Also known as the Arabian Greyhound, the elegant Sloughi comes from North Africa and is as prized today as they were in the past. Sloughis are considered a rare breed and were originally bred as sight, scent and sound hunting dogs. They are true hounds of the desert that form tremendously strong bonds with one person although, they make fantastic family dogs too. However, like many hounds, the Sloughi is highly intelligent and needs careful, gentle handling as well as socialising and training from a very young age.
They can be a little stubborn at times ,which means they are not the ideal choice for first time dog owners. Sloughis like their home comforts too, give them a nice, soft comfy chair or sofa and they are in their element. However, they also need loads of exercise and would be a poor choice for people who live in apartments.
This lean, leggy sighthound likes his comforts — especially soft bedding and, ideally, access to the furniture. Noble and haughty in demeanor, he’s affectionate with his own people but aloof toward strangers. He gets along with older children who understand how to interact with dogs, but isn’t a good match for a family with young kids. Sloughis are sleek, clean, and quiet, but their stubborn hound nature can make them a poofar choice for first-time dog owners.
They are sometimes called living pieces of history – highly valued as an Arabian horse and revered by the Beddouin tribesmen. During the days of the Sheiks, the Sloughi was one of the most prized possessions. In those times, they were treated with the same respect as any honored guest. Nowadays, Sloughis are pets to select homes but their built-in desire to go hunting and their apparent boundless energy makes it somewhat difficult for city dwellers to own them.
Other Quick Facts
- The Sloughi, Saluki, and Azawakh look similar, but they come from different geographic areas and are distinct breeds with different standards.
- The Sloughi has a long, wedge-shaped head, small drop ears, and a bony body covered with strong, lean muscles.
- Sloughis were originally used to hunt jackals, gazelles, and desert hares. In some areas of the United States, they course jackrabbits and coyotes.
- Comparable Breeds: Saluki, Greyhound
The Sloughi’s origin is mostly a matter of speculation. It is thought that Sloughis originally came from the Orient or from what is today Ethiopia (the tributes to the Pharaohs included smooth Lop-eared Sighthounds from Nubia, south of Egypt). The Sloughi is one of the two African Sighthound breeds recognized by the FCI. On old fragments of earthenware (about 3000 B.C.), a short-haired sighthound with lop ears was discovered that looks like a Sloughi. Today, the Sloughi is found mainly in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco is responsible for the breed’s FCI Standard. It is not to be confused with the smooth Saluki of the Arabian peninsula and the Middle East, which is a variety of the Saluki breed. It is also not to be confused with the smooth Afghan Hound, which is a variety of the Afghan Hound. The Sloughi was and is still used for hunting in its native countries, and is also a reliable guarding dog.
Sloughis are very devoted to their family. It is not easy for them to change homes. Once you own one, they are yours for life. They are not a noisy breed and they love children. These dogs are independent but they are not suited to someone who has little time. Other animals are not entirely safe with a Sloughi unless raised with them from an early age. They are noble and quite reserved with strangers. In the family though, they are affectionate and sweet – they love playing together and playing chase. Sloughis are also a very clean, manageable breed. They do not like to be dirty in any way. This breed also makes an excellent watchdog.
The Sloughi is largely unchanged from ancient times, and so retains a robust genetic health. Only a few genetic conditions have been noted in the breed, in particular Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Fortunately the Sloughi is one of the breeds in whom this condition can be tested for with a small blood sample, and breeders are working to eliminate PRA from the gene pool. Like all sighthounds, the Sloughi is very sensitive to anesthesia, and can be sensitive to vaccines, worming, and other medications – so these routine treatments should be spaced apart instead of given all at once. Otherwise the breed tends to enjoy excellent health into old age.
Sloughis have very high energy. They need at least two hours of exercise a day. Once on to a game or any contest, this competitive breed will run and run to win.
Sloughis need plenty of exercise so it is best that they stay in large open space. Living in an apartment or townhouse wouldn’t exactly be ideal for them but they will get by fine as long as they are provided a soft bed or blanket in which to sleep.
Sloughis need lots of daily exercise, especially young dogs and they make superb jogging buddies. They are at their happiest when they are allowed to run free, off their leads. However, you need to be careful because they might just get the scent of something and be off hunting which is what they strong instincts tell them to do. The good news is they usually love their owners so much, they soon come back to them. When at home, these elegant dogs are happy to lounge on a nice soft, comfy chair or sofa
in a place where they can keep a sleepy eye on their owners.
Sloughis hate being left on their own for too long, they adore being around people and are particularly fond of children. However, when puppies they can be a little boisterous so families with toddlers need to keep an eye out in case the little ones get knocked over by an over exuberant pup. The breed has a short coat with no undercoat which means they are very easy maintenance. The one thing Sloughis hate is to be dirty and will spend time cleaning themselves if they are – much like a cat. Because they don’t shed much coat, they can be the ideal choice for people with allergies, but you would need to spend some time around a Sloughi to be sure of this.
They need regular health checks at the vets as they grow older and for a big dog, they boast long life spans which can be anything from 12 to 15 years. But other than that they would just need to go to the vets for their boosters. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on their teeth to make sure there’s no build up tartar and if there is, to get this removed by the vet and to give them lots of healthy chews to prevent it from happening again.
Looking for a dog with an easy-care coat? Look no further than the Sloughi. Weekly brushing of his smooth, shorthaired coat is all you need to do to keep it clean and in good condition — plus the occasional bath if he rolls in something stinky.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or so. Like most sighthounds, Sloughis have sensitive feet, so practice this early on with a puppy and be sure you never hurt him when you are touching his feet. He’ll never forget it. Keep the ears clean and dry, and brush the teeth regularly with a vet-approved doggie toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.
Did You Know?
The Sloughi is an ace competitor at lure coursing, a sport for dogs that involves chasing a mechanical rabbit.