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Meet the Newest AKC-Recognized Dog Breed

It’s an ancient hunting sighthound from West Africa.

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The American Kennel Club has granted full recognition to the Azawakh, an ancient hunting sighthound from West Africa.

The new addition to the AKC registry became eligible to compete in its group on Jan. 1.

“We’re excited to have the Azawakh join the AKC family,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “This wonderful breed has been around for thousands of years, and we’re happy to introduce it to dog lovers in this country. As with any breed, it’s important to do research and find the right one to fit your lifestyle.”

The Azawakh joins the Hound Group. The breed originated as a guardian, hunter and companion to nomads, AKC explains in a press release. The dogs would hunt hare, antelope and wild boar, and they are known to be tough, durable and fast.

AKC noted: “The Azawakh is leggy and elegant-looking, with a short, fine coat that needs occasional brushing. They are relatively calm dogs indoors but have tremendous energy and endurance outside and must have regular exercise. Azawakhs bond strongly with their owners and are affectionate, playful companions. They can be aloof towards strangers.”

To become an AKC recognized breed there must be a minimum number of dogs geographically distributed throughout the U.S., as well as an established breed club of responsible owners and breeders.

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