Azawakh comes from the sub Sahara region of Africa. They are closely related to the Slough of Maghreb. Azawakh have a rare glucose isomerism allele that occurs in other wild dogs such as foxes, jackals and Italian wolves. DNA results show that they come from a population of Pariah dogs also called bush dogs.
Azawakh are tall and elegant dogs. They are lean, muscular and swift when running. The tail is carried above the back line. The forequarters and hindquarters should exhibit very open angles. The hips must be at the same lever or higher then the withers. An Azawakh's skin fits tightly over their body. Their coat is short and fine with a commonly hairless belly. They come in a variety of colors however only sand to dark red and black brindle is recognized by the FCI. Each of the four legs must have white stockings.
The Azawakh’s are friendly towards their owners but can be aloof with strangers. Their attitude towards strangers can range from friendly to curious to arrogant. They have a guardian’s instinct and will vocalize when a stranger approaches them on their turf. If proper training and socialization is given, the Azawakh can live with people harmoniously.
Like other sighthounds, the Azawakh has a very high prey drive. This could cause some complications with other small household pets like cats and small dogs. Extra socialization is needed to ensure the safety of these small pets with this breed. An Azawakh left alone with an unfamiliar small animal could result badly. Because of this high prey drive, an Azawakh should not be left off leash near roads and high traffic areas. Azawakh’s tend to try and be the dominant dog in the family. If there is already a dominant dog in the family, this could cause problems.
Azawakh’s are highly intelligent breed and will train easily with gentle techniques. Firm and consistent training with treat rewards work well to train an Azawakh. Never use choke or pinch collars. These training methods could injure this breed. A good training class is recommended and will help the dog bond with the owner.
The Azawakh needs a good exercise routine. They have spurts of energy and require good walks and safe, fenced, open areas to run. If their exercise needs are met the will enjoy good, long naps on the sofa. Backyard exercise is not enough for this breed. They do well to have another dog to run with. Lure coursing, and racing are great ways to exercise the Azawakh. Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, this breed can turn destructive in a home.
The Azawakh is generally a healthy breed. The Azawakh as a breed do have several health issues that need to be watched for. The most common health concerns are: hypothyroidism, seizures, and autoimmune mediated diseases, such as Eosinophilic Myositis, autoimmune thyroiditis and generalized Demodectic Mange. Cardiac problems are also not unknown in this breed. Bloat, though rare, has been known to occur.
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