Sloughi: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

A standing side profile of a Sloughi dog in the grass

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The Sloughi dog is a medium-to-large hound breed native to North Africa that is known for its long legs, slim build, short fur, and fast running ability. These agile dogs are similar in appearance to the Greyhound (hence the breed's nicknames, Berber Greyhounds or Arabian Greyhounds). Sloughis are notoriously affectionate toward their human family members and nobody else, which is why this breed has gained a bit of a reputation for being aloof. For the right people, the Sloughi has plenty of love waiting inside its sleek exterior.

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Height: 26 to 29 inches (males); 24 to 27 inches (females)

Weight: 49 to 62 pounds (males); 40 to 51 pounds (females)

Coat: Smooth and fine

Coat Color: Fawn, Black, Sandy, Brindle

Life Span: 10 to 15 years

Temperament: Independent, attentive, sensitive, intelligent, loyal

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: North Africa

Characteristics of the Sloughi

Similar to the Greyhound, the Sloughi is an athletic dog that tends to stay calm when it's not on the move. This breed's temperament is typically reserved, preferring to err on the side of independence rather than being involved in every facet of household life. That's not to say, however, that your Sloughi won't enthusiastically spend time with your family—these dogs are loyal to their owners and especially love being around children. Sloughis are known for their gentle personalities and somewhat distant nature towards strangers, so it's best to socialize this breed early on.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium-High
Exercise Needs Medium-High
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium-High
Tendency to Bark Low
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Sloughi

The Sloughi is native to North Africa. A relatively new addition to the American breed scene, these dogs were first recognized by the AKC in 2016. Their history dates back many centuries; so far back, in fact, that the exact time of their origin is uncertain.

What is known is that the breed was one of two prized sighthound breeds of the Berbers, an indigenous population of Africa. Recorded reports of sighthounds in the region date as far back as the 8th-7th millennium B.C., and it is also well-documented that sighthounds were celebrated among the ancient Egyptians.

The Sloughi’s longstanding popularity in its native region is thanks to the breed's ability to hunt wild pigs, foxes, and hares in harsh North African conditions. The breed is highly athletic, swift, and sly when needed. Today, Sloughis are found mainly in Morocco, as well as in smaller numbers throughout the rest of North Africa.

These dogs are still rare in the United States. The first Sloughi to cross the Atlantic—a dog named Tagiurie el Sian—came with her owners Kaethe and Carl Rodarty in 1973, and the American Sloughi Association (ASLA) was later founded in 1989. 

A Sloughi (Arabian greyhound) herds a group of camels at a well in the desert of Morocco.

RosaFrei / Getty Images

Arabic Greyhound into the Sahara

pql89 / Getty Images

Sloughi Care

Like other short-haired dogs, Sloughis don't require much grooming other than the basics. They need daily exercise and are usually trainable, and because of their sensitive personalities, it's best to use positive reinforcement methods.


Sloughis are an active breed, but so long as they get adequate exercise, they’re more than happy to snuggle up on the couch when they're at home. Long daily walks are recommended. It’s even better to take your Sloughi somewhere he or she can run off-leash; these dogs love to zip around on their long legs and show off how fast they are. Since their prey drive is strong, fenced-in areas are a necessity. Dog sports like agility training and lure coursing are another great way to help Sloughis expel their energy both physically and mentally.


Grooming a Sloughi is relatively easy thanks to the breed's smooth, short coat. Gentle brushings and simple baths should suffice. Be sure to keep up with other routine grooming steps like brushing teeth, cleaning ears, and trimming nails.


As far as training, Sloughis respond well to positive reinforcement, though they do have a stubborn streak that sometimes stands in the way. This shy breed needs a bit of encouragement to come out of its shell, especially when it comes to strangers and other dogs. For this reason, it's strongly encouraged to engage in socialization and training classes early on. This can help your Sloughi learn good behaviors in a social setting and maintain desired traits long-term.

Brindle Sloughi leashed and standing in the grass.
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Black Sloughi laying down on top of sand dune.
Rosa Frei / Getty Images
Sloughi standing on top of rock and smiling at camera.
predrag1 / Getty Images

Common Health Problems

This breed is generally regarded as healthy, but like most purebred dogs, Sloughis are prone to certain genetic illnesses. By adopting from a responsible breeder, you can increase the chances of your dog living a long, comfortable life. The following are common health problems that Sloughis may experience:

  • Addison’s Disease: This condition affects your dog's adrenal glands, preventing them from producing normal levels of the hormones needed to balance electrolytes.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is an eye disorder affecting cells in the retina that eventually leads to blindness.

Addison’s Disease doesn’t tend to appear until middle age, so it’s possible for a Sloughi with this genetic defect to have puppies before it's detected. Unfortunately, gene marker tests for the breed are not yet available.

If you're planning to purchase a Sloughi puppy, ask your breeder to provide the medical history of its parents (and grandparents, if possible). Credible breeders avoid breeding dogs that carry genetic illnesses. While it's not possible to prevent every dog from hereditary problems, proper care can be taken to mitigate the risk.

Diet and Nutrition

Your Sloughi will do best on a high-quality diet with plenty of protein. This breed is not usually prone to becoming overweight or obese, but to prevent any problems, talk with your veterinarian to determine meal portions and an appropriate dog food based on your dog's age, weight, and activity level. Feel free to give your Sloughi healthy treats (remembering that positive reinforcement is encouraged), taking care to limit overeating.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Sloughi

Sloughis are still a rare dog breed in the United States, so they can be hard to find. Check with your local shelters and any breed-specific rescues to find dogs in need of forever homes. If you're planning to adopt a puppy from a breeder, research different options first, making sure to work with someone who is reputable and takes excellent care of their dogs.

Sloughi puppies generally cost between $1,200 and $2,000, but some prices may be as high as $6,000 depending on pedigree and availability in your area. Since this breed is rare, expect to join a waitlist to adopt a puppy.

Start your search for a Sloughi via designated rescues, the designated breed association, and the American Kennel Club:

Sloughi Overview

  • Calm and relaxed

  • Family and kid-friendly

  • Doesn't bark much

  • Aloof and stubborn

  • Shy around strangers

  • High prey drive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you're interested in adopting a Sloughi, you might also connect with similar breeds:

There is a great dog breed out there for everybody. Learn about other popular breeds or visit your local shelter to find your next best friend!

  • How Do You Pronounce Sloughi Dog?

    Similar to the Greyhound, the Sloughi (pronounced "slu-ghee") is a North African dog breed with a long, slim build known for its fast running ability.

  • Are Sloughi Dogs Hypoallergenic?

    Sloughis aren't hypoallergenic dogs, but they do only have medium shedding and short hair. In terms of grooming, your Sloughi will require simple routine baths, nail trimming, and teeth brushing like other dog breeds.

  • What Group Is the Sloughi In?

    Sloughi dogs are in the AKC's hound classification. Unlike the scenthound breeds in this group, this dog is considered a sighthound (similar to the Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki, and more).