Africanis are very resistant native dogs of southern Africa. The name comes from the contraction of two words that mean precisely dog of Africa. However, he also has many others names in his native language. Some associated them in the past with pariah dogs which we will discuss in another article but are currently protected and recognized by the national Kennel Union of South Africa.
In all likelihood this dog has evolved like everyone from wolves. There are historical findings and testimonials such as travel journals of famous settlers like Vasco de Gama who would associate themselves with the physical structure of this canid. It can be stated, however, that the first to observe scientifically that there were such similarities between the specimens to be made as a breed were the researchers Johan Gallant and Joseph Sithole. The latter could not help but notice that some dogs owned by indigenous natives had very similar physical characteristics and behaviors. Since it is believed that this is a race that has evolved spontaneously, that is without a scientific and selective management by man, there are several variants specifically developed based on specific regions of southern Africa. Because of this, the international canine federation does not recognize it as a race.
Character can vary greatly from dog to dog, another reason why this is not an internationally recognized breed. However, it was a highly valued animal especially in the past because it played an active role in the life of the local population. Since it is a dog with wild origins, it is generally particularly opportunistic, intelligent and stubborn.
It is certainly not the ideal dog for children, it should be kept under control. It must also be said, however, that normally, in areas where it has evolved, it is very difficult for there to be a child just because families are much more numerous. Moreover, in those places, dogs are not treated particularly well and children are much more accustomed to physical contact between similar and interspecies.
To give an explanatory example, in a society that is already modern and developed, a boy who is chased by a dog will probably be very afraid, even if the dog pursues him for fun. But in areas where this breed has evolved, it is not at all uncommon for the boy to take courage, hold a stick and be the one chasing the dog to defend itself. The writer has witnessed this scene. It cannot therefore be said that this is a dog suitable for families softened by well-being and modernity.
This dog has the tendency to gather in real herds. When these flocks are organized, without a shadow of a doubt they can contribute to the protection of the villages and to hunting. They are not always treated with due respect and there are not rare incidents between packs of stray dogs and other animals or even men. No doubt it is used as a watch and hunting dog even though hunting techniques have evolved making the support of a dog like this not as important as it once was. We must not confuse hunting as it is understood in the West. In those places in ancient times another type of hunting with arrows and spears was held with the sole purpose of surviving which has little in common with the modern hunting concept.
When I think of this dog grooming, I laugh. These are dogs used to cleaning themselves by rolling in the dust and very rarely they are allowed into the house. Let's say that a normal hygiene is sufficient but like many canids of this type, it should be perfectly able to look after itself.
Most of these dogs survive on men's food scraps because in places where it is widespread and from which it originated, there is generally no money to support a dog, both in terms of vaccinations and feed. It is not uncommon that it also feeds on garbage, carrion or game. As any adult dog should eat at least once or twice a day. It has no particular hypersensitivity to any type of food commonly used in canine feeding.
Without a doubt, the best breeder in the world has always been nature. The real natural selection and the almost total absence of targeted crossbreeding have given rise to a very resistant dog, particularly suited to its own territory, immune to the most common pathologies and defects typical of purebred dogs. The africanis dog, manages to survive where many purebred dogs would die. Many native owners of this dog, metaphorically speaking, do not even know what a veterinarian is. They are also naturally very resistant to internal and external parasites. It can therefore be said that they are much healthier and more resistant than average but still remain sensitive to all those factors that can affect any wild or domestic animal.