Azawakh – Everything You Need To Know

Azawakh also referred to as the Tuareg Sloughi, is a medium-sized, lean, tall, and swift hunter with a regal presence. This sighthound initially hunted antelope, hare, and wild boar among the Tuareg people. A “warrior class dog,” these ancient breeds are known for being intelligent, graceful, affectionate, and highly loyal to their human family. However, they are still often independent in spirit, though. The Azawakh dog is the ideal running companion if you are a runner and will cheerfully nap with you afterward. But they may not be the right breed for you if you live in a wet or cold climate.

Azawakhs are attracted by motion and are likely to chase animals because they’re sighthounds. However, these breeds tend to bond deeply with their people. But without proper socialization, they can be shy or territorial. With their expressive almond-shaped eyes, you will be rewarded with a fun-loving adventure companion who will always be up to wander and fascinate you with their very infectious goodwill and unconditional dedication.

Azawakh Overview

Azawakh is a lean, tall, medium-sized hound with a slender build and noticeably long legs. However, at first glimpse, they resemble Greyhounds, but they are more closely related to Salukis and Sloughi, also members of the hound group. They compete in agility, conformation, obedience, lure coursing, tracking, and being much-loved family companions. They are happy, elegant hounds characterized as hyperactive but are ideal family companions. They are bright, cozy at home, tireless outside, and are people’s favorite. In addition, they are vibrant and peerless hunters. Azawakhs are an all-rounder for those who want a companion, a hunter, a sports teammate, and a partner to live. Due to their hunting lineage, Azawakhs have excess energy and high prey drive. Therefore, apartment dwellers and novice pet owners should beware, as they require consistent training and plenty of activity.

Azawakh Pros and Cons

Very affectionateCan be aloof, even wary around strangers
Great running companionProne to barking
Low-maintenance coatHigh prey drive

Azawakh Basic Information 

  • Name: Azawakh
  • Origin: West Africa
  • Group: Hound dog
  • Height: Male:25 – 29 inches; Female: 23.5 – 27.5 inches
  • Weight: Male: 44 – 55 pounds; Female: 33 – 44 pounds 
  • Coat: Short, fine coat
  • Color: Dark red, white, black, blue, gray, brindle, grizzle, and all shades of brown, including chocolate.
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Agility, conformation, field trials, hunting tests, obedience, rally 
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding Level: Low
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 6 puppies
  • Other Names: Tuareg Sloughi
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes: Coursing rabbits
  • Life Span: 12 -15 years

History of Azawakh

The Azawakh’s ancestry goes back to the arid regions of Africa’s south Sahel and Sahara, surrounding the border region of Mali and Niger. The Tuareg and other tribes initially bred them to hunt hare, antelope, and wild boar. The dog’s breeding indicates they are well adapted to living in the harsh desert climes. In the early 1970s, this breed made its way to Yugoslavia and reached the U.S. in the mid-1980s. 

  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Azawakh in 2019.
  • The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the Azawakh in 1993.

Azawakh Highlights

  • Azawakhs love independence
  • They are people pleasers with unsurpassed loyalty
  • The Azawakhs can be great companions for outdoor jobs
  • Their glossy and sleek short coat makes them unsuitable for cold and wet weather conditions
  • Without a proper exercise regime, the Azwakhs can end up in undesirable behaviors such as digging and barking.

Azawakh Personality

Azawakhs are known for the following personalities: 

  • Loyal and confident 
  • Affectionate and lively 
  • Smartness and playful 
  • Friendly and outgoing 
  • Intelligent and people-pleasing 
  • Independent and charming 

Azawakhs are recognized for their unique companionship, alluring personalities, and a combination of noble royalty and wild hunters. They can be alpha with solid qualities and require a firm and constant owner with experience who can put themselves as pack leader. Their personality is difficult to pin down as they are intelligent, delicate, and playful but also very reliable, friendly, and protective. Pet owners must be confident when dealing with them as these breeds are dominant. So, training should start early to discourage chewing, house-soiling, and other bad habits.

Friendliness Overview

Affection level Medium to high
Family-friendly Medium to high
Kid-friendly Low to medium
Pet-friendly Medium
Stranger -friendlyLow to medium

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment living High
Good to new owners Medium
Sensitivity level Medium
Tolerates being alone Medium
Cold-tolerance Low
Heat-tolerance High

Azawakh Physical Features

Head: Azawakh has large almond-shaped eyes with drooping and flat ears, a flat, wide-back skull, a long, lean, and chiseled muzzle, and a level or scissor bite.

Neck: The neck is muscular, slightly arched, and moderately long.

Topline: The topline is nearly horizontal, straight, or rising toward the hips.

Body: The chest is well-developed and extended with long, slightly or evenly curved ribs, a straight back, and the lumbar section is usually flat, but a slight curve is standard. 

Tail: The tail is set low, lean, and thin and reaches the hock as a continuation of the spine. 

Forequarters: Fine, long, and entirely vertical forequarters with lean and muscular shoulders.

Hindquarters: Long, lean hindquarters with perfectly vertical legs and round-shaped, tightly closed toes. Thighs are lean and prominent with muscles.

