How to Judge the Sloughi
Although the Sloughi has been in the AKC Hound Group since January 1, 2016, it remains an extremely rare breed in the U.S. In fact, in 2018 the Sloughi was last on AKC's ranking of Most Popular Breeds, coming in as no. 192 … Most AKC judges have not seen a Sloughi yet, and those that have seen or judged them may have done so in Europe - and those Sloughis may or may not have been appropriate representatives of the breed. Not surprisingly, there is a lot of confusionin the U.S. about what is correct Sloughi type and movement, and there is a great deal of confusion between Sloughis, Azawakh and smooth Salukis.
The American Sloughi Association got the idea of the "Crash Course in Judging the Sloughi" from our friends in the American Azawakh Association, who were the first to develop such a summary document to help judges with some of the important points of the standard, and how to differentiate between the Sloughi and some of the other Sighthounds. The Sloughi is a unique breed, with unique characteristics, and it is a breed that has existed for thousands of years in North Africa and breed preservation is integral to the Sloughi's survival.
The goal of the Crash Course is to help judges who are unfamiliar with the breed to begin to become acquainted with it and with the AKC standard. It is a first step, a sort of "Cliff's Notes," if you will, and will hopefully inspire judges to learn more about the breed and to review the many judge's education documents, photographs and video available on the Judges Education page of the National Parent Club website.
One final word. As soon as the Crash Course came out, we received many emails from breeders and hunters in Morocco, some of whom come from families that have been breeding Sloughis for traditional purposes for multiple generations, about other important characteristics of the breed: how important it is for a Sloughi to have black or pigmented nails (and how serious a fault it is for a Sloughi to have all-white nails), the importance of the occipital bump, and how a Sloughi should be powerful and not too refined. Those breeders and hunters are correct about the importance of these features as well. Unfortunately, we could not include every essential detail in the Crash Course without having it turn into a novella with 80 points instead of the 10 we selected.
Special thanks to Bo Bengtson and our friends at Sighthound Review for their support and assistance with Sloughi' judges education.