Africanis dogs are tops

Indigenous Africanis tops the list for the perfect Rainbow Nation dog.

By Jennifer Davies

If you live in South Africa, you will undoubtedly have seen them when driving in rural areas: graceful, well-balanced dogs with smooth coats in a multitude of colours and patterns over long, lean-muscled limbs. If you’re fortunate enough to have met one, you will almost certainly remember their intelligence, alertness, friendliness, and gentle natures.

There are very few true canine landraces left in the world, and South Africa can be proud to have one of them.

The Africanis dog is a ‘land race’ – a result of natural selection and adaptation throughout the centuries.

Landraces are not breeds – Breeds, e.g. Greyhounds or Labradors, have been created by humans choosing specific traits, such as hunting skill or fur colour, and selectively breeding for these to get a uniform behaviour and appearance. Some breeds were landraces bred in an attempt at standardisation.

As soon as you try to standardise a landrace with selective breeding it becomes a breed, not a landrace – it’s like trying to force evolution.

Africanis dogs are not uniform in appearance as it is an umbrella term for a few different ‘strains’. They are generally medium-sized with a functional, slender build, wedge-shaped heads and long muzzles. Their short coats are usually light-brown, but brindled and patched in white, brown, and black also occur. Some also have a ‘ridgeback’. A feature common to them all is their highly expressive faces, and beautiful, soulful eyes ringed with black ‘eyeliner’ markings.

They are agile, hardy, and fast, are very alert, and tend to have very few health problems.

But it is in the personality category that the Africanis really excels. Because they have evolved alongside people, they tend to be exceptionally good-natured and even-tempered, as well as being loyal and protective.

If you want a dog who is perfectly adapted to our climate, generally issue free, and a wonderful companion, protector, and friend, then ADOPT an Africanis or Africanis-mix dog. You will never look back.

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