Sloughi

The Sloughi is a North African breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. It is found mainly in Morocco, which is responsible for the standard, and can be found in smaller numbers elsewhere in North Africa. Sloughis are likely closely related to the Azawakh, but not to the Saluki.

History

The Sloughi's origin is mostly a matter of speculation. It is thought that Sloughis originally came from the Orient or from what is today Ethiopia (the tributes to the Pharaohs included smooth Lop-eared Sighthounds from Nubia, south of Egypt). The Sloughi is one of the two African Sighthound breeds recognized by the FCI. On old fragments of earthenware (about 3000 B.C.), a short-haired sighthound with lop ears was discovered that looks like a Sloughi. Today, the Sloughi is found mainly in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco is responsible for the breed's Fédération Cynologique Internationale Standard.
It is not to be confused with the smooth Saluki of the Arabian peninsula and the Middle East, which is a variety of the Saluki breed. It is also not to be confused with the smooth Afghan Hound, which is a variety of the Afghan Hound. The Sloughi was and is still used for hunting in its native countries, and is also a reliable guarding dog.

Health

The Sloughi is largely unchanged from ancient times, and so retains a robust genetic health. Only a few genetic conditions have been noted in the breed, in particular Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Fortunately the Sloughi is one of the breeds in whom this condition can be tested for with a small blood sample, and breeders are working to eliminate PRA from the gene pool. Like all sighthounds, the Sloughi is very sensitive to anesthesia, and can be sensitive to vaccines, worming, and other medications - so these routine treatments should be spaced apart instead of given all at once. Otherwise the breed tends to enjoy excellent health into old age.

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