Azawakh dog: characteristics and photos

Azawakh: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Azawakh is an endemic sighthound of the African continent. Although it is...

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The Azawakh is an endemic sighthound of the African continent. Although it is a very old and symbolic breed of dog in its countries of origin, it is only very little known in the West. These dogs stand out for their many qualities, it is a dog with a slender and athletic body and a docile and well-balanced temperament.

In this breed sheet from PlanèteAnimal, we invite you to get to know this magnificent breed of greyhound dog better. We will tell you everything about its origins, its physical and behavioral characteristics as well as the he alth of the Azawakh.If you are thinking of adopting a dog of this breed, this breed sheet will also allow you to know all the essential care of the Azawakh.


  • Africa
  • Mali
  • Niger

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group X

Physical Characteristics

  • End
  • Muscular
  • Lying


  • Average


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Balanced
  • Shy
  • Society
  • Affectionate
  • Quiet
  • Submitted

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • Walking
  • The hunt
  • Sports


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Hot

Hair type

  • Short
  • Smooth
  • End

Origin of Azawakh

The Azawakh is a breed of dog originating in Africa whose birth is attributed to the southern region of the Sahara located between Mali and Niger. These slender dogs began to be bred by the nomadic Tuareg tribe.

Originally, the Tuareg used greyhounds to help them hunt, they took advantage of their excellent vision and incredible speed. In addition, the color of their coat and their thin body allow them to camouflage themselves easily in the African deserts. This characteristic gave them an advantage when hunting hares, gazelles, ostriches and fennec foxes. From time to time they also came into confrontation with other local predators, such as jackals, foxes and lions.

The Azawakh had an extremely important symbolic value for the Tuaregs and they did not use it only for hunting, because these dogs were considered great life companions for the members of the nomadic tribe, who found in them a great ally that enabled them to survive. Also, according to Tuareg culture and traditions, it is forbidden to sell this dog talisman. This is also the reason why these dogs took several centuries to be known outside their native land.Introduction to mainland Europe did not occur until the mid-1970s.

Nevertheless, these dogs have never become as popular in Europe as the Afghan Hounds, the Spanish Greyhound or the Greyhound. But unfortunately and like the majority of greyhounds, his physical qualities have been exploited in dog races.

Physical characteristics of the Azawakh

" Like all sighthounds, the Azawakh is characterized by its privileged port and its remarkable elegance, presenting a body larger than long, with long and strong legs. Their athletic and aerodynamic body format, combined with a lean and well-developed musculature, allows these dogs to make extraordinary jumps as well as to reach speeds of 60 km/h while running."

The Azawakh is a medium to large sized dog, tall and light, but which reveals incredible strength and physical resistance. His thin, dry skin allows us to clearly see the relief of his well-defined and marked musculature, especially at the level of the thighs.Males generally reach a height at the withers of 64 to 74 cm in adulthood, for an average weight of between 20 and 25 kg. In females, the height at the withers varies between 60 and 70 cm, for a weight that varies from 15 to 20 kg.

Their head is long, thin and chiseled, it retains the same finesse and thinness that characterize this breed. Their neck is long, slender and muscular, clearly standing out from the shoulders, it is slightly arched to the naked eye. Likewise, neither the head nor the neck of the Azawakh should appear to be too heavy or coarse, but should be harmonious with the fine lines of its entire body.

The facial region of the Azawakh is characterized by a long straight muzzle, which tapers slightly towards the nose. The eyes are almond or dark amber in color, the cheeks are flat, the lips are thin and tight (not pendulous) and dark brown or black in color. Their flat, thin ears always fall beside the cheeks and are set quite high.

The Azawakh's coat is made up of fine, smooth, short hair, which is well attached to its thin skin. As far as colors are concerned, all shades are allowed, from light sable to dark fawn, with or without tabby markings (since they are black). White markings are only permitted when limited to the extremities, and some white markings may only be spread over the chest and neck region.

Character of Azawakh Dog

In general, all sighthounds are characterized by an extremely energetic demeanor, and the Azawakh is no exception. These dogs have an almost inexhaustible energy and they love to exercise. Therefore, it will absolutely be necessary that you exercise him by creating an appropriate exercise program that will allow him to spend all his energy.

