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About Africanis DogsAbout Africanis Dogs

Africanis Dogs are a landrace aboriginal breed descending from South African dogs, and are directly related to the hounds and pariah dogs of ancient Africa dating back more than 7,000 years. They may have traveled with the Neolithic herdsman of the Middle East to Africa. They are not a specifically selected or bred breed, but are the result of natural selection and an adaptation to African ecological conditions or “survival of the fittest.”

The Africanis name is a categorical or umbrella name for all aboriginal dogs found in South Africa. Specifically the name Africanis is broken down into “Africa” (the continent) and “Canis” (dog).

Typically they have a short, hard, thick coat and a medium-sized body type, with a well-muscled build. They can be of any color and occasionally come with a ridgeback. There is also a wire-haired variety of the breed, but it is relatively rare. They are 50 to 60 cm high and are very social dogs, with friendly, but sometimes territorial behaviors.  

They can be a good family dog and excels at physical activity. They can run at great speeds, making them a great do to exercise with. They have clear body language and many facial expressions but a bit of a nervous constitution, which comes from centuries of natural survival instincts.   Africanis Dogs are also generally a very healthy dog. They do not need to be groomed or fed specific food. Because of their adaptation over centuries have developed a natural resistance against internal and external parasites.  


Other names commonly used for the Africanis are: African Dog, Bantu Dog, Hottentot Hunting Dog, Khoikhoi Dog, Zulu Dog and the Swahili name Umbwa Wa Ki-Shenzi meaning common, mongrel, or traditional dog.  


There are varying opinions on the Africanis as a standardized dog breed vs. a category of dogs as an aboriginal landrace dog. There has been much controversy over this classification.

The Africanis is recognized by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa and the AfriCanis Society of Southern Africa.



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