Historians believe this breed is very old, possibly dating back to 7000 B.C. It was greatly valued by Egyptian pharaohs and kings due to its elegant appearance. The Saluki gained recognition in the United States when the American Kennel Club officially accepted it in 1927.

Salukis possess graceful appearances due to their streamlined bodies and impressive speed. Despite their gentle and affectionate nature, their hunting instincts necessitate leashing or securing them in a safe area. Although they are still utilized for hunting in Africa, Salukis have gained global recognition as beloved pets.

Overall, Salukis are excellent representatives of African dog breeds, making them a breed worth considering.

7. African Wild Dogs

African Wild Dogs: African dog breeds

The African Wild Dog is a distinct and ancient breed with vibrant coats and exceptional hunting skills. They live in packs, using teamwork to bring down prey, and each individual has a unique coat pattern. Nevertheless, their population is at risk due to losing their natural habitats and clashes with human activities. Initiatives for conservation and raising public consciousness are currently in progress.

 It is crucial to support organizations working for their preservation and celebrate Africa’s diverse canine population. These captivating and significant African dog breeds, including the African Wild Dog, deserve recognition and protection to ensure their future survival in the wild.

Moreover, by conserving and celebrating these magnificent animals, we can help preserve the rich diversity found in Africa’s dog breeds.

8. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback: African dog breeds

The Rhodesian ridgeback is a unique breed created by crossing the ridged Khoikhoi dog with European terriers. These dogs were highly prized by hunters in southern Africa for their ability to confront and intimidate large predators such as lions, leopards, and monkeys.

Additionally, they were also skilled at hunting smaller game for food. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are intelligent and excel in obedience and agility. Regular exercise is necessary, but in secure areas to avoid their hunting instincts causing them to wander. Firm training is essential due to their independence, and early socialization is vital.

Ultimately, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are captivating companions that offer their owners loyalty, intelligence, and versatility.

9. Sloughi

Sloughi: African dog breeds

Sloughis, a fascinating African dog breed from Morocco, are known for their elegance, strength, and intelligence. Often called the “Arabian Greyhound,” they were bred for hunting in harsh desert terrains.

Sloughis are sleek and graceful dogs with slender, muscular bodies and curved tails, giving them a regal charm. They have short, dense coats in sand, red, and brindle shades. Though reserved with strangers, they are loyal and affectionate towards their families. They are calm and gentle, making them suitable for households with older children. Nevertheless, their hunting instincts necessitate that they stay on a leash or within a confined space. Sloughis need mental and physical stimulation to utilize their athleticism and intelligence.

Overall, they are captivating, elegant, loyal, and mysterious African dog breeds.

10. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog: African dog breeds

Although not originally from Africa, the Chinese Crested is a unique and affectionate dog breed. It is small, elegant, and has a distinct appearance with a lack of fur, except for its head, feet, and tail. These fluffy dog breeds requires extra care to protect their sensitive skin.

Despite their unusual appearance, Chinese Cresteds are highly affectionate and make excellent companions. They come in two coat varieties: hairless, which requires sunscreen and moisturizing, and powderpuff, which needs regular grooming. Chinese Cresteds adapt well to different living environments, get along with children and other pets, and have captured people’s hearts worldwide.

Moreover, their captivating history and extraordinary physical attributes make them a fascinating addition to the list of African dog breeds, proving that their charm knows no boundaries.


In conclusion, Africa boasts diverse dog breeds that reflect the continent’s history and culture. Each breed possesses unique traits, from the Azawakh’s elegance to the Basenji’s ancient singing. The Boerboel is massive and protective, while the Africanis is adaptable, showcasing Africa’s resilience. Like the Greyhound’s speed and the Saluki’s grace, African dog breeds exhibit athleticism and beauty. African Wild Dogs embody collaboration and social structure. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is courageous and loyal, the Sloughi gentle, and the Chinese Crested Dog uniquely striking.

These breeds offer various options, be they hunting companions, protectors, or loving pets, highlighting the allure and intrigue of African dog breeds.

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