Azawakh Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Lifespan, Temperament

The Azawakh dog is a lean and swift hunter with a regal presence. It is proud but loyal, and protective of it’s home and family. It is also known by some other names such as Idi, Hanshee, Oska, Rawondu, Bareeru, Wulo and formerly Tuareg Sloughi.

The breed was originated from West Africa. With ancient origins, the breed is raised throughout the Sahelian zone of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. This region includes the Azawagh Valley for which the breed is named.

While commonly associated with the nomadic Tuareg people, they are also bred and owned by other ethnic groups such as the Peulh, Bella, and Hausa. The Azawakah is more related to the Sloughi than it is to the Saluki.

The Azawakh dog is also used as a sighthound, they have been relegated to a secondary function of camp guardian due to the lack of game in the region.

The breed is relatively uncommon in Europe and North America but there is a growing band of devotees. Azawakh may be registered with the FCI in the USA via the Federación Canófila de Puerto Rico (FCPR).

European FCI clubs and the AKC recognize the FCPR as an acceptable registry. The AKC (not a member of the FCI) currently recognizes Azawakh as a Foundation Stock Service breed and they are eligible to participate in AKC-sanctioned Companion & Performance events.[1]

The American Azawakh Association (AAA) is the AKC Parent Club for the Azawakh. Azawakh may be registered with the UKC and ARBA. The breed is not yet registered by CKC. Azawakh are eligible for ASFA and AKC lure coursing and NOFCA open field coursing events.

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Azawakh Dog Characteristics

The Azawakh dogs are tall animals with beautiful appearance. They are particularly leggy and elegant, and give 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 it’s longer sides in a vertical position. Their coat is short and smooth, which comes in a variety of colors, including clear sand to dark red, white, black, blue, brindle, gray, party-color, grizzle and all shades off brown, including chocolate. And their belly may be hairless.

The Azawakh dogs are tall animals. Average body height of the mature dogs is between 25 and 29 inches at the withers for male, and between 24 and 28 inches for females. Average live body weight of the mature dog is between 20 and 25 kg for males and between 15 and 20 kg for females.

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Temperament

Hailing from the Sahel region of the Sahara Desert, the proud and elegant Azawakh has long been a guardian, hunter, and companion to tribes in that region.

The Azawakh dogs are generally gentle and affectionate with their families, but they can be standoffish toward strangers and dislike being touched by people they don’t know. They are also protective of their property and people.

As they are sighthounds, they are attracted by motion and are likely to chase animals, people on bicycles, or skateboards, or even running children. On the other hand, these lean, muscular dogs make excellent companions for joggers and runners. Indoors, they’re fairly inactive and are content to snooze on the couch.

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The Azawakh dogs are best suited to a home with a large fenced yard or a nearby fenced park where they can run flat out. They need at least a half hour a day of active exercise or play.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Azawakh dog is between 12 and 15 years.

Feeding

Feeding How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Azawakh dogs are large animals. So, their diet should be formulated for a large sized breed with average or high energy and exercise needs. You can consult with your vet for better recommendations.

Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Azawakh dogs. These dogs need a fairly high level of exercise and they should have regular runs off lead in large enclosed areas to run off steam. These dogs are very social and emotional. They thrive on companionship of other Azawakhs.

Health

The Azawakh dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

Their common health problems include hypothyroidism, seizures, cardiac problems, and autoimmune-mediated disease. Always keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameAzawakh
Other NamesIdi, Hanshee, Oska, Rawondu, Bareeru, Wulo and formerly Tuareg Sloughi
Breed SizeLarge
HeightBetween 25 and 29 inches at the withers for male, and between 24 and 28 inches for females
WeightBetween 20 and 25 kg for males and between 15 and 20 kg for females
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorFawn
LifespanBetween 12 and 15 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginWest Africa