The lean bodies and energetic temperaments of the Sloughi dog breed often get confused for Greyhounds. While they may look similar, the Sloughi breed is in a category of their own. These dogs originated from Northern Africa and were once highly popular in Morocco. They have short coats, muscular bodies, and pointed snouts that make them designed for hunting down wild pigs and hares. They are lean, tough, and incredibly fast.
24 – 30 inches
40 – 65 pounds
12 – 16 years
Fawn, brindle, black, sand
Singles or families that are outdoor enthusiasts
Sensitive, loyal, alert, athletic, energetic
If you can’t keep up with their boundless energy, then you might want to look at breeds that are a bit more lax. However, if you’re looking for a companion to take on all your active adventures, then don’t look past the beautiful Sloughi breed.
Sloughi Dog Characteristics
Don’t just take the plunge on buying a dog just because you think they look cool. Even though the Sloughi breed has a unique look to them, they are highly energetic and need continuous exercise to burn off all their energy and keep them out of trouble. For example, those who run long distances and are looking for a running buddy would benefit way more than someone who comes home after work and likes to watch a couple of movies on their couch.
Another thing to keep in mind about these dogs is that they are trainable but also stubborn, which could be quite the challenge for almost all first-time dog owners. Aside from that, they are very loyal and devoted to their humans. They also have fairly good health and are going to be your right-hand pal for well over a decade.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Sloughi
Even though the Sloughi breed is rarely aggressive, they are a bit shy when it comes to strangers and other animals. In general, they are friendly and affectionate towards their families. Because they are so loyal, they also tend to be a bit territorial and can act threatened at some of the littlest things.
These dogs are also known for having independent streaks. This can make training them a challenge, especially if you’ve never raised a dog from a young age before. They will not do well if kept alone for long periods of time. The people who truly benefit from having these dogs around are the people who are willing and able to take them out with them as much as possible. If you’re an outdoorsy and active person, then they are going to fit right in. If you’re a city dweller who likes to relax, then this is definitely not the breed for you.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Although these dogs are a little shy, Sloughis can make good family pets. Of course, it is much easier if they are trained properly and given the appropriate amount of exercise. We also recommend only getting one of these dogs if you have older children in the house that can learn to respect boundaries and won’t get hurt if they get knocked over a time or two.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
It’s possible for any dog to get along with other pets in the house or around the neighborhood so long as they are socialized properly. This turns out best when done from a young age. Because they have such extensive hunting history, their prey drive is very high, and they might not be the friendliest towards smaller animals like cats. Don’t be surprised when even very well-trained dogs chase a cat occasionally.
Things to Know When Owning a Sloughi:
Just like with all other dog breeds, the Sloughi has a specific set of needs that must be met to live the happiest and healthiest life possible. If you are unable to meet their needs, you’re probably better off with a dog that is lower maintenance.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Sloughis are energetic animals and need a diet to match. They do best when they have a high-quality kibble loaded with protein from clean animal sources. Ask your vet which types of dry kibble are best for your specific dog breed.
Most owners prefer to feed their dogs once in the morning and once at night. This is a good practice, especially for the Sloughi, because it keeps their metabolism working and lessens any digestive issues that they are prone to.
These dogs are naturally lean, and some people mistake their ribs showing for not being fed enough. This doesn’t always mean a dog is undernourished. Remember that their physique is quite unique and only part of their personal physical characteristics.
Exercise is crucial for a healthy Sloughi and cannot be avoided if you want them to stay healthy and avoid behavioral issues. While they can adapt to apartment life, it isn’t always the most ideal since they need to be exercised several times per day.
Sloughis benefit from several different training exercises. Running and jogging are some of the best ways to get rid of their energy. However, many people cycle, rollerblade, hike, or do other types of vigorous activities with them to keep them active and in shape.
Sloughi training can be a challenging process. Because they are so independent and stubborn, it can be easy to lose your temper with them. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you could do. Too harsh of training methods could create shy, untrusting dogs that no longer listen to your demands. You must have patience and a gentle approach while training them.
The overall grooming demands for a Sloughi aren’t as bad as some other breeds. They have short coats that are easy to brush. Plus, they don’t shed much. The most important aspect of grooming is oral hygiene. You must regularly brush this breed’s teeth to prevent tartar buildup. Regular activity should keep their nails short but clip them if they ever start to get too long.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Sloughi breed has been known to live up to 16 years with minimal health problems. Of course, there are still a few health issues that this breed suffers from.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Sloughi Dog
1. The Sloughi dog breed is ancient.
The exact origins of the Sloughi breed aren’t 100 percent proven, but many believe that these dogs were first bred in northern parts of Africa in present-day Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. Researchers have estimated that they even date as far back as 8,000 B.C. Again, this isn’t confirmed, but researchers do believe that the people of Northern Africa used these dogs for hunting.
2. They were only recently recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Despite being around for thousands and thousands of years, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the American Kennel Club recognized the Sloughi as an official breed. It wasn’t even until 2004 that they were able to enter events such as agility, obedience, and tracking.
3. They are incredibly sensitive.
While some dogs can take everything life throws at them with ease, these dogs have a harder time adjusting. The Sloughi breed is highly sensitive to its surroundings. New people, places, and animals could have them acting out. Therefore, early socializing is crucial to keep them well-behaved.
The Sloughi dog breed is well-suited for anyone, either single or in a family, who lives a high-energy lifestyle like them. They love to be outdoors with their loved ones. They can be good for families, but it’s also possible that they won’t fit in well with your family’s lifestyle. Either way, they are very loyal and loving and will do anything to please you. We don’t always recommend them for first-time dog owners, but they can make excellent first pets if you’re willing to put in a bit more work than you would with other breeds.
Featured Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock