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.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Each new situation presents the potential for the struggle between the dog’s natural desire to please his owner and his prideful desire to do things his own way. A well-socialized Azawakh is affectionate, gentle, playful, subtle, and very loyal to his owner. Some Azawakhs, having bonded with one particular person, do not change ownership very easily. Unlike many other sighthounds, Azawakhs can be very reliable off lead if taught a strong recall. It’s important to expose an Azawakh puppy to different experiences.
Like all breeds there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Azawakhs are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own as Azawakhs can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.