(aka: Tuareg Sloughi)
Morphology is very similar to that of the Middle Eastern and North African sight hounds, all swift, high-bred coursing hounds, although there are several obvious differences. For example, a short, flat back combined with long legs place the hips higher than the withers. The Azawakh is almond eyed and thin. It moves with a distinctly feline gait and can be found in a variety of colors as well as varying degrees of refinement, though format is basically constant.
The coat is very short and almost absent on the belly. Its bone structure shows clearly through the skin and musculature. Its muscles are "dry", meaning that they lie quite flat, unlike the Greyhound and Whippet. In this respect it is similar in type to the Saluki. The Azawakh’s light, supple, lissome gait is a notable breed characteristic, as is an upright double suspension gallop.
Unlike other sighthounds, the primary function of the Azawakh in its native land is that of protector. It develops an intense bond with his owner, yet can perform independently from its master. With those they accept, Azawakh are gentle and extremely affectionate. With strangers many are reserved and prefer not to be touched, but are not inherently aggressive. Although raised to protect livestock, they do not have innate aggression toward canine nor human unless they are threatened.
Azawakh have high energy and tremendous endurance. They are excellent training companions for runners and are nearly impervious to heat. They will happily run in weather over 100 degrees Fahrenheit that would kill a Greyhound. They often dig holes in the garden. Many Azawakh dislike rain and cold weather.
Azawakh are pack oriented and form complex social hierarchies. They have tremendous memories and are able to recognize each other after long periods of separation. They can often be found sleeping on top of each other for warmth and companionship
The smooth, short-haired coat is very easy to groom. Simply comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
The Azawakh originated in the Sahel region of Africa. They have been bred by the numerous nomadic tribes of the Southern Sahara as hunting and guard dogs, as well as companions. The hound's vocations were, and still are, the chase, guarding and companionship. One cannot help but appreciate their regalness. These dogs often can be seen sleeping on the low straw roofs of the village homes of their Mali owners. As a hyena or other night predators approaches, the first Azawakh to see it jumps down and is quickly joined by the others; they form a pack and chase away or kill the intruder.
Early socialization and structured obedience are recommended. The Azawakh breed does not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. They do best with motivation, respect, fairness, and firmness.
A true pack dog, the Azawakh does well with other dogs they have been raised with. They are not recommended for first time dog owners or homes with non-canine pets.
Azawakhs are an incredibly sound coursing hound. Serious coursing injuries are rare. The dogs heal very quickly from injury.