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History The Azawakh breed comes from the population of pariah dogs in sub-Saharan Africa. This breed is also related to the Sloughi of the Maghreb. Azawakh hounds were bred by the Fula, Tuareg, and other nomad tribles located in the Sahara and sub-Saharan Sahel in Niger, southern Algeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Dogs of this breed were meant to be hunting dogs, guard dogs, and companions.
These dogs usually slept on the low straw roofs of the village houses of their Mali owners. When predators approach, the Azawakh jumps down and is joined by other Azawakh hounds to kill or chase the intruder. This breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1993. In the United States, Azawakh hounds may be registered with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale through the Federación Canófila de Puerto Rico. This breed is also recognized by the American Kennel Club and the American Rare Breed Association.
Appearance The Azawakh is known for its elegant and leggy appearance. Azawakh hounds have fine and lean skin that reveals their musculature and bone structure. Their hair is short and fine, and their belly has almost no hairs. These dogs are lanky and fine-boned, but they have well-developed muscles that allow them to run fast. Their eyes are dark in colour and their ears hang at the sides of their head.
Colours The coat of this dog comes in a number of shades, from light sable to dark fawn. Their head may or may not feature a black mask. The tip of their tail has a white marking, and each of their four limbs should have a white stocking-like marking, or at least some white on their feet. Black brindleing is allowed, and white markings can also be found on their nose and chest.
Temperament Azawakh hounds were bred to be hunters, protectors, and companions, which is why they will always have an instinct to fulfill those duties. These dogs are alert and attentive, and they will be quick to chase away or kill intruders. As natural guard dogs, Azawakh hounds are quick to defend their loved ones when threatened. Although they are reserved with strangers, these dogs are gentle with people they love. These dogs are also independent, distant, and proud.
Weight Dogs of this breed should be 23 to 29 inches high, and weigh 37 to 55 pounds.
Problems Azawakh hounds are considered healthy and hardy dogs. There are no genetic health problems found in this breed. Ailments afflicting Azawakh hounds are those common to all kinds of dogs.
Living Conditions These dogs can be kept inside apartments just as long as they get sufficient exercise everyday. When indoors, they are relatively inactive, so it's best that they have at least a small yard where they can do some physical activities. These dogs are also sensitive to cold temperatures, although they will do just fine in cold climates provided that they wear a coat when outside.
Requirements Owners who keep Azawakh hounds as pets should take their dogs out for long, brisk walks daily. It would also be good for these dogs to be allowed to run freely on open areas.
Training Requirements It's important for these dogs to undergo lifelong socialization, and owners must see to it that dogs of this breed are trained using gentle but firm methods.
Life Expectancy These dogs are expected to live for approximately 12 years.
Grooming These dogs have a smooth-short-haired coat that requires little grooming. Owners should just brush the coat of their dogs occasionally using a firm bristle brush. Azawakh hounds are average shedders, and should be brushed once a day during the shedding season. Bathing and dry shampooing these dogs should be done only when necessary.
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