The Azawakh breed is quite tall and elegant. The breed originates from Northwest Africa, namely Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali. This ancient breed is gaining popularity in the West, and the breed was entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class in 2011. In 2019, it was added to the AKC Hound Group.
The History of the Azawakh
The Azawakh lived closely with nomadic tribes in Africa. According to the AKC, “The Azawakh enjoy a special appreciation from the nomads. They live under the same roof and are fully accepted members of the family. They assume the duty of protecting the encampment and flocks from invaders. The breed are passionate hunters and provide the family with meat, however, the diminishing of game and usage of firearms lessens the utilization of the dogs.”
As working dogs, the Azawakh hunted antelope, wild boar and hare. Their endurance and agility were useful in catching prey. Their long legs made easy work of the rough, arid landscape.
Officially, this breed is a member of the sighthound family known for their great vision and fast feet.
The strong, lean Azawakh has a defined bone and muscle structure. Their Greyhound-like deep chest allows them to breathe deeply and improves their endurance.
25 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder and between 44 and 55 pounds.
23.5 to 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder and between 33 and 44 pounds.
The Azawakh has a short coat that comes in many colors including sand, dark red, black, blue, white, gray, brindle, parti-color and all shades of brown. Their stomachs may be hairless.
The Azawakh is like other dog breeds, including:
- Ibizan Hound
The Azawakh is a wonderful companion dog and protector. If the dog senses danger, they may bark to alert the family. Some Azawakh dogs can be tame lap dogs while others are fierce protectors. Lifelong socialization and firm but gentle discipline is crucial to their behavior.
They have lots of energy and high endurance. They are also very heat tolerant, unlike the similar Greyhound breed. But they dislike the rain and colder weather.
Azawakh Fun Facts
The Azawakh is now in the AKC Hound Group (as of 2019).
The Azawakh is also known as the Tuareg Sloughi.
The Azawakh came to the US in the mid-1908s.
This breed has unique vocalizations.
The Azawakh does not respond well to harsh punishment.
How to Care for an Azawakh
The short coat of the Azawakh means low maintenance grooming. Once a week or so, the dog benefits from a once-over with a soft brush or rubber grooming mitt. They don’t need frequent bathing and have a low odor. Nails need to be trimmed regularly.
According to the AKC, “The Azawakh should do well on a 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).” In other words, commercially available, age-appropriate food is just fine.
Azawakh’s need daily, vigorous exercise. If you’re a runner, they may be the right dog for you. If running is not possible, a good 30 minutes of play in a fenced in area will do the trick. This breed left alone will not exercise. They need the guidance of their owner or the companionship of another dog.
These dogs are generally healthy. However, good breeders will screen them for common maladies such as seizures, heart problems, and hyperthyroidism.
We hope you now know more about this unique breed out of the African continent. The majestic Azawakh has a lot going for it, and we’re glad to share its history.