The Sloughi is closely related to the Azawakh and is like a type of hound that existed thousands of years ago. The Sloughi ("slughi" in Arabic means “fast as the wind”) was once known all over Middle Asia but is now regarded as a North African breed.


Alternative theories suggest that the name comes either from the Yemeni towns, or from the Saharan settlement. (A different explanation, of course, is that these localities acquired their names from that of the dog.) It has been used since ancient times as a desert sighthound to hunt down hares, gazelles and even the small fennec foxes. In Germany it is the Arabischer Windhund, in Spain the Lehrel Arabe.

This ancient greyhound breed is viewed by some authorities as no more than a short-haired, North African desert version of the Middle Eastern Saluki. Sloughi enthusiasts disagree, regarding their favoured animal as a distinct breed in its own right. They point out that its body is heavier and bigger-boned than that of the Saluki, and that it has been known for thousands of years as a distinctive and separate entity.

The Sloughi’s sandy-coloured coat helps to camouflage it in the arid environment in which it is traditionally used for hunting small game, and its long webbed toes give it a good grip when moving fast on the soft sands.

It almost certainly originated in the Middle East and then spread westwards across the Sahara and along the North African coast, in the service of nomadic Arab tribes. Today its main centre is in Morocco, but it is also found in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

Although dogs in general are despised by Moslems as unclean animals, an exception is made in the case of the Sloughi. It is revered by its male owners, who treat it as a family member and mourn its passing with due ritual. In some respects it is treated with more respect and given higher status than the female members of the tribe.


In temperament the Sloughi is friendly and affectionate to the known members of its human group, but is usually hostile towards strangers. It has been described as a noble animal, independent, highly strung, vigilant and proud, and not suitable as a childrens pet.


The height at the withers is about 24-28 inches/61-72 cm. Its appearance should be very elegant with a short back, a decidedly sloping croup and long legs. Its muscles and tendons should be visible under the very thin, tightly attached skin. The head should be long with a slightly rounded skull that is fairly broad. The ears should be high set, broad at the base, hanging flat close to the cheeks and with rounded tips. The coat should be smooth and fine and any shade of sand, red or brindle.

Gallery of Sloughi