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Weight: 33-55 lbs.
Energy Level: High
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Azawakh in the following colors:
Health & Longevity
Average Life Span: 12-15 years
The Azawakh tends to be extremely healthy and has very few health issues.
Unlike most dogs, the Azawakh almost never experiences hip dysplasia, so consider neck or spinal problems as a possibility if your Azawakh is limping, stiff, or seems to find walking painful.
Hypothyroidism is a possibility for the Azawakh, and it stems from the thyroid gland producing insufficient amounts of hormone. Hypothyroidism can cause lethargy, obesity, infertility, and hair loss. Fortunately, it is treatable, but the affected dog will be required to take daily medication for the duration of his life.
A blood clotting disorder known as Von Willebrand’s disease may affect some Azawakhs. This condition results from insufficient amounts of Von Willebrand’s factor, which aids in the blood clotting process, and can lead to excessive, uncontrollable bleeding, even from minor injuries. Blood transfusions may be required.
Bloat has been recorded in some Azawakhs and is the result of the stomach filling with gas, fluid, or food. The stomach expands dangerously and puts excess pressure on surrounding organs. In some cases, the stomach twists in what is known as gastric torsion, trapping blood in the stomach and preventing it from flowing to the heart and other vital areas. Bloat can be deadly, so get your Azawakh to the veterinarian immediately if you observe symptoms such as pale gums, excessive drooling, failed attempts to vomit, or a swollen stomach.
Temperament & Train-ability
The Azawakh is a sighthound from Africa who is a proud, regal dog with long legs and a graceful stride. He is independent, yet still loyal and highly affectionate. He can be quiet and aloof at times, and he is extremely intelligent. He is a very lean desert dog who does not do well in cold or wet climates.
The Azawakh can live happily in an apartment if he receives plenty of regular exercise. He is an incredibly speedy dog who loves to run, and he must either walk or run for at least 30-60 minutes each day. He has plenty of stamina and can be a good jogging or hiking companion. Be sure to keep him on a leash outdoors due to his strong prey drive, as he will pursue almost any animal that runs. Indoors, the Azawakh is relaxed and quiet. He needs to live inside with his family, where he can receive plenty of human companionship, and he may form a particularly strong bond with one family member. Despite his love for family, the Azawakh is not overly clingy; he is satisfied to simply be in close proximity to his people. However, be prepared to commit to your Azawakh for life, because they have difficulty adjusting and are nearly impossible to rehome.
Although very loving, the Azawakh is not the best dog to be a playmate for young children. He is better suited to older children who will be content with a quiet companion. He is good with dogs if they are raised together. Otherwise, he is likely to attempt to assert his dominance. His strong prey drive will compel him to pursue cats and other small pets. With strangers, the Azawakh’s attitude ranges from reserved to mildly friendly. He will bark at the approach of an unfamiliar person, and he is very protective of his family, making him a good guard dog.
Training the Azawakh can be slightly challenging due to his independent nature. He needs a firm leader who will not be overly harsh because he is a proud dog who will simply shut down if he feels slighted or disrespected. Use positive reinforcement such as favorite treats, extra playtime, or encouraging praise. The Azawakh is very intelligent and can learn quickly with the right trainer.
The Azawakh has a short, low-maintenance coat. A quick weekly brushing with a hound glove should be sufficient to keep his coat looking its best. They have sensitive skin, so bathe your Azawakh only as needed with a mild shampoo.
Trim his nails as needed, typically every few weeks, to prevent overgrowth and cracking. Check his ears regularly for signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, and odor. Brush his teeth 2-3 times each week to prevent bad breath and maintain good oral health.
The average Azawakh should eat 2-3 cups of food each day. In his native home, the Azawakh lived on a low protein diet, so do not overfeed with a high protein, meaty kibble. Consider adding fruits, vegetables, or grains to your Azawakh’s diet. Also keep in mind that the Azawakh naturally has an extremely lean, almost bony build. Although he may look underfed, this is not the case, so do not be tempted to overfeed him.
Take preventative measures against bloat by ensuring that your Azawakh does not eat too rapidly and does not drink excessive amounts of water right before or right after eating. Impose a one hour waiting period between eating and exercising.
Ensure that your Azawakh has access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times.
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The Azawakh is an exceptionally rare breed, so expect to spend time on a long waiting list in your quest for an Azawakh puppy. The average price for this breed is $2,000-$2,500.
Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Azawakh ranks a 3. He is not suited for some homes because he is not good with young children, cats, or other small pets, nor does he do well in cold or wet climates. He also may be very difficult to find. However, he has only moderate exercise needs, has a low maintenance coat, is quiet and calm indoors, and is not overly difficult to train.
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