Azawakh dogs are a breed sighthound that was developed by nomadic tribes in West Africa. Genetic studies indicate that while these dogs are physically and temperamentally similar to other sighthounds, they are only closely related to the Pariah Dog and the Sloughi. They are capable hunters but due to a lack of appropriate game in the area have more frequently been employed as livestock guardians.
Like other sighthounds, the Azawakh dog was often used to hunt and take down game, although they were more likely to hunt in packs than other breeds of sighthounds. They have an extremely high prey drive, and they often worked together to chase and bring down any prey that could be found in the area as well as providing protection for both livestock and people from local predators. Lure coursing is an emerging dog sport designed for canines with high prey natural prey drives. The dogs chase a lure meant to mimic fleeing game. This lure, usually a white plastic bag, is attached to a series of pulleys that quickly shifts the bag around the field in a zig-zag pattern to test the animal’s ability to mimic the speed and quick direction changes of fleeing game.
A flirt pole is, in many ways, very similar to many cat toys; it generally consists of a pole, a line, and a tug toy or rope as a lure. It is also used in much the same way as a cat toy and is used as a tool to utilize encourage your pup to run and jump in order to try and catch the lure on the end of the line. The pole used for a canine flirt pole is generally around four and six feet long in order to accommodate for the dog’s larger size. This activity can help improve the stamina and agility of dogs with a high prey drive.
Azawakh dogs can be somewhat more variable in temperament than most sighthounds; when properly socialized they tend to be affectionate, gentle, and playful but when socialization is neglected they can be suspicious and nippy. Therapy dogs typically make visits to schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to provide unconditional love and comfort for those who need it. Although Azawakh dogs that are not well-socialized with people are known to be suspicious and somewhat reactive, the playful but sensitive nature of the well-socialized Azawakh frequently make them excellent candidates for therapy work. For dogs that are suited to this job, training typically only takes a few months, and the canines can often start making visits after just a few months of training.
A canine sport in which you and your dog compete by completing a course with ten to twenty commands to demonstrate your dog's knowledge and skill.
Fast CAT is a dog sport similar to lure coursing, but it is run individually on a straight course of 100 yards.
Fetch, taken to a higher level. This competitive canine sport includes hurdles in a relay-style race to retrieve a tennis ball.