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Gentle, loyal and sensitive sighthound of the Sahara

Tall and elegant, the Azawakh is a West African sighthound who originates from the countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The Azawakh takes their name from the Azawakh Valley in the Niger Basin in Africa, where they lived a nomadic life with the tribes of the Sahara. As sighthounds they were used mostly on gazelle, hunting in packs, taking turns and thus exhausting their prey. They were much valued by their owners for their beauty and speed, rather like the Arabian horse. The Azawakh was also used as guardian of the camp. This ancient hunting hound is so lean and rangy that their bone structure and musculature can plainly be seen beneath their skin. This is a tough, durable hunter who’s been chasing gazelle across the scorching sands of the Sahara for more than a thousand years.

The Azawakh is a relatively quiet dog with a bark that is barely heard. They are often described as being loyal and affectionate towards their owners but also likes to maintain their independence. This dog loves to be surrounded by attention and must be socialised at an early age in order to prevent difficulties adjusting as an adult. Because the Azawakh is both highly intelligent and fiercely independent, early socialisation and puppy training classes with a trainer who has a positive approach are recommended. The Azawakh possesses an amazing amount of dignity and does not respond well to harsh or punishment-based training, which can produce a hound who is either broken in spirit, or aggressive and unmanageable. They are probably not the best dog for novice owners. Their unique personalities mean they can require a lot of additional training, and they don’t always suit homes with young children. They can sometimes become overly protective of their territory and humans if they feel threatened. Their reaction to strangers can vary from friendly, to uninterested, to wary or aggressive. The Azawakh is an active breed, requiring daily exercise to keep both mind and body healthy. Adult Azawakhs can make great running companions. Failing that, a daily half-hour play session in a well-fenced field, park, or yard will keep the hound happy and healthy. However, an Azawakh left alone in the yard will not self-exercise. They are more likely to get the activity they need in the presence of their owner or another dog.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKHound
Bred ForGuarding, Hunting, Companion
Rare BreedYes
Country of OriginWestern Africa
TemperamentAttentive, Affectionate, Gentle
Exercise NeededMore than 2 hours a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females60 – 70 cm / 23½ – 27½ in
Height at Withers – Males64 – 74 cm / 25 – 29 in
GroomingOnce a week
CoatShort and Fine
Life Expectancy12 – 15 years
  • The other names for the Azawakh are Tuareg Sloughi, Sahelian Greyhound, Hanshee, Oska, Bareeru, Rawondu, Idi and Wulo.
  • In their land of origin, Azawakhs are used to hunt hare, antelope, gazelle and wild boar.
  • In the 1970’s, the Azawakh was taken out of Africa and in the 1980’s, it was introduced in the United States so it is still rare. In 1993, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club and in the past years, the breed has also gained recognition from various kennel clubs in Europe and North America.
  • Azawakhs have a high tolerance to pain so they may not complain if they are hurt. In addition, they heal from injuries quickly.
  • Azawakhs are originally kept in packs so they exhibit strong pack behaviour. In packs, they are playful and affectionate towards each other, often sleeping together or even on top of each other.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Azawakhs.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Azawakhs, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Azawakh breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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