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A dog breed named for the Azawakh Valley in the Sahara desert where he originated, this is a lean and swift hunter with a regal presence. He’s proud but loyal, and protective of his home and family.

Hailing from the Sahel region of the Sahara Desert, the proud and elegant Azawakh has long been a guardian, hunter, and companion to tribes in that region. He’s named for the Azawakh valley in the Sahara.

Azawakhs are gentle and affectionate with their families, but they can be standoffish toward strangers and dislike being touched by people they don’t know. They’re also protective of their people and property. Fans describe them as a wonderful combination of loyal and independent.

Because they’re sighthounds, they’re attracted by motion and are likely to chase animals, people on bicycles or skateboards, or even running children. On the other hand, these lean, muscular dogs make excellent companions for joggers and runners. Indoors, they’re fairly inactive and are content to snooze on the couch.

They’re best suited to a home with a large fenced yard or a nearby fenced park where they can run flat out. They need at least a half hour a day of active exercise or play and, although it may seem like a slight to their dignity, you’ll need to outfit your Azawakh in a sweater before heading out in cold weather. With their short hair and low body fat, they get chilled easily.

Azawakhs are tall, slender dogs of proud bearing. Their height ranges between 23 ½ and 29 inches and weigh between 35 and 55lbs. Their legs are longer than their bodies and their hips are higher than their shoulders, giving them a distinct and unique appearance. They have narrow head with pendant ears and dark almond shaped eyes. The coat is short and fine. They have a very deep chest, which rises abruptly to an extremely tucked up and muscular belly. The back is short and flat or may have a slight rise over the loin. Their movement is spectacular, supple and elastic. The American Azawakh Association recognizes all colors found in the countries of origin to include, sand to dark red, brindled, white, black, gray, blue grizzle, parti-colored and all shades of brown, to include chocolate. White stockings, bib and tip of tail are some common markings. A dark mask may also be present.

The best owner is someone with a firm, but fair hand that enjoys the companionship of an intelligent dog of incredible beauty.

Special needs/concerns: The breed is known to have seizures, spondylosis, and several immune-mediated diseases, including hypothyroidism. Cardiac problems, hip dysplasia and bloat are rare. Eye diseases are not known to exist in this breed.

via American Azawakh Association