What Are the Most Important African Dog Breeds? (With Pictures)

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Strange as it may seem, there are numerous African dog breeds. There's no denying that when we think of Africa, we tend to envision all kinds of exotic animals. However, we rarely bother to expose this image.

African dogs are popular due to their resemblance to African wild dog. They have the cobby body, thick fur, and droopy ears, making them unique.

In Africa, there are several dog breeds that are known for their usefulness around the house and for guarding livestock. These dogs were bred for specific purposes and tasks to benefit their owners.

The African Hunting Dog: This breed is more specialized in hunting than most other breeds of dogs. He is used to hunting prey like birds, rodents, and other mammals with a patience unmatched by most domestic breeds of dogs. They’re also known to possess an uncanny ability to track down animals that are wounded or hiding in tall grasses or bushes.

When comes African wildlife includes hyenas, lions, elephants, antelopes, etc. We also tend to dream. But what we often fail to realize is that there are also a number of different breeds of dogs that have been bred within these exotic animals.

To help break the stereotypes about African fauna, in today's post we would like to tell you about the main African dog breeds. You will see that they come from various countries and have beautiful features.

The most important African dog breeds

As we just mentioned, African dog breeds come from various origins. They can range from the deserts of Egypt and the Moroccan Rif region in the north to South Africa. There are also dog breeds that we can find in the middle of the African continent today.

To learn more about African dog breeds, take a look at the list below:

Basenji, one of the most essential Africans

This breed originates from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in western Africa. One of the main characteristics of these dogs, which were originally used for hunting and tracking, is that they do not bark. But they emit a very specific sound, similar to singing.

The Basenji is ideal for adult homes. They play throughout their lives and are very obedient, although a little mischievous as puppies. They do not like water and clean themselves like cats. Also known as African bush dogs, Basenjis do not shed and need plenty of exercises. They can come in three basic colors: red, black, and mottled.

saluki is one of the Most Important African Dog Breeds


Considered the "royal dog of Egypt", this breed is perhaps one of the oldest breeds of domestic dogs. Moreover, they are direct descendants of the wolves of the Arabian Desert. They are the first link in the chain of discovery and were historically bred in the fertile valley where agriculture began.

Highly regarded by Bedouins for their gazelle hunting abilities, Salukis are independent animals that require training. They are long and have curled tails. Their plumage can be white, beige, red, brown or black.

Coton de Tulear

This African dog breed gets its name from its cotton-like fur. The Coton de Tulear comes from the state of Tulear in the southern part of the island of Madagascar. It has very soft and white fur – but it is also available in black and copper colors. These dogs have large eyes, short legs and a curled tail. They can weigh around 6-7 kg and have a size of up to 30 cm when measured from their shoulders.


Another of the most important African dog breeds is the Azawakh. Although originating from Mali, you can also see other regions where their origins are based on Niger and Burkina Faso. This dog is known as a type of sighthound (galgo), and nomadic peoples traditionally used this breed as a guard or hunting dog.

Azawakhs are tall (75 cm at the withers), slender (approximately 25-30 kg), long head and pointed nose. Their eyes are dark, their ears are triangular and their tail is thin. This breed can be a little shy with strangers, but very affectionate with its family. He also gets along well with other dogs.


Also known as the Atlas Mountain Dog, this breed is native to Morocco. Berber herders have used the breed in the mountainous Atlas region since its origins. This is a medium sized dog with short, light colored fur, medium ears and a long tail.


Another African dog breed that originated in Morocco is the Sloughi. Also known as the Arabian Greyhound or Sloughi Maghrebi, they live in North Africa in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. They may be relatives of Azawakh, but they have no connection with the Saluki.

Sloughis have short hair, floppy ears and a melancholy expression. Their eyes are brown and their plumage may be black or beige. These dogs are sensitive, intelligent and very alert. They are loyal to their owners and full of energy.

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On our way to South Africa, we can find Africanis, a short-haired, medium-sized dog. These dogs are muscular and can be any color. Sometimes they have a small protrusion on their back. When it comes to their temperament, this breed is friendly, somewhat independent and very territorial. However, they can be trained perfectly.

The Boerboel is one of the most important african dog breeds


Another dog breed from the south of the African continent is the Boerboel. The Boerboel is a breed of sheepdog and comes from a cross between the Great Dane, the Bullmastiff, and the extinct Bullenbeisser. It has been determined that the first Boerboel dogs appeared around 1600.

Ideal as a guard for Boerboel dogs, fishing, and personal defense. They can reach up to 100 kg in weight and up to 75 cm when measured from the shoulder area. As for their coats, they are tawny, tabby, reddish brown, and gray in color. They are obedient, reliable, and playful. In addition, they show affection to their owners and protect them.

rhodesian ridgeback is one of the most important african dog breeds

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The last of our African dog breeds is a protector, hunter, and companion originating in Zimbabwe. These dogs are muscular, agile, fast, and have short, dense, shiny coats. They also have a ridge on their back (hence their name). Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal, intelligent, and cold to strangers, which requires early training and socialization for them.

Now that you have discovered so many African dog breeds, can we say that you have changed your mind about different African animals?

African dogs are bred to be loyal, intelligent, and protective. They are used as guards and hunters but can also make great pets.

The most common breeds of African dogs include the African Wild Dog, the Boran Hound, the Bullmastiff, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

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