Showsight Presents The Azawakh

THE AZAWAKH

regular kibble, the Azawakh should be fed a diet with a fat content of 16-20 percent fat, to maintain good weight and a healthy coat; a moderate level of protein (26-30 percent) is advisable. The breed also does well on the newer grain-free diets. Weight maintenance of Azawakh is another important area to consider. They should be slim. In proper weight, most ribs, ver- tebrae, and the hipbones should be visible. It’s not to say that they should be skeletal, but a fat Sighthound is neither a happy nor a healthy Sighthound. Azawakh are struc- tured to be on the thin side. Overfeeding will adversely affect the joint structure of the hound, especially in puppies. Azawakh puppies should never be fat and roly-poly. Keeping them slim as they are growing permits the joints and other body parts to grow properly, without additional stress and wear & tear. Slim pups are less prone to growth plate problems. In medical treat- ment of the hound, natural, holistic meth- ods work very well. The Azawakh is gener- ally a healthy breed. They heal amazingly well from cuts and scrapes. The Azawakh is a natural breed whose immune system is not conditioned to the use of most West- ern chemicals; therefore, judicious use of chemicals around the hound is advised.

et du Galgo (S.L.A.G.), which is the club governing the Sloughi and Azawakh in France, has further limited the “approved” white markings of the Azawakh. This trend has sharply divided the Azawakh fanciers and breeders in both the US and abroad. By limiting the markings on the hound, the standard is further narrowing the genetic pool from which breeders can draw if they wish to breed within the stan- dard as set forth by the club in France. Since the formation of the American Azawakh Association in 1988, it has been the belief of the members that the FCI standard should be amended to include all the colors and patterns found in the Sahel. This would allow breeders to uti- lize Sahelian-bred hounds to expand and enhance the breeding lines. It would also help to preserve the unique character and performance abilities of the Azawakh and help to balance the progressively more extreme type found so often in the show ring today. IN SUMMARY “As fast as wind, durable as a camel and beautiful as an Arab horse... these few words could briefly describe a charm- ing Azawakh.” (Eva-Maria Kramer). Aza- wakh are elegant, tall dogs of proud bear- ing. Lean and muscular of frame, their appearance should indicate swiftness when

running. He should be longer of leg than of body, which may seem extreme when compared with other Sighthounds. His neck is long and graceful, his head held high when alert. His tail is proudly car- ried above the line of the back. The breed has pendant ears that are raised to the side of the head in response to sounds. Their beautiful, darkly rimmed, almond-shaped eyes and ever-alert look capture the admi- ration of all who fall under the spell of the hound. The Azawakh’s movement is agile and light, without hackney action or pounding. He has particularly graceful, elastic move- ment at the walk, and at the trot gives the appearance of floating effortlessly over the ground. At the trot, the front foot should not extend past the end of the nose. The gallop is leaping, and they cover ground in great strides. Moving with exaggerated reach and drive, as in the “flying trot,” is incorrect. The movement is an essential point of the breed. An over-angulated dog can have spec- tacular movement; but it is not the correct movement. This is a very common judging fault in Azawakh. A dog which shows all the characteristics of the standard, but has a heavy, pounding trot or hackney action, cannot be considered for the ribbons!

A DISCUSSION OF THE AZAWAKH STANDARD THE COLOR AND MARKING CONTROVERSY

Currently, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the World Canine Organization standard of the Azawakh, allows only the coat colors of sand to red, with and without black brindling. White markings are required on all four extremi- ties, the tip of the tail, and the chest. A blaze on the face is allowed. Any devia- tion from the above standard is a major or eliminating fault. This standard, however, does not reflect the reality regarding colors and markings of the hounds in the Sahel. The coat colors accepted by the FCI standard are indeed the dominant colors; however, a smaller portion of the Azawakh popula- tion displays different coat colors and pat- terns. Additionally, more extensive white markings than described in the standard are very common. Although the AAA doesn’t recognize the FCI Standard for the breed because of its color limitations, the dogs can be shown in any FCI recognized country under FCI rules which allow only sand to dark red and black brindle, with all other colors dis- qualified. In the past few years, the French Club du Sloughi, des Levriers d’Afrique

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