French Line – The French line began with a total of seven foundation dogs. Pari- gi was the original importer and breeder in France. His earliest female was Toboro II and males were Aikar, Adignaz, Aourakh, and Targoui . He actively bred Azawakh from 1972-1978. Another male known as Takadamat contributed to the French foundation. Dr. Francois Roussel, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Aza- wakh in its countries of origin (Contribu- tions to the Study of the Sighthounds in the South-Sahara, 1975) , owned a bitch named Tahoura . In the early 1980s, other African imports were brought into France by the Coppé family. The Coppé dogs came from Mali. The males were known as C’Babasch and Ejeker ; and a brindled female was known as Tekewelt . Coppé bred the first litters of brindle Azawakh in Europe. In the late 1970s, the next generation of breeders started in Switzerland and Ger- many, with Ingrid Aigeldinger (Al Hara) and Anna and Ulrich Hochgesand (Aulad al Sahra), respectively. These two breed- ers were the main source for Azawakh for both Europe and the United States. Other desert-bred imports arrived during this time period. They were Mali, Dazol In Chenan, Yaris, Salome, and Akchi . Hochgesand and Aigeldinger bred Aza- wakh from both French and Yugoslavian bloodlines. The Aulad al Sahra breeding program mixed the two lines from the beginning. However, Aigeldinger kept the two lines separate, for the most part, until the late 1980s. Aigeldinger made these observations of the two lines during an interview in 1996. “The Yugoslavian line has good formats, full and correct dentition, soundness of legs and good angulation, good almond eye and well carried ears, interested racers (non-fighters), very sensitive, occasionally almost hysterical, not good car travelers. The French line has super quality in all respects, not nervous, good depth of bris- ket, flowing attractive movement, some- what long in back and accordingly slightly over-angulated behind. Good at lure coursing, but unsure on the race course. The French family stands on sound and strong legs.” In 1993, the idea to establish an orga- nization to protect the Azawakh in their African homelands was born during the first International Azawakh Expedition. This expedition was led by a group of Sighthound enthusiasts from Germany, Austria, the United States, and Mexico. The foundation, known as ABIS (Associa- tion Burkinabe Idi du Sahel), was founded
and the dog, and creating an expressive, flowing picture for the audience. The Aza- wakh’s light, graceful movement and will- ingness to please make this sport tailor- made for the breed.
to help the breed survive in its countries of origin (COO). Based in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, the goals of the foundation are the preservation and advancement of the pure-bred Sight- hounds of the nomads in the Sahel region. THE UNITED STATES The Azawakh made its debut in the United States in the mid-1980s. The first Azawakh that made her way to the US was Amusar’s Hamija , bred by Frau Witzig in Germany. Hamija ended up in rescue with Netboys of California. The Netboys later imported Izegar , a male from Aulad al Sahra, but the two dogs were never bred. The first Azawakh litter was whelped on October 31, 1987 by the late Gisela Cook- Schmidt (Reckendahl). Sired by Faysal Uschi of Silverdale , a dog of the Yugoslavian line, their dam was Al Hara’s Hiba , a female of the French line. Hiba’s second litter was sired by the desert-bred, Mali . These first American Azawakh were all red or fawn with white markings. The first brindles came to the US in 1989, with the first brin- dle litter whelped on November 27, 1990 by breeder, Deb Kidwell (Kel Simoon). The American Azawakh Association, Inc. (AAA) is the AKC parent club for the Azawakh in the US. The AAA was found- ed on February 7, 1988 with the goals of promoting the pure Azawakh and to guar- antee the breed a permanent future in the US. The AAA publishes a quarterly news- letter known as the Azawakh Aegis . The Azawakh is currently recognized to participate in all AKC Performance and Companion Events. The breed entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class on June 30, 2011. The Azawakh received full AKC recog- nition on January 1, 2019. Azawakh are also fully recognized by the American Sighthound Field Associa- tion (ASFA), the Large Greyhound Racing Association (LGRA), and the United Ken- nel Club (UKC). The American Azawakh Association has actively held specialty shows since 1990. Another sport for which the Azawakh shows a lot of promise is the emerging sport of Canine Freestyle. Canine Free- style is a choreographed performance with music, demonstrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team. Freestyle is an excellent discipline to highlight the conformation and move- ment of the dog. The drive and beauty of an elegant Azawakh moving to music can take one’s breath away. The emphasis is on matching the music to the dog’s gait, validating the bond between the handler
Participating in a Freestyle competition.
GENERAL CARE OF THE AZAWAKH
Grooming of their short coat is accom- plished easily with a zoom groom or hound glove. Frequent bathing is not necessary, as the breed has no doggy odor. They do, however, have sensitive skin, so the use of a mild, hypoallergenic, unscented shampoo is recommended. Exercise requirements with all Sight- hound breeds are a very important subject. The Azawakh must have adequate exercise and makes an excellent companion for the serious jogger or runner. The Azawakh is a very active dog; how- ever, they run and play in spurts, inter- spersed with long naps on the sofa. They should have a large yard where they can stretch their legs, but more importantly they need interaction with the owner or another dog to make them exercise. Left alone in the backyard with the expectation of self- exercise is generally not acceptable for this breed. A bored Azawakh will look for its own entertainment, not necessarily close to the house. They should receive at least half an hour a day of hard running and/or play- ing exercise. Finding a securely fenced ball field is perfect for play excursions. They typically need a lot of space around them and cannot tolerate end- less hours of crating. However, many love to pile on the couch. Scenes with ten or twelve Azawakh or other Sighthounds piled on a couch are pretty normal!
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