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Africanis: The pre-colonial dog of Africa

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Chapter Summary

Dogs are derived from wolves, and were the earliest animal species to be domesticated. Analyses of DNA clearly indicate wolf ancestry. Some of the more recent publications on African dogs appear still to be influenced by older ?typist? approaches. By contrast, the author takes the view that, at least in southern Africa, the pre-colonial dog population was essentially one, albeit large and diverse, gene pool. Dogs may be treated by traditional doctors to improve their effectiveness as hunters. Another source of information about pre-colonial dogs is rock art. In southern African rock art, dogs appear only rarely, except in the southern Drakensberg region where they are more common. Africanis becomes an honourable member of a canine society with branches in many parts of the world: a society with a pedigree more ancient than the pyramids.

Keywords: Africanis; canine society; pre-colonial dog; southern African rock art



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