Azawakh | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


Azawakh is a breed of greyhounds, originally from Africa. They have been used as a hunting and guard dog for centuries, as although they do not have such a high speed as other greyhounds, they are able to withstand high temperatures and are very hardy.

These dogs are surprisingly smart, hardy and fast that combine hunting qualities with the characteristics of an excellent watch dog and a great friend. The specimens of the breed are very serious and interesting at the same time. In addition, the Azawakh dog needs training, which is a fascinating process through which the owner reveals the multifaceted nature of the animal.

Dog sheet Azawakh

Azawakh photos

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Physical characteristics

The Azawakh is very similar to other sighthounds, especially the Sloughi. These are quite large dogs, males at the withers reach 74 cm, females 55-60 cm.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The head is quite long narrow, the skull is wide.
  • Jaws: scissor bite, fairly large white teeth.
  • Ears: The ears are pendulous at the base, broad, slightly tapering towards the edge, they are fine and rather flat.
  • Eyes: The eyes are large, oval in shape, slightly oblique. The color can be any shade of brown. The gaze is expressive, intelligent and alert at the same time.
  • Body: The chest is broad, the sternum is strongly curved, the belly is strongly rolled up. The back is not long and slightly arched.
  • Limbs: visually slender front legs, rather elongated, but not weak as it seems at first glance. The hind legs are muscular and strong. The stifles are set on high and the hocks are closer to the ground.
  • Coat: The coat is fine and very short, without undercoat. In Africa, Azawakhs can have any shade of coat; in European countries, brown-colored dogs are considered purebred.

Character and behavior

First of all, what you need to know is the emotional sensitivity and detachment of everyone in general. An exception can only be the owner – if you managed to become a leader, friend and just a good owner for the animal. Azawakh is a typical representative of pets, choosing a person for themselves, to whom he devotes himself exclusively.

Azawakh forms a very strong attachment to a person, although it is normal to have relationships with other family members. They rarely show their emotions, and mostly quite closed off, like to spend time doing their own thing.

Sensitive, alert, territorial, these dogs are excellent guard dogs, ready to make noise at the slightest danger. Despite the fact that they prefer to contain the threat, if the circumstances require it, they will attack.

With the children

Relationships with children depend on each particular dog, when they grow up together, the Azawakh is friendly with children. However, running and screaming can activate the hunting instinct, chasing and knocking down. Also, dogs that are new to children are very suspicious of them, dislike noise and sudden movements. They are not the kind of dogs that appreciate invasion of privacy, mistreatment, and noise.

With other animals

Most members of the breed can be trained to ignore small animals like cats. However, they have a very strong hunting instinct that is practically uncontrollable. They will chase any animal within sight, and even if they are friends with a domestic cat, they may attack and overtake the neighbor’s cat.


The health of the Azawakh is strong, the puppies grow into reliable and hardy hunters with practically invulnerable immunity to most infections. The only weakness of the breed in the Russian latitudes is instability to cold winter, due to which hereditary and acquired ailments can be aggravated against the background of improper care or unbalanced feeding.

The most common diseases of the African greyhound recorded by veterinarians:

  • Hip dysplasia (in puppies bred from the French line);
  • Epileptic syncope (hereditary pathology of Yugoslav nurseries);
  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Heart failure over 5 years old.

In addition, hounds often die from the effects of volvulus at any age if the owners do not control the amount of food they receive in their daily diet.

Life expectancy

The life span of the Azawakh can range from 11 to 13 years, long livers are rare among this breed. From 5-6 years old, it is recommended to increase visits to the vet for routine examinations up to three times a year, even if there are no symptoms of infringements.


It is not necessary to take care of the African greyhound like other hounds of the brethren – the pet is unpretentious in everyday life, but this does not mean at all that you can forget about it for a week. This is especially true for exhibition specimens, which are subject to increased requirements. To meet them, the owner must remember the following things:

  • Azawakh eyes are the most vulnerable spot due to the specific structure of the eyelids. For the prevention of discharge, it is advised to use special drops once a week.
  • Combing – only with special silicone gloves. Extremely short coats rarely shed, but scrubbing dead areas twice a month will not hurt.
  • African greyhounds are very fond of swimming, and will happily dive into the nearest accessible body of water. At the same time, washing with shampoo is recommended no more than once every three weeks.
  • In winter and in the cool off-season, it is better to buy an insulated waterproof cape for the Azawakh. Not the fact that he will like it, he will have to accustom.


Azawakh dogs have a very high pain threshold. They may get hurt and not notice it. Therefore, after active walks, it is necessary to inspect and handle abrasions or other injuries.

History of the breed

The Azawakh is such an ancient breed that it is now impossible to trace its origin. Perhaps they trace their lineage directly from domesticated wolves in preglacial times. One way or another, the breed is already about 15,000 years old. In addition, throughout this period, dogs lived in isolation, and if they interbred, then with other greyhounds that once existed on the Dark Continent – in particular, it is known that ancient pharaohs at different times sent research expeditions deep into the continent, so Egyptian or otherwise dogs helped form many African breeds, including the Basenji and possibly the Azawakh. However, we can only assume all of this, since the peoples who inhabited the Sahel (the transitional region between the Sahara and the more fertile lands to the south) have not only disappeared for the most part from the face of the earth, but have not even left behind any written material.

Somehow, in the harsh climate of Central Africa, a very unusual dog has formed over millennia, which can easily withstand excessively high temperatures and lack of water.

Until recently, nothing was known about Azawakhs on other continents, until several of these dogs arrived in Europe in the 70s of the last century. African sighthounds quickly rose in popularity, but more because of their exotic appearance and independence than the working qualities that these gazelle hunters simply had nowhere to apply in a foreign climate.


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