Africans fight to preserve one of man's oldest friends

Preservation project for African dog

source: Karen MacGregor
Independent on Sunday September 10 2000 p22

The Africanis Society of Southern Africa wants to have canis africanis, the African dog, registered with the Kennel Union of South Africa. The society was set up in 1998 by Johan Gallant, its president. He sees the African dog as a pure race at risk from interbreeding. Twenty five dogs have been collected and have been bred from, giving some 70 pure African dogs. Mental and physical alertness rather than physical homogeneity are important. African dogs have to be fit to survive because they are valued less than chickens, in terms of prices paid in rural Africa. The society aims to breed dogs without hereditary problems, and resistant to disease.

African dogs originally came from the Arabian peninsula. There is evidence that they were found in the Nile Delta from 4700 BC, and that they had reached southern Africa by 6th century AD.