Other names: Arabian Greyhound
Devoted to its family yet aloof towards strangers, lean yet strong, and independent yet sensitive - the Sloughi is truly a dog of contradictions! This North African sighthound is athletic and elegant, built for speed and capable of hunting all kinds of game. In a family environment however, the Sloughi makes a quiet, loyal and affectionate companion - providing you can meet its high exercise needs, that is.
Key facts about the Sloughi
Life expectancy :
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Origins and history
The Sloughi comes from North Africa as far back as the 13th century, where it was originally bred by the Berbers across Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. It’s believed to have been the dog of choice for Egyptian royals and Berber kings, due to its sheer agility and capability of hunting large game. The breed didn’t reach Europe until the late 19th century and the USA until 1973, and is now, unfortunately, a very rare breed.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 10 - Sighthounds
Section 3 : Short-haired Sighthounds
Physical characteristics of the Sloughi
Female : Between 24 and 27 in
Male : Between 26 and 28 in
Female : Between 42 and 49 lb
Male : Between 44 and 55 lb
Black, brindle, fawn, red, sand, with or without black marks or brindling.
Type of coat
Short, fine, dense. An undercoat grows in cold weather conditions.
Amber to dark brown.
The Sloughi is medium-sized (though definitely on the larger size of medium-sized breeds) with a distinctively lean and athletic appearance. While the body and legs both appear rather thin and boney, both are actually surprisingly strong and robust. Overall, this lean and athletic frame gives the breed a noble, elegant appearance. The head is long with a wedge-shaped muzzle, while the eyes are round and dark yet expressive. The ears are triangular in shape, of a medium size and fold downwards either side of the face.
Good to know
While the true origins of the Sloughi remain a mystery, many are convinced the breed is closely related to the Afghan Hound.
The Sloughi is a typical ‘one man dog’, forming an extremely tight bond with one member of the family. This breed is known to be difficult to rehome as it remains fiercely loyal and attached to its family, and very detached with others.
The Sloughi is not very playful, and prefers to stay in its corner rather than participate in silly games.
As long as the Sloughi’s exercise requirements and needs are met, it is quiet, docile and gentle within the home.
This is an extremely intelligent breed, especially on an emotional level. This breed can feel tension within the home and can literally be physically sick due to family arguments and stressors.
The Sloughi is a sighthound and a hunter by nature, meaning small animals, wildlife and even livestock may become its target whilst out and about.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This dog is known to be wary and shy towards unfamiliar faces, but may accept a friendly stroke or pat. It is rarely aggressive.
The Sloughi can be proud and cold, and really doesn’t need close contact with humans.
Behaviour of the Sloughi
The Sloughi will be okay left alone for a few hours every now and then, as long as its needs are met. However, as this breed forms extremely close bonds to its owner, it won’t cope having a master with a full-time job outside of the home.
Easy to train / obedience
Despite the Sloughi’s impressive emotional intelligence, it can be a difficult pooch to train. This dog can be stubborn, and so, training should start as a puppy and remain consistent throughout its adult life. As this breed is highly sensitive, using harsh correction methods or punishments will only make it shy away and retreat. The best way to train the Sloughi is by being armed with plenty of patience, positive reinforcements and rewards.
This is generally a quiet breed, though it may bark at intruders within its territory.
Tendency to run away
A high prey-drive, incredible speed and endless stamina? That makes for a master escape artist! The Sloughi is likely to pound off without a care in the world if it spots any form of prey. However, if it’s well-trained, a good recall should do the trick.
The Sloughi is potentially destructive if left alone for too long or under-exercised. However, if the Sloughi’s needs are met and the pooch is well-trained, it’s generally a very obedient and docile breed.
Greedy / Gluttony
The Sloughi is not known to be greedy.
Fiercely loyal and naturally suspicious of strangers, the Sloughi makes a fantastic watchdog and will stand her ground if necessary.
With high exercise requirements, a stubborn streak, emotional sensitivity and a significant prey drive, the Sloughi can be a lot to handle. This is not a good choice for first-time dog owners.
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Sloughi in a flat
The Sloughi will feel bored and under-stimulated in a flat or apartment setting. Ideally, this breed will be housed in a house with large, secured garden or a rural environment.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Looking for the ultimate canine athlete? The Sloughi is your match! This breed is agile and athletic with incredible endurance, meaning it requires plenty (and we mean plenty!) of exercise. Ideally, the Sloughi will exercise for 2-3 hours or more every single day, much of this time being spent jogging, running or hiking to burn off energy.
Travelling / easy to transport
The Sloughi is a fairly big dog and may be difficult to transport comfortably. Due to its high energy levels, it might become restless during long journeys. Early socialization to changing environments will help with this.
Sloughi and cats
In rare cases, the Sloughi might get on with cats it’s been brought up with. However, in most cases, this breed will see cats as dinner - it’s as simple as that!
Sloughi and dogs
Although it won’t be playful with them, a well-socialized Sloughi should be fine around other dogs.
Sloughi and children
The Sloughi is fantastic with children who respect its boundaries.
Sloughi and the elderly
This is not a suitable breed for seniors - it’s too active, too independent and generally too high-maintenance.
Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £60 to £110 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.
The Sloughi has the ultimate easy-care coat, requiring just a weekly rough brush to smooth off dirt and grime - simple! Bathing should only be carried out when absolutely necessary, such as when the Sloughi is visibly dirty, as over-bathing may dry out the dog’s skin.
The Sloughi is a low-moderate shedder.
Nutrition of the Sloughi
Feed the Sloughi lean meat, rice and vegetables according to its expenditure needs. This dog shouldn’t run on a full tummy.
Health of the Sloughi
They are generally healthy and long-lived, but are prone to a few health issues, as most pure-breeds are. Their life expectancy is 14 years of age.
Strong / robust
This is an athletic, hardy and robust breed with significant stamina, who can get hurt when they run.
The Sloughi comes from the desert and thrives in warm climates.
Although the coat will naturally thicken in cold weather, the breed isn’t suited to cold climates and should always be provided with adequate shelter.
Tendency to put on weight
An adequately exercised Sloughi is highly unlikely to develop weight problems.