Azawakh: All about the Tuareg’s faithful companion


Sensitivity to strangers
Affection for family
Suitable for first-time owners
Ease of grooming
Energy level

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Azawakh: The swift African sighthound with great temperament and strength

The AKC and the FCI classifies the Azawakh in the sighthound group. This breed is also known as the African sighthound. Besides being the faithful companion of the Tuareg, nomadic inhabitants of North Africa, it is a dog breed that has been used throughout time as a guard dog and hunting dog, especially for hares and gazelles, thanks to its unquestionable speed.

It is a lean, medium-sized breed with a regal presence. The Azawakh is an exceptional dog. If heavy-handed and punitive methods are used, it will be impossible to train. It is a very sensitive, reserved and shy dog that is hard to win over. But if this African sighthound has an owner capable of respecting all its nuances and personality, it proves to be loving and faithful for life.

Its typical wariness of strangers also makes it an excellent watchdog. It tends to be aggressive if it lives in a pack; therefore, it is recommended not to have more than two specimens together.

It is a dog that enjoys good health and needs a lot of exercise. So, this is definitely not the breed for you if you are lazy person. Certainly, the Azawakh will love to be on the couch with you when you have fully gained its trust, but it also needs to run, as its greyhound DNA requires.

Azawakh: Origins

The Azawakh is also known as an African sighthound. In 1982, the FCI recognized and classified it in the greyhound group, and only in 2019 it was recognized for the AKC. It is more likely that this breed originated in the East, but over time it gradually spread to the African continent. It has been the faithful companion of the Tuareg and other nomadic sub-Saharan and Sahelian populations for many centuries.

For these peoples it was, and still is, a valuable companion used as a hunting dog. The Azawakh can reach 25 mi (40 km) per hour, and it is thanks to its speed that it was primarily used as a hunting dog for hares and gazelles. It was also used as a guard dog in the fields and camps.

This dog breed began to be popular in Europe, especially in France, around the 1970s. It is mainly used in the Agility activity. It is named for the Azawakh Valley, which stretches between the states of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Azawakh: Physical Characteristics

The Azawakh is a medium-large sized dog, which is covered by a tight and thin skin. Like most greyhounds, it is very slim. It has a lean and muscular body with long limbs. This gives it an elegant and refined appearance.

The head tapers into a straight, tapering muzzle, which ends in a black and brown nose. The skull is almost flat, rather elongated. Its ears are fine, always drooping, and flat. Their shape is that of a triangle with a slightly rounded tip. They are quite wide at the base.

Their almond-shaped eyes may be dark or amber. They are always big. The tail is set low, thin, lean, and tapered. It is covered with the same type off hair as that of the body.

The Azawakh coat comes in a variety of colors, including:

  • Reddish with white spots at the limbs;
  • All shades from light sandy to dark reddish;
  • They may also have stripes of red brindle.

Males stand 25 to 29 inches (64-74 cm) at the shoulder. Females are 24 to 28 inches (60-71 cm) tall. In terms of weight, males weigh 44 to 55 lb (20-25 kg); while females weigh 33 to 44 lb (15-20 kg).

Particularly leggy and elegant, the Azawakh gives a general impression of great fineness. Its bone structure and musculature are transparent beneath fine and lean skin. Although it is slim, it is powerful. It has long and strong limbs that give it lightness and elasticity.

Azawakh: Health

The Azawakh is an extremely strong breed of dog, despite its physical constitution that might make us think that it could be a rather weak breed. It has an average life span of 12 to 14 years. There are no known particular diseases to which this breed of dog could be particularly prone, but, like other greyhounds, it is particularly sensitive to some medications, therefore, doses of anesthetics and sedatives should be administered with great care.

Some health problems that could affect this canine breed are:

  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Hearing problems;
  • Autoimmune diseases.

In any case, there are few cases related to these pathologies. In addition, it is essential to feed the Azawakh a balanced and proportionally correct diet. This dog should not be robust, but lean, obviously not to the extreme. This breed does not tolerate cold and rain, but fits very well to high temperatures.

Azawakh: Temperament

This breed is known to be almost impossible to train. Although it is true that we are not talking about the most docile dog in the world, it is also true that with proper training, this breed can give great satisfaction. Keep in mind that this is not an easy dog.

The Azawakh is a very sensitive dog that needs non-binding and non-punitive training. Its training should favor its intelligence and exceptional memory. It is believed that this breed can recognize a person even after long periods of separation. Once you gain its confidence, it will become a loyal and affectionate dog. It will love to be close to its owner and family, to whom it will be devoted for life.

It is a mainly calm dog that loves the comfort of family life. This breed loves to sit and relax on the couch, although it remains alert and attentive to what is going on around it. Like any greyhound it needs daily exercise, after all, running is in its DNA.

Regarding strangers, the Azawakh is wary and reserved. This makes it an excellent watchdog. In addition, it is highly recommended not to have more than two specimens together because it is a breed characterized by an aggressive temperament, especially if it is in a pack.

Azawakh: Breeders, Price, and Puppies For Sale

While it is not an extremely rare breed, this is not a very popular one either. A puppy of this breed can cost 3000 dollars, about 2700 English pounds. The Azawakh breed is also considered one of the most expensive breeds.

You may be able to find better prices on the internet, but as this is a rare dog, it is best to go to a certified breeder to make sure you are adopting a healthy dog with all the documents in order.

Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.


In addition to the Azawakh, there are other types of sighthounds recognized:

Long or wavy sighthounds:

Wirehaired sighthounds:

Short-haired sighthounds:

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