Activities For Sloughis

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Introduction

The Sloughi, also known as the Arabian Greyhound, is a sighthound from North Africa that was developed in order to hunt game, from rabbits to wild boar. They are an athletic breed and while they are generally mellow at home, they do require daily exercise to maintain their physical health. The high prey drive of this dog can get them in trouble as they are prone to chasing small animals, so they may not be appropriate for a household with pets like cats or rodents and they should be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced yard at all times.

Flyball

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Hurdles
Flyball Box
Tennis Balls
Registrations
Activity description

The fast-paced canine sport of flyball involves a team of four dogs racing relay-style down a straight track punctuated with hurdles. At the end of the track, the dogs activate a box that releases a tennis ball for the dog to retrieve, which they return to the start of the track. The height of the hurdles, which are positioned every ten feet on the track, is typically based on the shortest dog on the team. The Sloughi breed dog is a very fast runner with a strong drive and is well known for their jumping ability, making them a very able flyball competitor. 

Step
1
Health check
This sport tends to exert strain on the competitor’s cardiovascular and skeletal system. Before participating, your dog should be examined by a veterinary professional to ensure that they are in good health physically. Flyball should not be attempted until your canine companion has reached the age of eighteen months unless x-ray imaging has confirmed that the skeletal growth plates have matured as the high impact jumping may cause permanent damage to immature joints.
Step
2
Training
In order to participate in flyball, your dog will need to be introduced to the hurdles and to the flyball box. Some trainers recommend starting the training with the dog facing away from the flyball box as if they had already collected the ball and enticing the dog to chase after them for a high-value reward, while others trainers throw the ball over one hurdle then directing them to retrieve it using the “Fetch” command, in both instances, hurdles would be added in one by one. Once this is mastered, the flyball box can be introduced.
Step
3
Register and compete
Two official flyball associations are located in North America, the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) and the United Flyball Association (U-Fli). Each of these groups has their own registration process and fees, with which each canine’s progress is tracked with that group throughout the dog's career. Each of these official associations has links and resources to help you and your pooch find both a team and a tournament.
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Search for Your Supper

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Any Day
Free
Easy
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Dog food
Food bowls
Puzzle toys
Activity description

Sloughi dogs, like other deep-chested breeds, are somewhat prone to a dangerous condition known as bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus in which the stomach fills with gas, sometimes causing the stomach to rotate on its axis. This condition causes blockages in blood flow and a build-up of toxic products in the body and is sometimes instigated by a dog gulping their meals too rapidly. Playing search for your supper provides your dog with a little extra mental stimulation during their day, and in some cases may help to slow their rate of eating by preventing them from gulping their food. 

Step
1
Getting started
When first starting out with this game, you will want to begin slowly in order to prevent confusion. Put your dog's normal food in their usual bowl and hide it a spot nearby and fairly easy to find. Always be sure that the place you hide the food is a place your dog can go and avoid areas like kitchen counters, purses and backpacks, or other rooms that are off limits, in order to avoid confusion on the part of your pup. As your dog masters this step, you can begin hiding the bowl in more difficult to find locations.
Step
2
Dividing it up
You can increase the challenge of the game somewhat at this point and divide the meal up into two to five different bowls, hiding each in a different spot. This encourages your dog to walk between each of the hiding spots, and this typically slows the rate of ingestion somewhat.
Step
3
Adding in toys
To increase the difficulty once again, you can replace your canine companion’s regular food bowl with toys designed to handle treats. These puzzle toys not only provide extra mental stimulation, but dogs are also less likely to bolt their food and less likely to overeat. This game can be played at any time of day and can be repeated with whichever mealtime is most convenient.
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Lure Coursing

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Slip lead
Coursing blanket
Registration
Activity description

The Sloughi, like most sighthound breeds, was initially developed as a hunting dog. Unlike hounds who use their noses to track prey for the hunter, these dogs hunted by sight and were expected to not only locate prey but also to run down and dispatch animals ranging from rabbits to wild pigs. They have an instinctual desire to chase anything that moves quickly, a trait that makes them excellent candidates for the emerging canine sport of lure coursing, in which dogs are enticed to chase a mechanically drawn lure that moves across the field in a zig-zag pattern that is designed to mimic fleeing prey animals. 

Step
1
Eligibility
In order to be eligible to participate in most lure coursing events, your dog must be healthy enough to handle the strenuous activity. If your dog has not had a recent checkup, a veterinary professional should evaluate their cardiovascular and joint health to ensure they are in good physical health before engaging in lure coursing. Sloughi breed dogs are eligible to run in AKC sanctioned events, but they may not have erect ears or ears that fold backward in a rose ear, an under or overshot jaw, or visible feathering.
Step
2
Find a club
Lure coursing can be difficult to replicate without a large yard and some specialized equipment, and many pet parents find it easier and more efficient to seek out a group or club to work with. While there are several small, local groups that can help you prepare for lure coursing, there are only four sanctioned coursing clubs: the Canadian Kennel Club, the American Sighthound Field Association, the FCI, and the American Kennel Club.
Step
3
Learn and compete
While the sport is somewhat instinctual for sighthounds like the Sloughi, as the dog’s handler you will need to brush up on the rules and regulations for the individual club or group that you are competing in as they tend to differ just a little bit. While some groups require that all dogs wear muzzles or be safely contained in a crate unless they are actively competing, others are somewhat less strict about the issue. Some groups will even allow your dog to run the course on their own first if they know that you are new to the sport, as well as instructing you on the proper usage of the slip lead and coursing blankets.
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More Fun Ideas...

Canine Parkour

This activity, also known as Urban Agility, is a physical discipline in which everyday objects such as park benches, logs, and brick walls, are used as an ever-changing obstacle course. This adventurous activity is a great choice for the quick thinking and independently minded Sloughi dog.

Socialization at Home

Sloughi breed dogs tend to be more territorial than other sighthound breed dogs. Properly socializing your dog to guests in the home will help your dog to be a friendlier and more confident canine.

Conclusion

This athletic breed requires a great deal of exercise to maintain their health, both mentally and physically. Sloughi dogs that are not given enough exercise can lose muscle tone and become depressed or anxious, leading to territorial behaviors and even obesity. They do best if they have a large fenced yard in which to run and are well-suited to many activities, but they have thin skin and can be overly sensitive to touch so they tend to prefer activities that allow them to be somewhat independent.