AfriCanis

Posted in Emerging Breeds

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

Breed Standard of the Kennel Union of Southern Africa.

Note: This is a written preliminary description of a Landrace (emerging breed). 
At KUSA licensed events in Conformation (Beauty / Breed) it is only eligible to enter Non-Championship Shows. It may enter any KUSA Discipline event for which it is qualified, with awards.

Introduction:
Not many primitive dogs- as they occurred in ancient human cultures –are left.
The AfriCanis has his origin and is linked to the sight hounds which in pre-dynastic times came with the Neolithic herders from the Middle East into the Nile valley, further migration and trade took them deeper into the Sahara and the Sahel.
With the consecutive migrations of early and late Iron Age Bantu speaking people the dogs spread into Southern Africa where they became endemic.
Since their arrival circa 570 AD they have played a social and cultural role in the different societies to which they belonged. 
They fit the requirements of a specific human society living in a particular ecosystem 
They are a cultural and biological heritage that must be conserved.
The description of this primitive hound which fallow is the results of natural selection, physical and mental adaptation to various African ecological and cultural context. 
It has adapted to and has been shaped by its environment in Southern Africa’s traditional RURAL tribal land. It is made by Africa for Africa

Regions Occurrence:
Southern Africa, equivalent dog occur further north in the lacustrine region and beyond.

Specific Suitability’s: 
Traditionally: Herder and livestock guard dog, watchful companion in and around the homestead. As a hunting hound combining sight and scent.
Modern use: Tracker dog, search and rescue dog and Flock guard dog.
Classification: 
Primitive Hound

GENERAL APPEARANCE:
Medium-size, slender built, up on legs, well muscled. Gives the impression of a swift enduring and efficient dog. When in good condition ribs are just visible.

IMPORTANT PROPORTION:
The length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder blade to the buttock, slightly longer exceeds the height at the highest point of the withers

DEMEANOR AND CHARACTER:
Because the “AfriCanis” has for centuries been unbound in and around rural homestead, it combines a natural attachment to humans with a necessity for space. The traditional people to whom these dogs belong do not tend to make body contact with them. However their homes are seldom deserted from humans, other dogs and livestock, ensuring adequate socialization and environmental adaptation. This also entails that the AfriCanis displays watchful territorial behaviour. They are well-disposed without being obtrusive. When pushed around the AfriCanis can demonstrate reactive aggression. The AfriCanis displays unspoiled social canine behaviour with a high level of facial expressions and body language towards congeners and humans. Although it is a hound with a swift chase response, it is able to live in and around the homesteads in the company of livestock without ever harming it. This is a result of correct environmental adaptation and imprinting. The rather demanding conditions, imposed by its environment, have over the years induced the AfriCanis into an energy conserving life style. It has a steady nerve constitution but is cautious in its approach to new situations. In other words it displays a high survival instinct during the hunt it is active and alert, shows great eagerness and toughness. It is a great opportunist that easily adapts to modern western lifestyle without however losing its natural need for space. It has to be noted that the AfriCanis has never been used to the western concept of dog obedience training. However, because of its innate subservience and a high sense of attachment to pack leader, it follows its handler in a natural way.

HEAD:
The head is cone shaped, elongated, streamlined but still gives the impression of strength. Indicative of the AfriCanis ancient origin, its head coincide with features found in ancient sight hounds.

Top skull: Slightly curved, moderately broad.
Longitudinal groove gradually becomes less pronounced across the upper head until it disappears when it reaches the inconspicuous occiput 
Top of the skull run parallel to the ridge of the nose. Its skin maybe wrinkled when the dog is attentive.
Stop: Slight
Foreface:
Muzzle: Cone shape, about as long as the skull
Nose: Preferably black .Rather large, flared nostrils, 
(note: lack of pigmentation and pale noses are sensitive to sunburn and cancer)
Lips: Black, clean lips with often a little bell in the corners.
Plays a role in facial expression 
Jaws: Strong, tapering
Teeth: Normally a full set of strong, Healthy teeth meeting in a scissors or pincer bite. 
Eyes: Oval, medium to large. Alert, gentle and responsive expression.
Colours range from amber to brown preferably accentuated by black rim and expressive eyebrows (see disqualifying) 
Ears: Set on laterally. Medium size, V-shaped, they can be carried erect, semi erect, drooping or be asymmetrical
The most important fact is that they are mobile and correlated to the dog’s awareness to its environment. 

