Azawakh Hound pros and cons
Pros of owning Azawakh include the dog's loyalty to the owners - this dog gets very attached to his human family. Azawakhs do well in warm climates as these dogs originally come from Africa, where hot weather is a daily part of the dog's life. Azawakh Hounds have a very short coat that almost doesn't shed, which is another positive associated with this breed. Azawakhs are good runners and have a lot of endurance. Azawakhs are naturally protective and can be excellent watchdogs and will warn the owners about approaching strangers.
Azawakh cons include the fact that this breed has a very short coat that doesn't offer much protection in cooler or cold climates. Azawakhs need to be dressed in a dog coat during cooler months. This breed is not recommended for regions with cold climates, which is a con. Azawakhs have a strong chase instinct and are prone to chasing small animals, which can be a drawback in the city environment. Azawakhs need space and aren't ideal dogs for apartment living. A country home with a fenced yard where the dog can enjoy freedom of movement is ideal for Azawakhs.
Azawakh dog breed
Azawakh male weight: 15 to 25 kg (33 to 55 lb)
Azawakh female weight: 15 to 24 kg (33 to 53 lb)
Azawakh male height: 61 to 74 cm (24 to 29 in)
Azawakh female height: 59 to 72 cm (23 to 28 in)
Azawakh coat: very short coat, on the belly the coat appears almost absent
Azawakh colors: red, blue fawn, grizzle, blue and black, brindle and other variations
How many puppies do Azawakhs have on average?
Azawakh litter size: 3 to 7 puppies
Azawakh life expectancy
Azawakh life span: 10 to 12 years
Other names for Azawakh breed: Tuareg Sloughi, Sahelian Sloughi, Sahelian Greyhound, Levrier Azawakh, Idi, Hanshee, Oska, Rawondu, Bareeru, and Wulo
How much does an Azawakh dog cost?
Azawakh price ranges from $2,000 to $2,500 per puppy
Azawakh dogs are very loyal and get very attached to their owners. Older Azawakhs may be difficult to re-home because of their strong attachment to their first family. As with all dog breeds early socialization is very important to raise a confident dog. Azawakhs should not be trusted with other pets as this dog breed has a strong prey drive. The Azawakh can live in an apartment but the dog will need daily exercise. This hound breed does best with active families that provide plenty of physical activity for the dog. Are Azawakhs good with kids? This breed is not the best choice for families with young children.
Native to the Sahel region of Africa, the Azawakh dogs have a very short coat, long legs, almond-shaped eyes, flat back and a bone structure that shows clearly through the dog's skin. The Azawakh's short coat enables this ancient breed to withstand high temperatures. The Azawakh hound is not as fast as other hounds, nevertheless the skinny dog breed can develop a very fast speed in extremely hot temperatures. Most other dog breeds would be unable to continuously run under such extremely hot conditions. The Sahel region of Africa is a difficult place to live. Food resources are often very limited and there's only a certain amount of dogs that can be supported by tribes. Usually only one puppy is selected in a litter and is allowed to reach an adulthood. The rest of Azawakh puppies are euthanized. This man-made selection helps to increase the chances of survival for the one Azawakh puppy that is left as his mother can concentrate on only one puppy. Male Wulo puppies are considered to be more valuable than female Wulo puppies for cultural reasons and female puppies are only kept if there's a need to produce more dogs. The Azawakh is a sight hound, and its main purpose is to chase down and catch fast moving prey. In their native environment Wulo dogs are used to hunt hare, antelope and wild boar. The Azawakh is also used as a guardian dog. Villagers allow Azawakh dogs to sleep on the straw roofs of their low houses. This way the dogs can easily see any strange animals that may approach the village and alert the others of any danger by loud bark. The dog then jumps off the roof and other dogs normally join him to drive off the intruder. Their behavior is coordinated just like in packs.
Azawakh dogs alert the owners of any approaching strangers and may even attack humans when protecting their territory or owners. If you are planning to get this breed, be prepared that the Azawakh temperament will be protective and he will bark at strangers even though this behavior is not typical for many hounds. Genetically the Azawakh breed is closely related to the Basenji even though the breed looks similar to other sight hound breeds including the Greyhound. Azawakh dogs are mostly used as companion dogs in Europe and in the United States even though in the West Africa these dogs are viewed as working dogs used for protection and hunting.
