Get to know your African dog breeds part 1

Africa has all sorts of amazing creatures we know and love today. Their canine contribution isn’t disappointing, either. African bred dogs have all kinds of unique color patterns, quirks, and coats. Like wolves, Africa has its own native type of wild dogs, too.

Africa is home to some of the oldest sighthound breeds of all. A few dogs on our list even lent company to Egyptian royalty. You can see their portraits in caves and tombs. The historical aspects of these breeds are interesting to learn—and the dogs today are just as cool! Let’s discover more about our spectacular four-legged friends.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an exquisite specimen. They are descendants from a now-extinct South African hunting dog called the Khoikhoi.

These dogs are very independent and adventurous. While they make ideal companions, they can be willful, stubborn, and ornery.

Their coats range from different shades of gorgeous brown—all colors classify as “wheaten.” They have a curious ridge stripe of hair down their back that goes the opposite way of the coat. It’s a trait that not many dogs share, and it spawned the Ridgeback name.

Ridgebacks are intensely athletic and domineering. They once tracked and trapped lions, if that shows the seriousness of their hunting skill.  They also call this canine the African Lion Dog.

These dogs will protect you with their life. So, if you’re looking for a family guardian, give these dogs a chance. They won’t disappoint. Their lovingness toward their pack members will always come first.



If you’re looking for a guard dog who will stand up for your family and monitor your home, let the Boerboel dazzle you. These large dogs once protected farms and houses from wild animals like baboons, leopards, and other massive predators and are one of the most known and popular South African dog breeds.

Boerboels do make excellent companions, but they’re usually very standoffish with strangers—sometimes to the point of aggression. When it comes to other pets, even canines, the Boerboel’s response to extra company is up in the air.

If you have other pets, you should integrate the Boerboel as a puppy. These dogs have incredible body strength, so if they choose to act out toward another animal, they could do some damage.

Despite their territorial reservations and overprotective nature, Boerboels are quite the buddy to have. They have soft, sweet affection toward those they love.

The Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog

Wait—aren’t we naming African breeds? The Chinese Crested didn’t find its way here by mistake. They evolved from Chinese Hairless dogs previously brought to South Africa by travelers.

These small dogs are mild, but don’t let that fool you. They can be as stubborn as they come. They don’t have a low volume either, as they bark easily from minor stimuli. So, classically, they carry stereotypical small dog behaviors.

While Chinese Crested dogs are mostly hairless, they can have plumes of hair on their heads and ankles. There is also a “powderpuff” version in many litters, which has a full coat of hair.

They have some needy tendencies, and these dogs don’t enjoy being away from people. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, this dog is not for you. They have a desire to be your shadow and nothing will change their mind.



The Azawakh is a sighthound breed from West Africa. These magnificent dogs are covered in lean muscle and fine shiny fur. They scream agility, excellence, and stamina.

The Azawakh is independent and capable, but they have staunch loyalty to their humans. They thrive on the attention and relationships they build with people. They may not be too friendly towards outsiders because it takes a lot to win their trust. But once you develop companionship, it’s for life.

With their aerodynamic figure, it should come as no surprise that they are incredibly speedy. Azawakh dogs are so inherently fast that their hunting taught them to chase gazelle in the plains and deserts.

Azawakh dogs are a rare sight to behold. It’s such a unique sight that you may never see one in your lifetime.



The ancient Saluki has the poise and grace of the ages. They are also called the “Arabian Greyhound”, and are as quick mentally as they are physically. They are one of the most famous dogs in Africa for their god-like reputation.

Salukis are very close to their humans, but the same fondness doesn’t extend far. Their aloofness and suspicion toward strangers make them unapproachable for most. But once the Saluki knows a person is no threat, they usually just ignore them.

They are quiet, dignified, and dapper dogs. While it’s pretty hard to butter up a Saluki, once you have their approval, you’re all set. Consider their selective tendencies a test—and pass it.

Even though Salukis are speed demons, they prefer cuddling up with you on the couch. Minimal exercise needs make a Saluki a valuable dog for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time for outdoor adventures.


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