The Sloughi is an ancient hound hailing from Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. This medium-sized dog stands 61 to 72 centimetres and weighs 40 to 50 pounds. It is highly prized for its elegant appearance and exceptional hunting skills. However, it remains rare outside of North Africa and individuals interested to care for this breed would need to be on a waitlist.
Are you interested in caring for a Sloughi? Here is a brief background of this medium North African dog.
The Sloughi is known as one of the most ancient hounds in the world. However, pinpointing the definite origins of this breed is a challenging feat since breeders and enthusiasts have varying versions. Some say that it came from Nubia, now Ethiopia, south of Egypt as short-haired sight hounds resembling the Sloughi were seen in 3000 BC earthenware. Interestingly, a DNA study in 2008 revealed that the breed shares genetic sequences with the Basenji, Nguni and Sica on the mother side, which came from North Africa thousands of years ago. This information debunks beliefs that the Sloughi is a descendant of the Saluki or the Afghan Hound, which originated in the Middle East.
The Sloughi became a valuable dog for its handsome appearance as well as its impressive turn of speed and impeccable hunting skills. It only arrived in the UK during the latter part of the 20th century. The breed remains a popular breed in its native countries such as Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia but remains an uncommon breed elsewhere despite being an affectionate and loyal family pet. It is recognised by The Kennel Club under the Hound group.
Appearance and Grooming
The Sloughi is an elegant and dignified hound with fine skin highlighted by its muscular leanness. It stands 61 to 72 centimetres and weighs 40 to 50 pounds, with males slightly larger and taller than females. It has a refined and elongated wedge-shaped head, flat and fairly broad skull, slightly marked frontal bone, and pronounced occiput. Its muzzle is refined without exaggeration, its jaw is strong with a perfect scissor bite and its nose and are lips black (lighter shade for light-coloured dogs). Its large oval eyes are dark amber and show a gentle yet wistful expression, while its medium ears are flat and triangular in shape with round tips. It has a strong and well-proportioned neck, a moderately long and gracefully arched body, well-muscled and long shoulders, and prominent hipbones.
The Sloughi has a fine and short coat with no feathering and may grow an undercoat during the winter. It comes in the following colours according to KC standards: light to red sand with or without black mask, brindle with or without black mask, and black mantle with sand or brindle points. Potential owners will be happy to know that grooming this breed is very easy. Aside from the fact that its coat is short and tight, it is a very clean dog that has cat-like grooming patterns. It only requires a weekly brush and wipe using a chamois leather to keep everything clean and neat. Aside from taking care of its coat, make sure to maintain its oral health by brushing its teeth at least three times a week. Also clean its ears and trim its nails regularly.
Temperament and Intelligence
The Sloughi loves its family and builds a strong bond with everyone in the household but it can be aloof and suspicious of people it does not know. It is not a good choice for first-time owners because it can be a challenging dog to keep. This breed is sensitive and stubborn by nature so it needs to be gently yet firmly handled by an experienced owner. It is referred as a one-man dog because it develops the strongest bond with only one person. It has an affinity with children of all ages and is happy to be around them. That being said, owners need to understand that the Sloughi prefers a quiet environment and could get nervous when it gets boisterous. It is better off to families with slightly older children and any interactions should always be supervised.
Sloughis are intelligent dogs but because of their sensitive nature, training and socialisation must begin as soon as the puppy arrives. Owners need to lay out rules and expose them to various people, animals and scenarios so they can grow up well-rounded and confident. Well-socialised Sloughis do well with other dogs but when it comes to other animals, care must be taken as their strong prey drive might get the best of them.
Nutrition and Feeding
A typical serving for an adult Sloughi is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. However, this is only a rough estimate since factors like age, size, physique, exercise, and metabolism should be considered. Always talk to your trusted vet to know if your dog is within the right size and weight range. Typical calorie needs of adult Sloughis per day:
- Senior and less active: up to 1,080 calories daily
- Typical adults: up to 1,200 calories daily
- Physically active/working dogs: up to 2,020 calories daily
Unlike most dogs, the Sloughi does not do well on a rich or high-protein diet since it was raised for centuries in North Africa on light, modest food. Experts suggest a natural diet composed of fresh meat, vegetables and fruits, cheese, egg yolk, rice, and noodles. If you decide to feed commercial dog food, choose reliable brands with limited ingredients and specially formulated for medium, active breeds. They should contain vegetables, whole chicken, beef or lamb.
Health and Exercise
The Sloughi is known as a health and robust dog that can live up to 12 to 15 years. However, it can still be prone to bloat, immune system deficiency, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Also, because of its low body fat, it can be sensitive to anaesthetics and sedatives so caution must be taken when it has to undergo major surgeries or treatments.
As a high-energy and intelligent dog, the Sloughi will require at least 2 hours’ worth of physically draining and mentally stimulating activities. Aside from daily walks, incorporate activities it will enjoy so it won’t become bored and uncooperative. Raised as a hunter, it will enjoy retrieve and lure courses.
Cost of Ownership
If you are planning to buy a Sloughi, you would need to go on a waiting list as this breed is rare in the UK. The price for a well-bred Kennel Club-registered pedigree puppy is at least £600. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, you will need to feed your dog high quality dog food and treats, which can set you back £40-£50 a month. You would also need to spend on dog accessories such as leads, collars, eating bowls, crates, beds, and toys. The combined initial cost for these things is estimated at £200.
Moreover, you need to consider paying for pet insurance to offset veterinary bills in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. Depending on where you live and your dog’s health and age, a time-limited cover can cost £29 a month while a lifetime one can cost up to £54 a month. Generally, insurance companies do not cover routine veterinary consultations, initial vaccinations, boosters, and neutering or spaying, so you may also have to spend an additional £1000 annually for these services.
On average, the minimum cost to care for a Sloughi is £60-£110 per month depending on your pet insurance premium. This estimate does not include the rates for other services such as walking and grooming.
Are you sure the Sloughi is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.
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