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A rare breed indeed! An Azawakh to compete in Seattle's dog show

Woof By Woofwest to feature this rare, African canine

SEATTLE — Every dog has his or her day. And this weekend, Anu the Azawakh will have his at Seattle's dog show, now known as "Woof By Woofwest."

There are believe to be only about 400 Azawakhs in the United States. The are an ancient hunter from West Africa.

"The theory is that the nomads and the sighthounds got separated when the Sahara desert dried up? And so they interbred with the bush dogs of the region. And they've been around for thousands of years since then," says Kayley Page, a dog trainer who also has a pair of  prize Azawakhs.

She was attracted to them because of the connection she feels.

"They're a lovely dog. Have lots of loyalty. Lots of drive. Lots of athleticism. But they're also, they're tough. They don't like being touched by strangers."

Which makes it challenging in the show ring. But Kayley says they are highly trainable.

"I won't say they don't have prey drive? Like greyhounds and such? But they're very much more under control. So he'll see a bird and he'll look at me...before he's like, 'Oh I'm gone.'"

She says they can run 30 mph or faster, perfect for coursing and agility. They are routinely mistaken for greyhounds. And Kayley often fields questions about how slim they are.

"That is by design. Desert bred dogs. Built for speed. And so you are supposed to be able to see, in breed standard, three to five ribs."

She says she can't feed her 19-month old Anu enough.  And her 4-month old Ami isn't far behind. And the two have bonded already with each other and with her.

"They're very cuddly with people they love."

Woof By Woofwest is this weekend at CenturyLink Field Event CenterEvening celebrates the Northwest. Watch weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 & streaming live on KING5.comContact: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.