Africa has some very rare breeds, but that is definitely not the case of Basenji, which is quite popular all over the world. It is believed, that the Basenji is extremely old dog breed, that predates most of the modern breeds, but they were first described only in 1895 in Congo.
Basenji is highly valued hunting dog with high prey drive, known for its courage, independence and intelligence, speed and agility.
Another thing Basenji is known is the fact, that they do not bark. They are not completely silent, since they are known for specific sound resembling yodeling, but they truly are barkless dogs.
The Basenji is strongly attached to its owner and they are loyal to its whole family. On the other hand they are typically quite reserved with strangers. It is a curious, alert, energetic and playful dog breed.
2) Rhodesian Ridgeback
One of the easiest dog to recognize from Africa is definitely the Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as African Lion Dog. It is a large sized dog breed with distinquishing feature, the ridge of hair running on the back in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat.
The breed is native to southern parts of Africa and the first breed standard was written in 1922 in todays Zimbabwe.
They can trace its history to semi wild ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi people, who used these dogs for hunting large and dangerous prey and also for guarding. Later, these dogs were crossed with some european breeds, most likely with dogs such as Great Danes, Bloodhounds or some Terriers, but they preserved their excellent hunting skills.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known as very loyal and balanced dog breed with very athletic and muscular body.
3) Coton de Tulear
Most African dog breeds are hunters, but there are some exceptions. And Coton de Tulear is definitely one of the expcetions. This small, fluffy white dog is just incredible companion dog, hailing from Madagascar.
The ancestors of Coton de Tulear were probably brought to Madagascar in 16th and 17th century on pirate ships. Later, these dogs were most likely crossed with Tenerife dog.
The Coton de Tulear is Bichon type of a dog, with very cottony coat texture. Great fact is that it is non shedding breed, which can be excellent for allergy suffereres. On the other hand, grooming can be quite challenging.
The Coton is very loving, smart, affectionate and pretty playful breed. They love being around people and they are very friendly towards almost everyone. They are also pretty intelligent and easy to train dogs.
The Azawakh is one of the most elegant and athletic of all African dogs. It is an ancient sighthound from West Africa and it is named after Azawagh Valley.
The Azawakh is very slim dog with very long legs and with muscles visible through the skin. The slim body and long strong legs are enabling the dog to be very fast and it is said that they can run up to 40 mph, which is 65 kmh, which is making them one of the fastest of all dogs. It is no wonder that they were used to hunt all kinds of fast prey, such as gazelles.
The Azawakh was also used as a guard and protector, as it is a very alert dog breed and when they sense the danger, they will automatically start barking to alert other members of the pack.
But when they are around its own people, the Azawakh tends to be extremely gentle and affectionate companion.
One of the rarer African breed is Aidi. It is a livestock guardian breed from North Africa. They are also named as Atlas Mountain dog, as they can be found in largest numbers in Atlas mountain range.
The Aidi is very protective breed, which is mostly used as livestock guardian, but also as personal protector. They also posses good hunting abilities.
There is not many information about the Armant dog and it is definitely one of the rarest of all African breeds. It is a sheepdog, most likely related to Briards, which were brought to Egypt with Napoleons army. The breed is named after the town of Armant.
Another African sighthound, very similar to Azawakh, is Sloughi. This breed comes from North Africa, from countries such as Libya, Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco.
The Sloughi is another excellent fast and agile hunting dog breed, known for its extreme endurance over long distances.
This is very old breed, that is creating very strong bond with its owner and its own family. It is also pretty sensitive breed and hard handling is not very effective for training this breed. They need kind, patient and consistent trainer to achieve the best results.
The Africanis is a landrace dog that developed naturally, by natural selection and survival of the fittest in South Africa. It is not a standardized breed and thus, there is a big variety in the breed.
But on average, this is medum sized and strong dog with friendly, but alert temperament. It is usually extremely healthy and hardy dog breed, which is very independent and can survive on its own. But of course, they love being around people and they will prefer to live in a pack with its owner.
One of the most powerful African breeds is the Boerboel, a large mastiff type of a dog from South Africa. It is a strong dog with natural guarding instincts. They are excellent for protecting, as they will not let any intruders into your property.
On the other hand, they are very gentle and playful with its own family and with kids. They are very tolerant with kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
They are absolutely loyal and faithful to its owners and they would do anything to protect them. But back in the past, this dog was not only used for guarding. It is believed, that they were also excellent hunters and they were the best dogs for hunting leopards.
The name Boerboel derives from two Afrikaans words. Boer, which means farmer and boel, which is a shortening for boelhond, which means Bulldog. So the name can be literally translated as Farmers Bulldog.
10) Abyssinian sand terrier
The Abyssinian sand terrier, also known as African hairless dog is extremely rare dog breed. It is possible, that they are already extinct, as it is unknown if any of them still exist.
The breed is almost completely hairless, with the exception of few hairs on the head and on the tail. But they can also be completely hairless.
11) African Village Dogs
The African Village dog is not a dog breed, but it is a group of native and indigenous dogs living in various parts of Africa, spreading from the north to the south.
African Village dogs are common companions of African people and they are thousands years old. But they are not standardized at all. This is a list of different African Village dogs. They have different sizes, coat types and colors and utilizations.
12) African Wild Dog
Another not so typical canine from Africa is African Wild dog. It is a wild animal native to sub saharan africa. It is a highly social animal living and hunting in pack. They hunt in pack with great endurance and they very often hunt animals like antelopes by chasing them to exhaustion.
It is quite big and strong dog, with average height between 60-75 cm, which is 24-30 inch and weight is usually between 18-36 kg, which is 40-80 lbs. Female tends to be smaller than males.
13) Chinese Crested Dog
China is not in Africa right? Of course not. But latest research say, that the breeds origin is not in Asia, but most likely in Africa or in Mexico. And various British, Portuguese and French explorers really discovered similar dogs to Chinese crested dogs across the African continent in 18th and 19th century. But if the dogs truly has ancestry and origin in Africa or not will probably never be discovered on 100%.