Coat: Short, fine coats.

Color: Dark red, white, black, blue, gray, brindle, grizzle, and all shades of brown, including chocolate.

Gait: The gait is agile, light, effortless, and graceful in single-tracking movement.

Azawakh Temperament

Azawakhs are affectionate and gentle with their humans but can also be tenacious and independent. With outsiders, they can be reserved, distant, or territorial. Proper training and early socialization can teach them to get along with people and other animals. However, their instinct to protect their people and territory is strong. Being sighthounds, these breeds tend to chase other animals. So, keeping them on a leash or in a secure area outside would be best. They have a strong prey drive. If they are to live safely and amicably with cats or small dogs, Azawakhs must be brought up with them from a very early age. Still, it’s advised not to leave them together unsupervised.

Azawakh Training

Azawakhs are intelligent dogs and learn and respond quickly, making training more convenient. Puppy training classes and proper socialization are recommended. These dogs can be strong-willed at times, so reward-based training is crucial. They excel in canine sports, including tracking, obedience, agility, rally, and lure coursing. In general, hounds are not bred to work closely with humans, so they need short, fun workout sessions to keep them interested.

Here are some of the activities that you need to do with your Azawakh:

Trainability Overview 

Easy to train Medium 
Intelligence Medium 
Mouthiness tendencies Medium 
Barking and howling tendencies Low
Prey drive Medium to high
Wanderlust tendenciesLow to medium

Azawakh Exercise Needs

Azawakhs are highly energetic hounds that require a secured high fence due to their hunting instincts. However, as they are independent and athlete canines, you can fulfill Azawakh’s exercise requirements with daily walks and activities such as frisbee and playing fetch. Likewise, they can be your jogging and hiking partners. 

An idle Azawakh can end up exhibiting undesirable or dangerous behavior. Hence, engaging them mentally and physically is essential to keep them happy. These breeds feel dissatisfied if they do not get a chance to run every day. They like to play hunter and chase any animal that moves, so you must be mindful about letting them off the leash.

You can meet your Azawakh’s daily exercise requirements by:

  • Teaching new tricks
  • Walking
  • Fetching
  • Chasing
  • Playing with puzzle toys
  • Frisbee
  • Herding trials
  • Flyball
  • Hiking

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level Medium
Exercise needs Medium to high
Intensity Low to medium
Playfulness Medium

Azawakh Grooming

Azawakhs are low-maintenance, non-hypoallergenic moderate shedders with short coats. Grooming sessions can be an excellent bonding experience for you and your canine. Brush them weekly once or twice to remove loose hair and dead skin cells. Bathe your dog whenever required to maintain the short coat clean of dirt and debris. Frequently check their eyes for redness, irritation, or discharge, and ears should be cleaned and checked regularly. The nails need to be trimmed occasionally. Brush their teeth daily to control dental problems. 

Grooming Overview 

Easy to groom High
Drooling tendency Low
Amount of shedding Medium

Azawakh Health

Azawakhs are healthy hounds. However, like other dogs, they are inclined to health disorders originating from their heritage. Thus, to keep them healthy, it is essential to take them to the veterinarian for routine check-ups and ensure that they are updated with vaccinations.

Health Overview

Overall health Medium
Weight gain tendencies Medium
Size Medium to high

Hypothyroidism: A condition where a dog’s metabolism reduces due to a lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms are:  

  • Lethargy  
  • Gaining weight  
  • Reluctance to work out  
  • Hair Loss 

Hip dysplasia: When a dog’s thigh bones do not suit into the pelvic socket of the hip joint, it results in hip dysplasia, which is a heritable disorder. 

Epilepsy: The often-inherited idiopathic epilepsy frequently causes seizures and can occur in moderate and extreme seizures. Unusual actions, such as running as if being chased, stumbling, or hiding, may signify a seizure. Seizures are alarming, but dogs with idiopathic epilepsy have a favorable long-term prognosis. Seizures may be caused by various reasons other than idiopathic epilepsy, including metabolic conditions, respiratory diseases of the brain, cancers, toxin poisoning, and extreme head trauma.

Mange: Sarcoptic mange is a skin disease that affects dogs. It is passed from dogs to people and vice versa. 

Azawakh Diet and Nutrition

Azawakhs are high-energy hounds requiring two to three cups of high-quality dry food daily. Various commercial kibbles are high in proteins, but consider giving them high-quality lean meat and canned puppy meals. Often, provide your dog with clean and fresh water. According to the veterinarian’s guidance, you can split their meal into two.

Azawakh Living Condition

  • Azawakhs are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given everyday walks and regular play sessions.
  • Azawakhs have a strong chase intuition, so they must be leash-walked, and a very tall fenced yard is necessary..
  • If you can keep your dog physically active, mentally stimulated, well-trained, and socialized, Azawakhs will thrive as house dogs.

Did You Know?

  • In Azawakh’s land of origin, they are used for hunting hare, antelope, and wild boar.
  • The breed is anointed for the Azawakh Valley, and Azawakh indicates the “land of the north” in the Djerma language. 
  • These breeds have been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1997.
  • Azawakh breeds have been eligible to compete in Companion events since 2008.

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