Azawakhs are the edgiest of all sighthound breeds. They are loyal and fiercely protective of their families. However, they usually are indifferent, cautious and guarded around strangers. Sometimes described as being more like cats than dogs, Azawakhs are reserved, observant and extremely independent. They are calm, self-confident and clever, and they definitely like to have things their own way. They should not be aggressive or overly timid. But, Azawakhs that are raised in kennel situations or poorly socialized can be achingly shy. They may be nervous, frightened or panicky to the point of freezing in place or trembling when faced with unfamiliar situations or people. If pushed, they may snap or bite, not out of aggression but out of fear. Unfortunately, some Azawakhs are aggressive. These are smart dogs that certainly can overcome their shy or dominant propensities with help from kind, patient owners. Even properly raised Azawakhs tend to be touchy and startle easily. However, they watch their owners and usually will follow their lead.
With family, Azawakhs are faithful, gentle and affectionate. They often bond closely with one family member, rather than dividing their affection equally. Because of their unique dispositions, Azawakhs do not change owners with ease and can be extremely difficult to rehome. Some Azawakh fanciers are trying to breed more stable, approachable dogs, to increase their popularity and reliability.
This breed only left the African desert a few decades ago. It still has its native hunting and guarding instincts, including its extreme prey drive. Bred to live and hunt in packs, Azawakhs develop clear hierarchies with other dogs, and there always is a definite alpha leader. These dogs express their intentions and moods to one another through a repertoire of sounds and postures that remain mysterious to the humans who love them.