The African greyhound is characterized by its slender and elegant appearance. Especially among Tuareg nomads the Azawakh is popular. He withstands the heat in the desert and has a strong hunting instinct. At the same time he is very loyal to his owner. A high reliability and his condition make him a perfect hunting companion.
The Azawakh belongs to the original sighthounds. He has a very elegant appearance. Usually he reaches a height at the withers of 60 to 73 cm. The slender body of this dog breed grows to a maximum weight of 25 kilograms.
Due to its thin connective tissue, the bones and joints of the Azawakh stand out strongly under the skin. The body is extremely slender and athletic. The legs appear very well-trained and wiry.
Also his elegant head is very long and his muzzle is pointed. He has almond-shaped eyes, which are mostly brownish. His ears are very fine and thin. They have a triangular shape and hang. Likewise, the tail of the Azawakh is thin and long tapered.
The coat color of the Azawakh varies mostly between yellow-brown, red-brown and brown. Often he has a white spot on the chest. The coat is very short and thin. At the same time it is very soft and shiny. On the belly the Azawakh has hardly any hair. Due to its African origin, the Azawakh has a great preference for sun and heat. He is very heat resistant.
The nature of this breed of sighthound is very gentle and affectionate. Towards strangers he often reacts reserved and skeptical. Therefore, he often seems very distant to new things. At the same time, the Azawakh acts very independently and autonomously.
It can often be difficult to break the ice with this breed of greyhound. However, once the Azawakh has chosen an owner, he becomes very trusting. So he is not only in the desert a faithful and reliable companion. The bond to its owner is very strong.
His bright character makes it difficult for many to train him. Therefore, it is recommended to have experience with dogs when getting an Azawakh. His education requires patience and empathy. But once the training was successful, the Azawakh is very obedient.
The slender athlete is generally very sensitive. His high intelligence allows for easy training. In addition, he has a high endurance and is very resilient. The character of the Azawakh is very contrary. On the one hand, he has a strong hunting instinct and bravely defends his territory. On the other hand, he is very cuddly and needs his daily portion of love.
The right food
The Azawakh at first seems like a dog that does not eat much. However, this is not the case. Also, you should not starve him just to keep his slim image. Regular exercise is essential to keep him in shape.
The food for the Azawakh should be very high quality. Meat should make up the largest part. Pay attention to the protein content of the feed. It should not exceed 25 %, if possible. Disregard can have a very negative effect on the dog's kidneys.
It is also important to feed the Azwakh with a food with low fat content. This also applies to treats or other rewards. Once this breed gains a lot of weight, it has negative consequences for the joints.
Especially the hips would suffer from the weight. Dried meat strips are a very healthy snack for in between meals. You can also make them yourself at home with lean meat.
The content of carbohydrates should also be quite low. However, a complete abandonment of carbohydrates is not recommended. If you have just fed your Azawakh, you should refrain from much exercise with him. This can otherwise lead to dangerous gastric distention.
The Azawakh is very active and moves a lot. Therefore, please make sure that the water bowl is always filled.
The short coat of the Azawakh does not really need much care. With a simple brush you can brush out dead skin particles and fallen out hairs. A massage brush or a rubber glove with nubs is also recommended. Even though the grooming ritual is rather short for this breed, feel free to take some time for it. Prolonged contact in a quiet environment will create a bond more quickly.
The short coat also has the advantage of not getting so dirty. Therefore, frequent bathing is not necessary. Brushing is usually sufficient. You can also remove dirt with a damp cloth.
Dogs have a very slow regenerating skin flora. So bathe your Azawakh maximum every eight to ten weeks. Otherwise, his skin may dry out. This has negative effects on his coat. A gentle dog shampoo is recommended for bathing. It should be moisturizing and nourishing. Please do not use hygiene products for humans.
The Azawakh has quite long and drooping ears. These are therefore hardly ventilated. This can lead to the accumulation of bacteria. The ears then become inflamed. Therefore, clean the ears of your fur friend regularly. All you need is an ear cleaning solution.
The Azawakh's claws are often worn down by his sporting activity. However, you should still check them regularly and shorten them if necessary. A special claw scissors is recommended for this purpose.
The Azawakh is very active and needs a lot of exercise. Also his intelligence should always be challenged. For this purpose, numerous agility toys are available. You can really exhaust him by running.
The best way to do that is on a dog track. For this, however, he does not necessarily have to participate in a race.
A sturdy leash is suitable for walking. If necessary, you can also get a long drag line.
Origin & History
The origin of the Azawakh is in Africa. More precisely, he comes from Mali. The furry nose can probably be seen on cave paintings for thousands of years. The African greyhound got its name from its region of origin. The valley is also called Azawakh and is located in the basin of the middle Niger.
For hundreds of years, this breed of sighthound has been a faithful companion of the nomads. Especially the Tuareg nomads appreciate his hunting instinct and his reliability very much. In the dry areas the Azawakh hunts antelopes, small hares and gazelles. A white spot on the chest is even considered to increase value in Tuareg circles.
In the Tuareg area, other dogs are rarely kept. Hardly any breed can withstand the heat and be so active at the same time. The Azawakh found its way to Europe only in the 1970s. In the beginning its appearance in Europe was still rare. First breeding attempts and the spread of the breed in the eighties failed.
However, today he has proven himself in the family of sighthounds. Today, the patronage of the breeding of the African greyhound is even in France.
Cynologists consider the Azawakh to be a very pure breed. Over the centuries, no crossbreeding with other breeds is said to have taken place. In areas where it is used as a hunting dog, it is considered a symbol of prosperity.