Reserved, graceful, and noble, the Sloughi (pronounced SLOO-ghee), also known as the “Arabian Greyhound”, is a member of the Hound breed group. He was originally bred to hunt a variety of game such as hare, fox, jackal, gazelle, and wild pigs in North African deserts.
However, the Sloughi’s exact origins are unknown. The breed was favored as a hunting companion to many Egyptian nobles and nomadic chieftains. Today, the Sloughi breed is most popular in Morocco where he is used as a guard dog and hunting companion. Sloughis are also popular in Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Characteristics of the Sloughi Breed
Here are some unique characteristics of the Sloughi breed.
The Sloughi is often mistaken for the both the Saluki and smooth Afghan Hound due to his similar appearance. Just by his standing appearance, one can tell that the Sloughi is an athletic breed built for speed. Although lean, the Sloughi is not fragile. The males stand between 26 and 29 inches tall, while the females reach between 24 and 27 inches of height.
This breed has a lean appearance and can weigh anywhere from 35 to 50 pounds. The Sloughi’s long head is decorated by his large, dark eyes, which are often described as melancholy to match his gentle personality. His coat can range from shades of light sand to mahogany red-fawn, with or without brindling, with or without black markings, with no invasive white markings.
A classic sighthound, the Sloughi is reserved with strangers and affectionate and gentle with loved ones. He is sensitive and extremely devoted to his family. This breed can get along with only one owner or with an entire family of owners. Like many hounds, the Sloughi can be stubborn at times, and may not be the ideal breed for first-time dog owners. The Sloughi is not the most adaptable of breeds, and therefore it may be difficult to rehome him. However, this also means that, once you have bonded with your Sloughi, he will be dedicated to you for the rest of his life.
Sloughis have a proud and independent nature. The Sloughi, unsurprisingly, has an extremely strong prey drive- that’s what he was built for. This breed often wins competitions of lure coursing (a sport for dogs that involves chasing a mechanical rabbit), and therefore, it is easy to surmise that this breed should not be adopted by households with pet rodents, cats, or small dogs.
Whenever your Sloughi is around any other animals, it is best to keep him on a leash with a watchful eye. A Sloughi should never be allowed to run free in an area that is not enclosed because he will likely run off to chase something. It is not a good idea to bring your Sloughi to the dog park where he might chase after other small dogs.
You can expect your Sloughi to live between 10 and 15 years of age.
Caring for the Sloughi
Let’s learn about how to care for this unique breed.
Your Sloughi will need to be fed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for his age- puppy, adult, senior, etc. Treats can be a valuable tool to use during training but avoid feeding your pet too many treats as this can cause obesity, which can lead to many other problems. Table scraps should also be given sparingly and avoid especially those table scraps containing bones and contents rich in fat. Clean, fresh water should always be available for your Sloughi to drink. Always consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet’s diet or weight.
When indoors, the Sloughi is often a calm, restful breed. However, when he is outside, the Sloughi becomes more active. To maintain his elegant, athletic physique, your Sloughi will require ample exercise such as daily walks and free time to run around in the backyard. Make sure he is always surrounded by an enclosed fence, otherwise he will probably run away while chasing a small animal. If it is an option, provide your Sloughi will opportunities to participate in lure coursing, a sport for dogs in which they chase a mechanical rabbit. Due to their high prey drive, Sloughis love this sport.
Sloughis are shy and cautious about their personal space, yet they have a strong sense of self. Being rather intelligent, the Sloughi breed can prove difficult to train for inexperienced dog owners. Despite his tendency toward stubborn behavior, the Sloughi can be very sensitive. He does not respond well to harsh training methods. He does best with caring, consistent, and sensitive owners. During training, it is better to praise your Sloughi for the thing he does correctly rather than harshly punish him for the things he does incorrectly.
As you can imagine, the sort, smooth coat of the Sloughi does not require much upkeep. Your Sloughi will only require a weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or hound glove to keep his fine coat looking smooth and sleek. To avoid doggy odors, your pet should be bathed once per month. His ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned with a damp paper towel if necessary. His nails should also be trimmed whenever they grow too long. When he is taken to the veterinarian for regular check-ups, it is a good idea to have your Sloughi’s teeth cleaned as well using a toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs.
The Sloughi breed can be prone to certain health conditions including progressive retinal atrophy. However, if you have purchased your Sloughi puppy from a responsible breeder, many harmful conditions will have been genetically screened for in your puppy’s parents, so you should have nothing to worry about. As always, though, consult your pet’s veterinarian for regular check-ups and if you have any concerns about his health.
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