Dog breeds: Azawakh (African Greyhound)
The Azawakh is a greyhound that did not enter Europe until after 1970. It is a hunting dog that was used in the Azawakh area and this is located in the Sahara region of Africa in the countries of Mali and Niger. This medium-sized dog has a graceful appearance and is very fast. He is temperamental, has great stamina and needs a lot of exercise. With proper education, this dog is a sweet and loyal companion.
The Azawakh is originally from the steppes and semi-desert of the Sahara and the Sahel zone. This includes the African countries of Mali and Niger. In this area is the Azawakh valley, a more than 1000 kilometers long dried out river valley. Here lived the traveling nomads of Berber descent, known in Europe under the name of ?? Touareg ??. It was there that this greyhound breed was formed which was excellent in the harsh, dry and very unfriendly climate. This breed was critically endangered and was brought to Europe in the 1970s. In the Netherlands this dog breed is very rare.
This unique, short-haired sighthound has been refined into an excellent gazelle hunter. Only when the prey came into view was the dog lifted out of the saddle. While sprinting at a speed of up to 64 kilometers per hour, he could chase after game. It was used as a sight hunter for small and large game.
Males reach a shoulder height of between 64 and 72 centimeters and in bitches this is between 61 and 71 centimeters. On average, the male weighs between 20 and 25 kilos and the bitch between 15 and 20 kilos. This graceful medium-sized dog stands high on the legs. The skeleton and muscles are clearly visible under the dry and fine skin. Its head, which it carries proudly, has a moderate stop, with almond-shaped eyes and drooping ears. The neck is long and slender, the limbs are finely built with the deep chest emphasizing the narrow and short loins. The skin is thin and soft. Characteristic are the white markings, especially on the feet. This can also be on the chest, head or tail. The size of the markings may vary.
The Azawakh has a short-haired, soft but also dense coat that can be sandy, red or brindle. A white blaze and some white on the chest are allowed. White cloves are required. The coat requires little care. It suffices to brush the dog now and then.
The dog is very temperamental, proud and independent. He is also vigilant, has great stamina and will defend his own people well. Dealing with like-minded dogs is hassle-free. He is good with children as long as he is respected. Because they have a strong hunting instinct, it is difficult to keep them with other dogs, cats or other pets. They can be quite suspicious of strangers. He is affectionate, loyal and very gentle and sweet to the one he accepts.
The education of the Azawakh is not easy. The best results are achieved with a lot of patience and insight into his character. Corporal punishment does not command respect from this breed and achieves just the opposite effect. Make sure he doesn’t mess with you. He is focused on his own people, but has a strong sense of hierarchy. He needs an owner who shows who is boss and has a powerful leadership with velvet gloves. The Azawakh can recognize a person as superior, provided that he is superior but not tyrannical. The dog must be treated as a full-fledged housemate and is absolutely unsuitable as a kennel dog.
A daily block around the block is not enough for this dog. He has to be able to run daily to get rid of his large amount of energy. In addition, he must be able to move and play freely. If you like cycling, the Azawakh is ideal. He can trot next to the bike for miles without getting tired. In some countries it is illegal by law to let sight hunters like the Azawakh run free.
There are no breed-specific health problems known to the Azawakh. If you are interested in this special dog, it is advisable to learn more about the breed in advance. A breeder will be happy to tell you more about this dog.