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If you're looking for a loyal sighthound with a protective streak, then the svelte, elegant Azawakh may be your match. The aloof breed hails from the Sahel region of Africa, a desert area that encompasses parts of Mali and Niger, including a region called the Azawakh Valley. There, the Azawakh protected the nomadic Touareg people and guarded their tents; he also played a role in hare, antelope and wild boar hunting. Because the Azawakh is so devoted to his people, he might bark at strangers, and he requires extensive socialization in puppyhood so he can adapt to new situations later in life. Since he has thin skin and not much body fat, the Azawakh would not do well in extremely cold or wet conditions — he'll thrive in a home with abundant exercise and a comfortable place to rest.

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