The ancient Sloughi, nicknamed the ‘Arabian Greyhound,’ is a lean, swift coursing hound who hunted a variety of game in North African deserts. A classic sighthound, the Sloughi is regally aloof with strangers and gentle with loved ones.
The Sloughi (SLOO-ghee) is a classically constructed sighthound of ancient lineage, originally bred to work on such game as hare, fox, jackal, gazelle, and wild pigs on the punishing terrain of its homeland. This is a lean, no-frills hound standing between 24 to 29 inches at the shoulder. Coat colors include shades of light sand to mahogany red-fawn, with or without brindling, with or without black markings, with no invasive white markings. The Sloughi’s big, dark eyes are often described as ‘melancholy.’
Like many breeds developed in antiquity around the Mediterranean basin, the Sloughi’s detailed origins are—in the inevitable words of canine historians—“lost in the mists of history.” We do know that Sloughi-type hounds were favored hunting companions of Egyptian nobles, Berber kings, and nomadic chieftains who kept packs of tough but graceful hounds that could course game across vast expanses of desert. Three sighthound breeds originated from this hot, dry region: The Sloughi was originally bred by the Berbers and the Bedouins in North Africa, the Azawakh by the Touareg (a Berber tribe) in Central Africa, and the Saluki by the Bedouin in the Middle East. It’s theorized that Berber cavalrymen who accompanied Hannibal during his famous crossing of the Alps might have introduced the Sloughi to Europe.
Temperament: Reserved / Graceful / Noble
Height: 24-27 inches
Weight: 35-50 pounds
Life expectancy: 10-15 years
Foundation Stock Group
Sloughis are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their stock for health conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy. A Sloughi’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste formulated for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- PRA Optigen DNA Test
The Sloughi’s short, smooth, and fine coat requires very little in the way of maintenance. Weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or a hound glove should keep it smooth and sleek. An occasional bath can help to keep the hound clean-smelling. The ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned if needed. The nails should be trimmed regularly as needed, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort.
Though usually sedate while in the home, the Sloughi is a somewhat active breed he is a mannerly housedog possessed of high prey drive when in pursuit. This elegant, very athletic hound needs ample exercise, preferably including opportunities to run full out in a safely enclosed area. Canine sports such as lure coursing can engage the breed with mental and physical activity he will greatly enjoy.The ancient Sloughi, nicknamed the 'Arabian Greyhound,' is a lean, swift coursing hound who hunted a variety of game in North African deserts. Click To Tweet
The Sloughi is an intelligent and loyal breed that is somewhat aloof. He does best with caring and sensitive owners. Sloughis need ample exercise, and do not respond well to harsh training methods. Despite their athleticism, they are very quiet in the home. Some Sloughis are shy; most are simply very careful and cautious about their personal space. They have a strong sense of self, which shows clearly when they are pursuing games or are strongly challenged. As with most sighthounds, care is necessary when a Sloughi is off lead.
The Sloughi should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.