The Sloughi /ˈsluːɡi/ is a North African breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. It is found mainly in Morocco, which is responsible for the standard, and can be found in smaller numbers elsewhere in North Africa. Sloughis are likely closely related to the Azawakh, but not to the Saluki .
Appearance The Sloughi belongs to the Sighthound family. In appearance, it is a short-haired, middle-sized, strong sighthound with drooping ears. Its expression is often described to be melancholy. Its muscular system is "dry", that is, the Sloughi has flat and long muscles, which must not be as brawny as those of Greyhounds or Whippets, even when in excellent physical condition. Its back is nearly horizontal (the lumbar region must be slightly vaulted). It has a moderate angulation and a tucked up underline.
The Sloughi's eyes are ideally dark brown, though sometimes of amber colour. Its coat colour varies from light-sand, to red-sand, red- or mahogany with or without brindling, black mantle, black mask, black ears. According to the standard, a Sloughi may only have a small white patch on its chest. Extensive white markings and parti-colored coats are not allowed. The Sloughi's gait is feather-light, with a moderate and energy-efficient stride. The Sloughi's general view is compact and strong; it may not be too dainty.
Temperament It is of a sensitive nature yet is an alert and intelligent hound. It is said that Sloughis have a mighty longing for moving and that is not easy to keep them in flats with families; however, a Sloughi does not need more exercise than other dogs of similar size. It loves variety, walking on the leash, romping in the countryside, and racing. A Sloughi is faithful to his owner and it needs him close by. Sloughis are easy to bring up and to train, if you know how to do it. Because the Sloughi is somewhat sensitive, its training should not be oppressive, and any punishment should be omitted. What it likes is a friendly confirmation of its behaviour.
Health The Sloughi is largely unchanged from ancient times, and so retains a robust genetic health. Only a few genetic conditions have been noted in the breed, in particular Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Fortunately the Sloughi is one of the breeds in whom this condition can be tested for with a small blood sample, and breeders are working to eliminate PRA from the gene pool. Like all sighthounds, the Sloughi is very sensitive to anesthesia, and can be sensitive to vaccines, worming, and other medications - so these routine treatments should be spaced apart instead of given all at once. Otherwise the breed tends to enjoy excellent health into old age.
The Sloughi's origin is mostly a matter of speculation. It is thought that Sloughis originally came from the Orient or from what is today Ethiopia (the tributes to the Pharaohs included smooth Lop-eared Sighthounds from Nubia, south of Egypt). The Sloughi is one of the two African Sighthound breeds recognized by the FCI. On old fragments of earthenware (about 3000 B.C.), a short-haired sighthound with lop ears was discovered that looks like a Sloughi. Today, the Sloughi is found mainly in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco is responsible for the breed's FCI Standard. It is not to be confused with the smooth Saluki of the Arabian peninsula and the Middle East, which is a variety of the Saluki breed. It is also not to be confused with the smooth Afghan Hound, which is a variety of the Afghan Hound. The Sloughi was and is still used for hunting in its native countries, and is also a reliable guarding dog.