The Azawakh dog breed

The Azawakh dog breed belongs to the greyhound group. It is native to Africa, in a place located between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, specifically in the azawakh valley from which it takes its name, but until 1970 no one had ever heard of it. This dog is the dog of the Tuareg, who call it Oska.Β  It is a very old breed and is also known as the African greyhound.

For the Tuaregs, who have had it as a companion for centuries, it has lent itself both to the task of guard dog and hunting dog, especially of hares and gazelles thanks to its speed, but today it is also appreciated for its elegant beauty.

The first breedings outside Africa were made in France in the 1970s, and it is in France that the largest number of European examples can be found. Unfortunately it is still a very rare dog, and very little is known about it.

Character of the Azawakh dog breed

The Azawakh is a very active dog, lively and always on the move. Used for centuries to follow the desert nomads on their journeys and hunts, it would certainly not be an indoor dog, but it can adapt to this because it loves comfort, perhaps even relaxing on the couch, but still remains attentive to everything that happens around it. Like every greyhound it needs daily exercise, possibly even a couple of times.

It is not an easy dog to train, it has a reputation for being very difficult. It has a very independent and autonomous character. Its training is difficult because it does not want to be forced to do things it does not want to do. We must bear in mind that we are dealing with a very sensitive dog, with a very strong character, therefore we must set up an education that is neither imposing nor punitive, trying to favour its sensitivity and its truly prodigious memory.

Education is essential to manage such a dog and must be done immediately, during the first months of life. Socialisation with both people and animals must also be very early. With strangers, in fact, it would be almost aggressive if not socialised, and also with other dogs, especially of the same sex.

However, once it has gained the dog’s trust, it is a sweet and affectionate dog that is very attached to its owner and family, to which it will become indissolubly attached.

Appearance of the Azawakh dog breed

The Azawakh is a medium-sized dog, its height at withers for males varies from 64 to 74 centimetres and its weight is approximately 22 kilograms, the female usually weighing a little less.Β  Its weight is rather low, compared to other more massive dogs of the same height.

It is particularly tall on the limbs and is very elegant, the general impression is one of great fineness, but its strength is clearly visible thanks to the musculature highlighted by the fine tissues. He is long but powerful and his body fits into a rectangle with the longest side vertical. The limbs are long, muscular and fine, the lumbar area is arched, short and dry, the ribs generally appear in all their length even to the naked eye. The tail is drooping in relation to the body attachment with the final part slightly raised.

Its gait is one of the merits of the breed and is characterised by great lightness and elasticity.

The head of the Azawakh is elongated and fine, and closes into a straight, sharp muzzle with a black or brown truffle. The skull is almost flat and rather elongated. The ears are high, but always drooping and flat, triangular in shape with a slightly rounded tip. The eyes are almond-shaped, dark or amber in colour and very large.

The coat is sparse, fine and thin. Some specimens do not have the hair covering on the belly and in that case the skin is clearly visible. The breed colours are fawn with white spots, light sandy shades or reddish tiger stripes. They have almost no undercoat and hardly shed at all.

Care and health of the Azawakh dog breed

The Azawakh dog breed is a very robust and strong breed and has no particular diseases to which it is particularly prone, but like other greyhounds it is sensitive to certain medications and anaesthetics and sedatives. Some health problems can be hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, and cardiac problems, but do not result in high numbers.Β  These dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

The care of the coat is very simple, in fact a brush once a week is enough to have it always in place.

As far as food is concerned, it is necessary to pay attention to the doses, in fact these are robust dogs which, however, must remain agile and slim in appearance, therefore in addition to physical exercise, which must be daily, a balanced and dosed diet.

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