The Sloughi is quite rare, though dedicated breeders promote the continuation of the breed. Sometimes called the “Arabian Greyhound,” the Sloughi is recognized by the Kennel Club of Britain and the American Kennel Club (Foundation Stock Service). Resembling a smooth-coated Saluki (although not related) the Sloughi is a medium-sized, smooth-coated, athletic sighthound from North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya). They range in size from 24 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder.
Despite their deceivingly lightweight appearance, these dogs are fearless and calm when confronting the most formidable of quarry, including wolves and jackals. Originally treasured for its hunting skills, speed, agility, and endurance over long distances, Sloughis have natural yearning to move, and don’t do well kept in small quarters such as an apartment. Unless well trained, this breed must be exercised on leash or in a large fenced area, since the tendency to run after anything that remotely resembles prey is usually overwhelming.
A Sloughi is faithful to his owner and yearns to be near him, so does best when not left alone for long periods of time. If you are gentle and encouraging, using positive reinforcement, the Sloughi is easy to bring up and to train. Because this is a sensitive breed, its training should not be oppressive, and any punishment should be omitted. This breed responds well to friendly confirmation of its behavior. Walking on the leash, romping in the countryside, and any kind of extended running will make this a happy dog. The Sloughi is a reserved breed that may not be comfortable in the company of strangers but will tolerate them.
As with most ancient breeds of dogs, the history of the Sloughi cannot be traced exactly, as they have been around since before writing was developed in the region. There are several theories as to the origins of the Sloughi, but most are based on speculation. The first written mention of the Sloughi comes from the Moroccan author Al Mansur, whose writings are traditionally placed in the 13th Century, but this dog is almost certainly many centuries, and perhaps millennia, older. In its countries of origin, the Sloughi is the only dog treated as family and allowed into the tent. It is also bred and selected with the same care as an Arabian horse. The first Sloughi was brought to the United States in 1973.
The Sloughi is also known by the following names: Al Hor, Arabian Greyhound, Arabian Sighthound, Berber Greyhound, Levrier Marocain, Maghrebi Greyhound, Maghrebi Sight Hound, Moroccan Greyhound, Sloughi Moghrebi, and Slougui.