ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Sloughi

Sloughi
John Walton
Written by John Walton

A fusion of class and agility, the Sloughi was originally bred to hunt wild pigs, foxes, gazelles and other animals. Hunting on top speed, it is physically capable of enduring long distances. While it may look posh and harmless on the outside, it is far from being a vulnerable household pet as it is vicious in the hunting arena.

More importantly, this dog breed can charm its way into your heart as it has exceptional characteristics. Standing like a self-assured model, it is noble, reserved and graceful inside the household. It is extremely faithful to its human companions, and it thrives on warmth and affection from its caretakers.

When surrounded by strangers, however, it can be suspicious and aloof. A family-centered dog perfect for experienced owners, the Sloughi is a gentle and compassionate canine pal that can bring a bundle of joy into your home.

Breed characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityAbove Average
Health IssuesAbove Average
GroomingHighest
All Around FriendlinessHigh
Exercise NeedsHigh

Dog Breed Group:Hound Dog 
Height:Around 2 to 2 ½ feet tall at the shoulder
Weight: About 40 – 63 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 16 years on an average

A dog breed with a history that dates back to the earlier centuries, the Sloughi stands out in its line because of its agility, speed and high endurance. A perfect hunting companion, it is always on the look-out for prey, which explains why it is a popular dog of choice for hunting games.

Physically, this medium-to-large breed has a long and slender body. Since it is short-haired, owners don’t need to worry about pet care issues as this breed is very easy to groom. While it may have a natural instinct to hunt, it looks far from other hunting breeds as it unfailingly exudes class and elegance.

Just like other breeds, it can stay guarded when it is surrounded by strangers, but when it is around its human companions, it is extremely warm and playful. However, being the dog hound that it truly is, this breed can become dodged and resolute once it senses that its human companion isn’t in control.

Hence, if you are a first-time pet owner, this breed is not advisable for you as its strong sense of independence can cause problems in your home.

Main Highlights
  • Access to furniture and soft beddings is a must as this breed thrives on comfort.
  • While it may be affectionate to its human companions, it is aloof and reserved when it is surrounded by unfamiliar people.
  • This breed has a strong prey drive, so smaller pets should be introduced at an early age. While it has a natural instinct to hunt, early socialization and training can help it become a versatile and well-rounded dog.
  • Early socialization is also crucial as it can become shy and afraid once it senses new stimuli.
  • Owners must be firm when they are training this breed as poor training practices can make it disobedient, dominant and problematic inside the household.
  • When training this breed, always incorporate positive reinforcement techniques that include food rewards and compliments. Also, always devise new and challenging tasks as this breed is highly intelligent, and it can get bored with repetitive tasks.
  • This breed is a one-person/one-family person, making it extremely difficult for it to adjust once it is introduced to a new owner during the later phases in life. Therefore, bear in mind that taking care of this breed is a strong commitment.
  • Since this breed has a thin coating, it is ideal for owners living in a temperate climate. While it can survive during the cold, winter season, its coating does not have enough insulating properties, so owners must always keep their canine pal indoors, especially during the colder seasons of the year.
  • This dog breed interacts well with older children who know how to properly socialize with their pet companions. Nonetheless, adult supervision is still highly required whenever there is pet-child interaction.
  • While this breed has a thin coating, brushing once a week is still ideal.
  • Just like other hounds, this breed is sensitive to anesthetics.
  • Lastly, while the Sloughis are generally warm and affectionate to their human companions, they are highly independent, making it ideal for owners to give them the space they need from time to time.
Breed History

A breed that is highly valuable to North Africans because of its vicious hunting skills, the Sloughi is an ancient dog breed whose history still remains a mystery. While some experts believe that this breed hailed from the Orient, which is now famously known as Ethiopia, there is no clear evidence proving this speculation.

Furthermore, according to data, breeds that greatly resembled African Sighthounds were spotted back in the 8th to 7th BC. Since these hounds bore great similarities with the Sloughi, Saluki, Azawakh and Afghan breeds, it is next to impossible to gather enough evidence and to trace the Sloughi breed’s exact origins.

Highly honored by Bedouin tribesmen, this dog breed was allowed inside Arabian tents. It was treated with great respect, and it was valued like an Arabian horse. Aside from being bred indoors, this breed was also protected by its owners as it was considered close to a treasure. This explains why Arabian men used to embellish this breed with amulets, talismans and other sets of jewelry.

The Arabian women back then even obliged their selves to nurse puppies as taking care of this pet was considered a prestige and a great honor. Since this breed was treated as a part of a family, Arabs mourned whenever their pet companion dies. In fact, in one exploration, an expert discovered a mummified body of this breed in one of the ancient tombs.

At present, this breed is popular in Africa because of its hunting abilities. Also, it stands as a guard dog in many native countries.

Size

On an average, males stand 26 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder while females are typically 2 inches shorter. In terms of weight, on the other hand, males can weigh as heavy as 50 to 63 pounds, while a female weighs around 40 to 50 pounds.

Personality and Character

Widely recognized for their speed, endurance and agility, the Sloughis are even more capable of hunting with precision because of their excellent vision. Always on guard and on a look-out for prey, they will chase anything that moves, making it important for owners to keep them on a leash when they are in an unfamiliar area. The athletic nature of this breed makes it a top contender in competitions and dog shows.

