The Sighthound Family: 7 Breeds from Around the World

November 14, 2019
The Sighthound family is made up of some of the most fascinating breeds you'll ever encounter. Today, let's take a look at 7 Sighthounds from around the world.

In this article, we want to tell you all about the Sighthound family. Taller than they are long, their long legs and slender build make Sighthounds some of the fastest dogs in the world.

What are Sighthounds?

While most Sighthounds were originally bred for hunting rabbits and hares, they have become popular family pets in recent years. There are three distinct coat types: long, short and rough. Sighthounds are dolichocephalic, meaning they have long heads, and a wider field of vision. In this next section, we’ll tell you about 7 Sighthound breeds from around the world.

An Afghan hound.

1. The Sighthound family: Afghan Hounds

This is one of the most famous Sighthounds in the world. As the name suggests, Afghan hounds originate from Afghanistan. A close relation of the Saluki, which arrived in Afghanistan from Persia, experts believe that the first Afghan hounds emerged back in 1000 BC. Since then, they have commonly been used as hunting dogs. These independent animals are unbelievably fast, and are famous for their spectacular coat and great beauty.

2. The Borzoi

Originating from Russia, the Borzoi (or Russian Wolfhound) is a descendant of the Sloughi, although it also closely resembles the greyhound. They were bred for hunting hares and wolves. For centuries, borzois were a favorite among nobles and Tzars.

Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia himself was a huge fan of the Borzoi. Agile, with a long tail, silky fur and an elongated muzzle, these dogs come in a variety of different colors. While the base color is always white, they often have patches of yellow, red, gray, black, brindle or brown fur.

3. The Sighthound family: Salukis

Known as the “Royal Dog of Egypt”, the Saluki is one of the oldest breeds in the world. According to experts, these dogs originate from the Fertile Crescent region.

The Bedu (a group of nomadic Arabic people) highly valued these dogs, and used them for hunting gazelle. They are highly independent and can be wary of strangers, making them difficult to train. Salukis have the typical long head and body of the Sighthound family, with drop ears and a long curving tail. There are two distinct coat types: smooth and feathered.

4. The Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds were used as hunting and guard dogs. A close relative of the Scottish deerhound, Irish Wolfhounds are the second largest breed in the world, just behind the more robust Great Dane. They have a thick coat, which comes in a variety of different colors, including, brindle, gray, red, black, white, fawn and wheaten. Irish wolfhounds are docile animals, and get on really well with children.

5. The Sighthound family: Spanish Galgos

The Spanish Greyhound or galgo gets its name from the Latin “Canis Gallicus”, meaning “dog from Gaul”. They can run at speeds of up to 45 mph, and are one of the fastest breeds in the world. Galgos have short, smooth coats, a slim build and large paws. Over the last few years, they have become one of the most popular members of the Sighthound family.

A Spanish Galgo.

6. The Sloughi

The Sloughi or Arabian Greyhound originates from North Africa. Today, you will mainly find them in countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria. Mainly used as hunting or guard dogs, they have short fur, drop ears, a light build and a slightly melancholy expression in their amber eyes. Intelligent, sensitive and loyal, Sloughis have boundless energy, and suffer from very few health problems.

7. The Sighthound family: Azawakh

Another African Sighthound, the Azawakh originates from Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso. They were traditionally owned by nomadic desert communities, who used them to hunt gazelle. Azawakhs have a long head, black muzzles, wide nostrils, large eyes, triangular ears and a gently curving tail. While they are loyal and affectionate toward their family, they can be slightly wary and territorial around strangers.