The Sloughi is a greyhound of the Sighthound family. It was popular in Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. An established favourite, the Sloughi is a splendidly elegant dog that has not changed in appearance since ancient times, when it was raised and used for hunting, and guarding the flocks. The breed was pure bred, splendidly athletic and aloof, and it was pampered by the Arabs, who admired its noble qualities.
There is much speculation over the origin of the Sloughi, which is one of two recognised Sighthound breeds. They may originate from the Orient or Nubia. Earthenware fragments from about 3000 B.C. depict short-haired Sighthounds which resemble the Sloughi. The Sloughi was often confused with the Middle Eastern Saluki, which led to a dramatic impact on some Western Sloughi breeding. Sloughis appear to belong to the same family as the Azawakh, but not the Saluki. The Sloughi is also often mistaken for the smooth Afghan hound.
Reputed to be the most #intelligent of Greyhounds, the Slough is however very #reserved around strangers. He is loyal and loving with those he knows well. Their expressive faces endear them in a very personal way to their masters. They are better suited to children who have been raised to respect animals, otherwise they can be reserved and suspicious towards them. In families they are quiet and unobtrusive, and they bark very little. As a working dog the Sloughi is used mainly for hunting gazelles, wolves and hares. They are also used as guard dogs and racing dogs.
The Sloughi is medium sized, short haired, muscular and strong with drooped ears and a somewhat melancholic expression. The muscles are long and flat, and the Sloughi is not as solidly built as Whippets or Greyhounds, even when in peak physical condition. The back is near horizontal, and the lumbar region should be slightly vaulted. The angulation is moderate, with a tucked up underline.
Ideally, the eyes are dark brown, though they may also be amber. The colour of the coat ranges from light sand to red or mahogany, and brindling may be present. The mantle is black, with a black mask and black ears. The Sloughi may have only a minor white patch on the chest; pronounced white or multi-coloured coats are not standard. With its feather-weight gait and moderate stride, the Sloughi is strong, compact and flighty.
Do not expect a Sloughi to take to training as a Golden Retriever or Border Collie would. Sloughis can be well trained if they are disciplined gently and fairly, as they are highly sensitive to anger. "Respect Training" is a popular method used to train Sloughis. Training for Sloughis, and all dogs, should start when they are puppies. Respect training ensures that puppies will grow up to be well behaved, or that adult dogs behave in a respectful, disciplined manner. Dogs need to be taught "obedience commands" in a way that they understand and respond to. Respect training teaches dogs to listen, and to respond immediately to commands.
A beautiful, intelligent and loyal dog, the Sloughi is gentle and affectionate with his owner. A well trained, sociable Sloughi that is bonded to a confident, calm owner can be a valuable asset as a companion and as a working dog.