Choosing a Sloughi

Even though you may not have heard of the sloughi, the breed has a rich history, dating back to ancient times. Thought to be the forerunner of the greyhound, the sloughi is a lean and fast dog.

History and Origin

Sloughi hounds (pronounced sloo-ghee) are one of the most ancient breeds known to man. They have an extensive and rich history, dating back to ancient Egyptian times, where artifacts contained images depicting sloughi hounds.

People in Asia used the sloughi to hunt game as early as the 7th century. In the early part of the 10th century, nomadic tribes invaded Northern Africa, and with them they brought the sloughi hound.

Countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya fell in love with the sloughi. The Berber and Bedouin people treated their dogs like family, greatly mourning them at death. The people of Northern Africa employed their hounds to hunt wild game such as gazelles, hares and foxes in the deserts. These hounds were probably named for the Yemeni town of Saloug.

Sloughis are superior hunters. They use sight and scent to track game, and their sand colored hair is perfect camouflage for desert regions.


Sloughi hounds look different from other sighthounds. Unlike most sighthounds, the sloughi's ears are pendulous and his head is stocky. However, like many other sighthounds, his body is lean, muscular and powerful. Sloughis have very little fat on their sculpted bodies.

Though the body of the sloughi appears long, with a deep chest and long, thin legs, the standard calls for a dog with a square body. This means that the dog is as long as he is high. The head is stocky and is attached to a long, thin neck. His eyes are amber to dark brown and rimmed with black flesh. His expression is sad.

The sloughi's hair coat is short, thick and the colors are sand, fawn and brindle. Some sloughis have black masks. Though you may see sloughis with white markings, breeders are determined to eliminate this from the breed.


Sloughis range in size from 45 to 60 pounds. At the shoulder they measure between 24 and 28 inches.


Sloughi hounds can be nervous if not properly socialized and prefer quiet surroundings. They are alert and possess an incredible amount of stamina. These hounds can be standoffish and even hostile with strangers.

Sloughis are one-owner dogs. They are loyal and affectionate to their owners, but need to be well trained and socialized at an early age. They are sensitive to negative punishment and will not respond to it.

These dogs run after everything that moves. They are highly intelligent and self-sufficient. Sloughis are courageous and brave; they must be on a leash when not contained within an enclosed area.

Sloughis are very clean, tidy dogs. At the end of the day, they love nothing more than to curl up on the couch.

Home and Family Relations

Unless raised with them, sloughis are not an ideal breed for households with very young children. They prefer quiet surroundings and don't tolerate the antics of young children as well as some other dogs.

The sloughi may take time to warm up to strangers. They cannot be forced to be friendly. These hounds need lots of daily exercise. A fenced-in yard is the best option.

Sloughis can be dangerous around cats and other small animals. They have a high instinct to hunt, and they may look at smaller animals as fair game.


Sloughi hounds can be trained with patience. A well-trained sloughi is obedient and gentle. If not well trained, they can be aloof and aggressive. These dogs do not crate-train well. Sloughis excel at lure coursing.

Special Concerns

Being primarily desert dogs, sloughis can be sensitive to cold weather. Sloughis should always be on a leash or in a fenced yard to prevent tragedies involving small critters.

These dogs can be sensitive to anesthetics and drugs. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any drugs to your sloughi.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The sloughi is a relatively healthy breed. Though uncommon, some sloughis may develop progressive retinal atrophy, which is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate.

The sloughi's life expectancy is between 12 and 16 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.