8 Facts About the Azawakh

iStock.com/animalinfo
iStock.com/animalinfo

As of January 1, the Azawakh—one of the most expensive dog breeds in the world, according to The Dog Digest—has gained full recognition within the American Kennel Club (AKC), making it eligible for competition in the organization's dog shows. Here’s what you should know about the breed.

1. The Azawakh is leggy.

These pups are tall and lean—so much so that, according to the AKC, a dog’s “bone structure and musculature can plainly be seen beneath his skin.” Males can stand nearly 2.5 feet tall and weigh up to 55 pounds, while females can grow to 2.25 feet tall and weigh up to 44 pounds. They live 12 to 15 years.

2. The Azawakh is an ancient breed from West Africa.

The sighthound, used for hunting, hails from the Sahel region, which includes Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger (and the Azawakh Valley). “This wonderful breed has been around for thousands of years, and we’re happy to introduce it to dog lovers in this country,” AKC executive secretary Gina DiNardo said in a press release.

3. The breed made its U.S. debut in the 1980s.

According to the American Azawakh Association (AAA), the breed made its way to Europe first, in the 1970s. The first litter was born in the states on October 31, 1987; all the pups were red or fawn and had white markings.

4. Its name is pronounced Oz-a-wok.

It’s also known as the Tuareg Sloughi. The Tuareg nomads—who are among several tribes that traditionally own this breed—call it idii n’ illeli, which means “sighthound of the free people.”

5. It has a short, fine coat.

Unlike with other breeds, no color combinations or markings will disqualify the Azawakh from competition. According to the AKC, its coat “may come in any color or color combinations: red, clear sand to fawn, brindled, parti-color (which may be predominantly white), blue, black, and brown. The head may have a black mask and there may be white markings on the legs, bib, and at the tip of tail.” Its short coat means it’s easy to groom; according to the AKC, it needs just a brush once a week. You probably won’t even need to bathe it if it gets muddy; just wait for the mud to dry, then brush it off.

6. It’s a very active breed.

In Africa, these speedy dogs chase down fleet-footed prey like hares and gazelles—so they need a lot of exercise. According to the AAA, “The Azawakh is always on the alert for moving objects; even a leaf in the wind will trigger a chase.”

They’re a good pooch for runners and need at least 30 minutes of playing with another dog or owner every day. The other dog or owner is key, though: Left on its own, the Azawakh won’t exercise.

7. They’re loyal to their owners, but can be standoffish with strangers.

These smart, independent dogs are have a strong bond with their owners. They’re also protective: In addition to hunting, they’re used in Africa to protect encampments and herds of animals. The AAA notes that “when approached on their own turf, they are vocally intimidating. In situations where their duty as guardian isn’t necessary, their reactions may range from friendly, to mildly curious, to arrogantly indifferent. … A well socialized Azawakh is affectionate, gentle, playful, subtle, and very loyal to its owner … Azawakhs are usually cautious with strangers. They typically observe for a while before approaching.”

8. It’s part of the AKC’s hound group.

Also in that group are the greyhound, the saluki, the beagle, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback, among others.

Rhode Island Approves Bill to Create an Animal Abuser Registry

iStock/Kerkez
iStock/Kerkez

In what could be a major step toward curbing animal cruelty, Rhode Island just passed a bill requiring convicted abusers to be placed on a statewide registry. The objective? To make sure they don’t adopt another animal.

According to KUTV, the bill was approved by the Rhode Island House of Representatives on Thursday and is awaiting Senate approval. Under the law, anyone convicted of abusing an animal would be required to pay a $125 fee and register with the database. The collection of names will be made available to animal shelters and adoption agencies, which will be required to check the registry before adopting out any pets. If the prospective owner’s name appears, they will not be permitted to adopt the animal.

Convicted abusers have five days to register, either from the time of their conviction if no jail time is mandated or from the time of their release. The prohibition on owning another animal lasts 15 years. If they're convicted a second time, they would be banned for life.

A number of communities across the country have enacted similar laws in recent years, including Hillsborough County in Florida, Cook County in Illinois, and New York City. The state of Louisiana was fielding a bill last week, but the proposal was ultimately pulled from committee consideration after a critical response from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The group’s policy statement argues that registries are costly to maintain, not often utilized by adoption centers, and don’t address the potential for abusers to find animals in other ways. The group also asserts that registries may influence potential convictions, as defendants and their legal representation might plea to lesser charges to avoid being placed in the database. The ASPCA instead recommends court-mandated no-contact orders for convicted animal abusers.

[h/t KUTV]

This Inflatable Sloth Pool Float Is the Perfect Accessory for Lazy Summer Days

SwimWays
SwimWays

Summer is the perfect time to channel your inner sloth. Even if you don't plan on sleeping 15 to 20 hours a day, you can take inspiration from the animal's lifestyle and plan to move as little as possible. This supersized sloth pool float from SwimWays, spotted by Romper, will help you achieve that goal.

It's hard not to feel lazy when you're being hugged by a giant inflatable sloth. This floating pool chair is 50 inches long, 40 inches tall, and 36 inches wide, with two "arms" to support you as you lounge in the water.

One of the sloth's paws includes a built-in cup holder, so you don't have to expend any extra energy by getting up in order to stay hydrated. Unlike some pool floats, this accessory allows you to sit upright—which means you can drink, read, or talk to the people around you without straining your neck.

The sloth floatie is available for $35 on Amazon or Walmart. SwimWays also makes the same product in different animal designs, including a panda and a teddy bear. And if you're looking for a pool accessory that gives you even more room to spread out, this inflatable dachshund float may be just what you need.

People sitting in animal pool floats.
SwimWays

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