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The Sloughi is a sighthound native to Morocco in North Africa. “Sloughi” comes from the Arabic word “Slughi” which means greyhound. As the original hunting dog of the Berbers or Bedouins, it is also known by the names Arabian/North African/Berber greyhound. It is an FCI recognized dog breed with FCI Standard Number 188. The Sloughi belongs to Group 10 Sighthounds and Section 3 Short-Haired Sighthounds.

Sloughi Dog Breed Information

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Size: 61-72cm
Weight: 18-28kg
FCI Group: 10: Sighthounds
Section: 3: short-haired greyhounds
Country of origin: Morocco
Colours: black, brindle, sand, fawn
Life expectancy: 12-16 years
Suitable as: hunting and family dog
Sports: greyhound racing
Character: Sensitive, Intelligent, Loyal, Attentive
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: medium
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: very short, dense and fine
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: rather yes

Origin and breed history

The Sloughi looks back on ancient ancestors from North Africa. Images of his ancestors have been found on Egyptian wall reliefs of the pharaohs that are more than 3000 years old. Even older finds date from the time of the Mesopotamian Empire. The Sloughi ancestors come from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Arabian conquerors probably brought their greyhounds with them to the Maghreb, where they interbred with the greyhounds there. This gave rise to the Sloughi as we know it today.

In his homeland he was bred on a large scale by influential sheikhs. The North African greyhound served as a hunting dog for the Bedouins and Berbers on their journey through the desert. The Sloughi was transported by his master in the saddle on camels, dromedaries or horses until a trained falcon caught the hunted game. Then the Sloughi hunted down the spoils, the food of the Bedouins. Along with the mounts, it was the most precious thing the desert people possessed. That is why the Arabs also call him “el hor” – “the noble one”. Even today, the four-legged friend enjoys a great reputation in his home country, in contrast to other dog breeds. It is considered “pure” there and is still used in the country for gazelle and rabbit hunting. In Morocco you can find numerous Sloughis today, although they were threatened with extinction in the meantime.

The Arabian Greyhound became known in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century when travelers reported about it after returning from the Arabian world. He was rarely bred. Only France, which was closely linked to the country through its colonies in North Africa, bred the Sloughi. In 1925, France issued its own standard, from which the Sloughi emerged as a French breed. Morocco only took over the standard management in 1974 and has kept the stud book ever since. In Germany, with a high-quality breed, the Arabian greyhound is gaining more and more fans, so that its population in this country is increasing.

Nature & temperament of the Sloughi

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The desert dog is peaceful, calm and good-natured. Just like his appearance, he shows a proud and gentle character. He has a very sensitive disposition which should be treated with delicacy and love. Then, after initial shyness, the Sloughi gradually warms up and forms a close bond with its owner. He is very cuddly and loyal and needs constant contact with his human pack. The fur nose is very fond of children and patient in dealing with them. Basically, he is better off with older children, because they can show more consideration for him. He prefers a quieter environment. The watchful four-legged friend always bravely defends his pack. It reports reliably when there is danger; however, the Sloughi is by no means a barker.

Hunting is still part of the nature of the Arabian Greyhound, much to the chagrin of its owners. That’s why you shouldn’t let him run off-leash in the wild. Even well-behaved Sloughis forget their obedience at the smell of game.

Likewise, the Sloughi is a powerful, enduring runner who wants to work hard. That’s why he’s a great training partner for sports enthusiasts: the Sloughi loves jogging, cycling and ultra-long walks. What is striking is his light-footed, supple gait. He trots elegantly over long distances and gallops when sprinting.

The four-legged friend has a strong sense of cleanliness. He sheds very little and grooms himself like a cat. The Sloughi is also otherwise very distinguished, because panting or drooling like “ordinary” dogs is alien to him. If he likes a spot, the adult Sloughi can sit there for hours, resting within himself.

The independently thinking greyhound is very instinctive. He senses the attitude and attitude of his human counterpart. You might think he could read minds. If he doesn’t like someone, he remains politely reserved. He’s reserved with strangers anyway. If he finds that his human pack treats strangers kindly, he may become more trusting.

Due to its gentle, calm nature, the Arabian Greyhound can also be kept with other dogs. He is very socially acceptable. Living with cats, rabbits or the like, on the other hand, is a little more problematic. Because these animals are easily confused with prey. If the Sloughi grows up with a cat from an early age, it can sometimes work if he takes it into “his” pack.

Is the Sloughi a family dog?

Very affectionate and affectionate, the Sloughi is suitable for families with older children, provided the family has the time to exercise and care for the dog properly.

The appearance of the Sloughi

With a shoulder height of about 66 to 72 cm for males and 61 to 68 cm for females, the Sloughi is one of the large dog breeds. Males weigh around 22 to 28 kg and females around 18 to 23 kg.

The short coat is smooth and dense. The coat color varies from red, fawn or light brown, black to sandy. Shades of color, for example light sand, with or without a mask, with or without a coat, with or without black brindle, with or without clouds are also possible.

