18 Things to Consider Before Buying an Azawakh Puppy
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on Sep 2, 2022
The Azawakh ( pronounced AH-ZA-WAHK) dog breed originated in the Azawakh Valley of Africa and is known for its superior quality. Centuries ago, they were frequently seen pursuing gazelles over the Sahara desserts. They are also called Southern Saharan Greyhound, Touareg Sloughi, and Touareg Greyhound. For millennia, the nomadic Touareg people have kept dogs as hunting companions and protection. And so, you may be wondering if they actually make good pets at home. How well do they get along with young ones? Well, here's your chance to learn all about Azawakh before you bring one home!
The Azawakh is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world.
The Azawakh is a rare greyhound developed to pursue swift prey like gazelle and hare. While it's no cheetah, this dog can nevertheless run up to 40 miles per hour or more, making it a member of the world's fastest breed.
The Azawakh is purpose-built for speed. Its frail flesh hangs loosely from its skeletal framework. He must work out frequently to maintain his fitness, and he excels at lure coursing, a sport in which he must chase an artificial lure that is controlled by a motor.
These dogs are sighthounds.
These dogs rely heavily on their vision. They have a biological need to be in motion, therefore they will be interested in any kind of activity that provides it. This means that chasing little to medium-sized, fast prey animals is a specialty for this breed.
Consequently, it is crucial to think about this before getting a puppy, particularly if you already have cats, birds, rabbits, or other small pets at home.
They can’t handle the cold weather.
Since they were originally from Africa, they have a low tolerance for cold. This species does not do well in wet or chilly climates. Unlike Alaskan Malamutes, Azawakh don't naturally have a thick layer of fat or fur to keep them warm, therefore they may benefit from a sweater or vest before going for a walk when the temperature in your area drops.
They have a huge heart, literally.
They inherit this quality from their parents. Because of this, these canines can pump more blood with each heartbeat, which contributes to their exceptional running ability. They have a higher concentration of red blood cells in their blood than do other breeds of sighthounds.
The Azawakh is a very old dog breed.
Five thousand years ago, when the central Sahara was still populated by nomadic groups of hunters and herders, the entire region was home to the Azawakh dog breed. It was molded by both its natural habitat and the efforts of human breeders who selected desirable characteristics in the context of hunting and aesthetics.
Having become critically endangered in its original environment as a result of repeated droughts, the introduction of this breed to the United States in the mid-1980s sparked a fire for new breeders.
These dogs are quite independent.
Although the Azawakh is deeply loyal to its owner, it is still a highly autonomous canine. Because of its forceful nature, it needs a solid foundation in training from an early age.
Azawakh is highly wary of strangers. Hence, it serves as a fantastic watchdog. The dog's high energy and stamina mean it's best paired with an owner who enjoys sporting activities.
They are very devoted family pets.
The Azawakh is renowned for its unwavering loyalty to its masters and families. Although the Azawakh can be reserved at first, once you've earned their trust, you'll have a furry friend for life.
The Azawakh is a unique sighthound in that he is protective despite his reserved nature and complex temperament. Although the Azawakh is aesthetically pleasing and somewhat low-key, he is not right for every family.
Intelligent and devoted, they can’t live outside with minimal supervision and are far from their family's care. The Azawakh has a hard time adjusting to new environments, thus it is best to adopt a puppy rather than an older dog.
The Azawakh may like long runs, but it is not a dog for families with very young children. If your kids are too little or too busy to be gentle with your dog, you should look elsewhere.
Although many dogs have earned a reputation for being gentle with kids, it's important to remember that both dogs and kids need guidance in learning how to coexist safely. With that, adults should always monitor the activities of youngsters and dogs.
The Azawakh is a pack animal.
Everyone in the Azawakh's pack, whether they walk on two or four legs, is equally safe from harm. To prevent the puppy from seeing other small animals as prey, socialization from an early age is very much recommended.
The Azawakh is good with tiny pets as long as they stay inside, but if it sees them frolicking outside, it may forget that they are buddies. It's best to keep it on a leash at all times because it might chase after cats or other tiny furry animals it doesn't know.
It's important to remember that bringing additional animals into the home with an adult Azawakh might make the adjustment time even more challenging for everyone.
The Azawakh is not a picky eater.
Azawakh aren't picky eaters because they're used to eating in harsh surroundings. Their diet should be high-quality, varied, and suitable for their age, health, and level of physical activity. It also shouldn't include too much protein.
Dogs of varying ages require different diets. Some owners may try to artificially fatten their skinny dogs by feeding them too much. Do not worry about your Azawakh's weight based solely on the fact that you can see its ribs. Excessive feeding of this breed might cause weight gain. This places unnecessary stress on the dog's joints and can lead to a variety of other ailments. If you are unsure, it is best to see your veterinarian.
There needs to be a steady supply of clean water in addition to the other essential nutrients in your dog's diet. Keep your dog in tip-top shape by giving it a thorough bodily checkup regularly and feeding it at least twice a day, per the recommendations.
This breed needs plenty of exercises.
Although the Azawakh is self-sufficient and it values interaction with humans, don't forget that this high-energy dog needs regular exercise. It would do well to take it on multiple daily walks in open areas where it can run and play at will.
