The Ear Set of the Sloughi
by Dr. Dominique de Caprona
© de Caprona 2009

All photographs copyrighted to the author. Please do not use text or photos for any purpose without asking.

Since 1852, at a time when the North African Sloughi became more well known to the Western World, the various standards which followed the previous descriptions have been modified. The ear set of the Sloughi is what has seen the most changes in the breed standard.

From 1852-1937:
The ears of the Sloughi are required to be larger than the Greyhound's and carried folded back - they are sometimes also half erect. The most famous sculpture of the breed, entitled "Tom, Algerian Sighthound", by the 19th century Animalier Antoine Louis Barye, shows a Sloughi with such an ear set. 

1896, Sloughi "Debba" of the Chasseur Francais journal's kennel.
 © de Caprona 2007

1897, the ideal ear set of the Sloughi, left, and the Persian Sighthound, right, by Swiss artist J.Petersen
(first published in the book Windhunde) in “Les Races de Chiens” (“The Breeds of Dogs”) by Count Henri de Bylandt, Belgium.
 © de Caprona 2007

Circa 1904, the ideal earset of the Sloughi, left, compared to that of the Greyhound, right, by Dutch artist Auguste Le Gras,
printed in De Nederlandsche Sport journal. © de Caprona 2007

1937- now
Prior to 1973, the Sloughi being the French Sighthound, the Sloughi standard is in the hands of the French. It is in the 1937 standard that the description of the ear set of the Sloughi is changed dramatically from an ear larger than that of the Greyhound and folded back, to that of a lop-ear. At the time the Dutch - the Netherlands was then also an important country for the breed - disagreed.
One wonders what led to this change, as it coincides in time with the discovery by the French Military of the lop-eared smooth Salukis in the Middle East. The "Sloughis" of one of the persons apparently involved in modifying the standard, Mrs Turcat, were criticized at shows as having "Persian blood" by a well known French cynologist and judge P.Mégnin.......(for details please consult The Sloughi 1852-1952”)

Be it as it may, the Sloughi is now required to have lop-ears. 
However, many Sloughis still have folded ears, for example when they trot or when they are nervous. As in the past, many Sloughis in North Africa still have folded ears. Such an ear set does not imply, as is often mistakengly stated, a crossbreeding to Galgo espanol. Folded ears are simply part of the Sloughi's genetic make-up, even if  lop-ears have been imposed on the breed by the standards since 1937. The hunters in North Africa do not always care about the way a Sloughi carries its ears, the hunting talent of the dog being more important, and in some countries the ears are cropped.

Moroccan Sloughis © de Caprona 2008


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