In appearance, the Sloughi has a graceful, graceful appearance. Its athletic body is streamlined and very slim, with the abdominal area being tucked up considerably. The Sloughi’s legs are very high and its feet strong. His elongated, noble-looking head, which tapers towards the tip of the nose, sits on his long, well-defined neck, which runs in a slightly curved top line. Its neck is about as long as its head. The Sloughi’s ears are set high and are slightly pricked or drooping. The amber-colored, black-rimmed eyes appear slightly melancholic, almost sad. Its long, thin tail curves slightly upwards when the Sloughi is at rest.

Training and husbandry of the Sloughi – This is important to note

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The Sloughi is very intelligent and trainable. But the noble greyhound is a little sensitive. You can’t speak to him in a tone of command. Its owner has to show a certain sensitivity when handling it. When a Sloughi obeys, it is only because he loves his owner. Patience, love and consistency form the basis of a well-functioning human-animal relationship.

In order to socialize the little Sloughi well from an early age, a visit to the dog school is recommended. There the puppy comes into contact with other dogs and can make one or the other canine friendship. You should get your four-legged friend used to the fact that mistress or master can inspect all possible parts of the body from the puppy age: the fur must be brushed, ears may have to be cleaned, teeth brushed, claws trimmed, eyes and paws examined. In this way, pathological changes can be detected at an early stage, which can then be treated in good time. Prophylactic visits to the vet to get used to it should also be part of the little one’s training plan.

The former hunter of the desert still has the hunting instinct in his blood. You can train retrieval with him from puppyhood. But this is no guarantee that he will actually come back when free running in the presence of game. There are lines that have hunting in their blood to a greater or lesser extent. This should be clarified with the breeder.

How much is a Sloughi?

A Sloughi from a good breed costs between $1000 and $2000 with papers.

Diet of the Sloughi

According to the diet of its ancestors, the greyhound does not make any special demands on its food. Both dry and wet food are suitable, as well as the increasingly popular BARF. You should not feed the greyhound too many calories, not too high in protein and not too rich in vitamins. For this you should definitely give a high-quality food. The feed should not contain any preservatives, colorings, flavor enhancers, sugar or grains. Because these can cause health problems such as allergies. Good food is responsible for keeping a dog fit for a long time. If you choose dry food, you should only feed it cold-pressed, as this preserves nutrients and vitamins better. With dry food, it is even more important to offer your four-legged friend enough fresh drinking water throughout the day. Because the dry food softens in the stomach and removes a lot of liquid.

Puppies need food specially tailored to their growth and should be fed three to four times a day. It is important that the puppy does not grow too quickly because of the food, so that the structure of the bones, tendons, ligaments and joints can keep up. The adult Sloughi should only be fed twice a day, and that after exercise. This prevents a dangerous torsion of the stomach.

If the little Sloughi has moved in with one, it should definitely be fed for a while longer with the same, usual food from the breeder. The breeder has adapted this food to the nutrient requirements of the puppies for healthy development. If you later want to switch your fur nose to a different food, you must do so carefully. This allows the dog’s stomach and intestines to get used to it without causing flatulence or diarrhea.

The Sloughi should be weighed regularly to ensure that the puppy is gaining weight appropriately and that the adult four-legged friend is not overweight. Being overweight can also cause diseases.

The amount of food stated on the packaging should always be adhered to. Treats should also be included in the daily amount of food. Under no circumstances should the Sloughi receive “treats” from the table. For example, dried meat or healthy dental care snacks are recommended as treats. There are other factors to consider when it comes to the amount of feed. For example, age, gender, activities, neutered or not neutered and state of health. Senior four-legged friends are less active and therefore have lower energy requirements than young dogs that take part in greyhound races, for example. Older dogs therefore need less food or food that is specially tailored to their needs.

When is a Sloughi fully grown?

This breed grows in size about 1.5 years.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

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The Sloughi is basically a robust and resilient dog. The average age is 12 to 14 years. If the greyhound is kept in a species-appropriate manner, it can still be fit and agile into old age.

Due to its origin, from the African desert, the Sloughi can cope with all weather conditions – both extreme heat and cold. However, you should not leave him without movement in snow and ice, so that he does not cool down. A dog coat can be helpful, especially for older furry friends.

Like all breeds, Sloughis have health issues. The four-legged friends can react sensitively to anesthetics and some medicines. There is also a risk of developing the hereditary eye disease progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is therefore advisable to buy from a good breeder who practices appropriate health care. With a blood or genetic test, hereditary diseases can be almost completely ruled out.

How many puppies does a Sloughi get?

A Sloughi belongs to the larger breed of dogs that can give birth to up to ten puppies per litter. How many puppies a bitch gives birth to also depends on her age.

Care of the Sloughi

The short-haired Sloughi’s coat is easy to groom. Brushing or grooming once a week with a soft brush or a nubbed glove is sufficient. In this way, dead hair and dead skin cells can be removed and blood circulation is stimulated. The very clean greyhounds enjoy the little massage, which is good for the human-animal relationship. If the Sloughi doesn’t come home quite so clean after a walk, it is usually sufficient to wipe it off with a damp cloth. You should only bathe him in exceptional cases and then with a mild dog shampoo.