The Azwakh is a rare dog breed in the United States and it may take you a while to find the reputable breeder. Expect to wait for a puppy. Of course you can check with dog rescue centers and see if they have Azawakh dogs available for rescue. Learn as much as you can about Azawakh breed online, by reading books and also by talking to Azawakh owners. Ask the breeder as many questions as you can think of in regards to Azwakh breed and how to properly care for a new Azwakh puppy. Speak to people who own Azawakh dogs that they got from the breeder that you are planning to buy a puppy from. If you can meet the parents of the Azawakh puppy, by all means do so.
Azawakh puppies grow up to resemble their parents not only physically but also personality-wise. Explain to the breeder what you are looking for in a Wulo dog and let the breeder help you to select the right Azawakh puppy for you. Before you take the puppy home, check with the breeder about the diet that the puppy was fed so that you can continue with the diet that the dog is accustomed to.
The Azawakh will respond well to positive training techniques. Punishment or harsh treatment will cause your Azawakh to shut down. Instead, use positive reinforcement such as praise or food rewards when training your Azawakh.
Start housetraining as soon as you bring the dog home. Watch the dog's behavior and when you notice that he is starting to sniff the floor and walk in circles, these are the signs that the dog is ready to use a toilet. Immediately take the dog to the designated dog potty area where he can relieve himself. Once the dog is done, have a treat handy to quickly reward his good behavior. Accidents are bound to happen during housetraining. Do not punish the dog for accidents during potty training. Clean up the mess and continue to monitor his behavior for signs of readiness to use the dog toilet.
Azawakh hound care
Azawakh's coat is easy to care for. The short coat doesn't require frequent brushing. Because of the low level of body fat and short coat the Azawakh does not tolerate cold and wet weather well and will need a protective warm clothing for cooler months. This breed is not recommended for cold climates. Azawakh should not live outdoors - the dog needs to live with the family indoors. Skinny dog breeds such as Azawakhs can appreciate cushioned surfaces to sleep on. Orthopedic dog beds with washable covers provide a good support to Azawakh and are easy to keep clean.
To keep your Azawakh's teeth healthy be sure to get your dog accustomed to having the teeth brushed regularly. Start brushing the dog's teeth early, while he is still a young puppy and use enzyme based toothpaste for dogs that you can get in any pet store. Cleaning dog's teeth regularly helps to prevent plaque buildup on dog's teeth that can cause dental disease and bad breath. Human toothpaste should never be used for dogs.
Trim Azawakh's nails whenever necessary. Overgrown nails can may cause discomfort and even changes in dog's posture.
Keep the dog's ears clean and dry to prevent ear infections. Regularly check the dog's ears and if you notice bad smell or redness and irritation in the dog's ears, be sure to check with the vet about these symptoms that may indicate ear infection or ear mite infestation. Keeping the dog's ears clean is easy with dog ear wipes.
Use high-quality age-appropriate dog food formulated for large breeds. Entertain your dog with chewable toys between feedings to help keep the teeth clean.
Azawakh health issues
Azawakh dogs may be predisposed to more risks during anesthesia. Check with your veterinarian regarding the risks associated with anesthesia before any medical procedures that may require anesthesia. Epilepsy, bloat and thyroid problems are among the health issues that may affect Azawakh breed.
Slow feeding dog food bowl is appropriate for a large, deep chested dog breed such as Azawakh. The slow feeding dog bowl is designed so that the dog doesn't swallow as much air along with his food as when eating from plain dog food bowls.
History of Azawakh breed
Up until 1970's the Azawakh was almost entirely isolated to West African countries of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and the southern part of Algeria. That began to change in the 1970's, when the French were granting independence to their colonies. At the time, a Yugoslavian diplomat named Doctor Pecar was stationed in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. He wanted to get the Azawakh, but local customs prohibited their sale. These dogs could be given as gifts though. After Doctor Pecar killed an elephant that had been terrorizing a West African village, he was given his first female Azawakh as a gift of gratitude. Pecar was later able to acquire two more Azawakh dogs. He brought these three Azawakh dogs to Yugoslavia. These three dogs became the first Azawakhs to arrive in the West, later forming the foundation for the breed in Europe. Shortly thereafter, French bureaucratic officials working in Mali returned to Europe with seven more Azawakhs. All of these dogs were very similar in appearance and most likely have come from the same region. The Azawakh was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1997.