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November 11, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Sloughi

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Overview:

  • Height: 24" - 28" inches
  • Weight: 35-65 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunting dogs of nobility
  • Modern function: Hunting and guarding
  • AKC classification: Miscellaneous

Physical Characteristics:

Don't be fooled by the Sloughi's bony appearance. This is a dog that has survived thousands of years in inhospitable terrain. The Sloughi is mostly square in build, being slightly taller than long. They are long legged with a deep chest, robust yet elegant in appearance. The head is long and the ears are dropped. The facial expression of the Sloughi is sweet and melancholy, almost sad. The eyes are oval or almond shaped, brown or dark amber in color. The nose is black. The stop is barely visible. The topline is essentially horizontal, sloping slightly. The tail is long, carried low and curves up slightly. The Sloughi's coat is short, tight and smooth. The color can be all shades of light to red sand, with or without black mask, black ears, brindle, black overlay and black mantle. Their smooth, floating gait enables the hound to cover large distances without tiring. Males may be slightly larger and taller. Females may be slightly smaller and longer in proportion. 

History of the Breed:

The Sloughi origin is mostly speculative, but it is a very old breed developed in an area that includes Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. The Sloughi is also known as the Arabian Sighthound, which is a misnomer since nomadic Berbers who developed the breed long before the invasion of the Arabs. The Sloughis were regarded more highly than other dogs, and they were greatly prized. Only chiefs and kings were allowed to own them, and much effort went into making sure that they were a pure breed. 

Temperament:

The Sloughi is a faithful dog with class and grace. The attitude is noble and somewhat aloof. Their expression is melancholy, as if they have seen much over the centuries. They are sensitive and respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. Punishment is counterproductive. They bond closely with their guardian and can be protective. They are gentle and affectionate. They should be socialized from a young age with children and smaller pets. Caution should be used when outdoors around a smaller running animal as this will likely trigger the hunting instinct. This breed loves to run off leash in a safe area. A standard fence will not keep this sighthound contained when in pursuit of a squirrel, and they will be oblivious to traffic. When properly exercised, they are quiet indoors and love soft bedding. 

  • Best suited for: Quiet households that live an active lifestyle. This dog makes a great jogging companion. Excellent for bike riders with our bike harness tether system. Great for desert climates.  
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog loves long walks and jogging and does best with a large, high-fenced yard or acreage away from busy roads. This is a dog that is not suited to kennel living and wants to live indoors with the family.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care short coat sheds minimally and is suited to a desert climate. Use coats and clothing when in cold or wet weather. A rubber brush will remove dead hair. The coat naturally repells dirt. 
  • Exercise needs: Daily long walk, jog or run.
  • Life expectancy: 10-15 years.
  • Health concerns: Some lines may be rarely have progressive retinal atrophy (PRA.) Like all sighthounds, may be sensitive to anesthetics. 

Breed Club Links: American Sloughi Association.

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: WalkyDog Stainless Steel Bike Leash

Have any stories about a Sloughi? Please share! 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Ninon Greene on November 11 at 7:19 PM said:

It is wonderful to see the article about this graceful, elegant, beautiful, breed, which is rarely seen in the US, and not well known. Hopefully this will bring more attention to this exotic, athletic dog and similar breeds from that area of the world. These breeds are endangered by disease, such as rabies, area conflicts, and war. Thank you again for your article.

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