People who adore the Sloughi describe it as affectionate, dignified, sensitive, gentle, loving and proud. To others, the Sloughi may appear aloof due to its dignified expression, detached demeanor and aristocratic carriage. Some breed enthusiasts liken the Sloughi’s disposition to that of a cat. These are quiet dogs that develop deep bonds with their owners. Many become one-person pets. If raised properly with children and other companion animals, Sloughis can get along with them quite well. Still, they probably should not be left unattended with smaller pets, simply because their prey drive is so strong. Sloughis are reserved by nature and may not be completely comfortable in the company of strangers, although they typically tolerate their presence. It would be highly unusual for a Sloughi to act aggressively towards a human unless its owner was threatened or it was otherwise directly provoked. Like most dogs, Sloughis should be socialized with people and other animals starting early in life, to give them the best start at becoming trustworthy household companions.
Sloughis were bred and built to run. Assuming that they are otherwise healthy, Sloughis absolutely need time and room to run every day. If they get this opportunity, they almost universally will spend the rest of their time relaxed, quiet and calm. Because they are sighthounds and will instinctively chase anything that moves, Sloughis rarely can be trusted off-leash in an unfenced area, especially without close supervision and a reliable recall. Owners of this breed should have a large fenced area for their dogs’ exercise and elimination activities. People who live in crowded urban areas probably should not have a Sloughi, unless there is a well-fenced dog park very close nearby or the owner is an avid runner. Cold snowy climates aren’t the best for this breed, because the dog will yearn to run but will quickly become chilled and uncomfortable outside.
Sloughis are happiest when they are allowed to chase small game, whether or not they have any formal hunting training. If they live near a safe wooded area, away from traffic, that is overpopulated by squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats or other small rodents, Sloughis will willingly help keep the population down. They will also pursue birds, although they seldom catch one. To the Sloughi, this really doesn’t matter. Catching the prey is much less important to them than the thrill of the chase.
Sloughis are somewhere in the middle on the range of trainability. They readily learn tasks that come naturally to them. For example, it is easier to train a Sloughi to retrieve than it is to train one to greet strangers with exuberance, and housetraining can be difficult in this breed. Fortunately, most Sloughis are extremely sensitive to verbal correction and will learn most tasks asked of them, so long as their training is done consistently, fairly and gently. Like most other sighthounds, they respond best to positive reinforcement, repetition and reward-based methods. Loud harsh commands and expressions of anger do not work with this breed. Because of their sensitivity and independence, some Sloughis do not take well to formal group training classes, such as the puppy obedience classes that can be so valuable to many dogs and their owners. If necessary, private training classes are available.
Sloughis may have difficulty adjusting to new living environments. Owners should be especially patient during such transitions. They are susceptible to the cold and should wear a coat or sweater when outside during chilly weather. Sloughis should live inside and always have well-padded, soft bedding available to prevent sores developing over bony areas. This breed is not fond of rain, water or unfamiliar noises. Sloughis tend to panic during storms and may go into hiding until they pass or until the dog becomes accustomed to the sounds of rain and thunder. They often act the same way during firework displays.