Azawakh – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Originally from Africa, Azawakh is an old breed of elegant appearance. Read on to learn more about the breed's history, physical appearance, and grooming needs.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
33 to 55 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Azawakh is a West African sighthound who originated from the Sahelian zone of Mali, Niher, and Burkina Faso. Even today, this elegant breed can be seen roaming freely across this area.

This tall breed is often associated with the nomadic Tuareg people, but they were bred by other ethnic groups as well.

At first glance, this breed is more similar to the Sloughi than it is to the Saluki.

This breed comes with a short and fine coat that comes in many colors, including red, fawn, and parti-color.

Across the States, this breed is busy being a companion dog, guardian, and even a lure courser.

Quick Facts

Real name: Azawakh
Other names: Idi, Hanshee, Oska, Rawondu, Bareeru, Wulo, (formerly) Tuareg Sloughi
Origin: Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 44-55 pounds (male), 33-44 pounds (female)
Height: 25-29 inches (male), 23.5-27.5 inches (female)
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Litter Size: 1 – 10 puppies
Color: Dark fawn, brown, red and brindle
Coat: Short, fine

Azawakh History

Azawakhs were used by nomadic tribes primarily for hunting and guarding livestock. They are also known as Tuareg Sloughy. This name came from the Tuareg nomads.

This is an old breed, thousand years old. They have developed due to interbreeding thousands of years ago and they share ancestry with Saluki and Sloughi. They were originally trained to hunt with tribe members and to protect camps.

By standards, this breed is relatively new, being recognized as an official breed in 1993. Up to this day, this is oen of the rarest breed in the States.

The history of this breed is interesting because there are almost no records of Azawakh’s history. They were developed in some of the most challenging areas to live in.

People in this area travel lightly and as result, there are almost no archaeological records of their behavior, history, and habits. So, until very recently, there were no records on Azawakh.

Azawakh Physical Appearance

Azawakh is a slim and elegant dog with thin skin.

The skin is so thin in this breed that you can see the muscled beneath. With almond-shaped eyes, this breed really has a gentle and affectionate look that only adds to the overall appearance.

The coat in this breed is extremely short, while frequent coat colors are sand, red, brown, dark fawn, dark brown brindle, with white on all feet.

Across Africa, this breed can be found in diverse colors, but rarely in blue and black. Due to this variety, both AKC and UKS allow any color combination found in Africa.

Its improtant to note that both AKC and UKS aren’t a member of the FCI ( Fédération Cynologique Internationale).

Azawakh is an Afro-Asiatic dog type with great body proportion and good body ratio. Females are slightly smaller than males, but both males and females have a healthy and heavy general appearance.

These are large dogs and tall ones. Their ears are set quite high, while the skull is flat. Muzzles are long and straight. One of the most characteristics physical traits in this breed is their ribs.

Ribs are long, visible, and curved down to the sternum.

The chest is curved, while the brisket is well defined. The tail is set low and is thin and lean. Forequarters are long and fine, as well as hindquarters with perfectly shaped and vertical legs.

Legs are always well-muscled with lean muscled. The coat over the entire body is fine and smooth.

Semin-long or harsh coats are considered to be a serious fault. The Azawakh’s movement is light, graceful, and elastic. In dog shows this breed should never show any sign of heavy foot.

Azawakh Personality

When it comes to personality and temperament, Azawakh is truly a perfect dog.

They are gentle and highly affectionate. They are easy to adapt to a helahty and safe environment, although puppies will need more preparation and adjustment, like any other breed.

If you are getting a senior Azawakh, adaption to a new home may be more challenging. It’s common for senior dogs to adjust to the change easily.

Although this breed is highly affectionate and loves being around people, they are far from being clingy.

Still, they will demand a lot of physical contact. They won’t try to be friends with everyone. They know their people and love being around them. They will bark at strangers and they will scare people off.

Their bark is powerful and intimidating. For a dog with such a gentle appearance, the Azawakh surprisingly have a high pain tolerance.

This makes it highly difficult to tell when this breed is in pain or ill. Make sure that you know how your Azawakh acts in different situations and what are common symptoms of the dog in pain.

This can save you a lot of ot time and potential issues along the way.

If you are house-based, having a well-secured fence is a must. You must provide a minimum of 30-minutes of walk or run daily, next to regular toilet walks.

