The first sighthounds imported into France from the Sahel
During the 1970s, a number of sighthounds from the Sahel were imported into France by various French cooperants. These sighthounds were not yet recognized under the name "Azawakh" and were assimilated to Sloughis, but had a major fault, compared to the standard of the Sloughi : white on their coat. It was not until 1981 that the Azawakh breed was dissociated from the Sloughi and officially recognized by the FCI as a full-recognized breed, under the patronage of France, which introduced the standard, since there is no canine infrastructure in the Sahel.
Among these many sighthounds imported from the Sahel during the 1970s, only a few were used in the Azawakh breed in France (5 of them are found in current pedigrees, see the article on the Azawakh's Genetics). The other imported sighthounds were, for some, used in the Sloughi breed for those who had the less white markings, others had some offspring without continuity and these are not present in our current Azawakh lines, and the others were not used in breeding at all.
Notes have been taken written at that time about these sighthounds. There is a variety of sizes, boning and also colors (black, isabelle, very widely spotted ...), variety of places of origin, as we still can findit today in the Sahe. This variety has not been chosen for the establishment of the standard of 1982. In fact, the standard was modeled on a very specific lineage, to a very specific type, without any consideration for the wide reality on the "ground" (even among those considered as " the purest (?) "), excluding even the brindle markings.
Here are some extracts from the notes :
When the information is known, it reads the year of birth, name, sex, color, height at the withers (eg, H: 58), origin, description, owner's name, and various annotations. Information about the owners has been deliberately hidden for the web.
( Haute Volta was the previous name of the Burkina Faso. Ménaka is in Mali, Filingué and Tahoua are in Niger. )
These dogs are from Mali :
At the beginning the 1980s a cooperant chooses and imports five sighthounds from the Sahel, two fawn males and three brindle (two females and a male). Four of these dogs, while the brindle pattern is considered by the standard as a fault, will give birth to several litters during the next 15 years. The brindle male will never be used in the breed because he had dewclaws at the back legs.
Some other sighthounds from the Sahel were imported during this decade which had not much success in comparison to the selected original line. Nevertheless, some will have offspring, which the first generation will shine on the show rings.