Inside the household, this breed is extremely affectionate and loyal to its human companions. Since it is considered a one-person/one-family breed, it is not ideal for a full-grown Sloughi to be introduced to a new owner. In the like manner, it is reserved and aloof when it is around strangers. Hence, it is best for strangers to give this dog breed time to warm up as it does not like being approached by unfamiliar people.

In addition to that, this dog breed can be extremely shy, so owners must introduce early training and socialization so it won’t get surprised by new stimuli. Likewise, since it can become overly sensitive, owners must never resort to harsh training methods as it can easily remember punishments. When training this breed or any other breeds, patience is always necessary.

Lastly, this breed interacts well with young and old members of the family. However, since it is large in size, unwanted accidents can always happen when the dog plays with younger children, so adult supervision is always necessary when there is pet-child interaction.

Health and Potential Problems

Just like any breed, the Sloughi is also susceptible to specific health disorders. While not all dogs under this breed may have to suffer from these conditions, it is always vital for owners to be more cautious in taking care of their canine pals so they can eliminate risk factors.

If you are considering this breed, find a breeder that can offer documents that serve as evidence that the parents, along with the puppy, are cleared from certain disabilities. To help you become a better steward of this amazing breed, below are some of the health conditions common to its bloodline:

  • Adverse Reaction from Drugs: Just like other dog hounds, this breed can develop an adverse reaction to anesthetics, so it is crucial for owners to ask their veterinarians about drug compatibility before the dog receives any medical treatment that involves the use of anesthesia.
  • Arthritis: While the occurrence of arthritis is not common during the early years, this dog breed can develop this progressive disease later in life.

As a precaution, although this dog breed can bark or moan once it is injured, it has a strong tolerance to pain, so it can be challenging to tell if it is in pain or not. Hence, owners of this breed should set-up regular check-ups with their vet so they can monitor their dog’s health. The earlier they track their canine pal’s disease, the higher the chances of recovery.

Care Features

Bred for hunting purposes, this dog breed is tough and agile in nature. Because it has a high endurance level, it is important for owners to provide their canine pal daily exercise. Around 30-45 minutes of regular walks and exercises is enough for owners to meet this dog’s physical training requirements.

While they can keep their dogs off leash on a widely fenced and secured area, it is important for them to keep their dogs on a leash when in an open space as this breed has a strong instinct to chase anything that moves.

Most importantly, this breed has a thin coating, which means that it should be kept indoors if you live in an area known for its cold climate. During the winter season, owners must not keep their pet companions outside of their house because their coating does not have enough insulating properties.

Lastly, since this breed is known to be a tough competitor in agility competitions, it is important for owners to keep their fences high so they can avoid accidents.

Feeding Schedule

Just like other dog breeds, the Sloughi has daily nutritional requirements that can vary depending on its size and level of physical activity. As a general rule, the more active the dog is, the more food it will require to sustain its body’s needs.

While the recommended food intake is at around 1.5 cups of dry food a day divided into two equal feedings, the quality of food also affects the amount required. The more nutrient-dense the food is, the lesser the dog needs to consume.

Coat, Color and Grooming

Popular for its sophisticated physique, this dog breed is smooth-coated and short-haired in nature, making it less difficult to groom. Because of its coating, it is recommended for owners to raise this breed in an area with a temperate climate as it is sensitive to cold temperatures.

The color of the coating can range from light to red fawn. According to standards set for this breed, it may or may not have a black overlay, a black mask, a black mantle or a black brindle.

While this breed’s coating is very light, owners still need to brush it at least once a week. Bathing on a daily basis, on the other hand, is not necessary. Only bathe the dog as needed, especially during colder seasons.

In addition to that, owners trying to inhibit gum diseases can brush their dog’s teeth every day. Tartar build-up and bad odor, on the other hand, can be prevented by brushing the dog’s teeth thrice a week.

To avoid painful tears and other problems, owners should cut their dog’s nails regularly. Owners who are inexperienced in cutting their dog’s nails must ask guidance from professional groomers. If, for instance, the nails are already screeching against the floor, it is a definite indicator that the nails already need to be trimmed.

Last but not the least owners must watch out for signs of impending health conditions. For example, bad odor from the ears can be a sign of infection. By being knowledgeable about common danger signs, owners would be able to ensure the overall wellness of their dog as it ages.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

A well-rounded and well-trained Sloughi is gentle, warm and affectionate to its human companions. Popular for its nobility, this breed is highly devoted and faithful to its owner, which explains why it is known as a one-family/one-person dog.

Since it is graceful and compassionate, it is an ideal pet companion for children who know how to interact with dogs and other pets. Nonetheless, no matter how friendly a dog is, adult supervision is still required during the pet-child interaction.

In terms of pet compatibility, this breed is originally used for hunting prey, so it is important for owners to keep it on a leash when it is in an unsecured area so it won’t chase down small animals. To enable this breed to become well-rounded, it is important for owners to introduce other household pets at an early phase.

Early socialization can help this dog breed become accustomed to being with other domestic animals.

Sweet and affectionate to its human companions, but tough and aggressive when out hunting prey, the Sloughi is a versatile dog that is willing to devote its life to you and to other members of the household. However, since it is intelligent and independent in nature, it is not ideal for first-time pet owners who are inexperienced in training household pets.

With firm guidance and the right amount of affection, this dog breed can become the faithful household companion you can always count on.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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