Azawakh

Last updated: November 12, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit otsphoto/Shutterstock.com

Azawakh Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Azawakh Conservation Status

Azawakh Locations

Azawakh Locations

Azawakh Facts

Diet
Omnivore

Azawakh Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Gold
  • Brindle
Skin Type
Fur
Top Speed
35 mph

Azawakh as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Separation Anxiety
Moderate
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
Moderate
Pure bred cost to own
$600-$800 initial purchase; $650 a year to maintain.
Dog group
Hound
Male weight
44-55 lbs
Female weight
33-44 lbs

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Azawakh Introduction

The Azawakh is a slender, elegant, large breed dog developed by the nomadic tribes of several western Saharan countries but is still uncommon in Europe and North America. They are sighthounds, bred as guard dogs and hunting dogs, and able to run up to 40 mph in pursuit of gazelle and hares. In temperament, they have been compared to cats because of their independent nature and shyness around strangers. They are best suited to experienced dog owners without children who can provide consistent training and opportunities for frequent vigorous exercise.

Types of Azawakhs and Azawakh mixes

Because the Azawakh is a rare breed that is not yet popular outside of West Africa, there are not many Azawakh mixes yet. One that is known is the Azawakh Borzoi.

Azawakh Fun Fact

“Sometimes compared to a cat because of its independence and shyness around strangers.”

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3 pros and cons of owning Azawakhs

Pros:

  • Do not need grooming. Azawakhs have short-haired coats of red, black, blue, brindle, brown, golden, gray, or white. They shed moderately but their coats do not require anything beyond a weekly brushing. They do not smell and do not need frequent bathing.
  • A rare, exotic breed. Azawakhs are still relatively unknown in Europe and North America. Their elegance and grace and their origin in the Sahara are likely to inspire a great deal of attention and conversation.
  • Intelligent and dignified. The manner of an Azawakh is self-assured, alert, and dignified. They are highly intelligent. They can be reserved with strangers. These characteristics have led some to describe them as “cat-like.”

Cons:

  • Require a lot of exercise. These are highly energetic dogs that need frequent vigorous exercise. They are not suitable for apartments or families with a sedentary lifestyle. They also will not run around to exercise themselves without another dog or human in their presence.
  • Need careful training. Azawakhs are independent-minded dogs that can be difficult to train. Patient, intentional training is essential, however, as otherwise they may not get along well with children and other pets.
  • Variable temperaments. The temperament of this breed is not consistent across individuals. The aggression level of these dogs can vary considerably depending upon their genetics and training.

The Best Dog Food For Azawakhs

Azawakhs should have a balanced diet of high-quality dog food fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. It’s important to monitor their weight under a veterinarian’s supervision to make sure they do not get overweight. Remember, these dogs have thin skins that show their frames and musculature. At a healthy weight, you should be able to see their ribs.

Azawakhs are an energetic breed, so make sure the food you choose has a high meat content to satisfy their protein needs. They can eat a high-quality wet or dry dog food as well as fresh meat in moderation. Meat broth can also be added to dry food to make it tastier.

Because of the dietary needs of Azawakhs, at A-Z Animals we recommend Instinct Grain Free Dry Dog Food. This high-quality brand has a 40% protein level, is minimally processed, and is sourced responsibly from cage-free chicken. It contains no grain products, artificial colors, or preservatives. It’s available in 5 flavors and suitable for dogs of all ages.

Azawakh Size and Weight

The Azawakh is a tall, slender dog with a height ranging from 25-29 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 23.5-27.5 inches tall. Males weigh anywhere from 44-55 pounds at maturity while females are smaller, at 33-44 pounds.

Height (Male)25-29” Tall
Height (Female)23.5-27.5” Tall
Weight (male)44-55 lbs, fully grown
Weight (female)33-44 lbs, fully grown

Azawakh Common Health Issues

This is a generally healthy breed, but they should be screened for possible issues with hypothyroidism, seizures, cardiac problems, and autoimmune diseases. Owners should be aware that at a healthy weight, an adult Azawakh will appear very slender, with its bone and muscle structure visible through thin skin. Owners unfamiliar with the breed may overfeed them.

