The vision of the AfriCanis Society of Southern Africa is to conserve the AfriCanis as a heterogeneous landrace. These dogs have shared the rural lives of Bantu and Khoisan people for ages. They are part of their cultural and historical heritage. They don’t need western-style breed improvements.
As Johan Gallant noted:
“The beauty of this dog is embodied in the simplicity and functionality of its build.”
The Society was founded in 1998 by Edith, the late Johan Gallant (writer and dog behaviorist), and archaeologist Dr. Udo Küsel (former Director of the National Cultural History Museum, South Africa).
The Society’s purpose is to protect the AfriCanis as an aboriginal landrace and to uphold the principles of natural selection that have shaped this landrace for thousands of years.
DNA research has proven that there is a specific African dog genome; research is ongoing to isolate this genome.
To promote the AfriCanis as utility dogs: suitable for everyday uses, such as livestock guard dogs, tracker dogs, and search and rescue dogs.
It is not intent on and does not support any moves towards transforming this aboriginal dog into a pure-bred dog breed. It accepts the many physical variations in the AfriCanis and argues that these dogs are shaped by Africa for Africa.
Motivation of the principles on which this code of ethics and guidelines are based: Within the populations of domesticated animals, a difference must be drawn between animals bred as a commodity (livestock) and those primarily bred as a COMPANION with a complementary function.
Bearing in mind that humans have the moral duty to respect all living creatures, and considering the particular bond which exists between humans and companion animals, it is appropriate that the AfriCanis Society compiles and imposes a code of ethics for all its members and specific guidelines for breeders. These instructions are aimed at co-ordinating and guiding the CONSERVATION of the dogs which have been associated to the rural areas populated by Bantu- and Khoi-speaking peoples. These rules are formulated in respect of the principles of “controlled” natural selection and the laws preventing cruelty to animals.
“Controlled” natural selection implies a method whereby humans primarily play an “observing” role in the breeding of domesticated animals. It is aimed at obtaining offspring with an adapted mental and physical condition, which mainly results from the conditions imposed by nature and environment and not from artificial or forceful selecting on features favoured by fancy.
For many centuries the AfriCanis, as aboriginal or traditional dogs of the Bantu- and Khoi-speaking peoples of Southern Africa have been part of a rural pastoral life style. Over the years they evolved into “ecotypes” adapted to a particular region and the specific conditions under which they lived. As such they suited the needs of the people to whom they belonged.
The AfriCanis are physically and mentally well adapted to the environment, the lifestyle and the tasks which they have to perform. It is the ethical duty of the members of the AfriCanis Society of Southern Africa to PRESERVE, as a cultural patrimony, all inherent qualities which resulted from this quasi natural evolutionary process within a domestic environment.
The most important natural qualities are:
All members of the AfriCanis Society of Southern Africa agree to abide by the following principles: