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AKC Meet the Breeds®

Tall and elegant, the Azawakh is a West African sighthound who originates from the countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The Azawakh has a short, fine coat which may come in any color or color combinations: red, clear sand to fawn, brindled, parti-color (which may be predominantly white), blue, black and brown. The head may have a black mask and there may be white markings on the legs, bib and at the tip of tail. There are no color or marking disqualifications in the breed. Befitting its heritage, the Azawakh excels as a companion, guardian and a lure courser in the United States.

A Look Back

Traditionally, the Azawakh is the companion of the Tuareg nomads in the sub-Sahelian desert. The breed is referred to as "Aidi n'Ailluli ," meaning "Noble Dogs of the Free People." The Azawakh is considered a full member of the family, entrusted with protecting the encampment and flocks from invaders. Agile, and possessing great endurance, it also hunts hare, antelope and wild boar to provide its family with meat. The breed made its debut in America in the 1980's.

Right Breed for You?

Although extremely loyal and deeply affectionate with its family, the Azawakh has the sharpest temperament of all the sighthound breeds. Azawakhs are fiercely protective of their people and territory. When properly introduced to strangers, the Azawakh's initial reaction may range from accepting, indifferent or avoidant to friendly and affectionate. The Azawakh is extremely intelligent and possesses great independence, so training and socialization must start early. The Azawakh is a keen and willing companion that adapts easily to disciplines such as obedience, freestyle and agility training. As with all sighthounds, training for the breed should be positive and reward based. Harsh treatment or punishment based training will inevitably destroy the Azawakh spirit and cause mistrust, fear or aggression. This active dog has strong guarding and hunting instincts, and requires daily exercise for both mind and body fitness. The short coat needs minimal upkeep.

If you are considering purchasing an Azawakh puppy, learn more here.

  • Miscellaneous class; Hound group designation.
  • Ranging in size from 23 inches to 29 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Sight hound.

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