The Sloughi is a breed of dog, specifically a member of the sight hound family. Sloughis are closely related to the Saluki.
The exact origins of the breed date too far back to be completely known and remain speculative. Representations of African Sight hound-like dogs go back to the 8th-7th millennium BC. and artefacts of Ancient Egypt show us how valuable straight eared and lop-eared smooth Sight hounds were in those days. The smooth lop-eared Sighthounds of ancient Egypt are thought to have originated from Asia (east of Egypt), but they were also part of tributes to the Pharaohs from Nubia (South of Egypt). This ancient hound resembles today's Sloughi, Saluki, Azawakh and smooth Afghan, and it is impossible without any genetic study to know whether it was a breed of its own, whether it was identical to one of these 4 breeds, or whether it was the ancestor of all lop-eared Sight hounds.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the Sloughi was almost extinct. Political upheavals had disrupted highly sophisticated breeding by leading families. A French law introduced during French occupation which prohibited hunting with Sight hounds had resulted in the shooting on sight of these dogs. Epidemic rabies had further decimated the Sloughi population. In spite of dedicated efforts which started at the end of the 1960s in Europe, North Africa and the USA, the Sloughi is still not very common, and its breeders have an important responsibility in the conservation of this ancient breed.
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