The Saluki is a large hound breed and a member of the sighthound family that hunts by sight rather than scent. It is one of the oldest known dog breeds with a graceful and symmetrical appearance. The breed has two varieties; the smooth and the feathered with the latter being more common with feathering on the ears and tail. Both varieties sport long and narrow head with a black or liver nose, dark to hazel bright, large and oval eyes but not prominent as to stand out among the facial features. It also has long pendant ears covered with silky hair and hangs close to the head. The upper teeth closely overlap the lower teeth and are set square to the jaws. A long and well-muscled neck carries the narrow head with grace. The body of the Saluki has a broad back, deep and narrow chest, and long and deep brisket that is supported elegantly by straight, long forelegs and well developed hindlegs cushioned to the ground by strong, supple and well feathered feet. The feathered tail is carried naturally in curve with the tip reaching the hock. It has a smooth and silky coat that comes in any colour or combination of colours other than brindle.
The Saluki is one of the most ancient of domesticated dog breeds that originated in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt where it is commonly known as the Royal dog of Egypt. As early as the 2100 B.C. the Saluki has been depicted in ancient Egyptian tombs and was so revered that it is also mummified when it dies just like the Pharaohs themselves. The famous King Tutankhamen was also depicted in a hunting scene with his pair of royal Salukis. The breed was named after the ancient city of Seleucia which is probably the oldest known civilization. The Saluki is considered to be a clean dog in Bedouin tradition and is often referred to as “el hor” or “the noble one” and is considered to be a gift from Allah. Historically speaking, the breed served as a courser that hunted in packs. Its close association with nomadic tribes made it a very adaptable breed and its habitat ranged from the Caspian sea to the Sahara desert which is why the Saluki has had many variations mostly in size and coat. It was introduced in England as the Persian Greyhound around the 1840s. Today, the Saluki functions mainly as a companion dog or as a show dog.
The Saluki is typically a quiet and reserved breed by is very devoted to its human companions. It is a loyal breed and will often form a strong bonding relationship with one member of the family. It does not have a tendency to bark a lot, but when it feels that something is wrong, it usually “sings.” It is very sensitive and highly intelligent and should never be trained using force or hard-handed methods. It has a very strong prey drive that it is not suitable living with small household pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and other small animals. It is very difficult to train but makes a very good watchdog mainly due to its wariness towards strangers.
It is very difficult to train but makes a very good watchdog mainly due to its wariness towards strangers. Training should be short and with variation, as the Saluki is a very intelligent breed that quickly learns and gets easily bored with repetition.
The coat is easy to groom and occasional brushing and combing is sufficient to keep it in perfect shape. It is an average shedder and does not have a doggy odour.
The Saluki is a long-lived breed with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. It is generally a healthy and robust hound dog with no major health concerns. Although cardiomyopathy have been seen it is still a rare occurrence.
Poultry, brown rice, wheat, citrus fruits are easily digested and are ideal for a base diet.
Regular exercise should be given, particularly, daily long walks, jogging, running, or a session of play that involves mental and physical stimulation. It should not be allowed off lead because its strong prey drive can lead the Saluki to chase other animals and can be difficult to stop. It is not recommended for an apartment life and will do best in a house with a yard with adequate fencing as the Saluki can easily jump a five-foot fence. It is also a swift runner and can run at top speeds of 55 kph (40 mph.)
It gets along well with older, more considerate children but is not typically that playful for very young children and may be too slim for rough housing.