Our breeding philosophy...

Chs.Aswad, Dounia and Batal Shi'Rayan  © de Caprona

"Pedigree indicates what the animal should be. Conformation indicates what 
the animal appears to be. But performance indicates what the animal 
actually is." Anonymous

 See the Shi'Rayan kennel feature in Sloughi World

  We actively, but not excessively, test our dogs in the show ring and on the field to learn more about their breeding potential.  We breed for type, good temperament and performance and avoid tight line breeding and inbreeding. Although inbreeding is a powerful tool to enhance certain positive traits in a given population, it also enhances faults.  We are biologists and know how much damage reckless inbreeding can cause to the genetic health of a population.  Line-breeding should be considered only with animals which have proven to be absolutely outstanding in many aspects of their behavior and health, conformation and performance,  and never on unproven animals, even if they are related to winning relatives. 

       All our Sloughis are genotyped for Progressive Retinal Atrophy. In fact, Shi'Rayân is the kennel which worked together with OptiGen to make genotyping for Sloughi PRA available in the USA, and thus prevent Sloughi puppies from being affected by this disease.

         Along with looks and function, Shi'Rayân is committed to preserving all coat colors in the Sloughi, not just the sand black mask coat so popular in Europe. Sloughis have always existed in different coat colors in their countries of origin, and these colors are an intrinsic part of their genetic make-up.

          Since we train all our dogs ourselves, we know how much work as well as resources and understanding between owner and dog are required to unfold the potential of a young Sloughi and lead him/her to a show win or a win in lure-coursing or racing.  The dog has to learn all of this, and success is the result of excellent genetics and patient work on the part of both the owner and the Sloughi.  Not every dog will succeed, and we do not believe in using inferior quality Sloughis in our breeding program.  Being related to a top winning dog does not make that particular dog a champion. 

          Our responsibility as breeders is to provide the future show owner with a puppy which is excellent in its conformation, genetically sound, healthy, of good temperament and well socialized.  Sloughis which have not been socialized properly and have not been exposed to a diverse environment (i.e. always kennel-bound) from an early age will most likely be shy adults.  For owners interested in sporting activities, we also test the puppies for their reaction to the lure used in lure coursing and racing.  Of course, all our puppies are heavily socialized so that regardless of their future achievements, they will be first and foremost loving home companions.

          Our Sloughis do not live in kennels.  They are family, and live in the house with us.  We have 2 large chain-link enclosures, with trees and grass, one for the puppies and one of about 8 acres for more mature dogs. This is their realm and they do in there what they want.  We live in the country, on the top of a hill, surrounded by 43 acres of woods and meadows (our own private natural refuge).  All our Sloughis are house trained and have learned basic manners.  We use crates only when puppies are being house trained and when traveling by plane (as little as possible).  We use exercise pens at shows and coursing/racing events. 

           Well adjusted Sloughis love to travel, they are intelligent and like to see new things, as at shows and coursing events.  When we pack for a trip and load the van, everyone wants to come.  Their greatest pleasures are to be cuddled, bask in the sun, sprawl on the bed and to run and play.

           We do not earn our income from the sale of dogs or other livestock; our livelihood does not depend on the number of puppies we sell.  Serious breeding, showing and racing (non-commercial) is not a way to make money, it is at best a very rewarding, but time consuming and expensive passion.  We are only interested in finding homes for our puppies in which potential owners are genuinely committed to loving a Sloughi for its life-time, be it a pet, show, or racing dog (never for commercial racing).  We maintain contact with the owners of Shi'Rayân Sloughis and are always available to answer questions.

Hungry puppies, our M litter © de Caprona 2001

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