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The Graceful Azawakh: Appearance, Coat and Grooming

Updated on January 31, 2012
A beautiful Azawakh
A beautiful Azawakh | Source

The Azawakh Appearance

The Azawakh appears light-weight, graceful and tall with a swift-moving composure. When they are running, they almost appear as if they are floating through the air. Their bodies are designed for speed, and so they consist mostly of muscle. When standing, its flat back, long tail and long legs almost take on the shape of a rectangle. The dog’s structure also consists of withers that are lower than the hips. It is a very thin breed with tight skin and a flat, dry-bone figure. Some often see this dog and accuse the owner of neglect due to its extremely thin frame. It has very short hair, soft skin and the belly is sometimes hairless. The legs, hindquarters and neck are very lean and muscular in appearance. The head of the Azawakh is long, flat and prominent, almost in the form of a triangle, with large almond shaped eyes, droopy ears and a V-shaped snout. The feet are round with toes that are close together. Some have pigmented pads. One very recognizable feature of the Azawakh is that their ears are always hanging down, they are never risen.

The breed exists in many different colors, all varying in refinement, yet still consistent to one basic format. There are two basic sizes, large and extra large.

A young Azawakh pup
A young Azawakh pup | Source

Weight and Height: Male Vs Female

The female Azawakh is the smaller of the two sexes. She has an average height of between 23-27 inches, and an average weight of around 33-44 pounds. The male, is the taller of the sexes and ranges between 25-29 inches in height with an average weight of between 44- 55 pounds.

In a dog with the correct weight, no more than 3-5 ribs are visible. When the body length is compared with the height, the ratio is considered normal at 9:10. The body length is also 90 percent of the total height, though it is sometimes seen a little higher in females.

A racing Azawakh
A racing Azawakh | Source

Coat Colors and Variations

The coat of an Azawakh is always short and smooth with many color combination possibilities including clear sand, brindle, red, fawn, parti-color, brown, blue, black and white. Shades range from light to dark, and flecking is most often present on the legs. The head is sometimes covered in a black mask with an inconsistent blaze while the body is often a solid color with predominantly white markings along the tail, bib and legs. The Azawakh is not disqualified from the AKC or shows for colors or markings.

Brindle Azawakh
Brindle Azawakh | Source

Grooming and Care

Grooming an Azawakh is simple and basic as they do not require anything real fancy. Since they have very short hair, they do not shed very much. They are considered an average shedder, and they only require that their coat is brushed at least once a week in order to keep it looking healthy. A bath with a mild dog shampoo every so often helps to keep the coat shiny and smooth. It also keeps them smelling nice. Other basic grooming such as cleaning their ears, trimming their nails and brushing their teeth are additional ways to keep this breed of dog happy and healthy.

Nail care is usually necessary about once a week, and it should start when the dog is a pup so they can get use to the idea. Owners should take care not to cut the nails too short as this breed is very sensitive when it comes to their feet. They do not like anyone touching their feet. If the nails are clipped too short just one time, they may never cooperate with the owner during nail clipping time again. Other than that, upkeep for this breed is very minimal.

Decide if this dog is right for you by reading, which breed is right for you or how to choose the right companion dog, both very nicely written and informational articles that may interest you.


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    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 5 years ago from California

      Hi Nettlemere! The Azawakh originated in the Sahara dessert, in Africa. It is not strange that you have not seen this breed in the UK, as they are not very common in Europe, or the United States for that matter. Most of these dogs that are in North America or other areas have been imported.

      Thanks for reading, Im glad you enjoyed it!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thanks for highlighting an unusual breed. It's not one I've come across in the UK. I love that floaty movement which the video shows beautifully. Where did the Azawakh originate from?

    • Laura Matkin profile image

      Laura Matkin 5 years ago from Laceys Spring, Alabama

      Thank you daborn!

    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 5 years ago from California

      Hi Laura! No worries. No, I have not owned either breed personally, however I have family members and friends that own both breeds so I know some about them. Thanks for reading, I am glad you liked it!

    • Laura Matkin profile image

      Laura Matkin 5 years ago from Laceys Spring, Alabama

      I followed you and was trying to leave you fan mail on your page when I punched the wrong button! I am a dog trainer. I liked your hub on the Azawaka and the Portuguese. Do you own or have you owned these breeds?

    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 5 years ago from California

      Thanks for reading! Yes, they are very much like greyhounds with a few differences like you said. I will definitely have to write a hub about the temperament soon, thanks for the suggestion and the feedback!

    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 5 years ago from California

      Thanks for reading!Yeah, most people are more familiar with the greyhound so this breed kind of gets lost in the shadows.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I agree, very interesting and I had never heard of this breed either. It looks similar to a greyhound but smaller and with its ears always down. You didn't say too much about temperament, that would be interesting too. Voted up since this is such a unique subject and you described it well.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Very interesting. I've never seen nor heard of this breed before. Thanks for the info.