Azawakh Sighthound Dog Info – Are Azawakh Dogs Good Pets For Families With Kids

Are Azawakh Dogs Good Pets For Families With Kids

Ever wonder if Azawakh sighthound dog are good Pets For Families With Kids?

This West Africa’s elegant export dog breed the Azawakh has, for many years, been a livestock protection dog of choice for the Tuaregs people.

Their bond and unfathomable fondness of this large, active, and protective dog breed date back for centuries when Azawakh dogs kept the north African tribesmen and their livestock safe in the Sahara desert where they moved place to place in search for cattle pasture. 

Today, Azawakh dogs are found all over the world, from Europe and across the Atlantic to America and Canada. Admittedly, the Azawakh dog breed is not very common around the world compared to most protective dog breeds we know and adore.

But, when you travel in the northern parts of Africa, especially in the low valleys between Mali and Niger, you will begin to notice a large number of this dog breed. 

As the name suggests, the Azawakh sighthound dog breed is a native in the valley of Azawakh, and these dogs are a household dog breed in countries that are located on the western part of Africa where they originated. 

The Azawakh sighthound is a large dog breed and are easily identifiable by their distinctively long legs and a high chest. For this reason, they can run at very high speeds. They were and are still used in activities like livestock guard dogs, and coursing of hunting. 

As a guard dog, one would think that this sighthound dog breed is not capable of being an effective guardian unless they were aggressive and dominant. 

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Azawakh sighthound is capable of forming unbreakable bonds with their direct carer( a single person or family) they come into contact on a day to day basis. 

To the handler, the sighthound will show his affection, the rare gentle side and the playful nature that has won many hearts over the years. 

So, Is the Azawakh an aggressive dog?

No, the Azawakh sighthound is friendly around familiar faces and eager to show affection to her owner.

However, if you are a stranger, the Azawakh sighthound tends to get wary, which can be a trigger for their aggression. 

They do not even let a stranger touch them, in which case they have a growl that says “leave me alone”

These dogs can even attack intruders. This is a trait that makes this a good watchdog for you and your property as well. 

Are the Azawakh breeds dangerous dogs?

No, Azawakh dogs are not dangerous. Infact these sighthounds are rated as the highest family freindly pets love to be playful with kids of all ages and not hestant to stand between their owner and danger as guard dogs.

However, as sighthounds, these dogs, thrive in numbers. The Azawakh has a natural predisposition of harboring a pack mentality that dates back to when they were in Sub-Saharan harsh desert environment where their survival is reliant of teamwork.

Azawakh sighthounds are synonymous for attacking as a pack rather than individually. 

As such, one Azawakh would bark loudly as a calling to rest of the pack when an opportunity to make a meal out of you presented itself in the wild bushes of the African desert.

Regardless of this dog breed has been successfully domesticated, they still have that trait. Your home will be a more dangerous place for intruders if you have more than one Azawakh. Despite that, one Azawakh can also be very territorial. 

Make sure that you dominate your dog at all times because if they dominate you, they will become disobedient which will be a challenge for you to take your command position back.

About the Azawakh

  • Weight: Males – 44 to 55 pounds
  • Females – 33 to 44 pounds
  • Height: Males- 25 to 29 inches
  • Females- 24 to 28 inches
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

The Azawakh is a dog breed characterized as a hound by the American Kennel Club and they were bred for speed. Besides that, they are also revered hunters and livestock watchdogs to drive away coyotes. They are friendly dogs, adored for their ability act as protectors when you need them to be.

History of the breed

The Azawakh is a native dog breed whose lineage of origin is the low laying valley in West Africa.

Their name is derived from a local Tuareg language, which translates to ” the low lying land of the north,” meaning these dogs were first bred in the Azawakh valley where Archeologists found dog bones buried in the Sahara which dated back to as far back as 8000 years ago. 

This proves that the breed might have existed long before that time. 

The archeologists were also able to prove that the Azawakh breed lived in isolation to other dogs for a lot of years- that explains why they have such unique traits. 

Despite being so different from other dogs, it is closely related to pariah dogs which are from the Sub-Sahara region, from which the Azawakh originated. 

Over the past hundred years, the Azawakh breed has been popularly developed by the nomadic people who live in countries located in the Sub-Sahara regions.

 These are countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, the southern part of Algeria and surrounding regions. 

Lately, Azawakh sighthound dogs have been debuting in popular entertainment centers where they participate as show dogs in the hound running competitions. It begs for others to wonder how fast can this dog really go if it is competing in agility and dog show running.

So, How fast can Azawakh run?

64 km/h or 40miles per hour (40mph maximum speed) is how fast Azawakh can run when pitted with competing dogs.

This may sound as news to those who do not know this sighthound dog breed, which is certainly no stranger to such incredible fast running speed of reaching around 40 mph per hour.

Thanks to their tall legs, Azawakh dogs easily clock up to 40 miles per hour as per last top speed of the Azawakh recorded in one of the Guinness records. 

This made the Azawakh breeds excellent at hunting. Along with that, when hunting, the Azawakh would bring their prey down by bumping into it with their strong hind quarters. 