Do not leave it alone in the house all day as it will get lazy, gain weight, and possibly act destructively. So long as the Azawakh gets at least half an hour of exercise per day, it will be perfectly comfortable in a city dwelling.
Although an enclosed yard is ideal for an Azawakh, he won't use it for exercise if he's left alone. To keep its trim and powerful physique in check, you should take it for a half-hour run or stroll every day. After that, it'll be content to spend the remainder of the day lounging on your couch.
Puppies and young dogs should be exercised carefully, with less jumping and running. Because this dog originates in a hot, dry climate, it won't be too troubled by the heat, but it will be by the cold and the wet, so you'll want to make sure they have a coat that fits snugly even while they're running and doesn't irritate their delicate skin.
They need early socialization.
To prevent your dog from developing an excessive reaction to strangers, it is crucial to socialize with him or her at an early age and provide him or her with continuing reward-based training around new individuals.
If your dog is the chasing type, you may need to put in some extra time and effort to teach him or her to come when called. Until you master this challenging task, you shouldn't let your Azawakh run free in public.
They are not a breeze to train.
Aside from their sensitivity, the Azawakh also prides itself on its independence. Since it would rather find ways around rules than being compelled to follow them, training it can be difficult. The Azawakh is not a naturally submissive breed, thus training should begin as soon as possible after taking it home.
There should be no rush, but you will need to use a lot of patience. Remember that it strongly dislikes being restrained in any way. Building a solid foundation of trust with your Azawakh is also important for a cooperative learning environment.
Moreover, you should never resort to physical punishment or harsh words to convince your dog to perform as you say. It would be far more challenging to train such a lovely animal if the trust was destroyed.
The Azawakh is pretty easy to maintain and groom.
In terms of upkeep, the Azawakh's short hair requires nothing more than a weekly brushing to look its best. The rest is routine maintenance. A bath would not be necessary if the dog just falls into a mud puddle once; letting the mud dry and then brushing it off might do the trick.
Nails should be trimmed as needed, often once every other week. Keeping the Azawakh's nails cut is important for the comfort and mobility of the dog since long nails can cause discomfort.
Azawakhs, like other sighthounds, are delicate about having their feet touched, thus it's important to start training them young to accept this without hurting them.
Ear infections, whether caused by bacteria or yeast, can be avoided by keeping the ears clean and dry. Good oral hygiene and pleasant breath start with regular brushing with a pet toothpaste that has been authorized by a veterinarian.
This breed is very protective.
Azawakhs are extremely vigilant and protective, much more so than many sighthound breeds. The Azawakh is not the type of hound to hand over anything valuable to random strangers, but his bark is threatening. The guests who are not members of the household can expect to be met by its loud voice.
The Azawakh will never be best friends with everyone he encounters, no matter how much he practices making friends. This isn't something he would do. It is possible for an Azawakh to exhibit excessive territorial behavior if it feels that its territory or human are in danger.
They have a strong prey drive.
Azawakhs, like all sighthounds, have an intense desire to hunt. It gets along fine with canine companions, but unless it is socialized with cats and tiny dogs from an early age, they are not safe in its presence.
Even though an Azawakh gets along fine with a small pet inside the house, he can suddenly forget that it is a friend if he encounters it while it is outdoors. He needs to be kept on a leash at all times because he has no control over pursuing cats or other little fuzzy animals he doesn't know.
They have a high pain tolerance.
These dogs seem unfazed by the discomfort it is experiencing. It is not always obvious whether or not an Azawakh has been hurt or is sick.
You should occasionally inspect it thoroughly to ensure that it is in good health and free from any injuries that would cause another dog to howl. An electrical fence cannot stop this dog from digging out.
This breed has the potential to develop genetic problems.
Just as any human being has the chance to pass on an illness to their offspring, any dog might be affected by genetics in the same way. Some research suggests that Azawakh are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism and Von Willebrand disease, two inherited bleeding disorders.
The Azawakh is susceptible to bloating, a condition in which the stomach swells because of the accumulation of air. The more severe condition of gastric torsion occurs if the stomach turns in on itself, shutting off blood flow.
A dog can be perfectly healthy one minute, then die from stomach torsion or gastric dilatation volvulus, a condition that can attack without warning.
Keep an eye out for signs of pain, restlessness, pacing, drooling, pale gums and lip licking, and attempts to vomit without success. Most dogs that have ballooned once will bloat again, making emergency veterinary surgery necessary for dogs with gastric torsion.
Considering how uncommon hip dysplasia is among Azawakh, you should check elsewhere if your dog is limping, painful, stiff, or unwilling to get up and walk around. Those signs could be caused by a variety of spine and neck issues.
When it comes to health and resilience, the Azawakh is widely considered to be among the best breeds available. However, because this breed is so uncommon, there is only a small pool of potential offspring to draw from.
Seeing an Azawakh in person is like seeing a dog for the first time; they're unforgettable. It has the grace of a cat and an attitude like one. In his favor are the facts that he is low maintenance in terms of grooming and health care. One may be difficult to find, but the rewards are substantial for those that do. This puppy will bring you a lot of happiness and delight for a long time. They may be wary of strangers but they are super protective of their pack. You will surely enjoy having one in your household.