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Azawakh Dog Breed…. Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

“An aza-what?” Azawakh! That’s definitely a question you’re likely going to get if you ever decide to own an Azawakh.  And be ready for it, because this is not the “type” of dog you’re going to be able to visit the dog park and not get asked a million questions!

And then…

Once folks meet you’re Azawakh, the next question is usually going to be…

“Where can I get one?”

Because, not only Azawakh’s beautiful to look at, they’re also a lot of fun to be with and EXTREMELY loyal so why wouldn’t everyone what to own one!

But like every type…

Of dog breed, certain “owners” will be better suited than other to own such a unique dog.  This is why in this article, we want to take a moment and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning an Azawakh puppy, you won’t be disappointed six months later in your little guy!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

Azawakh Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Mali

Original Purpose:  Hunting and personal protection

Height:  23 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder

Weight:  33 to 55 pounds

Lifespan:  10 to 13 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound group, however the Azawakh has not officially been recognized by the American Kennel Club (as of yet!)

Origin of the Azawakh hound

The Azawakh hound is a dog breed that has its origins within the Sahara Desert.  And while it’s “official” country of origin is Mali, these hounds were used by the nomadic people of the area and frequently traveled to other locations within the general area including Burkina Faso and Niger.

Valued for their…

Hunting abilities, these sighthounds quickly proved to be much more than just hunters, as they would often bond very closely to their “owners” unlike many other “hounds” do increasing their value as excellent guard dogs as well.

Aside from that…

Little else is really known about the origin of the Azawakh dog breed because unlike other “ancient” breeds where there might be archeological evidence available in the literature and art of the time, the nomadic tribes that used Azawakh often relied on “verbal” traditions leaving little for us to examine.

That said however…

It is believed that the Azawakh do share ancestors with the Saluki and the Sloughi dog breeds but beyond that, everything else is just conjecture.

Additionally…

Because this dog has only relatively recently been introduced to the United States (1980) he is still a relatively uncommon breed here in the US, which is another reason why not much is known about him.

In fact…

Despite the fact that the Azawakh is “probably” an ancient breed, he is not yet “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).  They have however been “officially” recognized by the Federation Cynologique (FCI) and United Kennel Club, so it’s probably just a matter of time until the AKC similarly recognized the breed as well.

Characteristics of an Azawakh

This sighthound from the Sahel region is elegant. Fairly tall and lean, Azawakh’s have long legs that give them their speed (up to 40 mph!). But please don’t mistake the word “lean” for skinny and frail – Azawakh’s are quite strong and have a great muscular build.

As a sighthound…

They share characteristics with Greyhounds and Salukis, but of course they have their own distinctions as well. One of the things that sets them apart are their adorable little triangular ears that lie down flat.

They’ll also have…

A short hair coat that can be either brown or black that is typically paired with a white bib on the chest.

Personality of the Azawakh

Unlike many other “sighthound” dog breeds that were primarily bred to be hunters, the Azawakh were bred within a traveling community of nomadic people.

For this reason…

The Azawakh was also bred to act as a guard dog as well as a hunter.  This is why, unlike many other sight hounds breeds which may tend to be a bit “aloof”, the Azawakh dog breed will demonstrate extreme loyalty to his or her master.

So…

Depending on your expectations from a dog-owner relationship, the loyalty of an Azawakh can be an amazing gift or it can be suffocating!  But just remember, these dogs bond for life, so if you’re not prepared to be this dogs owner for the next 10 to 13 years please don’t chose to adopt an Azawakh puppy because it’s not going to be easy to hand him or her off to another person because they bond for life!

Azawakh’s with other Dogs/Pets

Azawakh dogs innately know how to hunt even from the time they’re puppies. That said, it’s not the best dog to put in a room with other pets, especially toy dogs or cats.

It is possible…

For them to get along if they are raised together from the time you get an Azawakh puppy, but even then, it’s not a foolproof plan. They might just go berserk one day!

The same can be…

Said about choosing to adopt a Azawakh with small children around.  Since these dogs are “hunters” by nature, having small children run around them probably isn’t a good idea.  And while socializing your Azawakh early on as a puppy will certainly help minimize the risk that your Azawakh may chase and “nip” your kid, do you really want to take that risk?

We here at…

IndulgeYourPet don’t think so, but that’s just us.

Health Concerns of Azawakh

One thing that should be noted is that an Azawakh dog has a higher pain tolerance than most dogs. Since dogs can’t talk, this can compound the difficulty of knowing when something’s wrong. So… you’ll want pay attention to detail when it comes to the health of the Azawakh hound and not take any “changes” in his or her behavior for granted.  Those “changes” could be the only clue you get that your Azawakh isn’t feeling so good.

On the plus side…

The Azawakh hound is one of the few dog breeds that runs almost no risk of getting hip dysplasia. That said however, they do run a risk of problems related to the bone structure, such as neck problems or other muscolo-skeletal problems.

In the event…

That you see some unusual movement in your Azawakh, you’ll want to be sure to have your vet check it out right away.  This way you might be able to avoid having to pay an orthopedic vet surgeon a visit later on down the road!

Another common problem…

Among Azawakh’s is Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus aka “bloating”. And while this may not “seem” like a very serious condition, it can in fact be life threatening so it’s definitely not something you don’t want to fool around with!

Now we mention these…

Issues not because we want to scare you, we just want to let you know what you want to be on the lookout for if you do decide to adopt an Azawakh puppy.  Because truth be told, the Azawakh breed is actually a pretty health dog breed!

But not too healthy…

That it might not make sense for you to at least consider purchasing a pet insurance policy on your new pet.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for you? 

Who knows?  But you owe it to yourself to at least see what it might cost to insure your pet so that in the event that your dog does become sick or injured, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost to have him or her treated!

For more information about pet insurance policies, we would recommend that you check out our  Best Pet Insurance Companies article where we discuss some of the pros and cons of getting insured.

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