The Azawakh is an African sighthound of Afro-Asiatic type, which appeared in Europe towards 1970. They come from the Nigerien middle basin, and the Valley of the Azawakh. For hundreds of years, they have been the companion of the nomads of the southern Sahara. Particularly leggy and elegant, the Azawakh gives a general impression of great fineness. Their bone structure and musculature are transparent beneath fine and lean skin. This sighthound presents itself as a rangy dog whose body fits into a rectangle with its longer sides in a vertical position.
Country of Origin: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger
AKC Breed Popularity:
AKC Classification: Hound Group
UKC Classification: Sighthounds and Pariahs
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Height: Female: 23.5-27.5 inches; Male: 24-26 inches
Weight: Female: 33-44 lbs.; Male: 44-55 lbs.
Coat: Length: Short
Colors: Black, Brindle, Clear Sand, Blue Fawn, Dark Fawn, Grizzle
Overall Grooming Needs: Low
Personality traits/Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Deeply Affectionate
Energy Level: Very energetic
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Azawakhs are healthy dogs. Azawakhs are slender, elegant dogs whose thin skin naturally allows their bone structure and muscle to show through. Owners should learn what an Azawakh in good weight and condition looks like. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. A responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for health issues such as hypothyroidism, seizures, cardiac problems, and autoimmune-mediated disease.
The Azawakh should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Add a high quality multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
Because the Azawakh is both highly intelligent and fiercely independent, training needs to be started early. Early socialization and puppy training classes with a trainer who has a positive approach are recommended. The Azawakh possesses an amazing amount of dignity and does not respond well to harsh or punishment-based training, which can produce a hound who is broken in spirit, or aggressive and unmanageable. Positive, reward-based training with gentle but firm corrections can cause a hound who is obedient, affectionate, and loyal.
The Azawakh is an active breed, requiring daily exercise to keep both mind and body healthy. Adult Azawakhs can make great running companions. Failing that, a daily half-hour walk or play session in a well-fenced field, park, or yard will keep the hound happy and healthy. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. However, an Azawakh left alone in the yard will not self-exercise. He is more likely to get the activity he needs in the presence of the owner or another dog.
They also known as the Tuareg Sloughi. The Tuareg nomads—who are among several tribes that traditionally own this breed—called them idii n’ illeli, which means “sighthound of the free people.”
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