The Azawakh temperament makes her an interesting dog. And her appearance is certainly enough to turn heads! One thing's for sure, there's nothing quite like a life with an Azawakh!
The Azawakh Temperament and Personality
The best way to decide whether theAzawakh is the right dog for you and your family is to learn more about the Azawakhtemperament.
What follows is a list of some of thosetraits that make the Azawakh the special dog she is.
The Azawakhtemperament can tolerate long periods in the sun, even when the temperature risesabove 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this doesn't mean you should leave heroutside in extreme temperatures, not by any means.
However, ifyou need a companion for a long day of jogging in warmer temperatures, theAzawakh is your buddy.
On a relatednote, some Azawakhs actually dislike cold or rainy weather. This is why they domuch better in warmer climates.
The Azawakh isan affectionate animal, but not always right off the bat. She has to accept youfirst, then she will eventually come around to love.
While she isnot typically aggressive with strangers, she may still be a little apprehensivearound them. She won’t attack humans or other animals unless she feelsthreatened.
An Elephant's Memory
The Azawakh hasa great memory. She will remember things for a very long time, and she willnever forget you once she gets to know you.
Unfortunately,this may also mean that once she learns a bad trait, you'll have to train herfor twice as long on what the right thing is to do instead. She'll keepremembering, for instance, that she should climb up on the window to see who'sat the door, when you've repeatedly told her to keep off the furniture.
Just bepersistent and consistent, and she'll get it…eventually.
The Azawakh'sorigin is in protecting the herd, and so she is still protective today.However, she prefers to be independent of her owner, which is a trait unlikethat of most guard dogs.
She's notaggressive with her protective methods, though. Mostly, she is calm and gentle,so long as no one provokes her.
She's a Trooper
Perhapsbecause of her background as a hunting dog, the Azawakh has the ability towithstand a lot of pain. Therefore, if you feel like something may be wrongwith your dog, you should take her to the vet ASAP.
With thisbreed, you really have to trust your gut. She may not always tell yousomething's wrong, but you should know your dog well enough to know whensomething is off.
Strong Prey Drive
Since theAzawakh has a strong prey drive, she is usually aloof with stranger dogs orother animals with which she is unfamiliar. However, the sooner you canintroduce an Azawakh puppy to your children and other pets, the more likely shewill be to form a bond with them.
For thisreason, in some cases it just doesn't work out to adopt an older Azawakh. Shemay never grow comfortable with new people and pets unless she met them at ayounger age.
Not Ideal for Younger Children
The Azawakhwon’t go out of her way to play with children. This isn’t to say that she can'tbe around children, just that she won't jump and play with them the way a childmight expect her to. Otherwise, she makes a good family companion.
No Changes, Please
The Azawakh temperamentdoesn’t adjust well to changes, so if you're thinking about moving anytimesoon, she probably won't be a good match for you.
A Brief History of the Azawakh Breed
Because theyoriginated in the Saharan area in countries such as Algeria and Mali, theAzawakh is still a fairly rare breed elsewhere in the world.
People keptAzawakhs as guard and hunting dogs for centuries, so they still carry thesetraits. In fact, people didn't even bring Azawakhs to the United States untilthe 1980s!
Typically, theAzawakh hunted larger animals, like wild boar, hares, and antelope. This is whyshe still to this day loves the thrill of the hunt.
How Do You Train an Azawakh?
Training anAzawakh is fairly simple, and you should start begin training the pup while sheis still very young. In fact, you can start training your Azawakh as young aseight weeks old; waiting until she is, say, two months old may be too late.
In fact, apuppy-training class can be a big help because this will expose the dog tosocialization at a very young age. This, in turn, allows her to be a moresocial butterfly as an adult.
Because theAzawakh's intelligence allows her to learn quickly, you can start training herwhile she's still just a young puppy.
Use positivereinforcement when she gets it right, rather than punishment when she gets itwrong. Rewards can include treats and praise but go easy on the treats to helpmaintain her weight.
Heavy-handedtraining methods will backfire because the Azawakh is a very proud animal.Scolding or spanking this dog will result in disastrous results. You will eitherbreak her spirit or create an aggressive and/or otherwise unmanageable dog.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Azawakh dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
The Azawakh Appearance
The Azawakh isa sleek and beautiful animal with a short, thin coat.
The Azawakhcolors include grey, black, white, sand, blue, and various shades of brown.Some also have a black mask or markings on their chests or legs.
The Azawakhheight is between roughly 24 to 29 inches at the shoulder. She is one tall dog!
Similar inlooks to a Greyhound,the Azawakh is supple and light, and her limber gait is one of her mostnoticeable characteristics.