When given the proper care and enough physical activity to expend their energy, Azawakhs generally display a calm and friendly demeanor within their family unit, they appreciate hugs and love to share good times with their loved ones.However, they are also independent dogs who will need their moments of peace and quiet to be respected, especially when sleeping or feeding.

It should also be mentioned that Azawakh dogs are very alert and have extremely developed senses. Consequently, they will tend to react quickly to any stimuli that are out of the ordinary and they are very susceptible to stress. They must therefore live in a positive environment and be properly socialized from the first months of their life.

Caring for an Azawakh Greyhound

In order to be happy and he althy, the Azawakh needs relatively simple care. His short, tight coat is easy to maintain, and you'll only need to brush him once or twice a week to remove dirt and loose hair. You will only have to wash your dog when he really needs it, even once a month, you will have to make sure that you do not wash him more than once a week.Washing it too much removes the layer of fat that naturally covers and protects the dog's body, which leaves it more exposed to certain diseases and skin problems.

On the other hand, the Azawakh need dedication when it comes to their physical exercise program In order to expend all their energy, maintain a he althy weight and balanced behavior, they will need to exercise daily and ideally have a large area where they can run around freely. If you don't have a large garden to make available to him, you will need to take him for at least three long walks lasting 40 minutes each. You can also consider enrolling him in a canine sport, such as agility or canicross.

Like all dogs, Azawakhs need a complete and balanced diet in order to develop fully physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially. There are several types of dog food that you could consider offering your best friend, such as giving him balanced kibble or opting for a BARF diet.To ensure that you are providing the most appropriate diet for your greyhound's nutritional needs, we recommend that you consult a veterinarian.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember that the Azawakh is an intelligent dog and also needs mental stimulation in order to lead a he althy and happy life. Think about enriching your dog's environment, as well as introducing him to intelligence games and consider introducing him to searching.

Azawakh Education

Azawakh education must begin at an early age. However, if you decide to adopt an adult Azawakh, you should know that it is always possible to educate and train an adult dog. Puppy education begins with socialization, a stage that begins around the third week of life and continues until three months. During this momentous time, you are going to have to ensure that little Azawakh has relationships with all kinds of people, animals, objects and environments, ensuring that each of these interactions is safe and positive.The socialization of the puppy will have a direct impact on the behavior of the adult dog. If you want to live with an obedient and balanced Azawakh, you will have to socialize it correctly.

During the first three months of your puppy's life, we also recommend that you teach him to relieve himself in a newspaper as well as to teach him to inhibit his bite. It is also during this period that he must be taught the rules of the house, always applying positive reinforcement and never negative reinforcement (punishment).

As soon as your puppy has completed its first cycle of vaccinations, you can start taking it out on the street in order to continue socializing with other dogs, people, stimuli and environments. This will be the perfect time to teach him how to relieve himself in the street and start teaching him basic commands, which will be essential in order to foster obedient behavior and positive relationships with those around him.

When he becomes an adult, around his 12 months of life, you will have to continue the education of your Azawakh, to do this, you will have to work regularly on the orders of obedience already assimilated while teaching him new ones more advanced tricks in order to keep stimulating his mind. When you have completed the basic training with your best friend, you can consider starting the advanced training, using circuits or specialized educators.

Azawakh dog he alth

In general, the Azawakh shows great physical resistance and a very good state of he alth, which is why he does not get really sick if he receives adequate care. But as with all dog breeds, Azawakhs may have a certain genetic predisposition to developing certain hereditary and degenerative diseases. The following conditions are generally the most common in the Azawakh:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart problems
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Stomach twist
  • Autoimmune diseases

In addition, the Azawakh can also be affected by other common dog ailments and is quite sensitive to drugs and chemicals. This sensitivity will develop through allergic reactions. This is why it is absolutely essential to offer good preventive medicine to your best friend throughout his life. Remember to take him to the vet every 6-12 months for a check-up, also remember to follow his vaccination schedule religiously and deworm him periodically.

By following all these recommendations, the life expectancy of an Azawakh is between 10 and 13 years.

Photos of Azawakh

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