In the early 1970s, the breed’s popularity spread oversees to the UK, USA and surrounding regions. 

In these places, it is used in coursing because of its remarkable speed. It is also used as a guard dog in many homes and estates.

However, the breed was placed on the American Kennel club’s miscellaneous class, which is where dog breeds are put when they are waiting to be fully recognized. 

Because it is not fully recognized, many people do not know much about this breed. The Azawakh is also known by the name Hanshee or Sloughi in some areas.

Physical appearance

The Azawakh comes in various colors such as fawn, brown or red and brindle. Some dogs have markings on their collars or their chest area. 

As we said earlier, they are tall dogs. The height of a male Azawakh ranges from 25 inches to 29 inches while that of females is slightly shorter with a range of anywhere from 24 inches to 28 inches. 

In terms of weight the males weigh from 44 pounds up to 55 pounds while in females the weight ranges from 33 pounds to only as high as 44 pounds. 

Are they Friendly dogs? ( Azawakh Temperament)

Behind that muscular and intimidating look, these dogs have a very soft heart. 

They are very loyal and like to be around their owners. They also get along well with other dogs or other pets if they are trained to socialize at a very young age.

This dog will do anything it can to please its masters.

Other characteristics.

They are intelligent dogs

The good thing about having an intelligent dog is that they can solve challenges and can easily be trained.

 Along with that, they have a good memory of what they are trained. Speaking of training, this brings me to my next point below.

They are highly sensitive dogs

They are known to be emotional dogs in nature. Such dogs are sensitive to how they are treated. 

We tend to get aggressive to our dog sometimes, especially during training but it is not recommended to train these dogs in that way because it can cause them to become unstable. Instead, go for a gentle approach. 

They have a lot of energy

Well, according to this dog’s history, you would not be surprised to hear that it is energetic. 

However, an energetic dog usually requires a lot of exercises which might seem like too much work for you if you are a person that likes lounging. So it is not recommended to people with that lifestyle. 

They are independent

Even though they like to be close to their owners, Azawakh breeds are also very independent dogs that like to wander on their own. 

Therefore, before you get this breed, it is recommended that you have a tall fence around your compound to keep them inside- for public safety. 

Food Requirements

Azawakh breeds, like a lot of other dogs, have to be properly fed to keep them healthy active and away from any nutritional deficiencies.

 Let’s take a look at the few minerals that your Azawakh should be given. This also includes its right proportions to be added to the diet. 

Proteins are essential and must be contained in your dog’s diet in the following proportions as recommended by the Association of American feed Control Officials:

  • For adult dogs: 18%
  • For puppies: 22%

Another element that you should add to your dog’s diet is fat. Fats, along with the many health benefits that come with them, help prevent the dog from being too thin. The right proportions of fats should be:

  • For Adult dogs: 5%
  • For puppies: 8%

The Azawakh can be fed vegetables like carrots (which contain good amounts of vitamins A), as well as cooked, fried or roasted potatoes. 

Exercise Requirements

If you read the characteristics section, then you probably know that the Azawakh is a highly energetic dog that needs to be exercised on a regular basis. 

You can take this dog for a walk twice a day or if you like running, then this dog will be your running buddy. 

For that, you can do once a day. You should also have mental exercises with your dog as well. 

Grooming Requirements

Your Azawakh should be bathed at least once a week and its coat must be brushed once a week as well to remove the amount of dander that may build up on their skin. 

Along with that, their nails must be clipped once or twice a month. As you can see, the Azawakh is not quite a high maintenance dog when it comes to grooming requirements. 

Health Concerns

You will be happy to know that this breed is known to heal incredibly faster than other dogs. 

Despite that fact, most Azawakh dogs face some serious health problems, especially at an older age as compared to younger ones. 

Let’s see main health concerns that these breeds are likely to face. 

Idiopathic Epilepsy.

This only occurs to adult Azawakh breeds. However, there have been rare occurrences in these recent years so the chances of your dog suffering from epilepsy are minimal. 

If you notice that your dog is having symptoms that point to this type of epilepsy, contact your vet to get your dog some early treatment. 

Wobbler Disease

This is a condition whereby the cervical vertebral becomes unstable. This affects the way the dog moves in that it makes the dog have a wobbly walk- hence the name of the disease. 

Just like the other disease mentioned above, the wobbler disease is also very rare. The number of occurences of this disease has decreased greatly over these past years. 


Many times when we think of allergies in dogs, we automatically think that they are caused by something that the dog ate.

 Even though eating something that their bodies doesn’t tolerate can trigger an allergic reaction, things like contact with skin, an inhaled substance or an insect bite can also cause allergic reactions to occur from time to time. 

Some of the symptoms of allergic caused by these triggers are; itching, redness, sneezing or even scratching. 

If you notice that your dog is having an unexpected reaction, its best to call the veterinarian near you, before the symptoms worsen. 


According to citing by a lot of owners, the lifespan of the Azawakh ranges from 12 to 15 years with proper medical care and a suitable diet. Only a few have been known to live longer than that.