Sloughi Breed Magazine - Showsight



S loughi history arose out of the shifting sands of the Sahara Desert in the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria, a geographic region known as the Maghreb that is primar- ily inhabited by people of Arab and Berber descent. His exact ori- gins are unknown, but the breed may date as far back as thousands of years. Throughout the breed’s long history, the Sloughi’s survival has depended on his ability to course both large and small game (jackals, gazelles, boars, foxes, ostriches, hyenas, and hares), at length and over rough terrain, includ- ing desert sand, brush, and mountains. The primary consideration in judging the Sloughi should always be his ability to hunt. A Sloughi must run on sound and strong running gear. In the countries of origin, Sloughis often trot for hours in the blazing sun before finding game and bursting into a gallop over varied terrain with the keenness, cunning, speed, power, and agility to take down their prey. He must have the strength of bone, jaw, neck, and topline to take down game of any size. And he must have the elegance of form to be both swift and agile to enable him to course game over long distances, with a dryness of tissues to allow him to exist in some of the most punishing conditions in the world. This history and purpose should inform your general impression: “...a powerful and elegant, medium-large, short-haired, smooth-coated, athletic sighthound... a robust, but elegant and racy, pursuit dog with no exaggera- tion of length of body or limbs, muscle development, angulation, nor curve of loin. The Sloughi is not a fragile dog; it is a dog with class and grace.” Even though the Sloughi has enjoyed full recognition in the AKC Hound Group since January 1, 2016, the breed remains one of the low entry breeds, and the majority of judges have not had the opportunity to see Sloughis in person. In addition, the AKC Sloughi Breed Standard was revised, effective as of August 8, 2022. Sloughis share some characteristics with the Azawakh and with the Salu- ki. Nonetheless, preserving correct breed type is essential to protecting this rare and unique breed. Every act of judging either helps to preserve breed type or it contributes to its demise. The Sloughi is not a smooth Saluki or a variation of the Azawakh, and it should not look like one. Neither should it become a generic sighthound. General Comments. The Sloughi hails from a land of harsh desert and rocky mountains to course all manner of game that can be found in North- ern 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 pur- pose—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 for hours over rough, unforgiving conditions.

Body Proportions. A Sloughi should be very slightly taller than long, measured from the top of the withers to the ground, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. Ideally, a Sloughi’s length from point of shoulder to point of buttock is 96 percent of its height. The ratio between depth of chest and height at withers should be ideally 4:10. A Sloughi should never appear rectangular nor short- legged. These unique body proportions are a defining characteristic of the breed, and Sloughis who are appar- ently longer than tall, or who appear short-legged, should not be rewarded. Height at the withers for males is normally 26 to 29 inches, for females it is normally 24 to 27 inches. Somewhat taller Sloughis are allowed, as long as they maintain the balance and agility required of a versatile coursing hound. Open Angles. The Sloughi Standard uses the word “open” three times to describe front and rear angulation. This open angulation is necessary when considering the proper proportions of the Sloughi. There should be no sweeping bend of stifle or pronounced pigeon breast or set-under.


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