Greyhound, greyhound, basenji, and more

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As a continent, Africa is home to different types of terrain. The region has mountains, deserts, plains, and more. As a result, African dog breeds are uniquely suited to the countries from which they come. Some dogs have no hair to keep cool to hearing. Some dogs are tan color to blend in with the surrounding environment. Some have long legs to hunt deer.

Some of the world’s oldest dogs come from Africa, and one breed is believed to date back to 7000 BC. The pharaohs of Egypt even used ancient versions of today’s modern dogs as companions and hunting dogs. This is the important thing for breeds from African countries – they are all hounds or guard dogs to keep owners safe from lions and hyenas, get rid of rodents, and store food from their hunt. This is different from Chinese dog breeds, which are often used as sleeve warmers or companions for the royal family versus working hounds.

Keep reading to learn about the different African dog breeds, and how some of the ancient dogs evolved into the popular dogs we know today.

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Basenji

According to Dog Time, this dog breed originally comes from the Congo where it helped control rodent populations in villages and helped push small prey into fishing nets. The Basenji is also known as the “African Barking Dog”, because it produces yodels and screams instead of the traditional bark.

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slugi

In Vetstreet, the Sloughi breed originates from North Africa and the nomadic Berber people. They can be found in parts of Africa such as Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria, and they have a strong hunting sense. In fact, the dog didn’t make its way to the United States until 1973 and was only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2016.

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Also known as the “African Lion Dog,” Rhodesian Ridgebacks helped protect people from lions. They come from South Africa and are known to travel long distances. And any dog ‚Äč‚Äčthat can face a lion is impressive.

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Azawakh

The Azawakh hails from West Africa in places like Mali and Niger. Also known as the “Slighthound,” this dog used to hunt deer in the Sahara desert and could withstand scorching sand temperatures.

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Chinese crested

Don’t be fooled by the name, because many believe the Chinese crest has roots in Africa. The AKC reports that larger hairless dogs may have been taken from Africa to China, where they were then bred for size.

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Boerboel

This dog is also called the South African Mastiff. They were used as farm dogs, with the goal of keeping hyenas and lions away from the villagers. They can also hunt large game, as they can weigh up to 150 to 200 pounds.

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AfriCanis

AfriCanis is a term referring to the wild race of dogs indigenous to South Africa. Villagers often use them as companions and to help guard livestock, but they do not necessarily perform as pets in the traditional American sense. Over time, they have evolved to withstand the weather, terrain, pests unique to the area, and more.

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Cotton Toler

According to Dogtime, the Coton de Tulear arrived in Madagascar when stranded by a shipwreck. It is believed that they may have been a deterrent to rats on the doomed ship. Once the breed reached Madagascar, they became favorite pets of the royal family and the wealthy. Dog Time says they weren’t taken from Africa to Europe until the 1970s and established as a breed.

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Aidi

This shaggy puppy comes from Morocco where he was used as a hunting and guard dog. Although many dogs from Africa have short coats, the aidi’s long fur protects them from both the elements and predators.

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Greyhound

According to the AKC, the modern greyhound has ancestral roots in Egypt. The lineage stretches back 5,000 years as the favorite dogs of the Pharaohs. Their long legs helped them hunt wildlife in the desert quickly.

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greyhound

Some consider the Greyhound the oldest dog breed in the world. The AKC reports that its roots may go back to 7000 BC. They are found in North Africa and Egypt, where they were also pharaohs’ hunting dogs like greyhounds, according to the AKC.

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African wild dog

These animals may have “dog” in their names, but National Geographic Reports suggest that they differ by having only four toes per foot instead of the five like domesticated dogs. They hunt in groups, and prey on antelopes and wildebeest in sub-Saharan Africa. They are also on the endangered species list.

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