feel hard and fit in the ring. The forechest should be bony and angular, and it lacks “fill.” The Sloughi should never be pigeon- breasted. It should never be soft in condition, and it should never appear padded. Temperament: The Sloughi evolved as a coursing and hunting hound, but it also evolved as a guardian of nomadic tents and a sometimes livestock guardian. Part of the Sloughi’s purpose was historically to be suspicious of strangers and to be especially devoted to its family. In the show ring, the Sloughi should be approached in a business- like fashion—never stare into the eyes; ask the handler to show the bite, front and sides, but never open the mouth to check molars. Judges should refrain from speaking when bent directly over a Sloughi. If an exhibit is shy or nervous, please refrain from trying to comfort the Sloughi or talk to it, which will only heighten its suspicion. Furthermore, in the Sloughi, a breed whose physique is so dry as to make every piece of anatomy clear- ly visible, excessive touching or handling is unnecessary. General Comments: The Sloughi originated in a land of harsh desert and rocky mountains to course rabbits, hares, jackals, fennecs and other foxes, gazelles, and all manner of game that can be found in northern Africa. It should present as a tough, athletic dog with lots of speed and endurance, and each component of its conformation should speak to its purpose. It should have tough feet with hard nails, plenty of sturdy skeleton, lean muscles, an elegant but powerful neck, and strong teeth. Whenever an exhibit is presented to you, please consider whether this is a hound that could hunt in extreme heat over rough, unforgiving conditions.
Robust, but Elegant: The standard says the Sloughi is a “robust, but elegant and racy, pursuit dog with no exaggeration of length of body or limbs, muscle develop- ment, angulation, nor curve of loin.” The standard also uses the words, “powerful,” “strong,” and “sturdy.” The Sloughi should not appear fragile or delicate. The muscles and soft tissues should be strong and lean. The Sloughi is sturdier than many of its desert counterparts. Wedge-Shaped Head: The head of the Sloughi is unique among sighthounds. It has a long and elegant, sturdy, wedge- shaped head that narrows from the cranial region to the nose. The Sloughi head is more substantial than many sighthound breeds. The occiput should be apparent, but not as pronounced as that of the Afghan Hound. Ears: The standard reads, “The ears are set at about the level of the eye and droop close to the head when the animal is at rest. Disqualifications are ears erect, or small and folding backwards in a ‘rose ear.’” The Sloughi’s ears are set at about the level of the eye when the animal is at rest. When the animal is alert, the ears are going to be high- er on the head. In addition, a small, rose ear is a disqualification in the Sloughi. Even Sloughis with excellent ears will fold them back when they are anxious, hot, bored or inattentive. A handler can always show that an exhibit’s ears are proper upon request—if they are correct. The Ameri- can Sloughi Association has a judges edu- cation video on Sloughi ears at this link: https://sloughi-international.com/?p=2227.
The video illustrates the difference between proper and disqualifying ears, and also shows how a handler can demonstrate dropped ears. Topline: The Sloughi’s topline is essen- tially level between the withers and the hip bones, but the highest point of the hip bones may be slightly higher than the with- ers, which should be apparent. Body Condition: The Sloughi should always show defined bony structure and strong, lean muscles. The skeletal structure is sturdy. A Sloughi in good weight will have its hip bones apparent (but less apparent than those of the Afghan hound), as well as the three rearmost ribs. The croup is bony and gently sloping. A Sloughi should look and
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2020 | 199
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