NECK:
Well set and muscled, clean and of medium length. Flexible, smoothly blending in to the shoulder. On the move, the neck tend to fallow the body’s top line

BODY: 
Lean, up on Legs, slightly longer than high.

WITHERS:
Just perceptible above the thoracic vertebra. Top of the shoulder blades wide apart.

BACK:
Level, arched over the loin. The rise is due to muscle development and denotes desirable strength.

LOIN:
Strong, fairly broad, raises slightly to the first sacral vertebra

PELVIC SLOPE:
Sloping at approximately 30 °

CROUP:
Short, slightly sloping.

TAIL:
Saber tail, closely coated, medium thick, tapering to the gently curved tip. (A straight tail is prone to injury) 
Set on in continuation of the backline, harmoniously continuing the slope of the croup.
Reaching approximately to the hock.

CHEST:
Moderately broad, oval in shape, Well-arched ribs. Sternum not reaching elbows. Depth of chest-sternum to the ground: ratio 1-1.3

FOREQUARTERS:
The forelegs are straight, long and dry, with strong oval bones. Muscles and tendons area clearly visible.
Seen from the front upper part forms a inverted “V”
Shoulders: Wide apart, long and oblique, dryly muscled. Angle between shoulder blade and upper arm is moderate, approximate 110 .°
Upper arm: Equal in length to shoulder blade.
Forearm: Longer than upper arm
Pasterns: Fairly long, slightly sloping
Feet: Large. Oval strong and supple. Toes well arched, neither splayed out nor cat 
feet. Pads are thick, hard and well pigmented.
Front paws larger than rear paws

HINDQUARTERS:
Strong, well muscled, moderately angulated. 
Upper thigh: Broad with well developed dry muscles.
Stifle: Moderately bent i.e.
When standing normally, with rear pasterns vertical to the ground, the front edge of the paw is directly under the rear of the buttock.
Under thigh: Long, with well developed and dry muscles. 
Rear pasterns: Longer than front
Hind feet: As front but slightly smaller. Extra fifth toes or rear dew claws sporadically occur.

GAIT: 
Walk, tort, canter and gallop are common ways of moving. The AfriCanis should be able to trot and or canter for long periods on rough terrain and in hillside environment, going into gallop when real speed is required. The trot is light and effortless, with moderate stride. Viewed from the front or rear, the trotting movement reveals, as speed increases, a natural tendency for the limbs to converge towards a central line of travel nearly single tracking)

COAT: 
Texture: Short, double coated, compact, harsh and thick. Very short on head and
limbs.
Length and density of undercoat varies with the seasons. Wire haired 
dogs and ridge dogs may occur

COLOUR: 
All colours or combinations of colours may occur, undesirable are blues (See Disqualifying faults)

SKIN:
Dark, elastic, loose-fitting to the body. (In the event of superficial injury, a loose-fitting skin ensures that the damage remains skin deep and the subcutaneous tissue and muscles stay intact)

SIZE:
For dogs and bitches usually between 55 and 62 cm at the withers, but 2 a 3 cm smaller or bigger individuals occur

NOTE:
Male AfriCanis have two testicles normally descended into a tight carried and well protected scrotum

FAULTS: 
Any departure from foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS: 
• Eyes: Wall eyes, White, blue or 2 different coloured eyes .Entropion, ectropion. Lack of pigmentation around the eyes, lips and nose. 
• Pink patches on top of nose. 
• Colours: All diluted colours as in Merles, Isabella. Spotted as in Dalmatians.