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Long-legged and graceful, the Azawakh is an African sighthound with unique physical and personality traits.
History and Origin of the Azawakh
Azawakhs differ from other sighthounds, in that their primary function serves not as a hunter but as a protector. They were bred by nomads in the sub-Saharan Sahel region of Africa. They are notorious for their pack behavior, and work together as a unit to ward off attackers or predators.
Appearance and Size of the Azawakh
Similar in body structure to the greyhound or whippet, the lanky but muscular Azawakh weighs from 35-55 pounds. Although other people may claim the Azawakh looks underweight or underfed, this is a breed meant to be very lean. Their coats range in color and are extremely short.
Personality of the Azawakh
Azawakhs are extremely loyal towards their owners and tend to develop very strong bonds with their family members. Because of this tendency, the Azawakh is protective. They can form complex pack relationships and tend to hunt in groups.
Home and Family Relations with the Azawakh
Azawakhs share strong bonds with their family members, and are wary of strangers. Because of their attachment, they do not adapt well to rehoming; a family should plan to keep an Azawakh for his/her entire life. The Azawakh may not be the ideal pet for a family with very small children, although they can be good companions for older children. They also have a high prey drive, so they may be tempted to chase smaller pets, even if they’ve been raised with them.
Training of the Azawakh
Azawakhs thrive under a firm (but fair) hand. Positive reinforcement training is best, as using negative methods often causes them to “shut down.” They are intelligent and independent, and will catch on quickly when motivated.
Grooming of the Azawakh
Azawakhs are as low-maintenance as they come. Occasional brushing of their very short coats, routine ear cleaning, and regular nail trimming and dental care are all recommended.
Special Care of the Azawakh
Due to their lack of insulating body fat, this is not the breed for a cold and/or wet climate. They also need cushioned beds for resting their bony frames.
Common Diseases and Disorders of the Azawakh
The following diseases or conditions have been reported in Azawakhs:
- Autoimmune disorders (such as eosinophilic myositis or autoimmune thyroiditis)
- Demodectic mange
- Cardiac issues
Life Span of the Azawakh
The average life span of the Azawakh is approximately 12 years.