AP NEWS

American Kennel Club adds a breed: the speedy, sleek Azawakh

January 2, 2019
In this Oct. 9, 2017, photo provided by the American Kennel Club (AKC), a male Azawakh is shown in a field in Latvia. On Jan. 2, 2018, the American Kennel Club announced that the Azawakh has gained full AKC recognition. (Alona Rjabceva/The American Kennel Club via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A fleet-footed hound that hails from West Africa is the latest dog in the American Kennel Club’s pack of recognized breeds.

The club announced Wednesday that the Azawakh (AHZ’-ah-wahk) became the 193rd breed in its roster. That means Azawakhs can now compete in many dog shows, though they’re not eligible for the prominent Westminster Kennel Club show until 2020.

The long-legged, smooth-coated Azawakh looks elegant but is no dainty dog. Traditionally a companion of nomads, the breed has long been a hunter and guardian in parts of the Sahara Desert and semi-arid Sahel region, including in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Azawakhs are known for running fast and being loyal to their owners, though sometimes aloof with strangers.

Breeds must count hundreds of dogs around the country to be recognized.