Showsight Presents The Sloughi

(Photo by S. Collier)

SLOUGHI HEALTH Sloughis generally enjoy robust health even into old age. The typical lifespan is 12 to 14 years, but many Sloughis live to 15 years. Inherited diseases do exist in the breed. The most well known of these is Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a genet- ic disease that is characterized by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss culmi- nating in blindness. Fortunately, the recessive gene for PRA has been iden- tified and conscientious breeders only breed animals that have been tested for Sloughi PRA. Cancer, which is prevalent in dogs of all breeds as well as mixed breeds, has been reported in the breed, and most recently, confirmed cases of Addison’s Disease, as well as other autoimmune disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Dis- ease, have been diagnosed. Genetic diversity, and forthright disclosure from breeders are needed to help protect the gene pool of the Sloughi in the United States. The Sloughi certainly is not a breed for everyone. However, for the indi- vidual whose personality and lifestyle match with that of the Sloughi, the bond between a Sloughi and his owner provide an unparalleled experience. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Ermine Moreau-Sip-

should not move with gay, high tailed, extravagant movement with a lot of wasted upward energy. Any faults or weaknesses which would prevent a Sloughi from perform- ing the work for which it has been bred for millennia in North Africa should be penalized. TEMPERAMENT Because of its long history as a cours- ing and guard breed of nomads, the Sloughi is skeptical about strangers and is aloof. They will not usually animate for squeaky toys or food being offered by a stranger in the show ring and will often disdainfully ignore such attempts. An object thrown gently to the side is more likely to provoke an expression than proferring a treat. This tempera- ment is part of the inherent charac- teristics of the breed and should not be penalized, particularly in young or adolescent Sloughis. In examining the Sloughi, judges do best using a businesslike manner and refraining from trying to comfort an uncertain Sloughi with baby talk or unnecessary petting. The most produc- tive approach is to bypass the head, and begin at the shoulders, examining the body first and then returning to the head for examination last. Slough- is may feel threatened and insecure by direct eye contact, particularly at close range. Although a Sloughi may be suspi- cious or insecure around strangers, aggression or fear biting is not charac- teristic and should never be tolerated under any circumstances.

Jacques, and their five children in their native France. That Sloughia began a passion for Ermine and by the time she moved with her family and her beloved Arabian horses to the United States in 1979, they brought with them three additional Sloughis of French breeding. From there, they imported additional specimens from Germany, Tunisia, France and Italy, and bred some of the finest Sloughis in the US for more than 35 years. In 1989, Ermine and a handful of other Sloughi lovers, founded the American Sloughi Association, which is today the AKC National Parent Club for the breed, and over which Ermine contin- ues to preside as the president.

Erika Nicole Wyatt is the vice president and judges educa- tion coordinator for the American Sloughi Association. She has been actively involved with the breed since

1995, having presented Sloughis at two Sloughi specialties before she even acquired her first Sloughi. She bred her first litter in 2007 and since that time has imported Sloughis from Morocco, the Czech Republic, Austria and Norway, with a heavy focus on Sloughis from the countries of origin. Her bloodlines today include Moroc- can, Tunisian and Libyan Sloughis. Erika imported, owns and handles the first AKC Champion Sloughi in his- tory, the first AKC Grand Champion Sloughi, and the first Westminster Best of Breed winning Sloughi.

ière received her first Sloughi, an Algerian import, more than 40 years ago while still liv- ing with her husband,

248 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017

Powered by