This is the best way to support his strength and to help him maintain a muscular body. Afterward, your Azawakh will be more than happy to stay indoors next to you.

They shouldn’t be left unsupervised with other animals and children, because they have a strogn prey drive. If raised together, they should know how to behave around smaller children, dogs, and other animals.

Still, make sure that you educate children on how to behave around dogs. Explain to them why some rules are important and why it’s a big no-no to disturb a dog while eating, sleeping, or drinking water.

If you’re getting a puppy from a responsible breeder, talk to a breeder honestly. Make sure that you communicate what dog exactly you want temperament-wise, so you can get a dog that really fits your lifestyle.

Azawakh Training

Azawakh is a breed that will demand your time and love. They thrive when they are being well taken care of and when there is a job to be done.

They are intelligent and independent, which is why they will try to outsmart you. This breed is better off with more experienced dog owners than first time dog owners who yet have to master the training process.

New dog owners may do their research and do their best to own a dog, but they will learn the most through the process itself or owning a dog.

Like with any other breed, early socialization and training classes are what create the well-behaved dog.

Make sure that you have the right amount of treats on hand when training starts.

Positive and reward-based training is always the best way to train your dog. This is the best way to have an affectionate, obedient, and loyal dog.

Azawakh Exercise

If it were up to dogs, they would be outside all day long. Since that’s not possible in today’s busy life, or at least not in the city area, it’s important to still provide necessary exercise time.

Dogs should go three times outside to do their business and have extra time to exercise. They thrive on both mental and physical challenges, and their time outside is time to thrive.

They need at least a half-hour a day of active exercise or play to keep their body active.

These are active dogs and without the proper amount of exercise, they may show destructive behavior.

As long as you provide enough outdoor time, routine, and a fair amount of exercise, next to proper nutrition, your Azawakh should have a happy and healthy life.

Azawakh Grooming

Some dogs are easier to maintain than others.

Azawakh is one of those breeds that you will enjoy grooming. They have fine, short, and smooth coats that require weekly brushing – which is minimal upkeep.

Make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand or a soft bristle brush in this case. A rubber grooming mitt should serve as well.

Some Azawakh owners claim that a hound glove should be enough as well. This breed comes with no dog odor, so weekly brushing should be more than enough. Heavy bathing isn’t mandatory.

Plus, dogs have different skin than humans do, and they do need as frequent bathing as we do.

Still, regular brushing should be more than enough to keep that coat fresh, clean, and healthy.

As with all breeds, the rest is basic care: keep the nails short, coat fleas-free, and check ears, eyes, and gums regularly.

Do your best to make grooming time a bonding experience.

Azawakh Health

If you want a truly healthy dog, and if you are not adopted, then you should deal only with responsible breeders.

Only when dealing with responsible breeders you can be sure that your puppy is healthy.

Responsible breeders will always present you medical documentation on the breed, let you meet the parents, and even give you a tour around the facilities.

Any other practice would mean that you are standing in a puppy mill. If that is the case, you hsould walk away. In general, Azawakhs are healthy dogs.

Responsible breeders will always screen them for health issues such as seizures, autoimmune disease, and various cardiac problems. They are slender and as such their bone structure and muscle will always show through.

Azawakhs owners need to know when this dog is healthy, when it is ok for the bone to be seen, and why overfeeding Azawakh shouldn’t be an option. Know the good weight and condition of Azawakh.

Azawakh Nutrition

Azawakh should do more than fine on high-quality food. This breed will thrive on specially designed food for his age. Never feed the puppy with food designed for seniors and vice versa.

Make sure that the food is always appropriate for the dog’s age.

If you are thinking about a switch to home-prepared food, also known as raw food, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

Some certain ups and downs come with every diet, and being informative about every aspect is a must.

Some dogs are prone to obesity, so make sure that you know how much exactly you should feed your Azawakh.

Also, learn which human foods are safe for dogs, and which one should be avoided. If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight, talk with your veterinarian.

The Bottom Line

Azawakhs are one of the rarest dogs alive. There aren’t too many Azawakhs left in their native African region, but there are thousands of them across the globe.

They all live in differnet parts of the world. You can see them both in warmer and colder areas of the world.

They are equally useful as hunting and guarding dogs, although today they are mostly companion dogs.

Popular Azawakh Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: