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              Domestic dogs have been tamed and trained by humans for ages. These Dogs have numerous breeds, shapes, sizes, hair lengths and color. Over years most dogs in Nigeria were kept for guarding, herding and hunting. You must have seen one while growing up, or heard some names like Bingo, Ekuke or Ebua depending on where you were raised. These were the names given to these ancient Pariah dogs brought into Nigeria by foreigners as a result of migration. According to speculative history research, Pariah Dogs which include some of the oldest dog breeds like Basenji, Azawakh, and Greyhounds and so on are believed to have been introduced into the country by traders, pastoral farmers and nomads when they migrated deep into the Sahara from other African countries.

         When the migrants first arrived in the Northern part of Nigeria, they came with their dogs but since most Northern Muslims believe dogs are unclean, many of those dogs were uncared for and later became stray dogs. When the stray dogs began to disturb their livestock, some volunteers took the capturing of those dogs as a form of public service. When those dogs were caught, they were transported to other parts of Nigeria especially Calabar where most of them were kept and others were eaten (a practice that is common to the region till this day).

Local dogs are the dominant breeds in Nigeria. They’re mostly dogs that do not belong to officially recognized breed but are believed to be Pariah dogs that were bred for hunting down preys. Here are some of the breeds that make up the class of Local dogs in Nigeria;

BASENJI

The Basenji is a breed of hunting dog that originated in central Africa. Basenjis have reportedly lived with humans for thousands of years. They have pricked (upright) ears and tightly curled tails and enjoy sitting at the feet of their masters. Basenjis were originally kept for hunting small game by tracking and driving the game into nets.

Some consider independent dogs such as Basenjis and Afghan Hounds more intelligent than obedient breeds because of their freedom of thought and ability to recognize which actions benefit them, and which simply please another.

AZAWAKH

Originating in West Africa, the Azawakh belong to a class of hunting dogs known as sight hounds (also called gazehounds) that primarily hunt by sight and speed, rather than by scent and endurance as the scent hounds do.

The Azawakh is a tall and thin dog breed with a very short coat that is almost absent on the belly. Unlike most other sight hounds, the Azawakh easily develop an intense bond with its owner, even though can also perform independently from its master. With those they accept, Azawakh are gentle and extremely affectionate. With strangers many are reserved and prefer not to be touched, but are not inherently aggressive. Although raised to protect livestock, they do not have innate aggression toward canines or humans unless they are threatened.

GREYHOUND

The Greyhound is also a sight hound. They are tall, slender, graceful and smooth-coated dogs characterized by swiftness and keen sight. Greyhound owners consider Greyhounds wonderful pets. They are very loving, and enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs. Whether a Greyhound will enjoy the company of other small animals, such as cats, depends on the individual dog’s personality

It is a gentle and intelligent breed whose combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build allows it to reach speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour, making them the fastest dog breed and one of the fastest animals in the world. As a result of this, greyhounds have been used in dog racing for many years. Beyond their speed and grace, people love greyhounds for their sweet, placid nature

General characteristics and traits

Most of them exhibit traits common to Hound dogs and can track the location of targeted animals easily using their good sense of smell and fast speed. Just like hound dogs, the local dogs in Nigeria can exhibit behaviors common to sight hound, scent hound or a combination of both while following up preys. You can easily recognize some of them by their erect, semi-erect or coiled ears, short coats and small muscular body although some may have different appearance. They tend to be friendly but difficult to train on advanced commands.

Local dogs are experts in exploring the world. They will seize the little opportunity you give them to exercise by roaming all the nooks and crannies of your locality.

Local dogs are kept by farmers, hunters and people with little knowledge on dog raising. Because of this, local dogs rarely get vaccinated against rabies and other contagious diseases. Some of the lucky ones that get vaccinated may not be given complete dosage because of their owners’ financial constraints.

Here is why you should own a local dog

1. Immunity and disease resistance

Local dogs are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. You rarely get to see a local dog being dewormed or vaccinated at birth. Fact is no and never. Well this because these breeds are so much immune to so many diseases affecting canines in this part of the world.

2 Abilities

These local dog breeds possess relatively good speed and stamina and can be trained for artificial lure sports like lure coursing and racing.

3. Cost

Local dogs are very cheap in Nigeria and their prices range are pocket friendly. The puppies are even cheaper and can be obtained directly from the owners.

4. Security

Some say these breeds are not security conscious but that’s a fat lie. If you want to mess with them visit them at night when they are most active. They are naturally sight hounds and speed hounds (hunters use them to catch meat and their success rate is 90%). They’ll alert you way before any intruder gets in.

5. Longevity

Local dogs are an incredibly sound coursing hound. Serious injuries are rare. The dogs heal very quickly from injury, no known incidence of hip dysplasia and have been known for long life spans of about 10 to 14 years

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