ORIGIN: Northern borders of Mali and Niger; the slopes of the
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
UTILIZATION: Sighthound that hunts for game (gazelles, hares,
ostriches) and fights off predators (hyenas, jackals, lions). This dog is
an important companion for the family life of the nomads and shares
their camp life.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 10 Sighthounds.
Section 3 Short-haired Sighthounds.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: It is an African sighthound
descending from the types pictured in the wall paintings of the
Central Sahara which date back thousands of years. The everincreasing aridity of the Sahara caused Tuareg, Dahoussahaq and
Peul shepherd-hunters to migrate with their dogs to the more
hospitable lands of the Sahel: in areas suitable for farming and
hunting along the dry valley of the Azawakh. Belonging to the
culture of peoples who domesticated and shaped it, it is known as
Oska in the Tuareg language. European enthousiasts discovered the
breed with admiration and selected with the help of the breeders who
owned the first lines exported to Europe, as of 1968.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Particularly slim and elegant, the
Azawakh sighthound gives a general impression of great slenderness.
Its bone structure and muscles show through thin and dry skin. It is a
slender dog whose body fits into a rectangle with a vertical long side.
Height at the withers / Scapulo-ischial length: 10-9 (a ratio slightly
lower in females is allowed)-
Height at the withers / Depth of chest: 10-4.
Length of head / Length of muzzle: 10-5.
Head length / Width of skull: 10-4.
BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Quick, attentive, distant, can be
very reserved with strangers, but it can be gentle and affectionate
with its family, and people whom it is willing to accept.
HEAD: Long, fine, lean and chiselled, rather narrow, without excess.
Skull: Almost flat, rather long, its width should be significantly less
than half the length of the head. The line of skull and the bridge of
the muzzle are sometimes slightly divergent. The superciliary ridges
and the frontal furrow are slightly marked. The external occipital
protuberance is clearly pronounced.
Stop: Very slightly marked.
Nose: Black or dark brown colour is obligatory; the nostrils are well
Muzzle: Long, straight, tapered without exaggeration towards the
Lips: Thin lips tightly fitting, colour is black or dark brown, no
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws are long and strong; scissor bite. Complete set of
EYES: Almond eyes, rather large, slightly oblique palpebral opening,
colour is dark, sometimes amber, never blue. Eye rims well black or
dark brown pigmented.
EARS: Set quite high. They are fine, always drooping and flat, broad
based, lie flat against the cheeks, never “rose ear”.
The shape is that of a triangle with a rounded tip. The base of the ears
pricks up when the sighthound is attentive.
NECK: Neck springing clearly from the shoulders, long, fine and
muscular, with upper end slightly arched. The skin is fine and does
not form a dewlap.
Top line: Straight, approximately horizontal or slightly rising from
the withers towards the point of the hips. Hips clearly protruding and
placed at the same height or higher than the height of the withers.
Withers: Distinctively prominent.
Loin: Short and dry.
Croup: Oblique (ideally 45 °).
Chest: Deep, well-let down almost to the elbows, sternal region
gently narrowing. Fore chest fairly narrow. Ribs long, slightly
visible, gently and evenly sprung.
Underline and belly: The sternal arch is pronounced. The underline
rises smoothly into the belly which is tucked up very high.
Set low, long, thin, lean and tapered. Covered with the same type of
hair as the body, it often has a white pencil hair on the end. The tail
hangs with the tip slightly raised, but it can rise above the horizontal
when the dog is excited.
General appearance: Long, thin, vertical. Perfect stand.
Shoulder: Long shoulder blade, with dry muscles and only slightly
oblique viewed in profile.
Upper arm: The scapulo-humeral angle is very open (about 130°).
Metacarpus (Pastern): Slightly oblique.
Forefeet: Rounded, with slender digits, tight and well arched. The
pads are pigmented.
General appearance: Long and lean legs, viewed from behind,
Thigh: Long with dry protruding muscles. Coxo-femoral angle is
very open (about 130°).
Stifle (Knee): Femoro-tibial angle is very open (about 145°).
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Tarsus and metatarsus lean, without
Hind feet: Rounded, toes well arched, pads pigmented.
GAIT/MOVEMENT: Always very supple and with high action
when walking and trotting. The gallop is springy. The Azawakh
sighthound gives an impression of lightness, even elasticity. The
movement is an essential characteristic of the breed.
SKIN: Thin and tight-fitting.
Hair: Short, fine, and down to none on the belly.
Colour: Fawn, with or without brindles, with white patching limited
to the extremities. All shades are admitted, clear sand to dark fawn
(mahogany). Brindles should be black as excluding any other shade.
The muzzle can present a black mask.
White patching: The blaze is very inconstant. On the fore chest, white
may be present as white patches, more or less extensively, confined
to the base of the neck. Yet, a narrow white stripe is permitted on
the forepart of the neck, on the forechest and on the lower part of
the chest. The bib should not extend past the point of the shoulder or
go up on each side of the neck. A small white spot on the nape of the
neck, of reduced size, is tolerated. As a continuation of the fore chest,
white spots can appear below the chest, but must not in any case go
up the ribs.
Each of the four limbs has a white stocking, at least as a trace on the
On a subject having excellent morphology, the lack of white on one
limb is allowed. The white marks on the forequarters, often irregular,
should not extend beyond the elbows, or encroach on the shoulders.
The white marks on the hindquarters, often more regular and less
invasive, should not go up to the thigh. White marks appearing on the
inner side of the thigh, however, should not be considered a fault.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Height at the withers: Males: 64 –74 cm.
Females: 60–70 cm.
A margin of 2 cm above and below the standard is tolerated.
Weight: Males: 20–25 kg.
Females: 15–20 kg.
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be
considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect
upon the health and welfare of the dog.
• Head heavy lacking elegance.
• Tail thick and hairy, very curled tail.
• Body too long.
• Level bite.
• Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities.
Lack of type.
• Overly small chest and extreme general thinness.
• Underbite or overbite.
• Nose, eyelids and lips other than black or dark brown.
• Light eyes or blue eyes.
• Rose ears.
• Hips lower than the withers.
• Non-accidental anatomical deformation (e.g.: asymmetrical
junction of the ribs at the sternum).
• Presence of dewclaws or traces of removal of dewclaws on
• Wired or semi-long coat.
• Non-standard coat colours (invasive white, white collar,
brindle other than black). Beware of diluted colours such as
: blue, lilac.
• Every dog which shows traces of a surgical intervention
meant to correct or repair an esthetical or morphological
fault will be excluded.
• Size deviating more than 3 cm. from the standard.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation, should be used for breeding.