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Sloughi Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts, & Traits

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

A Sloughi dog on a meadow

Sloughi Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts, & Traits

The Sloughi dog breed looks similar to the Greyhound thanks to their lean bodies and long snouts. These ancient sighthounds originated in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya regions of Northern Africa, bred to hunt hares, jackals, gazelles, foxes, and wild pigs. Despite their ancient lineage, they were only recently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2016. Aloof with strangers and gentle with their owners, the Sloughi dog breed is an exceptional athlete. Let’s learn more about the Sloughi more in-depth.

Breed Overview


24–29 inches


40–65 pounds


10–15 years


Sandy, cream, mahogany, red-fawn, brindle

Suitable for:

Active families, singles, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts


Loyal, loving, intelligent, reserved, graceful, noble, athletic, sensitive

The Sloughi’s exact origins are unknown, but it’s speculated that this breed originated as far back as 8000–7000 BC. This tough breed was capable of handling North Africa’s harsh terrain, including mountains, brush, and desert sand. They are extremely fast and agile, moving with an effortless gait.

The Sloughi breed shares a few characteristics with the Saluki and is often confused with the Greyhound, leading to their nickname “Arabian Greyhound.” However, they are a breed of their own. The first Sloughi entered the United States in 1973, and the first breeding program began in France in 1976 before being moved to the US in 1979. Most American Sloughis are descendants of Sloughis of German, French, and Dutch breeding.

Sloughi Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Sloughi Puppies

Sloughi puppy on grass
Image By: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Before committing to owning a Sloughi, know that this breed is extremely active and requires much daily exercise to burn off their boundless energy. They need ample room to run with a fence at least 6 feet high to prevent them from jumping over. They love spending time outdoors and will not fare well with inactive owners or owners with no time to devote to them.

These dogs require a sensitive owner with patience and an understanding of using positive reinforcement rather than harsh training due to their sensitive nature. They can be a bit stubborn and do best with experienced owners with a firm, consistent, yet gentle training style.

This breed is considered rare, and there is not an abundance of breeders— if you happen to find a reputable breeder, expect to be on a waiting list for quite a while.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Sloughi

This breed can be somewhat shy, but it is a noble and graceful breed that makes loving and loyal pets with the right owners. A distinctive characteristic is their “melancholy eyes,” which are large and oval to almond-shaped, and their faces often hold a gentle expression. They are intelligent but can be stubborn and do best with experienced owners.

This is not considered an aggressive breed; however, due to their loyalty to their owners, they can be territorial at times. This breed is accustomed to spending much time with their owners—a trait likely handed down from their history of working alongside humans for centuries.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, the Sloughi can make an ideal companion as long as he’s properly trained and exercised. A word of caution: They do not do well being left alone for long periods of time and can be prone to separation anxiety if put in this situation.

If you’re a hunter or spend much time outdoors, the Sloughi can and will make an exceptional canine companion. Are you a runner? If so, the Sloughi will make an excellent running buddy for years to come. Even if running isn’t your thing, the Sloughi will happily take long walks with you.

As for children, they do best with older children who know how to be respectful of boundaries, but with proper socialization, they can do well with both younger and older children.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Sloughi breed has a high prey drive and may perceive smaller animals as prey, such as cats, gerbils, hamsters, etc. However, they can get along very well with other dogs if socialized early, but very early socialization is key here.

Two Sloughi dogs
Image Credit: Rosa Frei, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Sloughi

Understanding a breed’s everyday requirements is always recommended to keep them healthy and happy to determine if a particular breed is right for you. In this next section, we’ll discuss important factors of owning a Sloughi before you commit to the breed.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Given the Sloughi’s high energy, they require high-quality, protein-rich kibble with no added preservatives or fillers. The protein should be high quality, derived from chicken, turkey, beef, duck, or lamb, and complete and balanced with all necessary nutrients.

