Breed Family: Hounds (Sight Hounds)
Country of Origin: Ethopia/Egypt
Size: Medium 61 to 72cm tall weight 16 to 30kg
Also Known as: Berber Greyhound, Sloughi Moghrebi
Lifespan: 12 -15 Years
Care Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: High

General information and Appearance
The Sloughi is a sight hound similar in appearance to the Greyhound though the conformation is somewhat different. The Greyhound is longer than tall with a curved back –  the Sloughi is taller than long with a straight back. The head and facial expressions are similar.

It is not entirely clear exactly where in northern Africa they were first developed the most likely it was Ethiopianor Egypt.

The come in a variety of red solid colours, white patches on the chest and ears are permitted. Most often their faces black with black years and a black mantle.

the desert dog bred to hunt wild game native to the area. Their prey was typically fast and agile and included desert foxes gazelles, the desert hares and other small animals. As well is being hunting dogs they were trained and bred to be livestock guardian dogs regardless of their fine boned build.  They have a strong sense of loyalty to their owners, a desire to be with them and protect them. Members of their pack a treasure with Geordie and affection were strangers may be greeted with aloofness and trepidation.

They are intelligent and curious and though highly active are not nervous or hyperactive.When inside with their family will contentedly lie on a mat – because of their low body fat and bony build expect them to locate the softest plushest rug to make their own.

Assuming they are raised the children of the family they will see them as other members of their pack and as such treat them with love and affection. They are not particularly obedient even for a sight hounds so don’t expect military style training will either work or endear them to you. A gentle hand and enthusiasm to any achievement when training is required.

As with all sight hounds no amount of training or for the further from chasing their prey once they have locked on. They are the dog equivalent of a small mammal homing missile on the remote control that is your commanding voice will only work when no target is in sight. They should be exercised off lead in a fenced yard but outside the yard they should always be kept on a lead.

Health Issues
Typical of the African bred desert sight hounds they are extremely healthy dogs. There have been recorded cases of progressive retinal atrophy otherwise known as “night blindness” but it is exceptionally rare to the point that calling it a a health problem genetically attributable to the breed would be untrue.  An amount of inbreeding to modify the conformation has led to some problems such as immune system problems and haemophilia. When choosing a puppy enquire from your breeder about whether there has been any history of such illnesses in the ancestors of your puppy and whether their breeding program has included breeding close relatives or not it should be avoided.

Grooming and Care
Typical of the site hound breeds their short hair and lack of a doggy smell makes very low maintenance dogs. They don’t need a great deal of bathing and should be avoided in any case in cold weather. Some breeders say is a lack of undercoat they are low allergy dogs.

With such a short coat of fur and virtually no body fat your greatest care requirement for them is keeping them warm in cold weather.

Suitability as Pet In Australia
Owning a site hound is not to the novice dog owner and that applies to the Sloughi hound. They are difficult to train and it is impossible to prevent them chasing small animals usually resulting in the death of the small animal of the Sloughi when they are hit by a motor vehicle.

Regardless of these challenges they do make wonderful family pets to their fun loving nature, and close bonds they formed their family. Your greatest challenge is going to be locating one – at the time of writing this article there were no registered breeders of Sloughi hounds in Australia so if you are wanting to own one currently you will need to import your own probably from the US.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.