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Azawakh Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • UKC, AKC
  • Height
  • 23.5" - 29" (59.7 - 77.7cm)
  • Weight
  • 35 - 55lbs (15.9 - 25kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Silver / Grey
    • Brown
    • Tan
    • Red
    • Blue-Brindle
    • Brindle
    • Black
    • White
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors
    • Tendency to bite

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

The Azawakh is also known as "idii 'n illeli" (sighthound of the free people) and Tuareg sighthound.


The Azawakh breed originated in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso. It is from the Sahara and the Sub-Saharan Sahel.

Date Of Origin

The Azawakh is an ancient sighthound that has lived for thousands of years with the cattle breeding nomads of the south Sahara in Africa.


The Azawakh is from the arid regions of the Sahara and the Sub-Saharan Sahel. It is used as a guardian, hunter, and companion by the Tuareg people. The Azawakh has a natural tendency guard, and can often be seen sleeping on the low straw roofs of the village homes of their Mali owners. If a night predator approaches, the dogs would jump down and join together to form a pack to chase away or kill the intruder.

Bred by the Tuareg, Fula and various other nomads of the Sahara and sub-Saharan Sahel in the countries of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and southern Algeria, the breed is used there as a guard dog and to hunt gazelle and hare at speeds up to almost 40 miles per hour (61km/h).

The harshness of the Sahel environment has ensured that only the most fit dogs survive and has accentuated the breed's ruggedness and independence. Unlike some other sighthounds, the Azawakh is more of a pack hunter and they bump down the quarry with their hindquarters when it has finally been tired out. Agile, and possessing great endurance, it also hunts hare, antelope and wild boar to provide its family with meat.

The Azawakh was recognized by the UKC in 1993.


The Azawakh is a tall, slender dog that is longer than it is tall, with hips that are taller than the shoulders. There is a narrow head with pendant ears, and dark almond shaped eyes. It has a very deep chest which rises abruptly to an extremely tucked up belly. The coat is short and fine.


The Azawakh is friendly, playful and affectionate with its family but is weary of, and even aggressive with, strangers. He is intelligent and protective, making it a good watch dog. A well socialized Azawakh is affectionate, gentle, playful, subtle and very loyal to its owner. Some Azawakhs, having bonded with one particular person, do not change ownership with ease.

The Azawakh is very intelligent and possesses great independence, so early training and socialization is critical. 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 deteriorate the Azawakh spirit and cause mistrust, fear, or aggression.

Early socialization and training can help the Azawakh to walk on a leash and abide by some household rules. Properly socialized and trained, the Azawakh will live harmoniously within the family and community. This is an active, guarding dog that will require daily exercise.


The Azawakh is used for protection and as a companion.

Health Concerns

Possible health concerns for the Azawakh include bloat, cardiac problems, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, seizures, spondylosis.

Additional Information

The Azawakh will allow petting only when he is ready for the interaction. The Azawakh should never be left unattended with children. The Azawakh is an exceptionally quick dog that can run at speeds of nearly 40mph. A well-fenced yard or ranch is important due to the speed and prey drive of this breed.

Grooming the Azawakh is easy and only requires brushing with a soft-bristled brush once per week.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

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