12 Best Dog Breeds from Africa (With Pictures)

Dog breeds from Africa have their own unique patterns, temperament, nature, and history which can be very interesting to learn about.

A few of these African dog breeds were companions to Egyptian royalty of ancient times. However, most of them are now present in many homes as pets.

In this article, you will learn about some of the commonest dog breeds from Africa, their history, temperament, lifespan, and other fun facts that are worth knowing.

You will also get to know what makes them stand out in terms of how energetic they are.

In the end, you will have enough information that will help you decide which of the breeds is good for you to adopt as a pet and where you can find them.

So, if you are ready to get the full details, let’s ride on from here.

You may also like to read about Dog Breeding For Beginners: What You Should Know.

12 Best Dog Breeds from Africa

The 12 best dog breeds from Africa are as follows;

1. Africanis Dog:

Africanis Dog

The Africanis is an African dog breed that hails from South Africa. However, this dog is said to have developed naturally.

This breed has been in existence since the ancient Egyptian dynasty around 7000 BC.

It always likes to be around humans.

Although, it is said most times that it looks like a crossing between a Greyhound and a Dingo.

Also, they have a friendly, patient temperament and do well with children as well as other dogs.

That said, the Africanis are medium-sized breeds with slender muzzles, and usually have short coats.

It weighs 55 to 100 pounds with a 20 to 24 inches height.

It has a life span of 10 to 12 years.

In recent times, the Africanis still dwell in the rural tribal communities of South Africa.

Note that they are hunting dogs in case you would like to own one.

Also, understand that they like to stay on their own as they are independent dogs.

And are very rare outside of Africa.

2. Abyssinian Sand Terrier:

Abyssinian Sand Terrier

This particular dog breed from Africa has another name they call it because of its nature of hairlessness.

The Abyssinian Sand Terrier is also known as an African hairless dog that originates from Africa in Egypt.

They are active dogs that love to play and run around with children.

Hence they are very loyal to their families.

Also, they get along well with children and they have a very quiet, calm nature at which sometimes they are unable to bark.

Their expected life span is 12 to 15 years.

The Abyssinian Sand Terrier is 15.5 to 20.5 inches in height and 21 to 39 pounds in weight.

However, it is believed to no longer be in existence. Although there has been no thorough research to confirm if they still exist in Africa.

Also, check out these 15 Best Exotic Pets That Are Easy To Care For (With Pictures).

3. Armant:

Armant the Egyptian sheepdog

The Armant, commonly known as the Egyptian Sheepdog, is Africa’s favorite herding dog. 

Armant is a strong warrior who will protect his herd and human family with his life.

He is a very active dog who requires a lot of exercises to burn off all of his pent-up energy.

Even if you don’t intend to work with him, he requires at least one hour of hard exercise per day.

Also, he enjoys being around other dogs, and he is especially fond of children, who he treats as if they were his flock.

The Armant has an expected lifespan of 13 years and measures 21 to 23 inches in height and 60 to 65 pounds in weight.

4. Azawakh:

Azawakh dog

The Azawakh is a breed of African dog that hails precisely from West Africa and exists in the Sahelian zone of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

Its name comes from Azawagh Valley, a desert between Mali and Niger.

Azawakh dog breeds are fun and playful dogs when they are with their family but can be shy around strangers and other dog breeds.

Also, they are loyal, and independent, and can sometimes be difficult to train but can bond very well with their owner.

The Azawakh is a very energetic breed and they love to run due to their hunting instinct.

They are naturally skinny and dislike rain and cold weather due to their almost hairless skin.

Azawakh can live up to 12-15 years. Their height ranges from 23.5 to 29 inches and they weigh about 33 to 55 pounds.

If you’d like to keep an Azawakh as a pet, then you should have an area where they can exercise a lot and provide a sweater and jacket during winter.

Also read about these Top 5 Pet Insurance Companies that are Cheap.

5. African Wild Dog:

African Wild Dog

This particular African dog breed is only found in the wild just as its name implies.

The African wild dog, also known as the painted dog or painted wolf, is a rare canine species Lycaon pictus that lives in packs in the plains and woods of Sub-Saharan Africa.

They are not domestic breeds and thus, can not be kept as a pet. In fact, they are very dangerous as they hunt in large packs like wolves.

Sometimes, they often get killed by hunters due to their threatening behavior.

In recent times their number has reduced in the wild as a result of human intrusion on their territory.

Their lifespan is up to 11 years, with a 29.3 to 43 inches height and 39.5 to 79 pounds weight.

As stated earlier, don’t keep this dog as a pet. Please, “Don’t try this at home!”

6. Aidi

aidi dog

The Aidi is an African dog breed that hails from the Atlas mountains in North Africa and is mostly found in Morocco.

Precisely the Atlas mountains where it usually protects its owners whenever to go to the mountain to work.

Because of how smart and protective Aidis are, they became popular pets in Morocco and some other parts of Africa.

They are usually used for hunting because they have a great sense of smell and are always paired with the Sloughi to chase down prey.

Aidis are protective dogs when they need to be.

They are also quite sensitive and usually need a family that will keep them company.

In recent times, the Moroccans have formed a club to protect this African breed and use it as a working dog.

The Aidi has a lifespan of 12 to 13 years.

With a 20 to 24 inches height and a 50 to 55 pounds weight.

A medium-sized breed with different colors that vary including black, white, red, and tawny.

So, if you are looking for an alert watchdog to guard your home the Aidi is a very good choice.

Also read about Seizure Alert Service Dogs (Top 10 Breeds With Pictures).

