Type: Sighthound and Pariah
Height: 22 - 28 inches, although females can be considerably shorter.
Weight: 44 - 66 lbs.
Life Span: 12 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 5 - 7 puppies.
Country of Origin: Iran
Activity: High - Outdoors. Low - Indoors.
Guard-dog: Low, unless the threat is a cat or chicken.
Description: Dogs of the Pharaohs, the Saluki is a slim, high-stepping, elegant dog who was used in Arabia for hunting gazelles and other game with falcons. They are also known as the Gazelle Hound, Arabian Hound, Eastern Greyhound and the Persian Greyhound. Salukis can have running bursts of up to 40 mph with exceptional endurance. They are equipped with long, lean bodies and an especially long tail. Their tail reaches the ground, and long, silky fur is prominent on not only the tail but also the ears. They are such lean dogs that their ribs can be seen even when perfectly healthy. In their native country, their ears were often cropped in order to prevent flies and disease from gathering. Salukis are an aloof, cautious dog, but they are strongly committed to their family. They are quite sensitive, so a harsh voice or heavy hand in training is unnecessary. It has been said that one will never get their Saluki to always be obedient, but they can be moderately obedient if trained. They have a high prey drive and training should occur when they are puppies to ensure they do not run off on their own hunting escapades. Salukis are intelligent, alert, and calm. They are rather mild mannered, and behave much like cats inside the house: clean, quiet, and accepting attention when they want it. They love to be with family and are quite affectionate.
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Other Names: Gazelle Hound, Persian Greyhound, Saluqi
Colors: White, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle, silver grizzle, deer grizzle, tri-color (white, black and tan), and variations of these colors.
Coat: Smooth, silky in texture. The breed has mostly short, smooth fur on the largest part of the body. They have feathering and long fur on the ears, backs of legs, and tail.
Temperament: Salukis are active, gentle, affectionate, and loyal. They are alert and very interested in hunting. They can be trained, but are not always responsive. Salukis need to be controlled when out on a walk or trip, as they may let their hunting instincts get the best of them. They can be delicate as puppies, so rough housing should not be done with this breed as a puppy. Inside they are relatively clean, quiet, and very affectionate. Intelligent and sensitive, the Saluki is calm and mild mannered. They are somewhat aloof with strangers.
With Children: Yes, loves to be the center of attention.
With Pets: Dogs yes, but they are a mortal enemy to cats and chickens. They generally do not get along with animals other than dogs. The best breed to pair with the Saluki is another Saluki, as this dog a little more delicate than other breeds.
Special Skills: Hunting dog and companion.
Care and Training: Carefully comb or brush the Saluki coat with a soft bristle brush, over brushing will cause the hairs to break. Shampoo only when necessary. Saluki are minimally shedding dogs. They need the opportunity to run free in open ground and also need long daily walks. They would make a great jogging companion. Puppies need to be socialized from a very young age as the breed is generally aloof or shy.
Learning Rate: Medium - Low. They are easily distracted while training. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Medium.
Special Needs: Attention, exercise, socialization, a fence and training.
Living Environment: Saluki need room to roam, and a very high fenced yard (they have exceptional jumping skills). The Saluki loves comfort and should have a soft bed out of drafts. The best owner for this breed would be an active family living in the suburbs or the country.
Health Issues: Prone to cancer. Other possible health concerns include ehrlichiosis, epilepsy, hemangiosarcoma, hypothyroidism, sensitivity to anesthesia, genetic eye diseases and sunburns, especially on the nose.
History: The Arabs were the first to breed the Saluki, but they date back to the time of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs. Named after the ancient city of Saluk in Yemen, or possibly from the ancient Hellenic town in Syria named Seleukia, they were traditionally thought of as the "sacred gift of Allah". They have been called many names, including the Arab Gazelle Hound, Eastern Greyhound, or Persian Greyhound. Many times the Saluki was mummified with their royal masters, the Pharaohs. Today numerous specimens have been found in tombs in the upper Nile region. They were especially prized by the Arabs for their ability to keep up with horses and to hunt gazelle with the help of a falcon. Salukis were often used to hunt beside the falcon. Salukis were considered so valuable that they were never sold, but given as gifts. Another breed that paralleled this one very closely is the Sloughi. Both are thought to have come from the same lineage in the family tree. One painting made in 3600 B.C. depicted a dog that looked very similar to a Saluki, and was found at Hierakonapolis. Sheiks in the desert called these dogs El Hor, which means "the noble one." Pedigrees of this breed were important, so much that they were never kept in written form, but passed orally from generation to generation. When an Englishwoman named Lady Florence Amherst obtained a pair of these puppies in 1895, she imported them and others into England because she was so impressed with the breed. She spent much of her life trying to get the breed registered by the British Kennel Club, but it never saw success until 1923. Soon after the breed was sent to America as well, and was recognized by the AKC in 1927. And in 1938, Canada recognized the breed as well. Today breeders from Iran and other neighboring countries can still recall the lineage of their dogs.
First Registered by the AKC: 1929
AKC Group: Hound Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 10), KC (GB), UKC