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Azawakh

Life span: 10-15 Years

Height: 63-74cm (Male); 60-70cm (Female)

Weight: 33-55 pounds

Named after the Azawakh valley in the Sahara, this breed is loyal and caring with its family, making a great companion. It is also very protective of them and although you might find this amusing, need a sweater during cold weather, since their fur does not protect them from it. This dog will make your days brighter with its loving personality and strange needs!

Physical Characteristics

This breed has a very athletic body, with tight skin causing its bones to show, giving it the mistaken appearance of being starved. It has long legs with its body being tall and not as long, and a short back. Its tail is thin and relatively long and its ears are set high atop its head and folded down while not completely falling down. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Its coat is short and thin and can be a combination of colors which can include black, blue, white, brown, grey, red and cream colored.

History

Its origins are in the Azawakh Valley in the Sahara, where it is named after. Called “idii n’ illei” by their usual owners, the blue clad Tuareg nomads. Its name translates to “sighthound of the free people” from the Tuareg’s native language. They live together with them as members of the family, protecting their homes and the animals they carry from strangers. They tend to hunt in order to bring meat to their family, however, with the increased use of firearms, and therefore decrease of prey, these dogs are no longer used for hunting, as it is unsafe for them. When they do hunt, they tend to go for hares, antelopes and wild boars, using their agility and speed to catch them. They do not injure easily, despite their looks, and have no problems in rough ground.

Personality

Even though they tend to guard their homes and family from strangers, these dogs can be very timid. They are constantly observing their owners to learn what situation they stand in when a stranger appears. However, if not properly socialized when young, the Azawakh might become overly shy, trembling and biting in pure fear, which can be mistaken for being aggressive. In very rare cases, some Azawakh may indeed become aggressive, and even with the proper socialization these dogs tend to be very reserved and fear anyone they are not familiar with. They are also very quiet, rarely barking and does not get along with other pets due to his hunting instinct. They love affection but tend to maintain their independence.

Health

This breed is not only very healthy, but they tend to heal quickly from any wounds. Although getting diseases for them is rare, they may suffer from:

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.

Cervical Vertebral Instability, also known as Wobbler disease, is when the cervical vertebrae does not form correctly, causing weakness and instability.

Care

Their thin coat is easy to maintain, only needing a quick brushing once a week and rarely ever needing a bath, as it is easier to brush away the dirt. If muddy, wait for the mud to dry and brush it out instead of giving it a bath. Its nails have to be trimmed regularly and its ears have to be checked for any dirt in them in order to prevent infections. They are not likely to run around in a yard by themselves, but instead need a playing partner to exercise them daily in a fenced yard. An alternative is taking them out to run daily, always on a leash. Training classes and socialization are a must and need to start in the puppy stages. They will respond poorly to any aggressive type of training and do better when receiving positive encouragement such as treats.

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