THE SLOUGHI: ANCIENT HOUND OF NORTH AFRICA
(Photo courtesy of U. Rosenzweig)
by ERIKA N. WYATT & ERMINE MOREAU-SIPIÈRE
HISTORY T he exact origins of the Sloughi have disappeared in the shifting sands of the Sahara Desert over the past several thousand years and remain part of the mystery of this ancient breed. The Sloughi has been used by the Ber- ber and Bedouin people in the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria for millennia to hunt both large and small game, including jackals, gazelles, wild boar, hares and rabbits, over desert and mountain ter- rain. In the countries of origin, the Sloughi is still used to hunt in this man- ner today, making it not only a beauti- ful, living piece of antiquity, but also a utilitarian and tough coursing hound whose function is the most essential characteristic of the breed. The Sloughi’s role in North Africa was not limited to coursing. The Sloughi also served as a protector of its master
SLOUGHI TYPE: ESSENTIAL CONFORMA- TIONAL CHARACTERISTICS The overall impression of a Sloughi should be immediately unique from oth- er sighthound breeds due to important differences in its head and body confor- mation. Its head is larger and more sub- stantial than most other sighthounds. The ears are dropped, and although its appearance is graceful, it also exudes power, speed, agility and stamina. Because of the importance of the work for which it was bred, the Sloughi must always present in a hard, fit condi- tion. It must give the impression of being robust and not fragile in any way, while still maintaining its intrinsic beauty and elegance. Importantly, the Sloughi must have no exaggeration in its angulation, length of body or limbs, bulky muscle development, or curve of loin. The Sloughi’s outline distinguishes it substantially from other breeds in the
and home, and defender of flocks of goats and sheep. These characteristics of temperament exist in Sloughis today, and they are extraordinarily devoted to their families and people. They are naturally (and correctly) aloof and skep- tical of strangers. THE ATHLETIC SLOUGHI The athleticism of the Sloughi allows it to excel at a number of performance events, including open field and free coursing (in those states in which it is legally permitted), lure coursing, and non-commercial oval track and sprint racing. The Sloughi also has the potential to excel at agility, if an indi- vidual could be properly motivated with appropriately positive training methods. As a sighthound, the Sloughi is sensitive to correction and heavy handed, corporal training methods will produce a particularly poor outcome with this breed.
244 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017
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