Breed Category: Hound
Country of Origin: Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia
Average Size: 60-70 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 20-30 kg
Average Life Span: 12-15 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: High
The Sloughi is an ancient sighthound breed that is native to the present-day north African nations of Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The history of this breed dates back so far that the details of its origin are largely unknown. Pottery and other ancient artifacts suggest that the breed is at least 3,000 years old. It is thought to have been originally bred by Berbers, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Berber Greyhound.
Closely resembling other sighthounds such as the Greyhound, the Sloughi was bred for endurance and hunting, as the region required a dog that could hunt small and medium sized animals while also thriving in dry, hot weather. Its speed while running allowed it to catch game such as jackals and hares and the Sloughi was also prized for its ability to protect the home and livestock.
The Sloughi was originally allowed only by those in high society, but it is now commonly kept as a companion dog, particularly in its native northern Africa. Its hunting and guarding skills are still held in high regard by owners.
The Sloughi bears a rather glum expression, due in part to the large size and oval shape of their brown or amber eyes. The breed is also known for its remarkably lean appearance, which is a result of its long and compact skeletal system and muscles. The tail is long and thin, curling at the tip. It is naturally carried low, though it may be raised higher while playing.
The coat of the Sloughi is extremely low maintenance, requiring no more than brushing to remove dead hair. The fur is short and sleek, coming in shades of tan, red, fawn, black and cream. The pattern of the coat may be solid or brindled and it may have black markings on the head. White colouring may also be found on the feet, chest or face, particularly as the dog ages.
Male Sloughis are generally larger in height, though female may be longer and leaner. The average height of the Sloughi is 60-70 cm with an average weight of 20-30 kg. The slender and athletic physique of this breed allows it to move with a graceful and effortless gait. When running, the breed is extremely fast and elegant, crossing large distances in a short amount of time.
This breed is gentle and affectionate with its family, though it is known to be reserved with new people and other dogs. It must be carefully monitored around smaller dogs, cats and other animals, for it retains its hunting instincts even when kept as a companion dog. There is a better chance of peaceful cohabitation if a Sloughi is introduced to young children and small animals at a young age.
The nature of the Sloughi is stubborn and independent, which can make training and discipline slightly difficult. It responds best with positive reinforcement and tolerance. Despite its independent nature, the Sloughi prefers to always be in close proximity to its owner.
The Sloughi requires a considerable amount of exercise. It is not content to spend life in a small flat or in a home without a yard. It does best when it has an open space in which it can roam, as running is inherently its preferred form of exercise. When its energy is properly expended, the Sloughi enjoys a warm and comfortable place to rest, such as a couch or a dog bed.
This breed is known for its hardy health, which is a testament to its renowned endurance and stamina. It is susceptible to genetic conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and sensitivity to anesthesia. It may also experience joint problems or arthritis as it ages.
The Sloughi is otherwise remarkably healthy and may live to be 12-15 years of age, which is considerably longer than other dogs of this size.
Sloughi Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Sloughi Organisations in the UK
Sloughi Rescue Website.
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