The Africanis is a landrace of Southern African dogs. It is believed to be of ancient origin, directly descended from hounds and pariah dogs of ancient Africa, introduced into the Nile Valley from the Levant. The Swahili name for the breed is umbwa wa ki-shenzi meaning common or mongrel or "traditional dog". Africanis is also an umbrella name for all the aboriginal dogs in Southern Africa.
While the Africanis Society of Southern Africa has conceptualised the Eurocentric term of "Africanis" to encapsulate all African breeds of dog, there do exist numerous specialised types developed by various African ethnic groups with their own indigenous and ancient names. These types are not "land races" as dictated by the Africanis Society, but rather unusual types developed for certain specific conditions, and that do exhibit differences in type one from the other.
The Africanis Society of Southern Africa aims to conserve the Africanis as a landrace rather than develop it as a breed. While the Africanis is recognized by the Kennel Union of South Africaas an emerging breed, researchers on the ground, such as anthropologist Sian Hall, hold that the various different types of indigenous African dogs have already developed, over thousands of years, as types suited to their specific conditions by Africa's own indigenous peoples. They therefore have no need to be Eurocentrically regarded as an "emerging breed" by European Canine Institutions. Hall holds that the dogs have already developed as distinct types among the various African groups and that each deserves to be regarded and recognised as such. It follows that one breed descriptions cannot be allocated to the many different types of indigenous dogs on the African continent.


See all Africanis information below!

Litter Size
Breed Type
Breed Group
Breed Coat Type

Characteristics / Temperament

Dogs have several different traits or characteristics which may or may not be right for you. Learn if the Africanis has the set of characteristics that are right for you.

Dog Friendly:
Shedding Level:
Affection Level:
Exercise Needs:
Social Needs:
Apartment Friendly:
Stranger Friendly:
Barking Tendencies:
Health Issues:
Cat Friendly:
Child Friendly:
Watchdog Ability:

Coat Colors

The recognised colors of the Africanis are: black, white, and brown.

Life Expectancy

The Africanis has a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.

Height and Weight

The Africanis typically weighs between 45 to 80 pounds, placing it on the heavier end of dog breeds. It's typically 18 to 25 inches in height.
Gender Weight Range Height Range
Male 55 pounds - 80 pounds 20 inches - 25 inches
Feamle 45 pounds - 70 pounds 18 inches - 24 inches

Food Consumption in Cups

The Africaniswill require on average 2.0 cups of dog food daily for proper nutrition.

Africanis Photos

View all Africanis photos below in the Pettium Africanis photo gallery.