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Alternative Name

Tuareg Sloughi

Basic Information

The Azawakh, also known as the Tuareg Sloughi, is an elegant sight hound breed originating from Africa. Characterized by its rangy, leggy build, it stands taller than its length, boasting a distinctive physique. With a high station, the Azawakh's back length should be 90 percent of its leg length to the withers (shoulder blades). Its features include a deep chest that doesn't extend below the elbows and a high tuck or waist. Weighing between 33 to 55 pounds (15-25 kg) and standing at a height of 24 to 29 inches (60-74 cm), this breed showcases a short coat, nearly absent on the belly. The skin and musculature reveal a well-defined bone structure, with muscles lying flat, akin to the Saluki rather than the Greyhound. Acceptable colors include clear sand to dark fawn/brown, red, and brindle, often with a white bib, tail tip, and white on the feet. While certain white features are permissible, some, like stockings above the elbow, are considered disqualifying in certain standards.

The Azawakh exhibits a light, supple, elastic gait, marked by a distinctive 'bouncy gallop.' Known for its sprinting abilities, the breed requires a good to high level of exercise, thriving with regular off-lead runs in large enclosed areas.

Behavior

This breed strikes a balance between a close bond with its owner and a strong, almost feline, independence. Attentive and distant with strangers, the Azawakh is gentle and affectionate with those it accepts. Socialization from an early age is crucial, as they thrive when challenged with new situations. Combining sprinting and long-distance running abilities, Azawakhs are both agile and enduring.

Origin

Mali

History

Bred by the Tuareg nomads in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, the Azawakh serves as a guard dog and a skilled hunter of gazelle and hare, reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. This breed distinguishes itself from other Afro-Asian sighthounds by its pack hunting style, using hindquarters to bump down the quarry. In contrast, the Sloughi is more of an independent lone hunter. The Azawakh's popularity is growing, though it remains relatively uncommon in Europe and North America. While not a typical "doggy" dog, its feline temperament makes it unique. When well-socialized and trained, it can coexist with cats, children, and strangers. The breed is registered with UKC, ARBA, and others, while not yet registered by CKC or AKC (but is recorded in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service).