The averageAzawakh weight is between 33 and 55 lbs. So while she rather tall, she's alsopretty skinny, which may look unhealthy but is actually perfectly normal forthis breed.
How Do You Groom an Azawakh?
The Azawakhneeds a weekly combing and the occasional bath to keep her coat looking itsbest. Her fur is short and skin thin, so there is very little to do when itcomes to her coat.
Don't forgetto trim her nails regularly and brush her teeth. The earlier you start doingthese things, the easier it will be for her when she's an adult. For example,she'll be more okay with you touching her feet when she's an adult if you gether used to it while she's still a puppy.
Most Azawakh are healthy dogs, but youstill need to keep an eye out for certain health issues that commonly affectthe breed, such as:
The Azawakh'slife expectancy is between 10 and 12 years. This is actually pretty long,considering how tall this dog is. Usually bigger dogs have shorter lifespans,so you can expect to get a decent amount of time with this hound.
Helpful Dog Health Resource:
Note: Don't let the issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely dog from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.
When it comesto exercise,the Azawakh temperament is easy-going enough to allow her to be an apartment dog,so long as she gets some exercise each day. A long daily walk should be enoughto sate her appetite for activity.
However, becausethe Azawakh is so fiercely independent and energetic, it is best not to leave herunsupervised for too long. She has a lot of speed and stamina when she reallygets going, and she often uses it to run after animals and children she doesn’tknow.
That said,don't just let her out into the yard and close the door, hoping she'llentertain herself, because she simply won’t. If there are no other animals orpeople around, she simply is not motivated to do things by herself.
And when youtake her for a walk, make sure she’s on a leash always. You don't need hertaking off after an animal and ending up in traffic or lost.
Finding the Perfect Azawakh
Interested inadding an Azawakh to your family? There are two main ways in which you can dothis: adopting one, or buying one from a breeder.
When lookingfor an Azawakh for adoption, you should be just as cautious as when you're attemptingto purchase one from a breeder. Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rulefor making sure an organization or breeder is reputable. You just have to trustyour gut and ask a lot of questions to get the best results.
How Much are Azawakh Puppies for Sale?
The average Azawakh price ranges from $800 to $1,000. However, the total annual cost for taking care of a dog is a little higher for any breed.
You have totake into consideration such factors as vet bills, flea control, spay/neutering,and food, along with the one-off costs associated with a collar, leash, fooddishes, etc. When you add it all up, a dog can easily cost you up to $2,000 forthe first year, and hundreds of dollars per year from that point on.
What I'mtrying to say is, don't just purchase a dog willy-nilly. Make sure you're readyfor not only the initial expense of the purchase, but everything else thatcomes after as well.
Azawakh Adoption and Rescue
If you are interested in adopting an Azawakh puppy from a shelter or rescue group, here are some of your options:
- Consultwith local experts and breed-specific rescue clubs.
- Researchthe organization you're thinking of adopting from.
- Knowthe right questions to ask.
Speaking ofthe right questions, here are some ideas insofar as what you should ask:
- Doesthe dog respond well to children, other animals, etc.?
- Whatis her basic personality (of the dog you're interested in)?
- Hasthe dog ever bitten or otherwise hurt anyone?
- Doesthe dog have any health issues?
- Whatis the dog's energy level like?
- Howold is the dog?
If the shelter's answer is, “I don’t know” to any of these questions, it may be a red flag, it may not.
Often, shelters pick dogs up off the street and know nothing about their histories. They just want to be able to give a homeless dog a good home. But the more information you can glean from the start, if possible, the better.
You have to beso careful when purchasing an Azawakh puppy for sale. If you decide to buy anAzawakh puppy from a breeder, here are some red flags to look for which willalert you to the fact that the breeder may be unethical:
- Sheoffers puppies “without papers.”
- Sheclaims she “always has puppies available.”
- Shehas multiple litters on the property.
Remember, thebest Azawakh breeders are those who are more interested in placing you with theright puppy then they are in making a quick sale. And a good breeder will askyou just as many questions as you ask her because she wants to make sure herpup is going to a good, loving home.
Conclusion: Why the Azawakh?
The graciousAzawakh temperament makes this breed a remarkably popular one despite beingrare. She is a great choice for small families, as well as those with older,less-active children.
She can be arather aloof dog, so it's best to get her while she's young so that you canintroduce her to children, other people and other animals as early as possible.Therefore, if you're thinking about adopting an older Azawakh, this is probablybest if you have no other pets or young children in the house.
She needs regular exercise but not a lot of it, so she is relatively low-maintenance. And whatever you do, always keep her on a leash or a securely fenced-in backyard. Her prey drive is strong, and she's likely to take off after anything that catches her fancy.