A dog’s nutritional needs change as they age, so ensure the food is age-appropriate (puppy, adult, senior). Your veterinarian is a valuable resource when deciding what brand of dog food is best for the Sloughi, especially if you plan to make the Sloughi home-cooked meals.

Always follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging, and consult your veterinarian on daily quantity requirements if feeding home-cooked meals.

Exercise 🐕

As we’ve learned so far, the Sloughi has boundless energy and requires much daily physical and mental stimulation. The best-case scenario is to have a large, fenced yard for the Sloughi to run at full speed, but they can adapt to apartment living as long as they are exercised enough.

While walking the Sloughi, they must be leashed due to their high prey drive. These dogs excel at lure coursing and will benefit greatly both mentally and physically from this activity. The Sloughi will always appreciate running, walking, or participating in any type of outdoor activity with you.

Training 🎾

These dogs have a sensitive nature and require an experienced owner who does not use any type of harsh training whatsoever, as harsh training will only cause the already shy Sloughi to become even more shy, skittish, and timid. They have high intelligence but can be stubborn at times, making training a bit of a challenge for novice dog owners. Nonetheless, the Sloughi can be trained to be an outstanding canine citizen with patience, consistency, and a gentle hand.

black sloughi is running in the park
Image Credit: Bianca Grueneberg, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The coat of the Sloughi is smooth, fine, and short and requires little maintenance; brushing the coat with a soft bristle brush or grooming glove once a week should suffice to keep shedding down and the coat in tiptop shape. They only need the occasional bath with quality shampoo when they start to develop that “doggy smell,” and the nails should be checked often and clipped when needed.

Establishing a dental hygiene routine is important. Canine periodontal disease can wreak havoc on crucial organs and can even lead to heart disease. Ideally, you should brush the teeth daily with doggie toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste, as human toothpaste may include xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs). The sooner you acclimate the Sloughi to a dental hygiene regime, the more tolerable they’ll be of having their teeth brushed. Check the ears often and clean them when necessary to remove dirt and debris with a damp cloth.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Sloughi breed is considered a healthy and robust breed, but they are not immune to certain health issues. They have long lifespans, but they can also develop possible genetic conditions.

Minor Conditions:
  • Anesthesia sensitivity
  • Gastric torsion (bloat)
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions:
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cancer

Male vs. Female

An obvious difference between the two sexes is size, as males are slightly bigger than females. Males average a height of 26 to 29 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 65 pounds, whereas females average 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and average 40+ pounds.

All dogs are unique, and each Sloughi will have their own temperament, with gender having little influence. Typical factors, such as environment, training, and upbringing, determine the temperament, regardless of sex.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Sloughi

1. They Are Independent Thinkers

Being an independent thinker goes hand in hand with their aloof nature. They typically have a mind of their own, making training a bit of a challenge with these dogs. However, despite their independent-thinking nature, they can be trained with the right owner.

2. They Make Excellent Companions for Active Owners

As we’ve mentioned, the Sloughi has high energy and requires daily exercise. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, the Sloughi is an ideal dog to add to your family. Enrolling the Sloughi in lure coursing will allow them to show off their skills, and they’ll always appreciate a good run or walk, which provides you with a trusty and fun companion to have by your side.

3. They Are Incredibly Fast

Similar to the Greyhound, these dogs are as fast as lightning and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, thanks to their lean bodies and long legs, which is another reason why they are incredible hunters.

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Final Thoughts

The Sloughi is an ancient and rare breed that deserves more recognition than it receives. These dogs are reserved, noble, and graceful and tend to be timid. However, they become loyal and loving family members once they get used to you and form a bond.

Owning a Sloughi means providing daily, adequate exercise to keep them healthy and happy, and remember that the breed requires an experienced owner with firm, consistent, and gentle training styles.

These amazing hunters do best with active families or singles who love spending time in the great outdoors, but remember they have a high prey drive and may not be suitable for living with cats and other small animals unless properly socialized early.

Featured Image Credit: Sabine Hagedorn, Shutterstock

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