Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SLOUGHIS

Maybe you will remember that when I wrote about Pharaoh Hounds, I talked about mean old Hosni Mubarak, and how I wanted to just bite him on the butt.  Well, not long after that, he decided to quit being president of Egypt, so I think he heard about my threat and took it seriously!

But nowadays people aren't talking so much about Egypt.  Instead they are talking about Libya because it's the same sort of situation there, with a nasty ruler named Moammar Gadhafi, who is trying to stay in power by killing lots of people.  So I will repeat my threat.  If Mr. Gadhafi does not step down from office right away, I will be forced to go bite his butt.  So there!

Okay, that's enough talk about mean bullies.  Now I want to talk about nice dogs.  And the kind of dog I want to talk about today is the sloughi, which is pronounced SLOO-ghee.  This breed is very ancient, and it started out in North Africa, in the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.  Some people think sloughis are related to salukis, which come from Arabia and around there, but really these two breeds are different, even though they are both sighthounds and they have kind of similar names.  The sloughi is more closely related to the azawakh, which is a breed that lives further south, like in Mali, where the Tuareg people live.

Sloughis are the dogs of the Berber tribes, who have used them for many years to hunt ostriches, hyenas, jackals, hares, foxes, and gazelles.  Also the sloughis guarded their humans' homes and flocks.  The Berber people called the dogs Sloughi Moghrebi, which means "sighthound of the Maghreb."  The Maghreb is the name for the arid northwest coast of Africa.  Europeans called it the Barbary Coast.

Anyway, sloughis were very valuable dogs, so in the old days, only chiefs and kings could own them, and these people were very careful to keep the breed pure.  The sloughi is the national dog of Morocco, and Moroccan breeders established the international breed standard.  Sloughis are recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), and by kennel clubs in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, but not yet by the AKC.  In 1989, the American Sloughi Association was founded, and in 1997, the sloughi was accepted by the AKC's Foundation Stock Service, which is a first step toward recognition.

Male sloughis weigh 55-65 pounds, and females weigh 35-50 pounds.  They have short hair and drooping ears.  Some people think sloughis look sad because of how their faces are, but I don't think they really are sad.  Sloughis have long, flat muscles, so they don't look brawny like greyhounds do.  Their coat colors are usually some shade of tan or red, and they can be brindled, but they are not supposed to have white markings.  Also they might have a black mantle, mask, or ears.

Sloughis are very gentle and intelligent.  They bond closely with their owners and like to hang out with them.  Indoors, sloughis like to sleep on cushy beds, sometimes on their backs with their feet sticking up, or in other funny positions. Outdoors, they like to run, but they should only be allowed to do this in safe areas where they will not get hit by cars.

The only genetic health problem that sloughis have is Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and sloughi people are trying to breed away from this problem to get rid of it.  The life expectancy for a sloughi is 10-15 years.

I think it would be nice if we had a sloughi of our very own, but I'm not even going to ask Mom because I know she will just say no.  That's what she always says.  Sigh.

7 comments:

  1. Piper, we've met a Sloughi! We (ok, mom) got a picture of one, and its on our blog. We haven't seen him the last two times we were at the park, but I'm sure we will see him again. Yep, he was a very nice dog, but still a puppy.

    Your friends,
    Zak,Dannii,Jenna

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  2. I remember that picture of the sloughi. I thought he was a very handsome boy. I hope you see him at the park again.

    Your friend, Piper

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  3. Dear Piper,
    I think Nicky looks kind of like the sloughis on your blog! I think Greyhound really are related to sloughis so I guess you don't really need to get one at your house unless you want a PURE bred one!
    Love,
    You know who!!!!!!!
    Do you?
    Hint: (YOUR #1 FAN!!)

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  4. Yeah, I guess Nicky is as close to a sloughi as we will get at our house, and he's bigger and taller than a sloughi, so that's probably better. Also he lets me curl up next to him at night, so that's good.

    Love, Piper
    (Yes, I know who!)

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  5. Hi Piper,

    I own a Sloughi and I can tell you they are defo not sad dogs. They are very loyal and very protective of their families which is not a typical sighthound trait. They would give their lives for you. The only down side is they nick your slippers!!!

    Kath (and Winkle)

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  6. Dear Kath,
    I am glad to know from a person with a real, live sloughi that these dogs are not sad, and that they have lots a good qualities like loyalty. Slippers are nice to chew on, so I don't see a problem if Winkle wants to chew on yours. My mom keeps her slippers on a shelf high up in the closet, so we dogs can't reach them. This does not seem fair, but it's the way things are here.
    Sincerely, Piper

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