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Popular African Breeds

At A Glance

African dog breeds have short and frugal far coats ideal for surviving in the hot, arid climate of the continent.

But some are known to have indulgent coats as well.

Last Updated on: Aug 13, 2022

Most people associate Africa with safaris, feral creatures, deserts, and blistering temperatures. But the world’s second-largest continent’s rich biodiversity includes some exceptional breeds of dogs as well.

Africa’s vast and diversified landmass is home to distinctive dogs, as extraordinary as the region they come from. Popular African breeds vary greatly in looks, personality, and background. Here’s our list.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Boerboel dog


The Boerboel is Africa’s ferocious lion dog, bred to guard South African farms against feral and savage carnivores. If they need to defend their family and territory, they can knock a lion down.

A Boerboel’s appearance is frightening, yet they are gentle giants. These dogs make for bright and faithful pets. They are especially good with children.

Their big dog charisma, along with their temperament and responsiveness, has made Boerboels great therapy dogs as well.

They prefer to sleep outside with one eye open, ensuring there is no threat around. Their kind and lively disposition make them excellent family companions.

Also Read: Top Exotic Dog Breeds


This African Sighthound can be traced back to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. They are elegant dogs with a strong penchant for running. They gained popularity as hunting dogs for both Egyptian nobility and nomads. Because of their disdain towards strangers, Sloughis are sometimes employed as guard dogs.

Sloughis are lanky and slender canines with strong muscles that they use to catch their prey.

They are loving and tend to become too committed to their families. This breed walks with confidence and majesty. Sloughis are self-conscious and careful. As a result, they do not react well to rigorous training.

Basenji dog sitting


This breed has a long and rich history of domestication, demonstrating their excellency as pets. Basenjis have been portrayed in ancient Egyptian antiquities, as well as in Mesopotamian and Babylonian artwork.

The Basenji is popularly known as the barkless dog of Africa. Instead, they create less obtrusive yodeling sounds.

They are diligent and groom themselves in the same way that cats do. They adore their people and enjoy cuddling with the younger family members. Basenjis have tremendous energy and must indulge in rigorous activities to avoid boredom.

When bored, these dogs are prone to escaping and engaging in aggressive behavior.


The Azawakh is a historic and exquisite African desert dog native to the Sahara Desert in Western Africa. Their name is derived from the Azawakh Valley, which is situated between Mali and Niger.

This slim lad, much like Sloughi, is a great sighthound who has been hunting antelopes across the Sahara for hundreds of years.

The Azawakh breed is affectionate but individualistic and may be difficult to train.

This native African dog breed requires a lot of mental and physical activity to be at its best.

Africanis dog


The Africanis is an aboriginal South African dog, one of the very few primordial breeds left in the world.

They have the appearance of half a hound and half a wolf. The Africanis are said to have descended primarily from old African beasts and pariah canines. They are quite rare beyond Africa.

These sporty canines like rigorous activity. Africanis thrive when allowed many opportunities to run, hunt, and roam.

They are not excessively cuddly and will require their privacy as independent wild dogs.

Also Read: Rarest Dog Breeds

Aidi dog sitting


Aidis are magnificent African shepherd dogs, who are an uncommon breed, particularly in the United States. This “Atlas Mountain Dog” emerged from Morocco, where it assisted tribal people in guarding cattle. They are vivacious and fiercely protective.

The Aidi is a medium-sized canine with a slender, muscular build. They reach up to 20–24 inches in height and weigh approximately 55 pounds.

They have a dense and puffy double coat, unlike many African dog breeds, to help them survive in the highlands.

Aidis require a thoughtful family that can train them and keep them in close proximity all the time.

Rhodesian Ridgeback dog

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed native to Zimbabwe, formerly recognized as Rhodesia. They were previously known as the African Lion Hound since they were skilled in fighting and driving lions away from their masters.

The energetic and faithful breed is one of the most popular African breeds, particularly in the United States.

They have a robust, muscular physique and can sprint at breakneck speeds. Their big floppy ears and wide round eyes give their face an adorable look.

They are dominating canines with bold personalities who require an equally strong-willed parent.

They are ideal for an active family and make excellent companions for trekkers.

Coton de tulear dog

Coton De Tulear

The breed was originally the nobility’s favorite lapdog. These lords wanted to preserve the charming animal to themselves and kept their existence a guarded secret. The French discovered them in the late 1960s.

This small, plump, cotton fluff ball is a cheerful companion that enjoys entertaining their family with funny antics.

These dogs are great for families with children since they are amiable, lively, and easy to train. They have a long life expectancy ranging from 15 to 19 years. Despite their fluffy hair, they are low-shedding and hypoallergenic dogs.

Azawakh dog jumping

While certain breeds are becoming more common throughout the world, some popular African breeds remain largely confined to Africa. Have you ever met a dog of African descent or had one as a pet?



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.