A Saluki is a sighthound originally bred in the Fertile Crescent. Their purpose was hunting and they were really good at it. Using sight, they were able to spot their prey, run after it and kill it. They have been specialized for hunting gazelle, fox, hare and jackals.
They are very skinny and fast and were developed by the nomadic tires of Persia. The local people actually view the Saluki as a gift from Allah himself. The breed also goes by a few other names and it also known as the Persian Greyhound and the Tazi.
Saluki History & Origins
The Saluki has a long history which goes way back in the past. This dog is considered to be an ancient breed and perhaps one of the first dog breeds ever to exist. There are depictions and images of Saluki dogs that date back to BC 2100 in Egyptian drawings and even back to some 7,000 years back with the Sumerian Empire. The ancient Saluki was also used as a hunting dog and was supposed to hunt its prey alongside falcons. There are even evidence of mummified dogs placed inside tombs with their pharaohs as well.
At one point the dog made their way with Nomadic Muslims. Muslim people usually despise dogs and think of them as unclean animals. But the Saluki was viewed as a gift from Allah and was the only dog that was allowed to sleep inside their tents. They saw their value in hunting and used it for the same purpose as their ancient ancestors. The dogs began spreading in the Middle East and the breed started to expand from there. They made their way to Britain in 1840, but their numbers grew after WWI when many British officers brought them back from the Middle East upon their return. It took them more time to become recognized in America and the Kennel Club was only established in 1927.
There are a few assumptions in regards with their names. Some people assume that they draw their name from the ancient city of Yemen, Saluk. While other people think that it is more connected with the city in Syrian called Seleukia. But the last assumption is that Saluki is actually an Arabic translation which simply means “hound.”
Characteristics & Temperament
A Saluki is a very useful hound, but can be difficult to train. These dogs are energetic and are probably the second fastest hounds in the world after Greyhounds. Actually, both the Saluki and the Whippet are much faster than the Greyhound over long distances. So besides its energy level the Saluki also retains its hunting instinct. These dogs will bore easily if they are not attended and often have a tendency to chase smaller animals around. Training should be managed with care and you should be patient and gentle when training them. These dogs are for experienced trainers only as they require a lot of time invested in their training.
Due to their high energy levels, they require exercises. They do not run a lot on their own, but you still have to provide it space so it can run and move. This will keep your dog balanced and allow it to develop more naturally. Also make sure to give it as much experience as it needs. Early socialization like with any breed is highly important. It will prevent your dog from being timid and shy.
Saluki Appearance, Colors, Size
A Saluki is a very tall and skinny dog. Their size usually ranges between 23–28 inches and they weigh about 40–60 pounds. Their whole bodies are very thin and it all starts with narrow head and large eyes. On the side of the head they are wearing their drop ears with pride. In the back, you will notice a long tail which stands curved over the back part. The body is a standard sighthound body with a typical deep-chest and long skinny legs.
Their coats are offered in a variety of colors. White, cream, fawn, red, grizzle/tan, black/tan, are just some of the color variations that the Saluki comes it. Also popular is the tricolor one which combines white, black and tan. These dogs look very graceful and gentle and much of it is owed to their fur. There are actually two types of coats, smooth and feathered. In either case their coats are silky and need regular grooming.
Similar to other sighthounds and breeds of their size, the Saluki has an average lifespan of between 12 and 14 years. They are still prone to certain conditions which affect similar breeds and other sighthounds. One of the more common conditions that affects them is hip dysplasia. But the leading cause of death is still cancer. It is only followed by cardiac problems as a variety of dog will have a congenital defect or will die of hearth arrest. The third most possible cause of death is old age. Other conditions which appear frequently include Cardiomyopathy, heart murmur and dermatitis or alopecia.
Saluki Grooming & Shedding
The Saluki is a low shedding king of a breed and they also do not possess a typical doggy odor. These dogs like to be clean and will often groom themselves, but you still have to do a lot to maintain their appearance and keep them clean yoursielf. This is whay the Saluki can be an absolute nightmare to groom. In order to maintiant their fur, weekly
Price and Breeders
A Saluki is viewed as a very valuable dog. In its home county and everywhere else, it is a very good hunting dog and many people take a lot of value in it. As well they should, the Saluki is perhaps a hard dog to train but is very valuable and useful to have. So a price of around 3,000 US dollars on average is not so much when you take all things into consideration.
Saluki rescue has been gaining popularity. A lot of dogs are still found in the Middle East by roaming the streets uncared. But you may help them by contacting one of the agencies responsible and adopting a dog. Some of the leading organizations include STOLA — Saluki Tree of Life Alliance and Saluki Club of Canada Rescue, which probably have the largest offer to give you currently.