10 Striking African Dog Breeds To Add To Your Pet List

Seeing many American and European canine breeds around would likely make one conclude that these continents are homes to all dog breeds, but that is not the case. Every part of the world can lay claim to a good number of dog species originating from them, and Africa has bred and refined a good number of exotic dogs in varying shapes, sizes, as well as colours. Some of these striking African dog breeds have gained popularity across the globe, but we still have quite a few that largely only exist within the confines of the African continent.

So, if you are in the market for a unique dog to adopt, here are some of the most attractive breeds of African origin. Notably, some of these striking African dog breeds have been around for centuries.

1. Saluki

Striking African Dog Breeds
Saluki source

With a height ranging from 23 to 28 inches and a body weight of 40 to 65 pounds, it is easy to deduce that the Saluki is tall and slender. This striking African dog breed is known to be very athletic, strong, and balanced. According to its history, the breed is among the oldest canine breeds worldwide, possibly dating back to 7000 B.C., and all through history; they were the favorites of kings.

Perhaps the reason the Saluki is still popular in current times is as a result of its elegant appearance which entails a slim build, long and narrow head, agile movements, long ears bathed with silky hair, deep eyes, long tail, smooth coat with varying colors like fawn, cream, tricolor, golden, and black and tan. The males may come a bit bigger than their female counterparts. The American Kennel Club reorganized the breed in 1927, marking the beginning of its rise in popularity in the United States.

2. African Wild Dog

Striking African Dog Breeds
African Wild Dog source

Among the striking African dog breeds is the African Wild Dog which stands at about 30 inches tall and weighs between 40 to 70 pounds. Physical characteristics of this canine include large perked rounded ears, dark ears, and muzzles, spotted markings patched with black, red, white, brown, and yellow fur, as well as fast and athletic legs; each foot with four toes.

The dog is also called the painted dog and is known to roam around in packs, especially in the plains and woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa where they hunt rodents, antelopes, birds, and other animals. Farmers and hunters tend to kill the painted dog as a result of their threatening behavior, in addition to their potential to spread diseases. This has led to the near-extinction of the breed.

3. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Striking African Dog Breeds
Rhodesian Ridgeback source

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is definitely counted among the striking African dog breeds due to its unique traits. With 24 to 27 inches in height and 70 to 85 pounds body weight, the breed is distinguished with a stripe of backward hair on their back which is also muscular. The breed has a short and dense coat with colors ranging from light to red wheaten sporting small white markings on their toes.

This African dog breed was created by crossing European breeds such as various Terriers that came into Africa with white colonists with the native ridged Khoikhoi dogs; they became extremely valuable as hunting dogs when they proved to be efficient at confronting the lions. The breed is quite useful for fending off dangerous beasts like leopards and is used for hunting prey such as antelope.

4. Boerboels

Striking African Dog Breeds
Boerboels source

Thanks to their blocky head and large muscular appearance, the Boerboels are definitely one of the striking African dog breeds to add to your household if you like sturdy dogs. They are often mistaken for a type of Mastiff or Cane Corso. Sporting 22 to 27 inches in height and 150 to 200 pounds in body weight, the Boerboels appear powerful, strong and intimidating but the truth is that these large dogs are actually gentle giants credited with loyalty and intelligence, and are known to make good companions

Besides, the Boerboels are great with children; this has earned them popularity as family pets. It came into existence when African bloodlines were interbred with European guard dogs, including the bull and mastiff types. The translation of the name Boerboel is “farmers dog” and the breed was majorly kept by farmers because of the pup’s protective nature and fearless attitude. The breed is distinguished by its large, brawny body, loose and fleshy upper lip, broad muzzle, blocky head sporting a wrinkled forehead and short thick coat that can come in shades of red, brown, and fawn. Some may come with piebald or brindle markings.

5. Aidi

Striking African Dog Breeds
Aidi source

With a coat that is dense, thick, and soft, one would find it difficult to believe that the Aidi originated from the hot continent of Africa. The plush coat of the Aidi reminds one of the traditional sheepdogs. Sporting 20 to 24 inches in height and 50 to 55 pounds body weight, the Aidi is a medium-sized pup marked by physical traits of its mid-length dense coarse coat with varying colors of white, black, tawny, as well as red.

