Azawakh Dog Breed

  • Other names:
  • Hanshee
  • Rawondu
  • Bareeru
  • Tuareg Sloughi
  • Azawakh Hound
  • View all 5...

Pronunciation: [ Ah•zah•wok ]

The Azawakh is a hunting and guardian dog breed from the West African region. They look like taller, thinner Greyhounds or Whippets. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale formally recognized the breed in 1980, and the United Kennel Club followed suit in 1993. They were placed in the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service in 1997.

Azawakh Breed Details

Breed Specs
Purebred10-12 yrs.24-29 in.33-55 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

The Azawakh is a sighthound used for hunting and guardian work. They are without a doubt not for people who have no experience with this breed. For the most part, they are not great as companion animals. They may look tall and elegant, and their very thin bodies may be deceptive regarding their apparent fragility.

Here are some things you should know about Azawakhs if you plan to adopt one:


  • Superior vision
  • Great guard dogs
  • Brilliant watchdogs
  • Remarkably rugged
  • Extremely beautiful
  • Very few health problems
  • High tolerance to extreme heat
  • Intriguing communication forms
  • Can excel in certain competitions
  • Perfect for extremely intense lifestyles
  • Even in desert heat, can reach running speeds of 32 to 40 mph


  • Very nervous
  • Difficult to train
  • Highly suspicious
  • Very high prey drive
  • Requires a specific diet
  • Requires a distinct hierarchy
  • Prefers to live and work in packs
  • May not live well in Western nations
  • May snap or bite when annoyed or startled
  • Must have a great amount of outdoor space
  • Can easily outrun non-canine pets and kill them
  • Needs more exercise than most any dog breed on Earth

Azawakh Breed Description

If you are looking to adopt an Azawakh, there is a great amount to learn about them. This page is basically an Azawakh dogs 101. While it will help you to know about these fantastic dogs, it's best to seek out studies, trainers, and breeders of them to make sure it's the right dog for you. These dogs need an extraordinary amount of space, patience, and exercise. They not only can endure the 100-degree-plus heat of an African desert, they can remain running at top speed in it.

The Azawakh is an extremely intelligent dog that is sensitive to their environment and everything in it. They may start out seemingly timid, but with a firm yet gentle hand they can be trained and will quickly learn a lot.

They communicate vocally and with distinct body movements, but their "language" remains mysterious. They have remarkable memories and are very difficult to rehome. Even if years separate them from one another or their original master, they will not forget them upon meeting them again.

Although the Azawakh seems meek and fragile, these dogs are not for people who have less than extreme lifestyles. Marathon runners will find themselves in the dust with these dogs — literally. They need a lot of constant daily exercise or they will rapidly develop a lot of bad habits that will hurt them: overeating, obesity, lethargy, chewing (on things and themselves) and more.

Azawakh Temperament

The Azawakh temperament is best described as extremely nervous, easily startled and somewhat highly strung. These dogs may be visibly frightened if scared; if they bite or snap, it's not because they seek to harm but because they may have panicked. They have the capability to learn how to be comfortable enough in time. They might never tolerate children or hyperactive pets, however.

These dogs have a preference for the pack. If you have just one Azawakh, you will need to understand that you (and your family) are the pack. If you have are two or more Azawakhs, there may be a bit of complex maneuvering and even a hierarchy challenge or two before everyone is in their place.

An Azawakh will bond with just one person and follow that person's lead when considering how to interact with other people. You need to be sure to never break the trust required to train and maintain control of them. Yelling and other harsh methods will prevent or erode that trust very quickly. With a great amount of kindness and patience, these dogs can be trained for a number of competitions as well as general obedience in the home.

Azawakh Health

The Azawakh is a breed that has remained extremely sound for perhaps thousands of years. Even hip dysplasia appears to be non-existent in these dogs. There are no reported genetic ailments, but their recent introduction to the Western world has apparently created some issues. It is believed that the high-protein diet and the somewhat less-active life that an Azawakh raised in America may be responsible for developmental problems brought on by quick physical growth. As for injuries, these dogs tend to heal very quickly.

Here are some of the health problems these dogs may experience:

  • Bloat
  • Seizures
  • Skin allergies
  • Heart problems
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Eosinophilic myositis
  • Sensitivity to anesthesia
  • Adult-onset idiopathic epilepsy
  • Lacerations (due to fragile skin)
  • Autoimmune mediated thyroiditis
  • Wobbler disease (aka Cervical vertebral instability)

The Azawakh has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

  • Anesthesia Sensitivity
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
  • Bloat
  • Eosinophilic Myositus
  • Heart Problems
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy
  • Lacerations
  • Seizures
  • Skin Allergies
  • Wobbler's Syndrome
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