The importation of dogs into the continent has been a lucrative business for dog lovers for quite some time now.
However, not many people know the actual origin of some of the dogs they import and sell to buyers within the African community.
I got two VRs with me. You can have one. Let’s say hi to 10 dog breeds you probably thought were from America.
So here we go:
1. Coton De Tulear
Hello, Coton De Tulear.
Two hundred and fifty miles off the coast of East Africa hails the Coton De Tulear, all the way from Madagascar island. Before running into the arms of the aristocrats, it was first a feral dog.
As the name goes, Coton De Tulear, the dog is always warm in a pretty white fluffy coat as soft as cotton. The dog is nine to eleven inches tall and weighs about eight to fifteen pounds (most which is the coat lol). Quite voluminous huh?
Despite the small structure, Coton De Tulear is robust. It’s a friendly dog and would always allow you to find your way through the long white fringe to see the beautiful button eyes and the cheeky grin.
By 1960s, the breed was transported outside the island. Coton De Tulear’s life expectancy is between fifteen and nineteen years on average. It is hypoallergenic and comical.
Hey there’s Aidi!
Aidi is the protector of sheeps from North Africa. That is not to say Aidi is a herding dog, okay. But it surely can bark as loud as a wolf when there’s a sign of danger informing the empire of sheeps to run for their lives. Definitely, your everyday canine alarm system.
It is a good choice for a watchdog. It weighs about fifty to sixty pounds, and it is a medium-sized dog. Though it is not a herding dog but sometimes it could get really fierce.
3. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Zimbabwe is the peaceful home for the African Lion Dog as it was formerly called (now Rhodesian Ridgeback). Also formerly known, it was simply Rhodesia. Despite the change from African Lion Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback is a brave dog. This dog has the heart of a lion and would scare lions away from harming her master.
It hunts round the sun and finds antelope really delicious for dinner. It is energetic and should be exercised often to remain fit.
Unlike Aidi, this breed weighs more than sixty. It weighs about seventy to eighty-five pounds, and twenty-four to twenty-seven inches tall. It always has a serious look, but very cute with the fluffy ears and large round eyes. Among countless dogs, Rhodesian will definitely stand-out merely looking at the ridge running down the length of the spine.
Hey that’s another African lion dog! But a bigger one. Pronounce with me “Buor-bul”, again, “Buor-bul”, good. Boerboel is the fearless General in the army of dogs and protector of the South African dwellers from predators. And trust me when I say it can stand a lion to the very last drop of her blood to protect her loved ones and master. Occasionally, it fights leopards too.
It weighs a hundred and fifty pounds and more. I told you it’s a bigger African lion dog right? It is twenty-seven inches tall with muscles on muscles. Make sure you are always on the same page with this breed.
With the powerful jaw, short coat, and black mask one can tell the breed shares lineage with Pitbulls, the Caucasian Shepherd, Cane Corso and many more.
However, this dog is friendly especially with children. But with its superpower, it is enlisted as one of the most dangerous dogs in the world.
5. China Crested Dog
From Asia? Nope. From Africa? Yep 🙂
As opposed to popular knowledge, China Crested Dog is not from China. Once Upon A Time In China, this African dog arrived in a ship from Africa for an excursion and got a new costume to explore the whole of Asia.
It has been said time without number that the China Crested Dog is from the lineage of the African Abyssinian Sand Terrier breed which explains the hairless trait.
It is also called the Chinese Ship Dog, gifted with a profound detecting skills exterminating disease-carrying vermin on board. It weighs eight to thirteen pounds with a height of eleven to thirteen inches. Not all parts of his body are hairless, the legs, tail end, neck, and the crown of his head are hairy making it one of the most unique breeds on planet Earth.
Like Coton De Tulear, this dog is also hypoallergenic making it a great option for African dog breed lovers who suffer from dog allergies.
Armant is one of the protectors of sheeps in Africa. They are second in line after the Aidis. Unlike Aidi, this is also a herding dog born in the 20th century.
The height of the Armant breed ranges from twenty-one inches tall to twenty-three weighing fifty to sixty-five pounds as well. The coat is usually medium-length which is either gray or black. You can call Armant the Egyptian’s teddy-bear dog as a lot African dog lovers in Egypt are fond of this breed. Besides protecting sheeps, Armant is a good protector of children and very friendly.
Sloughi is a hunting dog commonly found in Morocco. Sloughis are also found amidst the Egyptian royalty in those days. You can never sight nomads without one. They are used as guard dogs and they make amazing pets.
They share quite a resemblance with Saluki from the Fertile Crescent (Middle East region) with a skinny body, lightweight, and great height. Sloughi are the fast runners of North Africa and have won gold medals in chasing cats.
8. Pharaoh Hound
You can find the Pharaoh Hound in America, but the name remains a pointer to its origin.
Pharaoh is majestic, and popular than Azawakh at #9 and Sloughi at #7. But of course why wouldn’t it be famous, when he dines with the Pharaohs. In the 1970s they sailed to America and at some point they were branded the “blushing dog of Malta”, please they’re also not from Malta.
In the field of countless breeds in the world, Pharaoh Hound’s too-big-for-the-head ears will stand out. The breed weighs about forty-five to fifty-five pounds. This dog is a go-getter bred to never give up until the prey is caught.
Azawakh is a rare breed in America. This dog has been having fun in the Sahara desert for centuries chasing gazelles. The name “Azawakh” means “sighthound of the free people” making it the poster boy for deeply affectionate breeds.
This dog is awesomely skinny and will give you trouble during domestication. The dog is pretty and shy mostly around strangers. It weighs quite less than other dogs (thirty-five to fifty-five pounds).
10. Abyssinian Sand Terrier
Not American Crested Sand Terrier but African Abyssinian Sand Terrier. Unlike China Crested Dog, this breed is almost completely hairless. Though they carry little hair on their heads and at the tail end.
Abyssinian Sand Terriers are cool and adorable African dog breed. Don’t mistake the calmness for weakness, like they say “the gentility of a lion doesn’t mean he’s stupid.” This breed can be tough and fearless but loyal and always ready to please.
Though their complete history is a bit mysterious making it a mysterious dog breed of Africa.
Hey! We didn’t get to see Basenji 🙁
True, ummm…but everyone knows that cute brown-white puppy is African 🙂
Just before we go, here’s a video, watch African dogs having fun.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.