Ask your veterinarian to screen your Azawakh for these possible issues:

Azawakh Temperament and Behavior

Some of the positive personality traits associated with Azawakhs are independence, loyalty, and deep affection. There can be a wide variation in their personality depending upon their genetics, training, and socialization. With proper training, they can be good with children and other pets, but they can be difficult to train because of their independent-mindedness.

They also require a great deal of exercise with personal interaction with their owner or other humans or pets. This is a behavior that will appeal to active pet owners but be a difficult trait for those who do not have the time or energy to devote daily attention to their pet.

How To Take Care of Azawakhs

Rare breeds of dogs - Azawakh
Three young Azawakh (African Sighthounds) standing together amongst the stone columns of a historic building. This rare breed of dogs emerged from Africa 8,000 years ago.

iStock.com/animalinfo

Azawakh Maintenance and Grooming

Azawakhs have a short coat that does not shed very much and requires minimal grooming. It’s enough to brush them once a week with a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt. They do not smell and do not require frequent baths. Even when they get muddy, it is often sufficient to allow the mud to dry and then brush it out of their coats. As with all breeds, they should receive regular nail-trimming and tooth-brushing to remain healthy.

Azawakh Training

This breed requires patient training from early in its life, ideally from an experienced trainer who uses positive, reward-based techniques. As an intelligent and independent-minded breed, they do not respond well to harsh or punitive training methods. They can be more challenging to train than similar breeds, but with a knowledgeable and caring owner, their energy and intelligence can be directed in constructive ways.

Azawakh Exercise

Azawakhs need daily vigorous exercise, running or playing in a fenced yard or park. They hunt in packs in their natural environment. This means if left outside without humans or other dogs, they will not self-exercise. They will enjoy any kinds of tasks that require agility, hunting, and problem-solving.

Azawakhs and Children

Azawakhs may not be the best option for families with children. Their temperaments differ from one dog to the next, from gentle, affectionate lapdogs to fiercely overprotective guard dogs. Raising them with children from puppyhood, with careful training and socialization, can help them be better pets for families. Puppies showing dominant traits should not be in families with children or other pets.

Dogs similar to Azawakhs

  • Greyhound – Greyhounds are quite similar in appearance to the Azawakh. Although they are known as the fastest dog breed, surprisingly they do not require more than a 20-30 minute walk a day.
  • Whippet – This breed was developed in Victorian England for rabbit hunting. It is a fast-running sighthound like the Azawakh. This breed is more established and predictable as a family pet.
  • Saluki – The Saluki is a sighthound like the Azawakh but is native to the Middle East. It is similar in size and body structure but has long fur on its ears, tail, and the backs of its legs.

Popular Names for Azawakhs

Male Azawakhs include:

  • Zane – “Noble, well-born.”
  • Taj – “Exalted one”
  • Jabir – “Comforter, consoler”
  • Kellan – “Powerful, slender”
  • Tau – “Fierce like a lion”

Female Azawakhs include:

  • Asha – “A lively woman, full of life”
  • Nailah – “Successful”
  • Amina – “Trustworthy, faithful”
  • Sabra – “Patient”
  • Zemora – “Knowing the right way”

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

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If you have kids or existing dogs select:

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How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer and a lifelong animal lover. I've traveled the world, but the high point for me was riding an elephant in Nepal. Currently I'm an "Emotional Support Human" to 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 3 guinea pigs. My favorite wild animal is the quokka. If you've never heard of it look it up . . . and smile!

Azawakh FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does an Azawakh cost to own?

An Azawakh puppy can cost $600-$800 on average. For typical costs of food, veterinary care, vaccinations, pet insurance and supplies, owners should budget $650 a year.

Is the Azawakh good with kids?

This breed is not the best choice for families with children, as their temperament can vary widely from dog to dog, they are highly independent, and they have high training and exercise requirements.

How long do Azawakhs live?

The life expectancy of an Azawakh is 12-15 years.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Wikipedia.com, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azawakh
  2. Petplan, Available here: https://www.petplan.co.uk/pet-information/blog/rare-dog-breeds/
  3. Dog Breed Info, Available here: https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/a/azawakhborzoi.htm
  4. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/azawakh/
  5. Pet Net ID, Available here: https://petnetid.com/breed/
  6. Wagwalking.com (1970) Wagwalking.com/daily/names

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