7. Basenji:

Basenji dog

The Basenji is a breed that has a small compact body but is one of the most famous African dog breeds.

This breed is known as Africa’s barkless dog because it only communicates to its loved ones through a low sound.

Another name for the Basenji is Congo Terrier since it hails from Congo 

Sometimes the Basenji is described as a cat rather than a dog because it grooms itself more like a cat.

Basenjis are independent, smart, intelligent, and energetic dogs that love to snuggle with the younger members of their family.

According to history this breed is one of the oldest breeds on the planet and was always given as gifts to Egyptian Pharaohs.

They weigh 22 to 24 pounds with a 16 to 17 inches height and live a lifespan of 13 to 16 years

So, if you are looking for a dog breed from Africa that doesn’t bark, but is clever, independent, and energetic, then the Basenji is a nice breed for you.

8. Boerboel:


The Boerboel is a mastiff breed that hails from South Africa back in the 17th century where it was used to help hunt games.

Their looks might be sometimes intimidating but they are gentle giants that are intelligent and loyal companions.

Boerboel is great with kids but can really be aggressive toward strangers. However, it is a devoted and loving gentle giant.

This breed is a healthy dog that has a 22 to 27 inches height and 150 to 200 pounds weight.

So, if you want to get a Boerboel in your home, you can be sure that no one is going to trespass in your home.

However, you need to check the laws in your state because a Boerboel is often seen as a dangerous breed due to its strength.

9. Coton de Tulear:

Coton de Tulear dog

The Coton de Tulear is a small breed that hails from the island of Madagascar and is named after the city of Tulear.

This breed was once used as royal pets to the then nobles of Madagascar keeping them only to themselves.

Kept in isolation until they were found by the French tourists who brought them to Europe in the 1960s.

They are wonderful easy going and friendly dogs that love to be around humans and also get along well with other dogs.

Also, they are excellent swimmers and love to perform lots of tricks to always get the attention of their owner.

Their lifespan ranges from 14 to 17 years with an 8 to 12 inches height and an 8 to 13 pounds weight.

If you would want to have this breed as a pet you have to make sure to always be around due to the fact that they love attention so much and might not do well on their own when left alone for too long.

10. Pharaoh Hound:

Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is another rare dog breed that originates from Africa but can be more popular than the Sloughi and the Azawakh.

It hails from Egypt and was the then pharaoh’s best choice of dogs.

They are one of the oldest domestic dogs in history and first surfaced in America in the 1970s.

Pharaoh Hounds are friendly, and elegant, and make a fantastic companions.

Also, they enjoy being around their family which makes them fun-loving, sociable, and easygoing.

It’s a medium size dog 21 to 25 inches in height and of 45 to 55 pounds weight. Its lifespan is 11 to 14 years.

So, if you want to have the pharaoh Hound breed as a pet know that it might not make a good guard dog but is an easy-going dog that you can easily care for.

11. Rhodesian Ridgeback:

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed that hails from the southern region of Africa.

This breed came into existence when breeders crossed the Khoikhoi dog with European breeds like various terriers.

They are active hunters and at the same time a family pet dog all in one as long as you can handle their personality.

Although they can sometimes be strong-willed, they are loyal dogs who are watchful and protective of their family.

It’s a large dog breed that weighs 70 to 85 pounds and is 24 to 27 inches in height.

With a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

Know that a Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong-willed dog and as such needs a strong master aside from this they are loving to have as a pet.

You may also like to read about these Top 21 Dog Breeds for Hunting Bears (With Pictures).

12. Sloughi:

Sloughi male

The Sloughi just like the Aidi hail from North Africa and exist primarily in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and also some parts of Libya and Egypt.

It’s a hunting dog and as a result, is still used for hunting in most native areas in most of these countries.

As a reliable guard dog, it received recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC) on January 1, 2016.

The Sloughi can be shy and aggressive around other dogs but is very intelligent and tender with children if it undergoes proper training.

It’s a medium-sized dog with a short smooth coat color which includes shades of cream to red.

They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

The height of Sloghis range between 24 and 29 inches whereas its weight is between 40 to 63 pounds.

If you want to have the Sloughi as a pet dog, keep in mind that it’s a watchdog by nature and should always be on a leash.

Because of how high they can dive, sometimes they are sweet, loving, graceful, and affectionate toward their family.

Where to Find the Best Dog Breeds in Africa

If you want to have any of these African dog breeds, you can check with any local animal shelter to find out if they have the particular breed you want.

You can also check Petfinder websites as they usually have a list of animal shelters that are close to your area.

If you still can’t find your choice, you can try going to dog shows or rescue groups if it’s a Basenji you want and talks to some of the breeders you meet there.

As for other breeds, you’ll need to look for breeders over the internet but make sure you see your new puppy before buying.


These dog breeds from Africa listed in this article have unique appearances, temperament,s and histories.

Such as the Coton de Tulear and Pharaoh Hound which was used as royal pets, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback was used to hunt down lions.

As a result of their history, they possess a unique hunting, guarding, and companionship characteristic which makes them the best dog breeds from Africa.

If you haven’t yet, you can go over this article again to get the full information.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are there other best Dog breeds from Africa?

Yes, the likes of Saluki, Greyhound, and the Chinese Crested Dog.

What dog breed is the most popular in Africa?

The most popular dog breed in Africa is be the Basenji due to its barkless nature.

Which of the best dog breeds from Africa is called the lion killer?

The dog breed from Africa that is known as the lion killer is the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Which of the best dog breeds from Africa is rare to find?

The dog breed from Africa that is rare to find is the African Wild dog and the Pharaoh Hound.


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