Ears, eyes, claws, skin and teeth should also be checked daily and cleaned if necessary. In this way, changes, ulcers or the like can be detected at an early stage and thus treated in good time. The Sloughi’s lop ears, in particular, need to be inspected as dirt and bacteria tend to collect there. If the ears are not cleaned, the ears tend to become painfully inflamed. There are special ear cleaners for four-legged friends that gently loosen the earwax and free the auditory canal.

Senior dogs may need to trim their nails with nail clippers. Because older dogs don’t move as much as young fur noses and wear their claws less. If the claws are too long, they can easily get caught somewhere and, in the worst case, tear out. This is very painful for the dog.

Sloughi – activities, and training

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The hunting dog from North Africa is a persistent runner that needs a lot of exercise. Ideally, the owner of the Sloughi has a fenced garden in which the four-legged friend can move freely in a safe environment from time to time. But the garden alone is far from enough. The Sloughi loves to run and is only happy if you let him push himself to the limit. Hour-long walks, kilometers of jogging and cycling and dog sports such as greyhound racing or hunting coursing are suitable for this. There are numerous dog tracks where you can let your Sloughi run to your heart’s content in a safe environment. Competitions are also held in this regard, so that he can compete with his “colleagues”.

Jagd-Coursing offers a great hunting alternative for the passionate hunter. A rabbit hunt is simulated in the open field. The movement of the hunting dummy triggers the reflex in the sighthound, which follows the prey with its eyes, to pursue it. It requires enormous attention not to lose sight of the prey on the confusing course. This challenges the Sloughi both physically and mentally. Regeneration is very important after every strenuous sport or after an ultra-long walk. The Sloughi should have time to rest properly at home. He will enjoy relaxing crawling and stroking.

Good to know: Special features of the Sloughi

Due to their slim body, the greyhounds easily slip out of “normal” dog harnesses and collars. Special greyhound harnesses are therefore recommended.

The most famous owners of Sloughis are certainly the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Murals in their tombs, for example, show a Sloughi lying at the feet of an enthroned pharaoh.

Sloughis are also mentioned in the book “Horses of the Sahara” by French General Eugène Daumas. The general got to know and appreciate the Arabian greyhound in the 19th century during his stay in his homeland.

In 1990, a commercial for Pedigree PAL was filmed with the graceful dogs of the desert.

The Sloughi is also available as a Meissen porcelain figure.

What is the difference between Saluki and Sloughi?

Saluki and Sloughi are two independent breeds. Their names are both derived from the Arabic word Slughi or Saluki, which translates to greyhound. The Saluki is from the Middle East and the Sloughi from North Africa. The Sloughi is shorthaired whereas the Saluki can be both shorthaired and feathered. Both dog breeds also differ in terms of colors and their genetic profiles.

Disadvantages of the Sloughi

The Sloughi is a little sensitive when spoken to harshly. Then he becomes stubborn and steadfastly ignores every command. Treats don’t help either. Dealing with him requires great empathy and patience. Furthermore, it takes up a lot of time for its utilization. Long walks several times a day and species-appropriate dog sports are a must for him.

Is the Sloughi right for me?

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The Sloughi is not a lap dog that just wants to be petted. He is an endurance athlete who wants to be exhausted. It is definitely not suitable for people who don’t like to move. Owners of this breed should allow plenty of time for exercise, training, and socialization. One-hour walks are an absolute minimum. Athletes who see the greyhound as a training partner for jogging or cycling are just as suitable owners as families who can keep them busy and have the time to do so. Families with small children should rather not choose this breed. Because small children take up a lot of time, which you can’t spare for the dog. Older children who can keep themselves busy and who are calmer when handling the Sloughi are better suited to him.

The Sloughi is only conditionally the right dog for seniors. On the one hand, retired people have a lot of free time; but they should also feel fit enough to offer the greyhound a species-appropriate workload. Many will probably not be up to the endurance athlete. Furthermore, a dog usually means a bond of a decade and more.

If small animals live in the new home of the Sloughi, this can sometimes be a problem. One must not leave the former hunter unattended with the animals that could easily be mistaken for prey. If he moves in as a puppy, you can try to socialize the sighthound with a cat. If he accepts the cat into “his” pack, you are lucky.

Greyhound lovers should have great empathy and a gentle disposition. You have to be able to train your four-legged friend calmly, with lots of love and consistently. Because the Sloughi is very sensitive and only out of deepest affection will he obey his owner’s commands. Dog experience is an advantage but not a must. Interested fans of this breed who meet the above criteria can also thoroughly inform themselves about the Sloughi before buying. Attending a dog school is not only important for the dog for socialization, but also for the owner. There you can exchange ideas with other dog owners and trainers and many a problem often solves itself.

The Sloughi is a fairly large dog and is therefore not suitable for a small apartment. He feels comfortable in a large house with a garden. Because in his own garden he can run freely in a safe environment and also do his rounds in between.