Breed Standard

Last updated June 2015

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Particularly high on the leg; the Azawakh gives a general impression of lean elegance. Bone structure and musculature are well defined beneath fine skin. This large sighthound is a racy dog whose body fits into a rectangle (higher than long).

Characteristics

A smooth haired sighthound, giving the impression of great slenderness, with flat muscles. Distant and dignified bearing. The movement is an essential point of the breed. Capable of great speed and endurance.

Temperament

Attentive, distant, reserved with strangers. Neither nervous nor aggressive. Affectionate and gentle with his family. This breed needs gentle and sensitive handling during the judging procedure.

Head and Skull

Long, fine, lean and chiselled, rather narrow, cheeks flat. Skull flat, width less than half of the length of the head. Slightly marked frontal bones, and fairly flat over the eyes. Occiput clearly pronounced. Slight stop, muzzle refined towards nose without exaggeration. Skull & muzzle of equal length. Nostrils well open, nose either black or brown.

Eyes

Moderately large, almond shaped, set slightly obliquely. Eye rims pigmented. Eye colour dark or amber. Light eyes undesirable.

Ears

Fine, set quite high, triangular in shape with rounded tips. Wide at the base, folding down and carried close to the head. Never carried as a rose ear. Raised at the base when attentive.

Mouth

Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck

Good reach of neck, long, fine and muscular, slightly arched. Skin fine without dewlap.

Forequarters

Shoulders long, lean and muscular, only slightly slanting viewed in profile, meeting upper arm with very moderate angulation. Withers quite prominent. Upper arm long. Forelegs straight and long from elbow to pastern, set well under the body.

Body

Length of body to height ratio 9:10. Topline level or slightly rising towards hips. Loin short, lean and very slightly arched. Forechest fairly narrow. Chest well developed. Ribs long, slightly and evenly curved down to the sternum, reaching to just above the elbow. Underline of chest gently curved upwards to the belly, which is well tucked up. Croup oblique, without accentuated slant downwards.

Hindquarters

Long, with prominent, lean muscles, long second thighs. Hip bones prominent. Moderate angulation complements front angulation. When viewed from the rear hindquarters are parallel and vertical.

Feet

Round in shape with fine, tightly closed toes. Pads pigmented.

Tail

Set low, long, thin, lean and tapered. Carried with tip slightly raised in repose. Can be raised above horizontal when moving or excited. Short, fine hair: never long. Preferably a white tip on the end of tail.

Gait/Movement

Always very supple (lissom) and with particularly high action at the trot and the walk, but never a hackney action. The gallop is bouncy. The Azawakh gives a great impression of lightness, even elasticity. The movement is an essential point of the breed.

Coat

Skin fine, tight over all body. Hair short and fine, may have none on the belly. Never harsh or semi-long.

Colour

All shades of light sand through to dark mahogany, with flecking limited to extremities. With or without a black mask or white blaze. Can have white forechest and preferably a white tip to the tail.

Light to dark brindle with similar white markings.

Feet must have some white hairs, preferably completely white extending up the pasterns. Never reaching to elbows, or above hocks.

Size

Height at withers: Dogs 64-74cms (25-29 ins); Bitches 60-70cms (23½ -27½ ins). Weight: Dogs 20-25kgs (44-55lbs); Bitches 15-20kgs (33-44lbs).

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 and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – the Kennel Club Breed Standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the Size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the Size measurements stated in the Breed Standard.


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