Other physical characteristics of this striking African dog breed include a tapered muzzle, large bear-like head, slightly droopy ears, strong jaws, and dark eyes. Originally created in Morocco, the breed was used as protection dogs for people who work in the mountains, they gained popularity for their protective, smart, and loyal nature, though it is yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.

6. Basenji

Striking African Dog Breeds
Basenji source

We cannot bring the list of the striking African dog breeds to a conclusion without paying homage to the Basenji. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived by the small and compact body of this furbaby; it’s definitely athletic with an incredible amount of stamina which calls for high exercise needed to keep boredom at bay. The breed makes wonderful pets for families that can meet their exercise needs.

This small and graceful African dog breed with 16 to 17 inches in height and 22 to 24 pounds in weight is known for its short fine coat, almond-shaped eyes, curled tail, and smooth musculature. The coat color can vary from black to red, tricolor, or even brindle, sporting white patterns on the chest, feet, and tail. The dog walks with long strides and one advantage of keeping this breed is that it makes yodeling noises that are less disruptive rather than barking.

7. Sloughi

Striking African Dog Breeds
Sloughi source

Sporting 35 to 50 pounds in weight and 24 to 27 inches in height for the female, and 26 to 29 inches for the male, the smooth and short-coated Sloughi is distinguished by its long, slender build, large dark eyes, pointed muzzle, and coat color that may include all shades of cream to red. The coat may also come with black or brindle markings around the ears or eyes.

The Sloughi is one of those canine breeds with a history shrouded in mystery, but according to experts, hunters loved dogs such as the Sloughi and they were quite popular hunting companions among nomads and Egyptian royalty. In Morocco where they are common, the Sloughi still functions as a hunting dog and can come in handy as a guard dog, thanks to its aloofness towards strangers. However, they still make excellent family pets as the breed is known to be affectionate among familiar faces.

8. Abyssinian Sand Terrier

Striking African Dog Breeds
Abyssinian Sand Terrier source

Perhaps the Abyssinian Sand Terrier is listed among the striking African dog breed because of its hairlessness which is the pup’s most outstanding feature. However, some hair can be found on the tail end and head. Weighing 21 to 39 pounds with a height of 15.5 to 20.5 inches, the breed can come in grey, black, sand, and bronze.

Mottled markings can be observed on the skin and the dog has a long muzzle, bat-like ears, and sleek body. Though they enjoy exercising with their family, the Abyssinian Sand Terrier is known to be calm and quiet. Their origin is traceable to Africa but their history is quite shrouded in mystery. Temperament-wise, the breed is loyal, fearless, and eager to please its owners.

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9. Chinese Crested

 Striking African Dog Breeds
Chinese Crested source

Sporting 11 to 13 inches in height and 8 to 12 pounds body mass, the Chinese Crested dog is one of the striking African dog breeds that you might find interesting. Physical attributes of this small sized-pup include a small and slender build with a fully coated body or hairless coat except for the head, feet, and tail. The coat color can be spotted as pink with white feathery hair. The pup is quite outstanding among breeds of dogs, thanks to its looks that are nothing short of unique.

The tufts of hair on the dog’s head give it a funny furry hairdo. Their small size notwithstanding, the Chinese Crested dog is very energetic and spends loads of time walking and running. The origin of the breed is not clear, but it is believed that they are the result of African hairless breeds that were cross-bred with smaller Chinese breeds.

10. Coton de Tulear

 Striking African Dog Breeds
Coton de Tulear source

With 8 to 15 pounds of body weight and 9 to 11 inches in height, the Coton de Tulear dog breed has a sturdy and small body with a fluffy white coat, a triangular head, rounded eyes, and complete with a lively and inquisitive expression. With these interesting features, the Coton de Tulear joins the list of striking African dog breeds as they actually originated from the black continent. This happy dog makes an excellent companion and loves being in the company of family, amusing them with its fun tricks and silly antics.

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