The Azawakh is a sight hound dog breed from Africa. Rangy, leggy, lean, and elegant, the Azawakh is extremely high-stationed, taller than it is long. Its back length should be 90 percent of its leg length to withers (shoulder blades). It has a deep chest, which should not go below the elbows, and a high tuck/waist.
The breed weighs from 33 to 55 pounds (15-25 kg); its height is 24 to 29 inches (60-74 cm). The coat is very short and almost absent on the belly. Its bone structure shows clearly through the skin and musculature. Its muscles lie quite flat, unlike the Greyhound, and in this respect it is closer to the Saluki.
Colors permitted by the FCI breed standard are clear sand to dark fawn/brown, red and brindle (with or without a dark mask), with white bib, tail tip, and white on all feet (which can be tips of toes to high stockings). Currently, white stockings that go above the elbow joint are considered disqualifying features in France, as is a white collar or half collar. Many other colors occur in Africa such as black, blue fawn (that is, with a lilac cast), grizzle, and blue. The Azawakh in its native land also comes in particolour. Blue brindle is also found in about 0.5% of the population; this is a normal recessive gene which again does not meet current FCI standards. The Azawakhâ€™s light, supple, elastic gait is a notable breed characteristic, as is a ”bouncy gallop’.
Azawakhs need to be well socialised from an early age and should be challenged with new situations. They are a combination of a sprinter (though not as fast as a Greyhound) and a long distance runner (like a Saluki).
They therefore require a good to high level of exercise and should have regular runs off lead in large enclosed areas. The dog manages to balance a close bond with its owner with a strong, almost feline independence. Attentive, distant, reserved with strangers, Azawakhs are gentle and affectionate with those they accept.
Bred by the Tuareg nomads of the Sahara and sub-Saharan Sahel in the countries of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, the breed is used there as a guard dog and to hunt gazelle and hare at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. Unlike some other Afro-Asian sighthounds it is more of a pack hunter and they bump down the quarry with hindquarters when it has been tired out.
The Azawakh is generally a healthy breed with an average life of up to 15 years.
Azawakh Dog. Azawakh dog book for costs, care, feeding, grooming, training and health. Azawakh dog Owners Manual.
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