About Saluki

The Saluki breed  - Saluki in Icelandi - Lure coursing - Saluki standard

The breed
The overall appearance of Saluki is one of total grace and symmetry. They are fast, agile, and have excellent vision. They have an unusual gait when they are at top speed: all four of their legs are in the air at the same time. It has a slim, greyhound-like body with long silky feathering on the ears and tail. The head is narrow and well-proportioned, tapering gradually toward the nose. The ears are long and hanging. It has sturdy jaws and large skinny eyes that are either light or dark brown with a sweet, dignified expression. Saluki’s neck is elegant and flexible. Its body is very elongated, with oblique muscular shoulders. The feet are thickly haired between the toes for protection from rough terrain.

Salukis are even-tempered and sensitive. They are gentle, affectionate but not demonstrative. They may become attached to one person.  Salukis can get along well with children and can become protective, but the family must respect the dog's need for quiet and peaceful time alone to rest. They are fairly submissive by nature to people and dogs and are easily distracted.  Salukis do well with other Salukis. They are a pleasant and calm companion and make a good watchdog. Though not aggressive with people, the Saluki's natural instinct is to chase. This is a proper function and this trait should not be discouraged within the breed.  

Coat and color
There are two coat types in Saluki, smooth and feathered. Smooth is a short coat over the entire body, and feathered is long hair on the ears, backs of the legs and tail. This hair can be of varying lengths and sparseness is not to be penalized. Both coat types exhibit the same qualities. All color types are allowed.

Height and weight
Height should be 58 - 71 cm and they should weight around 13-30 kg.

Saluki usually has little dog odor and its coat is easy to groom.  They need to be brushed and combed occasionally, especially on the longer-haired parts like ears and tail. The ears should be checked regularly to make sure that they are clean and nails cut as needed. Saluki is an average shedder. Salukis are a rather healthy breed but some lines have genetic diseases, like heart problems and autoimmune diseases. Salukis have a fairly long life span, living an average of 12-13 years.

They usually are quiet indoors and don’t normally bark unless there is a reason.  Salukis are a natural athlete and they need space and a lot of exercise.  They are happiest when running, and can jump very high. Some are very independent and they should only be let free in an isolated, scouted area. Saluki can run at top speeds of 55-60km/h or more with their feet barely touching the ground. These top speeds are reached in short spurts, but they also have exceptional endurance.

The owner of a Saluki should be an easygoing leader who is not looking for an extremely active, social dog, and who instead prefers a dog that is content to curl up on the sofa.  Salukis may seem reserved and aloof but they usually learn quickly if they want. They get bored with repetition, so training sessions should be short and varied. They are sensitive and intelligent and should therefore never be trained using force or hard-handed methods. Overbearing, impatient persons should avoid this breed because they must be trained with calm, gentle, but firm, consistency. The owner of a Saluki must find time to train and socialize the dog as often as possible early on in order to modify his aloof, suspicious nature.

The royal dog of Egypt, the Saluki may be as old as the oldest known civilization. They were named after the ancient Arabian city "Saluki" in the Middle East, which is now vanished beneath the sands.  Earliest known carvings look more like Salukis than any other breed: they have a Greyhound body with feathered ears, tail and legs. Their bodies were often found mummified like the bodies of the Pharaohs themselves and their pictures appear in ancient Egyptian tombs dating from 2100 BC. Numerous Saluki remains have been found in the ancient tombs of the Upper Nile region. This breed is thought of by the Muslims as a sacred gift of Allah, so these dogs were never sold but only offered as gift of friendship or homage. In Muslim cultures, dogs are often seen as unclean. Written records depict A saluki, however, is given a different status by the Arab culture, instead of being viewed as unclean, often sleeps in tents with their owners, to be protected from the heat of the day and the cold of the night. The Saluki is also known as the Gazelle Hound, Arabian Hound, or Persian Greyhound, and as its appearance suggests, it is probably quite closely related to another ancient breed: the Afghan hound.  As the desert tribes were nomadic, the habitat of the Saluki comprised the entire region from the Caspian Sea to the Sahara. Naturally the types varied somewhat in this widely scattered area-mostly in size and coat. Because Saluki was a brilliant desert sight hunter they were used to course gazelle, the fastest of the antelopes. They have also been used to hunt fox, jackal, and hare. In the West, this breed is primarily a companion pet and show dog, although they have also been successful as racing dogs. Salukis have been in Europe since 1840, but few paid attention to their existence until Florence Amherst brought one of Prince Abdulla’s Arabian Salukis from Transjordania to England in 1895. Colonel Horace N. Fisher is credited with having brought the first Saluki to the United States in 1861. Breeding was relatively minimal until 1927, when the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Saluki as a breed. Today the breed is primilary a companion pet and show dog but they participate with fine success in a variety of competion such as lure coursing, racing, agility, obedience trials and tracking.